There's a new bus in town-A A +A
By Betsy Gazo
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
CONGRATULATIONS to Negros Occidental for being voted the Best Tourism-Oriented Province in the Philippines! Surely, the efforts of everyone involved in the tourism industry have paid off. I hope that this award will inspire us to really get our acts together (as in "more seriously") in order to make our province a top tourist destination. This invitation is also extended to the other sectors who directly or indirectly affect tourism anyway e.g., hotels and restaurants, public transportation, energy, banking, agriculture . . . gee whiz, it seems that everyone's involved here.
Merci, one of our favorite pasalubong food companies, supports our province's vision of being tourist-friendly. It recently came out with their Merci Shuttle Bus that fills a niche our existing tourist buses have not filled. The shuttle bus is an air-conditioned 31-seater vehicle that offers comfort and ease while travelling with its reclining seats, TV monitor, DVD player, audio system, and complimentary bottled water and twist fans.
If passengers get hungry during the trip, specially-priced Merci bottled water and assorted Merci goodies are for sale inside the bus. The tour attendant will make sure that they are fed well. For their safety, the bus is equipped with a medicine kit (as all tourist buses are), a fire extinguisher, and motion sickness bags.
Visits to Merci pasalubong centers during the trip guarantees a 10 percent discount on all Merci products to the clients. That's great news! Should the trip include a tour of the Merci Bakeshop Compound, visitors will even have a fun opportunity to flatten their own piaya, fill their own tart, and roll their own barquillos.
The bus inauguration last October 3 at the Capitol Building steps was done with much fanfare and celebration, perhaps in keeping with our Department of Tourism logo "It's more fun in the Philippines." It certainly is more fun in Negros nowadays and Merci's bus is joining in the jolly times. The governor, the Honorable Alfredo Marañon Jr., gave much encouragement to the company as he graced the event with his presence until the time he had to leave for filing of his candidacy.
Our governor is so supportive of tourism happenings. As a tourist guide (Alliance of Tour Guides of Occidental Negros), he even sponsored our corporate outreach program for the waterfalls guides of Mambukal. We gave a free seminar to the Mambukal guides on tour guiding a couple of months ago and the provincial government was instrumental in bringing to fruition our plans by providing us with transportation and meals.
We welcome the Merci bus into the tourism fold. We can work together in this sector and make sure we deliver the fun that Negros Occidental is known for. Congratulations, Merci Bakeshop for this new venture!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 09, 2012.