Travelling bags, digital cameras, sun glasses, jackets, hi-tech PDAs, and even a stuffed toy were all the belongings we packed in during our Educational Tour in Cagayan de Oro City (CDO), Cebu City, & Bohol. This voyage of ours happened last October 12-16, 2008. The third year & fourth year students of Holy Child College participated in the said tour, that includes me – the author, and of course with us was the ITE Program Head, Engr. Eugene Iglesias.

We first assembled at the school campus. Everything was set and everyone was ready to travel. At exactly 9:30 in the morning, we left Davao going to CDO where we board on the Cebu Ferry. We were in two groups when we left (2 vans). We had our lunch in Bukidnon and at 5:00 o’clock in a rainy afternoon, we were in the city of “Golden Friendship” already – CDO. We had our short hour shopping at Linkit Kai Mall. Short because we were expecting to board on the said ferry at 6:00pm where we also had our dinner. Then, at 8:00pm, the ferry was now going to Cebu. Many of us were “firstimers”in traveling by sea. Some were excited but one of our fellows cried when we were about to board because of the heavy rain. Some of our colleagues tried to calm her and later on she just smiled and looked like she was already okay.

At an early morning of 4:00 o’clock, we were all conscious already that we’re about to see the sunrise while in the “Queen City of South”. Closely 6:00am, we arrived in Cebu as if it was just a twosome blinks of our eyes. First stop, “Hanga Bay” restaurant for a well-deserved buffet breakfast. After an hour, we had our early check-inn at Cebu Business Hotel just to leave all of our belongings and then, it’s time for our first company visit.

MICS (Management Information & Computer Services) was a government owned company located at the focal point of the city. There, we saw how they manage to supervise all computer systems being used by government offices within the city. For this company visit of ours, it made us realized that Cebu was really into the Information Communication Technology. Next halt, ABS-CBN Cebu where we experienced being in the center-stage with all the colorful lights as if, we are in a variety show. We also went inside to their FM station and experienced being on air. But wait, it’s already 12:00noon,(time runs fast) we had to take our lunch. Take note, it’s another buffet meal again. So guys, what we are waiting for.

We just had a short break after lunch because it’s time for our third company visit that is in CITOM(Cebu City Traffic Operation Management). Having a 7.5 M monitoring system for the traffic operation gave them the credit of being on the list as traffic-free city. Though sometimes, troubles really happened according to them.

Add on to this trip, it’s time for Mall Shopping. We went inside to the AYALA Center Cebu & believe it or not, you can’t have just a one day tour in here (better believe in it). I suggest you bring with you a wheelchair. Just kidding (“that’s what I did actually”). Seriously, AYALA was really huge. If I’m not mistaken, it was next to Mall of Asia in Manila as the biggest shopping center in the Philippines currently.

Subsequently, it’s another buffet dinner at a local restaurant. Still, it was commendable. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel. Tiring but we did enjoy our first day in Cebu and we’re very much excited for the next day around.

Second day it was. First activity, “ang walang kamatayang kainan” (another buffet breakfast again).But let us move forward to our next company visit that was in IPI – International Pharmaceutical Inc. IPI was the manufacturer of Casino Alcohol, Efficascent Oil (Liniment), Bioderm Soap, and a lot more local products. We went inside to the factory and we were very amazed with the employee’s quick hands and eyes on putting labels & seals to the product. A big applause for these hardworking workers of our country.

Next to IPI was a telecom software company in the Philippines – that is NEC. A Japanese owned company who produces computer software and systems in the country & abroad. Employees got the chance to be trained and even work in Japan which is known to be the most innovative country all over the world. They are paid also with great amounts & benefits are at stake.

Now, straight from our 4th company visit (NEC), it’s time for a buffet lunch. This time around, it’s a Lapu-lapu inspired meal, eating in a SuTuKil restaurant near the Lapu-lapu monument located in Mactan, Cebu. Aside from the delicious food, they also have affordable souvenirs such as t-shirts, bags, key chains, and a whole lot more. When you travel to a place, always remind yourself that friends and family do expect some sort of “pasalubong”. You can’t blame them because everyone are used to it.

Unfortunately, we will have our last company visit in Cebu that was in INNODATA XML Content. They were more on the encoding part of books, magazines, dictionaries, & a lot more reading materials content. Well, sorry for myself because I was not able to enjoy my tour in their company because of the unfriendly environment. I mean, they’re not capable of accommodating physically-challenged person. Well so much for that experience anyway. For the readers, just ask some 4th yr and 3rd yr students who participated during the tour. For now, let us proceed with our next activity.

Next destination was Magellan’s Cross, and the old Sto. Niño Church. Structures were great and you can really have an idea that you’re in one of the well-visited spots in Cebu. It was still 4:30pm, we had decided to have our last souvenir shopping. This time around, we went to their wet market place where we could buy some “danggit” and “pusit”. We went also to the authentic Shamrock store where another “pasalubong” can be found. These three delicacies are just one of the reasons why people keep on visiting Cebu. Before going back to the Hotel, we took first our dinner, our last buffet dinner in this city. So, guys… grab the opportunity.

Speaking of last, to end up our Cebu tour, we must not miss to try some night life party there. At around 9pm, we went to a comedy bar – 22seconds St. Avenue.  Expected, there were lots of laughters & lots of drinks. For those who were used to it, beers were available but for us, a bottle of soft drink was already okay. “Ayaw palabi guyz, dili bya ni atong lugar”. Well, well, well, Sir Eugene Iglesias was on stage, being the subject of “pang-aalaska” of the comedians. It’s quite naughty so just ask personally the man. Anyways, it’s already 1:00am guys, seems like the night went fast. We still need to fix all of our baggage for our 6:00am trip going to another destination.

Obviously, we woke up late. Our tour bus needs to run fast going to the pier for us to board in an Ocean Jet because the next destination was Bohol.

It’s another add-on to our educational trip. The famous Chocolate Hills, Tarsier, and old Churches are just three of the main attractions of Bohol, so we did a lot of pictorials. We had the chance also to meet as in face-to-face and took some picture with the biggest and longest snake in the Philippines – “Frowny”. Such wild life encounter was a worth keeping experience. Well another thing that was worthy experience there, was when we went inside the Baclayon Church; took some pose with their antic altar and able to visit the museum. Let’s talk about “pasalubong”, that includes “calamay” – a native delicacy of Bohol, “peanut kisses”, and souvenir t-shirts printed by some of the “pinagmamalaki” of Bohol. We also tried to eat in a floating restaurant in Loboc River and mingle to the “ATI tribe “.

 

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The whole experience was really great and very memorable. Aside from the learning with our ICT company visit, we were also able to see how beautiful our country is. We must be proud of being a Filipino. And it is really a great feeling also when you travel in a place where you haven’t been before especially you are in a group along with your friends, & classmates. The travel experience becomes more momentous.