Up to the very end, Mrs. Arroyo's army of apologists, writers (especially speechwriters) and "media experts" failed in their jobs of highlighting what her administration mismanaged, err, accomplished during these past nine years. They said, infrastructure, call center, etc. If I was in their shoes, I would have said tourism.
Really, Tourism secretary Ace Durano is, I think, the most successful Cabinet secretary of Arroyo. He did his job. He left a potential 64 billion peso investment and created the possibility of 3 million Filipinos having jobs in the tourism and hotel industry. This, I think, is the most concrete accomplishment, that despite the socio-political and geophysical disasters that struck the country, investors from the tourism industry still considered the Philippines as one of the great places to invest their tourism money in.
Three million jobs is nothing to sneeze at. Sixty Four billion pesos is a lot of dough. What is really very good at this---this money will go directly to the economy. Small and medium size enterprises will surely benefit from this directly.
I researched and found out that there is an excellent school for Filipinos who want to be part of this hospitality and tourism industry. The school is called Asian School of Hospitality Arts or ASHA.
ASHA is one of the best, if not the best school that offers a course in HRM or Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM). I talked with their numerous graduates, who are now working in some of the posh and 5-star hotels in Asia (I just left for Singapore, and went to Malaysia also) and curiously, these top Filipinos all graduated from the same school--ASHA.
I asked these Filipino managers what made them very successful and they chorused---ASIAN SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY ARTS. What is the advantage of studying there? They answered that it provides their students excellent facilities and they are being taught by the best industry practitioners. They have accessed to some of the country's best kitchens and bars. It's somewhat like a hands-on approach to learning, most of their time are spent actually doing their jobs rather than just learning things inside a classroom.
What's more, they said that their curriculum is WORLD-CLASS. They know how to operate the best and the most modern equipment simply because the school provides them with it. Its really world-class training with an asian touch.
If there is one bright spot that I see now in our country, it is the potential of this Nation as a tourist destination. And it would be very nice to hear that Filipinos are working in most of the world's best hotels, trained by the best ASIAN school in the industry--ASHA, Asian School of Hospitality Arts.