Tita Talks Training

A Trainer as a Tourist
Philippine Daily Inquirer Article
by Tita D. Puangco

Recently, Laszlo one of the Principals of our partners’ based in Palo Alto sent me an email that he would do some work with one of the country's leading conglomerates and he had one day to see the sights flying off at 10 pm back to the United States. I realized the beauty of our profession as consultant/trainer or "perks" as the compensation people would say it is the benefit of visiting and getting to know another country and culture. With the help of Mark one of the young leaders in our company and William our tech savvy driver explorer, we planned the trip.

Close Up

I have known Laszlo for years having seen the mix of seriousness and playfulness he puts into his books on creativity and innovation. His recent visit made me discover him close up, born of a Peruvian mother and a Hungarian father. He was a charming and great guest, very appreciative of the one day "touristic" experience.

Tour Challenges

I saw that I had a few challenges in front of me: approximately 8 hours of time, the traffic, it was a Saturday and number coding is off, the unpredictable weather with the onset of the monsoon season and his desire to see old churches as well as the sights of the country. So we set the time to fetch him from First Pacific Leadership Academy in Antipolo at 8:30 am. We took coffee then we began our journey.

Prayer for Good Voyage

Our first phase was to explore Antipolo. We visited the Cathedral that I found most appropriate so we can pray to our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage for the safe travel of our guest. A mass was going on and we had the spiritual experience of mingling with an overflow crowd coming from different parts of the country. We stood beside a family who came all the way from Bulacan.

Pinto Museum

From my friend Peg from Antipolo, I learned about the Pinto Museum. It held a world class private art collection that ranged from beautiful religious artifacts, to sculpture to paintings and photographs of different generations and artistic influences. My guest even found a Hungarian Museum photograph. Laszlo noticed the varied influences of our national culture: the Spanish European culture as embodied in the influences on Dr. Jose Rizal and the figures of "santos" to the American influence of a word of art entitled "educado". It was also enjoyable to hear the sound of birds and crickets at the garden and the antique doors in the house that sheltered the works of art, so clean, so orderly. We capped our visit with a cold glass of buko juice.


Folk Dances

We passed through C-6 so as to avoid the heavy traffic heading for Tagaytay City where we wanted to catch the buffet lunch at Taal Vista, so Laszlo can see the folk dances at 12:30 noon. We arrived just in time, he marveled at the “tinikling" and the dance of pots and the "pandanggo sa ilaw". We were also serenaded by a trio with Filipino and Spanish songs. It was a filling and relaxing lunch. Then because of a quick afternoon nature shower, the view of Taal Lake was at its best with no haze but shining like a precious blue jewel being displayed by its owner.

Family Time

Then (as earlier arranged with my sisters), we took coffee at the Tagaytay vacation house of the family of Nina, my sister. She invited my other siblings for a get together that day welcoming our youngest sister who just came back from a Holy Land pilgrimage. She also prepared native cakes such as sapinsapin and camachile fruit with brewed coffee. After some delightful after lunch conversation, it was time for us to go. At 3:30 pm we said our goodbyes to the family.

Luneta Park and Heroes

Laszlo wanted to know more about Rizal. So we decided to bring him to Rizal's monument at Luneta Park. We introduced Rizal as the Filipino par excellence: a medical doctor, a writer, a philosopher, an intelligent and insightful person. We gave him a summary of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo and recited some lines of Mi Ultimo Adios. Mark also shared how Rizal turned around to be hit frontally rather than from the back by the firing squad. We shared him stories about our modern day hero Ninoy and our experience of the People Power revolution.

Malate Church

On our way to Luneta, we saw Malate Church. People were getting ready for the anticipated mass. We read the historic markers, paid a visit to Our Lady of Remedies. We did not stay long as the church was undergoing renovation.

We were amazed at the transformation of Luneta. It was so clean, so orderly with many flags flying. Then we remembered that soon we will be celebrating Independence Day. We sat in and listened to a Filipino band singing at the free open stadium, watched the dance of the fountains, then walked around leisurely.

Harbor Lights

Before we knew it the sun was starting to set and it was time for dinner. We decided to dine in a Japanese restaurant across Cultural Center where one can see the boats at the Yacht Club area and witnessed the attractive harbor lights. The food was excellent.

Saying Goodbye

Afterwards, we headed for the airport to say our goodbyes to Laszlo. He embraced us saying how much he enjoyed the day trip, learning so much in so little time. We said the pleasure was ours. The experience was like preparing a training adventure program but with a great variety of people and venues to learn from. We went home happy knowing we have shared the best of the Philippines. As we headed for home, our team of 3 wondered laughing whether doing tourist tours would be alternative careers for us. We went home relaxed and happy.

(Tita Datu Puangco is the CEO and President of Ancilla Enterprise Development Consulting, a major training and organization development company in the Philippines with an Asian reach. It specializes in enterprise transformation, executive coaching, corporate leadership and functional training, human resource systems, corporate academies, learning events and management of business training centers.  Visit Tita’s Blog at For additional information please email author at or at



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