Pinoy-Style Teambuilding at Asean Tourism Summit

“One vision, one identity, one community.”
—The ASEAN Motto

The ASEAN Plus Three Youth Tourism Summit

The ASSOCIATION of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)—consisted of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—was constituted on August 8, 1967 with aims “to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural development…through joint endeavors and to promote peace and stability” throughout the southeast Asian regions.

On the twelfth assembly of ASEAN, China, Japan, and Republic of Korea (ROK) tourism ministers held in Vientiane, Lao PDR, last January 2013, the ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2013–2017 had been outlined, and Philippines and Thailand were chosen as lead coordinators for this grand undertaking.

The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT)—following the success of its previous summit hosting last September 28 to October 3, 2015, held in Cebu and Bohol—had invited three youth delegates from each ASEAN nation, an ASEAN secretariat and a marketing coordinator, and sixteen delegates from different regions of the Philippines for the fourth ASEAN Plus Three Youth Tourism, themed “Scenes. Senses. ASEAN Spirit.”

The “ASEAN Spirit” in Siquijor and Dumaguete City (June 19 to 25)

Upon arriving in Sibulan-Dumaguete Airport, the delegates were greeted by the DOT and the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) of Negros Oriental with the “warm, natural smiles and unmatched hospitality” Filipinos were known for and were then escorted to Coco Grove Beach Resort in Siquijor, where a barrio-fiesta welcome dinner, orientation, and a set of local cultural presentations prepared by the Siquijor tourism office awaited them.

Barrio-Fiesta Dinner Welcome

The delegates were delighted with the series of workshops, lectures, and forums on the tourism industry, ecological conservation, and cultural appreciation the DOT facilitated the following day. This was then amplified and put into focus by an island tour wherein the delegates were brought to ASEAN homestay awardees and local attractions such as the San Isidro Labrador Church and Convent, Cambuhagay Falls, the fish spa at the “enchanted” century-old balete tree, and to where they could buy the rumored, mysterious amulets, or “anting-anting,” and love potions, or “lumay.”

Anting-Anting and Lumay

Fish Spa at Century-Old Balete Tree

San Isidro Labrador Church
Cambuhagay Falls2

Sunset Sail with MV Coco Princess

Group sharing bonfire

And in Dumaguete City, the delegates had their race-style tour where they “really felt the warm touch of the Filipino community” on a dry and lovely morning. The delegates had to search for the Bay Walk, Campanario de Dumaguete, Silliman University (to ask students to teach them local songs and crafts), and the city’s delicacies (e.g. Sylvanas). After which, they had their afternoon symposium about the ASEAN Tourism Development Plan, at Bethel Guest House, which was also attended by local tourism and hospitality students.

Preparation for the Race-Style Tour

The Race

One of the pit stops. Take a groufie at the iconic bay walk

The delegates searching for local delicacies


At Silliman Fine Arts

At the Campanario

At Bethel Guest House



IMG_6765Not long after checking in to Bahura Resort and Spa, the delegates were brought back to the iconic bay walk where the majestic and magical “Flavors of Dumaguete” program and presentation was going to be held that evening. The following morning, the delegates were brought to Tañon Strait for dolphin watching and to the Manjuyod Sandbar for lunch.

“Pinoy-Style” Team-Building Activities

Facilitated by Cebu Teambuilding Facilitators' Network

Proudly representing Cebu Teambuilding Facilitators’ Network (CTFN), Lorenzo Jose Cahig and Nicolo Nasol employed Pinoy games as team-building activities, such as “Bahaw-Bahaw,” “Slipper Game,”and “Patintero”; this set was paired with teaching the delegates folk songs and children’s rhymes like “Leron-Leron Sinta,” “Tatlong Bebe,” “Bahay Kubo, “Sampung Palaka” and having them choreograph and perform their own interpretative dance of the song.


Slipper Game



The debriefing of each activity was followed by discussing Filipino values (e.g. Bayanihan) and relating them with the cultures of the other ASEAN nations. The Pinoy games proved to be impactful learning experiences as the delegates were affected not just physically and mentally but emotionally as well, and they even realized the striking resemblances of each other’s cultures, thus sensing a newly found camaraderie and belongingness.


Debriefing after the activity


Tatlong BebeDuring “the carousel,” the climactic activity of the team building, held at the viewing dock of the Balinsasayao and Danao Twin Lakes, the delegates felt how close they were bonded by the Pinoy games and the summit itself and were in tears throughout the activity.

Balinsasayao and Danao Twin Lakes

The ASEAN Youth Toursim Circle after the Carousel

The Carousel Activity at the lake viewing dock

The Carousel Activity2 (Thanking the facilitators with a full group hug)

Commitment, Cultural Exchange, Culmination

The delegates in their national costumes

The “intended major output” of the summit is the Youth’s Declaration of Commitments that “highlights their vision” for the tourism youth. This was held in Bahura Resort and Spa, which was preceded by the awarding and cultural presentations of each country’s delegates, performed wearing their national costumes.

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(Published on Sun.Star Weekend Cebu: July 28, 2016; All photos by CHADA photography)


Cheers to TINTA! A Toast to Another Bottle of Ink!

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute.
We read and write poetry because
we are members of the human race.
—Sir John Keating, Dead Poets Society

ON THE TENDER NIGHT of the 27th of February 2016, at the 2nd floor of Handuraw Pizza, Gorordo, TINTA of University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu marked its 13th monthly poetry reading, or “Basa Balak,” which was handsomely titled “Kasumaran: Pisik sa mga Tinagsip” (Anniversary: A Splatter of Fragments), as a year already passed since TINTA started breaking ground into the city’s literary landscape.

Denver Torres (Photo by Rika Castro)

Denver Torres

Karla Quimsing (Photo by Rika Castro)

Karla Quimsing

TINTA hosted their largest crowd yet. In attendance were established Cebuano writers Denver Torres, Jona Bering, Karla Quimsing, Anthony Kintanar, and Larry Ypil; various members of the Nomads and BATHALAD, two of the literary circles in Cebu; TINTA poets Jae Magdadaro, Monica Manluluyo, Reyna Cadiz, Astrid Ilano, and Tara Angela Prieto; and Cebu-based start-up Suwh(a)t, whose soulfully hand-crafted notebooks served as prizes for the trivia and “tigmo” session. The audience, mainly composed of youths who brought their own poems, songs, and anecdotes into the open mike segment, contributed largely to the full house event.

Anthony Kintanar (Photo by Rika Castro)

Anthony Kintanar

Suw(h)at is a Cebu-based crafts start-up that seeks to empower individuality and thoughts through carefully crafted and personalized notebooks/paper products. (Photo by Rika Castro)

Suw(h)at is a Cebu-based crafts start-up that seeks to empower individuality and thoughts through carefully crafted and personalized notebooks/paper products.

Overwhelmed by the growing multitude of people appreciating the monthly poetry nights, Tara Angela Prieto, TINTA’s incumbent chairperson and also a graduating psychology student, envisioned a “stronger patronization to these literary events.”

TINTA Chairperson Tara Angela Prieto (Photo by Rika Castro)

TINTA Chairperson Tara Angela Prieto

A Rorschach Test

When the first verses were penned by its founding chairperson, Romeo Nicolas Bonsocan, on June 16, 2011, TINTA no sooner became UP Cebu’s official—and only—creative writing organization. With the guidance and support of Lilia Tio, Januar Yap, and Shane Carreon and the commitment of the group’s members, TINTA, which was initially born of the idea of having an essential creative outlet and “interest-based organization” for students, assumed the form of an inkblot smeared not just in the school walls but also in the walls of contemporary Cebuano literature.

Outside the school’s wrought iron gates, TINTA conducted their own love letter writing contest (2013; the awards night was held at the painfully missed beauty of La Belle Aurore) as well as a literary awards night (2014; this was held at UP Cebu) that drew participants from different universities.

Going in for the Quill

The organization was formerly named “Mga Alagad sa Dagang” (The Order of the Quill). Now, other than being the Cebuano translation for “ink,” TINTA also stands for “Tunob” (footprint), “Iwag” (light), “Nasod” (country), “Talento” (talent), “Alampat” (art)—five components that serve as the organization’s cornerstones.

TINTA’s groundwork activities are to “read, write, and inspire.” They practice their craft through sharing, engaging in discussion, and getting involved in the development of national literature. They also hold several workshops, where they are mentored by Cebu’s literary heroes.

Now stepping into their 5th year, TINTA continues to influence a generation of young writers to move toward a renewal—or a revolution, if you will—of Cebuano literature.

(Published on Sun.Star Weekend: March 13, 2016; photos by Rika Castro)