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            “Sometimes, you may have everything in the world, but you become complacent of what you have, and at the end you don’t realize you have squandered everything”. This is the provocative remark of Mr. Mario Villanueva, Marikina City Tourism Officer and concurrently NCR President of Tourism Officer and Vice-President of Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP), upon initial assessment of the potential tourist attractions of the Municipality of Bulusan during his visit as resource speaker of Orientation/Lecture on Barangay Tourism Council on December 22, 2003 at the Bulusan Cultural & Sports Center.

            Mr. Mario Villanueva, the architect behind the economic boom of Marikina City, arrived in Bulusan on December 21, 2003 and in the afternoon took a side trip to the tourist destinations for his initial inventory to get acquainted with the physical, natural, and demographic aspects of the municipality.

            The Marikina experience via development of barangay tourism is a paradigm shift to spur economic activity at the community level.  It requires first of all an understanding of what we have in the barangay and in the municipality as a whole.  According to Mr. Villanueva, barangay tourism council is community-based program to help fight poverty.  Because it is an organization duly recognized by the municipal tourism office with a common bond of interest; that have voluntarily joined together with a common goal/objective and to achieve a lawful common tourism interest and with economic value at the end.  It is in this rational concept that successful tourism can only happen with a people who takes pride and with accountable commitment in their own destination’s history, nature, culture and traditions, he added.

            This one-day activity is part of the initiatives of the CORE GROUP of Municipal Tourism Council (MTC) created by virtue of Executive Order No. 24 executed by Mayor Juan G. Guysayko on the urgent need to carry out the effective and efficient implementation of the signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the management particularly of the Lake Area of the Bulusan Volcano National Park (BVNP) last October 10, 2003.  The CORE GROUP is being tasked to facilitate organizational planning and operationalization of the Terms of Reference (TOR) stipulated in the MOA under Article II. B, as per approved Bulusan Lake Management Plan.  They are composed of combined personnel from the LGU and accredited NGO, San Roque Life Bringers Foundation, Inc. namely: Mr. Albino E. Españo, Mr. Roswell H. Ramos, Mr. Ramon G. Belleza, Ms. Luz Z. Gamba, Mr. Zosimo E. Gamba, and Mr. Antonio Fumera.  The group also conducted a series of meetings/interviews to the persons with relevant expertise in the field of tourism in order for them to gain and acquire more knowledge, which could be reflected in Bulusan.  (Binoescañoespaño ’04)

Vol. XV No.10 (November - December 2003)

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