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.