Last March 5 to 11, 3rd Year Paulinians from the Tourism Department of the College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Tourism, and Dietetics visited Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia for international educational tour and immersion.
The international tour is geared towards broadening the knowledge of the Tourism students by supplementing classroom teaching with experiential learning; fostering awareness of the tourist attractions in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia; providing students with exposure in line with world tourism appreciation and the international standard in tourist services; letting the students experience the immigration procedures and how the tourism industry in the three countries works; and among others, supporting the University vision of “pursuing professional, academic excellence and leadership through transformative learning.”
Paulinians first visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where they visited the Genting Resorts World and experience the theme park rides, bowling, and the snow world. After a day of hotel and restaurant hopping, the next day was filled with more fun-filled activities as students visited numerous historical sites in Kuala Lumpur like the King’s Palace, Independence Square, and the National Monument. They were also able to visit the Chocolate Factory and afterwards, ate at the Petronas Tower Food Court and rested at the Garden Fountain.
After staying in Singapore for two days, the students went to Singapore where they were introduced to the numerous policies of the cleanest city in the world. Singapore proved to be a very memorable stop with students taking photos by the famous Merlion, Esplanade, Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the wide garden by the bay. The tour guide reminded them of the history of Singapore and the reason behind the success of Singapore albeit it was colonized before by the United Kingdom.
A day after their stay in Singapore, the students travelled to Batam, Indonesia where they ate numerous fresh seafoods, visited some temples, and shopped around numerous alley stores. The scenery at Batam reminded the students of Iloilo City that most of them became nostalgic. Indonesia being the last stop however, made most of the students wish that the trip would last longer.
Although some of the students have visited numerous other countries before, to most of the Paulinians, this was their first trip in Indonesia and Malaysia. When asked about the most memorable part of the trip, Ernan Canitan said, “We were so excited checking out the night market in Kuala Lumpur that we got lost eating numerous exotic foods and buying many affordable items!” Meanwhile, Francine Gonsalves recalled, “I greeted many foreigners Selamat Detang, which either means welcome or a simple hi.” Ian Detanoy, one of the youngest companions in the trip, realized the difficulty of communicating with the foreigners in English. So he learned a Malay word himself, tolak. When asked what it means, he said, “Push. It’s so memorable I see it in all the doors I went to.” It was a fun-filled experience to visit these three countries, and Ernan, inspired by this entire week, felt like he could start his own traveling agency. “I now have a clearer idea on how the immigration works,” he proudly quipped.
Although the tour may have been only for a week, tourism Paulinians were able to experience a glimpse of the life in three Southeast Asian countries. The traveling agency also provided them a good insight on how to facilitate and conduct tour events outside the country. The educational tour ended greatly with Paulinians bringing home many stories to share and new insights to guide them in future endeavors.