Project Calatagan is a five-year capacity building program implemented in Barangay Quilitisan, Calatagan, Batangas. It aims to share with the FEU partner community, the knowledge and expertise from the different institutes of the University. Using science-based research and knowledge, the initiative focuses on economic and agricultural sustainability, environment and natural resources management, ecotourism, and various health-related, socio-political, and psycho-educational development programs.
During the second semester of AY 2018-2019 the Capacity Building Programs completed include Tour Guide Training and Pasalubong Making. These were done in coordination with Community Extension Services, Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (ITHM) and the Institute of Nursing.
In Tour Guide Training, the local and other tour guides are members of an existing association called Ang Pulo-PALITAKAN (Pro-Mangrove Alliance and Implementing Team and Arm as Kilitisan’s Advocate of Nature). They are into the conservation efforts of Ang Pulo and usually don’t have regular income. They need to develop and implement a system in order to make their tour guiding more efficient so that the financial returns are better.
The natural resources include the Ang Pulo, a mangrove islet in a marine protected area, which is an ecotourism site not known to many as a camping destination in Calatagan.
A total of 11 Ang Pulo-Palitakan members completed the five-module tour guide training sessions and the long-term plan is for them to take the TESDA assessment exam and become certified tour guides.
The Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) team led by Chef John Lester Tuason spearheaded the pasalubong making activities. In addition, they also taught Basic Table Etiquette, Table Skirting and Napkin Folding.
The local tour guides of Ang Pulo want to create a pasalubong store where tourists can buy products that are also made by them. As part of this long-term plan, FEU HRM provided the first leg of training on pasalubong-making utilizing the abundant resources in the area such as mangoes.
The Roots and Fruits Chips, a flagship project of ITHM will allow the local tour guides sell food products that can become an additional source of income.