Some of Baguio’s senior citizens are seen here taking up a 10-day training which aims to make them professional tour guides. (PNA photo)

To prepare them to be professional tour guides, 35 senior citizens are undergoing a training program with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the city tourism office.

Aside from the concepts, officer-in-charge Jovita Ganongan of the DOT in the Cordillera Administrative Region said, the seniors “will have their mock tour guiding where they will be assessed which will be the basis of their certificate of completion.”

She added that this will be the deciding phase for them to become accredited by the DOT.

Ganongan bared that these trainees are not completely new to the tourism industry as “They are actually volunteering already for the city activities.”

In many countries, elder citizens acting as tour guides is nothing new since they still want to be productive while at the same time able to provide a different perspective and personal experiences to places of interest.

Aloysius Mapalo, city tourism officer of Baguio, stressed “They have their stories to tell, stories which are unknown to others, stories na untold aside from providing them the information about the formal history of Baguio.”

Ganongan added that apart from their personal anecdotes on the tourist destinations, the senior guides can push for responsible tourism through environment preservation as “Our elders have moral ascendancy” and “can include din values- how to protect the environment.”

They are currently undergoing a 10-day training and briefing on history and culture, practical guiding techniques and nature interpretation. (Jojo Mangahis)