THE SIQUIJUDNONS

Empowering the livelihood of the locals.

The heightened tourist annual influx creates a domino effects of job and learning opportunities for the Island's locals. As more tourists calls for quality service, facilities and an overall enjoyable tourist experience, this introduces more job openings to the locals, and improves their quality of life as a result.

As LGUs have worked towards providing more job openings for locals, they’ve also supported it with mandatory trainings and seminars like first aid, customer service, alternative basic language classes, and more.
This creates more openings for tourism occupations like habal-habal drivers, tour guides, hotel and resort chefs, waiters, managers and workers, etc. Likewise, it also allows more folk healers to get in touch with those seeking their healing aid. As the employment rate goes higher in the Island, less locals have to move to the capital town of Manila or abroad for work, as they can be based in the Island as soon as they graduate.

Get to know the Siquijudnons and how the impact of ecotourism has supported their livelihood.

*Paul Bolongon

Habal-habal driver

Paul has been a habal-habal driver for seven years. In 2016, he completed his first aid training, and was certified by the Department of Tourism as both a habal-habal driver and tour guide. Since then, he’s been hired by many tourists as their personal tour guide for their trip, taking them from destination to destination, assisting them with their baggage and picture-takings.

"I’m able to support my family now just on the income from being a driver. It’s nice because I don’t have to go from one job to the other anymore like before. Because tourists always come and go to Siquijor, I’ll always have someone to drive around the Island”

*Corrine During

Coco Grove Beach Resort Tour Guide and Employee

Corrine graduated college a few years ago with a degree in Hotel Management. With working experience as a hotel employee from Cebu, Corrine was able to apply in one of Siquijor’s oldest and highly-rated resorts, Coco Grove Beach Resort. After undergoing some training from her superiors, she now manages tours in the hotel’s Siquijor-to-Mt.-Apo trips, assisting tourists all throughout the entire program.

"It’s nice working in Coco Grove because you get to meet many people and learn different cultures while giving them a memorable experience in the tours.. I’m also able to earn more than enough from my job. Every end of the month, I get to send money to my parents back in Cebu, and I still have enough for myself in my days off, which is nice.”

*Lorna Tabada

Tour Guide of Cantabon Cave

Lorna has been assisting and guiding tourists in and out of the Island’s famous cave for four years. She’s undergone first aid training, and other seminars on how to assist cave visitors. As a volunteer tour guide, she earns enough money from her salary and tips and donations from the tourists that she assists. Because there are many volunteers, both adults and students, she works in the Cave on Mondays and Fridays, and is a stay-at-home mother on all the other days.

"The program is very helpful because it not only helps adults like me, but it also offers work opportunities to students too on the weekends, which lets them earn some allowance for their projects. Letting Siquijudnons act as tour guides is great because it not only supports them but teaches them to care about their environment”

*Gordon Suguitao

Local folk healer

Gordon has been a folk healer for more than fifteen years. In his younger years, Gordon moved to Manila for a while and worked as a seaman to support his family. After the tourism in Siquijor had gone up, Gordon went back to the Island and started working as a folk healer again, this time earning enough money for his family without having to be based in Manila, and also frequently travels around the region to meet his patients/clients.

"The benefits of more tourists here has done a lot for me. Before I had to move away from my family at the cost of supporting them. Now, I just work here, and my patients come to me most of the time. My daughter right now is going to work here after she finishes her studies in Manila. It’s good because unlike me, she doesn’t have to work away from the family now.”

*Ida Abing

Hotel Assistant Manager

Ida has been in the tourism industry as a hotel worker for five years. After finishing her studies in Cebu, she was based in Dumaguete, Manila, and now works in Siquijor, where she was born and raised. Recently promoted to assistant manager, she plans to get certified by the DoT in the near future to better certify her status as a manager, so she can open her own hotel in the future.

"Being an assistant manager is challenging, but because I work much closer to home now, I appreciate my job a lot more. Because of the tourism here, it was easy getting a job here unlike before during my parents’ time.”

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