Biggest annual travel forum

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has been the leading voice and authority on travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region since 1951. It is also the biggest travel organization in the world.

True to being the trailblazer in the travel and hospitality industry, the PATA Philippines Chapter has embarked on a yearly Ted Talks-type forum, branded as “Pinoy Chikka,” featuring popular and distinguished personalities from various sectors of our tourism industry and of society. 

Every year, this milestone tourism event attracts an average of 2,500 tourism professionals, and Tourism students and  professors from all over the country.  

This year’s forum was no different. It featured interesting personalities from the industry, tackling topics that were in line with the association’s advocacy of continuously updating the industry’s workforce and the academe with the latest trends.

Biggest annual travel forum
Parapsychologist, author, lecturer, and columnist Jaime Licauco (center) introduced to the crowd the new and exciting Mystical Tourism. He is shown receiving his Token of Appreciation from the PATA Board of Trustees. 
This fifth edition of Pinoy Chikka had three famous personalities whose respective expertise have put them at the forefront of their individual fields of endeavor.

Peggy Angeles, the senior vice president of SM Hotels and Convention Centers, shared with the audience her tips on “Building a Lucrative Career in the Hotel Industry” by taking them through her own employment journey. 

It was very interesting to note how she steadily rose from her first job as a reservations agent for an international chain hotel to where she is now: overseeing the operations of eight hotels, one country club, and seven convention centers and trade halls, with 13 more hotels and seven convention centers soon to open. It certainly is a hefty task for a lady, but it looks like her experience, training, and tenacity make her daily chores seem like child’s play!

Well-known parapsychologist, author, lecturer, and columnist Jaime Licauco kept everybody on edge as he tackled a very exciting and very new component of our industry, Mystical Tourism. 

He showed graphic photos of the country’s famous faith healers performing psychic surgery on their patients. There were photos of bloody organs hanging out of the patient’s body, but there were no surgical wounds. Yet, according to Jimmy, after such operation, the patient would stand up from the operating table, healed, and walk out of the building. He also showed in detail the mystical places in the country and their effect on those who visit them.

Representing the pack of recently elected young political leaders in the country, former movie and television actor Richard Gomez, now the mayor of Ormoc City, gave the thrilled audience who swooned with delight when he appeared on stage, an insight on the “Transformation of a Sleepy Town into a Viable Tourist Destination.” 

Peggy Angeles, senior vice president of SM Hotels and Convention Centers
Peggy Angeles, senior vice president of SM Hotels and Convention Centers, shared her tips on ‘Building a Lucrative Career in the Hotel Industry.’
Ormoc City’s popularity, economy, and tourist arrivals have grown by leaps and bounds ever since Gomez took over as Mayor.  

Of course, his “magical star appeal” was still very evident during his 45-minute talk, as members of the audience, especially the girls, were all giddy, gushing over him when he walked around the hall during his talk—his way of connecting with the audience. 

Every time he would approach a section of the audience, those in that area would scream, to show how thrilled they were to be near him. This adulation went on even after his talk as many jostled their way towards him backstage, for the all-important selfies for posting on their social media.

The afternoon ended with a raffle of valuable travel packages which the audience lapped up, definitely a sure way of promoting domestic tourism, which our Tourism Secretary is now pushing through her “Kain Na” campaign.   

I’m glad PATA has come up with this travel forum because our tourism professionals and those in the academe, who are planning to embark on a career in tourism, now have something educational and interesting to look forward to every year.


My friend said to me, “What rhymes with orange?” I said, “No, it doesn’t!”

For feedback, I’m at [email protected]

Topics: annual travel forum , Pacific Asia Travel Association , PATA

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