Seminars could be whoopee-A A +A
As I See It
Saturday, October 12, 2013
NOT only tourism officers are attending seminars. Teachers, policemen, businessmen, accountants, engineers and even warlocks are attending seminars. Activities like these could be free or could be with fee. Organizers are sometimes having them to raise fund or government agencies would want to release their fund before the end of a fiscal year. Any seminar is good. There is fun in seminar and there is fund (or vice-versa).
Government employees or company representatives would always want to attend seminars outside of their province. It could be an opportunity to see other places like Batanes, Vigan, Boracay, Zamboanga or Tawi-tawi. It could be an occasion to learn new techniques and skills in your chosen trade; or a good chance to meet new business partners, or even a future husband or wife. Many things could happen in a seminar… the expected and the unexpected. Seminars are sometimes shocking. The registration fee could be exorbitant and the accommodation is terrible. That defines ‘shocking’.
The organization hosting the seminar would like to give an impression to the participants that the venue is the best. The registration table is handled by ladies in miniskirts and the welcome reception is coupled with a refreshing juice and the best hometown delicacy. Sometimes there is a drum beating group providing Brazilian music with sexy dancers that sometimes derail the mental presence of the participants. They are confused and disoriented. They are not sure if their plane landed in South America or they are in a location shooting.
Anyway, the emcee announces that the show is a cultural presentation and the drum beaters and the sexy dancers are part of their culture. The performers are paid later on. So, there is fun and fund. The registration could be smooth and lunch is almost ready. The participants become excited to taste the best food in that region just to find out that the caterer prepares fried chicken, fish fillet, Chinese noodles, and corn soup. The dessert is yellow banana as usual. The participants remember the ‘barangay tanod’ seminar lunch back in their own province.
The seminar proper starts after lunch. There is a long roll call of delegates in their regional costumes. The delegates from Mindanao are always proud to wear their royal tribal attire. Those coming from the mountain Province sometimes show what Kabunian gives them. Many delegates come in Rob and SM fashion. That shows cataclysmic multiculturalism. They do not have a tribe and they do not know who their ancestors are. They should attend ‘Sining Pambansa’ to fill in the gap in their culture and education.
After the pageant, the pair of emcees appears with all their glitters to announce that the keynote speaker cannot come for this and that reason. He is sending his half-brother to take over his place. The half-brother reads the speech in monotone for 45 minutes. That could also be an opportunity for some to sleep, for the ladies to yawn, for the younger participants to play their cell phones, for the chain smokers to go out, and for the others to persevere in the name of social grace and ethics. The half-brother ends his speech with the hall half-empty.
Some go out for a cultural five o’clock drinking habit. Some go out to raid souvenir shops. Some disappear to locate their relatives. Some vanish to sleep in their hotel room or hunt alluring curves in massage parlors. Some gentlemen evaporate to buy what is in the list written by their wives. Some pass out of sight knowing very well that the seminar is not going to be productive.
Let us not judge the seminar that way. It may not be perfect but there is always something good in there if you just know how to separate the chaff from the grain. What is provided in the seminar could be the array of knowledge and you should choose some and discard some. The choice is always yours. Be positive in whatever you do. Remember that when you go back to your station you will present your certificate of participation to your boss.
Your boss expects that you give back something in return for spending the government or the company’s money. In every seminar you attended there should be a return of investment. You cannot afford to be a whoopee!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 12, 2013.