Tour i st s ar e ob­servers

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINION - VER F. PACETE

IN THE past days, our prov­ince, “the land of sweet sur­prises” got visi­tors from Manila … ed­u­ca­tors and ad­min­is­tra­tors who were at­tend­ing a con­fer­ence on the new trend in ed­u­ca­tion.

A part of that con­fer­ence was a guided tour. I played a lit­tle part as a “re­source per­son” show­ing them around to see what should be seen and ap­pre­ci­ated.

Our tour guides brought them to places that could fill their eyes, hearts, stom­achs, and brains. With best things around they also noted things that need im­prove­ment.

The “tan­gled wires” that adorn our posts are like cob­webs in the movie “Frozen.” That “artistry” be­longs to our tele­phone com­pa­nies and the lo­cal power sup­plier. Tourists said that they are “eye sores.”

An­other at­trac­tion to their cu­rios­ity is the “ir­ri­tat­ing traf­fic flow” in front of the malls in Man­dala­gan. They are “fu­neral rites” that should not hap­pen in a model city.

They have reached also some ar­eas out­side Ba­colod. Some cities have street lights but some street lights are not func­tional. They could be “props” just to prove that some­thing is be­ing mod­ern­ized.

They took “pity” on the traf­fic en­forcers who are half-dried at the end of the day. They sug­gested that the lo­cal chief ex­ec­u­tives should in­vest on traf­fic lights.

There was one event that they de­cided to take a yel­low bus go­ing north. They saw that the bus ter­mi­nal is very “di­law” and very clean but they have ob­served that the pas­sen­gers ap­proach­ing the bus are all rush­ing. There is no pri­or­ity lane for per­sons with dis­abil­ity, se­nior cit­i­zens, preg­nant women, and women with small chil­dren.

They were told that this yel­low bus com­pany is a dom­i­nant player in the trans­porta­tion busi­ness in the prov­ince. They strongly sug­gested that the man­age­ment through the Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fice should as­sign “in­tel­li­gent em­ploy­ees” to ac­com­mo­date the pri­or­ity pas­sen­gers.

I hope that the “di­law” bus man­age­ment will give con­cern to the re­quest of our “tourist ob­servers.” In down­town area, they have ob­served that the side­walk ven­dors are over­crowded that in or­der to pass the area they have to push them­selves. Some who could not be ac­com­mo­dated in the side­walk played “tubi­ganay” with the jeep­neys.

The city of­fi­cials should take ac­tion on this be­cause this is not “tourist-friendly” any­more. The crowded side­walk is fa­vor­able to snatch­ers and pick­pock­ets.

The teach­ers were dis­gusted to see “fish-sell­ing and fish-buy­ing” ac­tiv­ity in the mid­dle of the road near the mall. That por­tion of the mall is smelling “fishy.” This could be “fishy tourism” to at­tract not the tourists.

They sug­gested that our tourism plan­ners should study this.

They have a con­clu­sion… if this hap­pens in one lo­cal gov­ern­ment unit, this could pos­si­bly hap­pen in other towns and cities. They also said that our area is not ex­empted as far as “smoke belch­ing” is con­cerned. Smoke belch­ing kills our tourism in­dus­try. They hope that our of­fi­cials should be se­ri­ous in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of anti-smoke belch­ing law to boost tourism in our area. Smoke belch­ing has been cou­pled with foul odor com­ing from the canals. Stray dogs con­sider some of our streets as their “fed­eral state.” It could be true be­cause 2018 is the year of the dog and they are just free to do any­thing “dog­gie” even in the mid­dle of the street. Our tour guide was proud in show­ing them the Pope’s Tower in the recla­ma­tion area. When they went around the area, the tourists saw the “un­re­claimed” mounds of garbage. This is not what we want to show our tourists but this is what they have ob­served. From here, we can pick up our next best move. Some­times it is good to have other peo­ple no­tice what’s not good in our house. We only need po­lit­i­cal will and po­lit­i­cal ac­tion to im­prove what needs im­prove­ment. This needs quick and qual­ity ac­tion. Let us not wait for the next group of tourists to give us the same ob­ser­va­tion.

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