The Department of Tourism (DOT) announces the first ever recipients of its Tourism Star Philippines (TSP) awards, a program which aims to recognize the valuable contribution of tourism front-liners and individuals, media personalities, and local chief executives, who have demonstrated excellence and dedication in pushing the Philippine tourism industry forward.
The DOT yesterday presented to the Media the first roster of Tourism Star Philippines awardees during a gala dinner held at the Raffles and Fairmont Hotel in Makati. The awards are divided into three categories: the Individual Category, the Media Category, and the Local Chief Executive Category. Here is the summary:
|Andoy Dalimag||Individual Category|
|Bobby Adrao||Individual Category|
|Anton Diaz||Media Category|
|Drew Arellano||Media Category|
|Susan Calo Medina||Media Category|
|Gov. Joey Salceda||Local Chief Executives Category|
|Andoy Dalimag | Tourism Star Individual Category|
Gerry Bie Dalimag, known to tourists as Andoy, is a college student who volunteers as a local guide in the famous Callao Caves of Cagayan Province, depending on tip from tourists to support his expenses for his studies. He is now on his second year in college taking up BS Tourism and hopes to become a tour guide or tour operator in the future.
|Bobby Adrao | Tourism Star Individual Category|
Bobby Adrao works as a licensed Butanding Interaction Officer (BIO) and as a dive master in the town of Donsol, Sorsogon province. In January 2013, Bobby risked his own life to save an Australian couple diving at Donsol's Manta Bowl who went adrift for hours after the weather suddenly turned from bad to worse. The DOT recognizes Bobby's courageous act of heroism, his exemplary gesture of hospitality, and his admirable determination to go beyond the call of his duty.
|Drew Arellano | Tourism Star Media Category|
Three media personalities also received the Tourism Star Philippines award starting with Anton Diaz, owner of the food and travel blog Our Awesome Planet which features restaurants and travel destinations in the Philippines and abroad. Next to receive the award was Drew Arellano, host of the travel show Biyahe ni Drew which showcases various mainstream and off the beaten track travel destinations in the Philippines. "My job as a host is very easy because the beauty of the Philippines is not difficult to sell." Arellano said in his speech.
|for Susan Calo Media | Tourism Star Media Category|
Huwag Maging Dayuhan Sa Sariling Bayan was a famous line by Susan Calo-Media in her travel show, Travel Time, the longest running travel show in the Philippines. Through her travel show, many Filipinos were given a glimpse of the enchanting beauty of the Philippines, the colorful traditions and culture of our people, and the diverse flavors of our local cuisine. Susan Calo-Medina passed away last January 9, 2015. Receiving the award on her behalf are her children.
The Tourism Star Philippines award under the Local Chief Executives Category was given to Albay Governor Joey Salceda. Under his administration, Albay was transformed to become a world-class tourist destination in the Philippines, hosting a number of high profile international conventions. The governor was also recognized for his advocacy on climate change, sustainable tourism and inclusive economic growth, for which he received various national and international awards. Another milestones of his was the Albay-Masbate-Sorsogon (ALMASOR) Tourism Alliance, the first of its kind in the Philippines.
|Written By: Ramil Delos Reyes
HQ Editor & Content Manager, Manila-based financial researcher, European languages specialist, traveler, foodie | IG: @pinasmuna
Photos By: Edgar Co
HQ Photographer & Social Media Manager, Manila-based photographer, traveler, siomai lover | IG: @edsilog