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30 September 2006

eden sorupia on transportation networks and ecotourism in the philippines

based at a.n.u.’s department of political and social change, the a.n.u. philippine studies group (psg) organizes monthly potluck seminars by phd scholars and seasoned experts on philippine-related issues. it is usually held during the last friday of every month.

the other day, the speaker turned out to be my good friend eden sorupia. eden earned degrees in architecture (undergraduate) and urban and regional planning (m.a.) from the university of the philippines (u.p.). she taught architecture, planning and design at u.p. diliman, far eastern university and u.p. mindanao. she is currently a phd candidate at the university of melbourne’s faculty of architecture, building and planning.

for september’s psg, eden discussed transportation networks and ecotourism. eden's dissertation is largely a discourse on how transportation in tourism has been most often relegated to the opening of an access road to the tourist destination, the creation of trails or paths and, sometimes, the coordination of internal transport. eden’s research is focusing on the transportation networks and ecotourism destinations and how the relationship can be made more sustainable. using models from her fieldwork in brazil and switzerland, eden isn’t keen on replicating her models entirely vis-a-vis the philippine setting. instead, vital points from the brazilian and swiss experiences may be incorporated to improve the management of tourist destinations in the philippines.

i would have to agree with eden in regard to the way goods and services are being managed back home. much as we want to entice more tourists to visit the islands, philippine national and local authorities could not even do anything substantial to help improve the way tourists are received. and although it does not represent the entire industry, tourism-related professions back home have been concerned mainly with income generation instead of providing guests simultaneously with comfort in style.

for starters, the philippines does not have a very efficient railway system to connect major philippine towns and cities. buses, jeeps and tricycles have no fixed schedule. cabs do not follow the meter. important roads and bridges are perpetually under repair. whether guests are inside their hotel rooms or elsewhere, avoiding thieves/snatchers has become a way of living. we couldn’t even open manila's new international airport without controversy. everything is tainted with graft and corruption. the kind-hearted among our people have been upstaged very easily by the forces of evil. nakakahiya talaga.

the irony is that we have scenic locations that can rank prominently with the world’s best. negros oriental, palawan, cebu, bacolod, iloilo, davao, ilocos, bicol, tagaytay and the cordilleras have always been on top of my a-list. these places are certainly notches above what can easily be found in "thailand unforgettable," "surprising singapore" and "malaysia truly asia." and yet, very few people are genuinely committed to improve the state of the philippine tourism. people in the service industries couldn’t even afford to smile and properly treat their customers properly. many of them would have this “nagdadabog” look marked on their faces. many times, the likes of max alvarado and bella flores would even look gentler.

as eden suggests, somebody has to be on top to genuinely improve the state of philippine tourist destinations. from now on, the quality of experiences we can render to local and foreign guests should take greater precedence.

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eden sorupia with guests during a reception hosted by a.n.u. linguistics professor andrew and wife medina pawley at o' connor
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returning to dissertation work at coombs after the reception


alfred nicdao in forensic investigators this week

every week,
forensic investigators: australia's true crimes (wednesday, 8:30 p.m., on channel 7) highlight the brilliant detective and forensic science work that helped crack true-to-life cases in australia.

this week, filipino-australian actor alfred nicdao will be featured in an episode entitled "operation sorbet". shot in melbourne, melbourne airport and geelong, wednesday's episode touches on the swift action by the australian federal police to thwart a dramatic attempt to smuggle $A160 million worth of heroin into australian waters. alfred will portray the role of teng, a heroin drug smuggler.

forensic investigators is hosted by four-time gold logie winner lisa mccune.

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alfred nicdao, when he appeared weeks ago in blue heelers
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australian actors cliford poon and alfred nicdao
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victor wong gets caught by the police in forensic investigators
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alfred nicdao and victor wong behind the scenes in forensic investigators


Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice blog on eden's work. she's my friend too. we go back all the way from nursery school. jane s.

Fri Dec 01, 11:56:00 PM 2006  
Blogger wendell said...

jane!! i know of you, of course. thanks for dropping by. we are indeed proud of eden. and she has always been proud of her polomolok/dps roots.



Sat Dec 02, 12:57:00 AM 2006  

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