By Vangie Caoile
Living in Canada for decades can change someone. The way you talk, interact and perceive people and cultures. Being able to join the “Philippine-Canadian Media Familiarization Tour” gave me the chance to rediscover my home country. The Philippine Department of Tourism – New York, Tourism Promotional Board and Philippine airlines brought 7 media practitioners from different parts of Canada to experience first-hand the beauty of the Philippines and its people.
Taking the flight from Vancouver via Philippine airlines gave everyone a glimpse of what in store for us back home. Every traveler of PAL would feel the world class hospitality that is uniquely Filipino. Their on board entertainment showcases wide variety Filipino movies and shows.
Upon arriving Manila, the delegation was met by participants of the Winter Escapade. A annual program, by the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa headed by Ambassador Petronila Garcia, brings our fellow kababayans closer to home. The tour jump started with a visit to Luneta Park that hails the statue of the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal. It gave me a different perspective of Luneta and Rizal Park. Now, it is not just a simple park as I always thought it was. I now look at it as a symbol of Philippine pride and heroism.
I will be writing a series of articles of the place we visited. I will take you on a tour to Bacolod, Batanes, Davao, Palawan, Clark, and Manila. Describe the scenes and sites, tease your taste bud with the delectable Filipino delicacies. This trip was not just about rediscovering places in the Philippines, it is all about rediscovering our history and rich culture.
Mabuhay Calgary would like to thank the head of Philippine Department of Tourism – New York, Susan Del Mundo and Emily Blaza, Cesar Montana and Wendy Fajardo of the Tourism Promotional Board, and Alan Co of Philippine Airlines.