The pandemic has certainly battered the core of our local tourism industry. The global travel standstill and the seemingly overwhelming challenges of what will be the new normal have definitely clobbered its heart.
Although badly bruised, the industry’s never-say-die heart muscles continue to pump nutrients for its survival, energy for its sustainability, and compassion for the community it serves.
Government subsidies and tax breaks help ensure the survival of the industry. Webinars designed for marketing strategies guarantee sustainability to stakeholders.
The current crisis brought about by the pandemic has moved industry practitioners to help frontliners at the highest risk of exposure to the virus. In fact, various tourism organizations have doled out cash and medical equipment to these dedicated volunteers.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Philippines Chapter, in partnership with Metro Café, the latest addition to the city’s culinary landscape, donated boxes of deluxe meals to frontliners in the Pasay-Parañaque areas. This was the organization’s tribute to the brave individuals who risk their lives in the fight against the dreaded COVID-19.
The organization’s monetary contribution was used by the restaurant’s foreign-trained Chef Rency and Chef Bok to personally prepare the upgraded meals lifted from their menu, which included dessert and beverage. Metro Café is popular for its fusion cuisine and is located at Met Live! in Pasay City’s Mall of Asia area.
PATA’s beneficiaries were those stationed at Pasay General Hospital, Pasay Astrodome COVID Center, Ospital ng Parañaque, La Paz Health Center, and The Premiere Medical Center. Meals were also delivered to the policemen and volunteers manning the various checkpoints in Barangays Tambo, San Dionisio, Baclaran, and Vitalez.
The charity project targeted the smaller hospitals as PATA felt that these were neglected by the bigger donors who preferred to affiliate themselves with the larger and more popular medical facilities. Another noteworthy detail of this project was that the organization decided not to display its logo, as it felt there was no need to banner their participation in the event—the PATA officers believed that charity comes from the heart and not from the ego.
Despite being faced by seemingly insurmountable challenges now plaguing the industry, the organization has pledged to continue being mindful of local developments that may require its assistance and to live by its commitment to be relevant to the community it serves.
Another significant project was that of the luxury property, Conrad Manila, which turned over food packs to the medical workers at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) led by the hotel’s director of operations Emile Otte.
The entire senior management of Conrad Manila was involved in the preparation of the donated items: commercial director Michael Albana personally led a small team for the food packaging; finance director Allan Sison handled loading of the food packs; HR director Nina Quinto oversaw food items inventory and team mobilization, and Executive Chef Daniel Patterson personally prepared food items with a small team of F&B crew.
Bellman Randy Raga drove the loaded van to PGH while being saluted by the rest of the hotel staff as it left the premises, in solidarity with the health workers.
The hotel’s charity project is a weekly undertaking and also targets the security forces of Mall of Asia. Similar projects are being conducted by other tourism establishments throughout the country, showing our concern for the new breed of unsung heroes.
As you can see, the heart of our local tourism industry not only beats for the stakeholders but also for the country, in spite of having to face the Herculean task of surviving its present predicament.
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