Caring for those who tour Ifugao towns

By Anthony A. Araos

“Naturally, you may wonder: “How can Ifugaos deal with this matter when there is an acute shortage of hospitals?”

The following commentary, while not necessarily a major thought on tourism related discussions in Ifugao, seem to have a strong unusual appeal- because, yes, yes bad things do happen to good people. Tourists- local or foreign, get sick! Even before the corona virus scare engulfed the world.
Bottomline: the problem lies in the acute shortage of hospitals in Ifugao. The recent accident in Bontoc, Mountain Province involving the ambulance of the Hungduan tertiary hospital (Health committee chair Board Member Joselito Guyguyon should conduct a public investigation, in aid of legislation, on this matter) illustrates this point. There is a huge risk that comes from this perspective with the longstanding problem in the province.
Sick tourists need medical attention at a hospital. Foreign travelers have a different set of values when it comes to taking care of their health and well-being. Quality health care plays an important role over price or cultural belief. When the American or French tourist in Banaue needs an operation, you bring him or her to a doctor at a well-equipped hospital, not to a “mumbaki”!
Health risks of tourists should be reviewed based on available information versus pronouncements of day-dreaming public servants. Fact: there are no hospitals even in Banaue and Hingyon, and the one in Lagawe is still a figment of the imagination of a few. Currently, there is just a congested hospital in Lamut to rely on..
Given the reality of the health care system in Ifugao, it is so futile to expect tourists to come in droves. Adopting the “business-as-usual” attitude of downplaying the need to have more hospitals in Ifugao could surely give rise to far adverse consequences.
Naturally, you may wonder: “How can Ifugao deal with this matter?”
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Eco-tourism is a vital tool in boosting the economy of Ifugao. Cooperation between the public and private sectors should work well in raising the revenues of entities engaged in eco-tourism. You name it, Aguinaldo, Alfonso Lista, Banaue and Mayoyao towns- all in the second district of the province, have great natural attractions for tourists who want a new adventure. For one, the picturesque municipality of Alfonso Lista offers a lot of eco-tourism thrills and adventures.
An eco-tourism park provides a one-of-a-kind experience to get closer to nature, It offers a relaxing environment for those seeking peace and solitude. When leaving an eco-tourism site, there are no goodbyes. Most people would like to be energized there and then go back to their work in the metropolis. But would like to be back the soonest!
You protect the environment and enjoy the sight of the scenic location, so it’s the best of both worlds. It is both amazing and pleasing!
It is high time then for municipal tourism officers in these four towns to gather and map out plans and strategies to collectively promote eco-tourism in this key part of Ifugao.
It is very clear that the tourism sector continues to be a major economic driver in the Philippines. For one, it has contributed 12.2 percent in the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) in 2017. Tourism has provided business employment for 5.3 million Filipinos.
Such an event is most helpful in promoting these four towns’ eco-tourism sites not just as premier destinations for travel, but also for trade and business opportunities.
So what are you waiting for? Considering that Mayoyao or Alfonso Lista are excellent places for the municipal tourism officers may gather for this historic undertaking, this proposal is no longer just a farfetched dream, one can now make it a reality!
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Governor Jerry Dalipog, Vice Governor Glenn Prudenciano and the board members of Ifugao took part recently at the executive-legislative meeting at Banaue.
Why is it that all-important activities as this one are conducted outside of Lagawe, where the provincial capitol building complex is situated, and has prioritized the need to tackle key concerns of the provincial government in 2020?
Ifugao folks will never know all the issues tackled in the said gathering of these highly-placed officials. It is time to come up with a report of this meeting and copies be posted conspicuously at the bulletin boards of Governor Dalipog and Vice Governor Prudenciano. Society will benefit from this action. I’m sure that scores of well-meaning folks shall voice their solidarity with me on this matter in cognizance of the fact that the tenet of transparency is a major component of good governance. Does this activity amount to even more than an expensive field trip at the expense of taxpayers’ hard-earned money? Well, it is a legitimate query. Informing the public of what occurred there is the right thing to do!
Ifugao folks- young and old alike, shall have the opportunity to know better what is going on at the executive and legislative branches of the government.
What are the measures eyed by Governor Dalipog for the SP to speedily enact as a means of sharing the blessings to less fortunate Ifugao folks? What were the decisions reached by Governor Dalipog and Vice Governor Prudenciano? A key test for leadership is when the leader’s decision works. Delegation of authority and responsibility is a mark of good leadership. Implementation of a key project emanating from resources allocated by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) requires the exercise of political will at all times.
Have you accomplished your goals in formulating a common strategy for growth and development? In many ways, dialogue evolves as a distinct tool in the same manner by following the logic of less bickering between the executive and legislative pillars of the government, thus, Governor Dalipog and Vice Governor Prudenciano as well as members of the SP were courageous enough to inject the value of cooperation to handle the tasks at hand.
The key to success in this kind of endeavor is a combination of teamwork among the governor, vice governor and board members and ultimately the support of the public. Thus, officials at the provincial government should make sure that the people get the value of the sky-high salaries they are getting from the citizenry through their taxes.
Promoting legislative executive interaction is the only option viable if the provincial government is to achieve its over-all development plans.
For example, how can a livelihood venture in the capital town of Lagawe flourish when it faces brownouts from time to time? Many business owners here are worried about electricity supply, since “power interruption” is a perennial problem.
In the national level, the heads of the executive and legislative wings of the government- or the President and the Senate President and House Speaker (for Congress), to be more precise, are also doing the same. The purpose of this “engagement” is to forge a deeper bond of dialogue and collaboration in their mission to improve the people’s plight. It has been primarily intended to address the so-called “gridlock” problem.
At the provincial level and even the municipal level, it is important to track whether or not interventions are addressing key relevant development issues and producing the desired results.
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Blessings Dragon Fruit Dragons is popularly known for its dragon fruit wines and jams. It is indeed one of the fastest growing firms in Ifugao and its owner, Editha Paculor is very excited to introduce her world-class products even outside the Philippines. To my mind, a global network is an excellent idea. The world of dragon fruit produce trade is truly a global one. If only Ifugao entrepreneurs like her, are enterprising and pioneering to venture out of their comfort zone, trade and commerce in the province seemed to virtually headed to the right direction.
Ms. Paculor gave Ifugao folks their first understanding and glimpse of her good tasting dragon fruit jam and provided many others with an accurate description of other dragon fruit by-products of superior quality. I expect more patrons of her products and so it is time for her to consider opening an outlet at Barangay Sta. Maria.
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For our food delights corner: For one, the summer countdown has already started. If so, it may well be the time to have traditionally cooked “laing” for lunch or dinner for your family, loved ones or friends. Best served with rice, grilled eggplant and breaded pork chop. It is really worth treating special ones this inexpensive but delicious meal. For appetizers and desserts: mocha cake, bananas and chilled mango juice. Make it a point to say your prayers. For the same reason, go to mass on a Sunday.
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Unlimited odd thought unloaded: This Valentine’s Day, you can’t always be serious. Be wacky, crazy and naughty by sending a bunch of fresh squash “kalabasa” flowers to a boss or someone in the office who is a certified nerd. Send it by FedEx, LBC or JRS! Come to think of it, you can even cook it after February 14. Hehehe!
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Here are some thoughts for our dear readers: “Let’s admit that holiness of life we see among simple mothers and fathers, the simple janitors, the simple cleaner in the canteen, the laundrywoman who suffers in order to send her children to schools.” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Manila Archbishop
“A generation is going, and a generation is coming, but the earth remains forever.” Ecclesiastes 1:4
“I am pleased when you share with others.” Heb 13:16 **

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