“Tour has planning problems,” says students
Almost a week after the field trip, AIT professors started gathering online feed backs from student participants while waiting for the return of the survey forms distributed during the 3-day tour.
In Salimbay’s own informal survey, answers varied from ‘fun’ and ‘okay lang’ to ‘tiring, disorganized, chaotic, and hassle’.
Effective Planning- Or the Lack of It
Most respondents thought that poor planning of the Out-of-the-Classroom Learning Activity (OCLA) was to blame for the problems encountered during the trip.
“Well, I’m not sure whose fault it would be, pero medyo sabog yung itinerary [the itinerary was disorganized],” said one student adding that they haven’t had enough time to enjoy everything.
The tour started with a late lunch aboard a river cruise in Dapitan. One-fourth of the group constituted the second batch to get on the cruise later in the afternoon as they were coming from Dumaguete and Cebu. Unfortunately, they missed most of the first group’s Dapitan historical tour.
“Dapat magbigay muna sila ng itinerary and other details bago kami pinag-book [The itinerary, together with the other details, should’ve been released before they signaled for booking],” said one participant from the second batch.
Mass Tourism in Dapitan
Major difficulties included over crowdedness, transportation costs and one stranded boat. Among the relatively smaller issues were water shortage, disorganized bus assignments, small food servings and lack of time to purchase “pasalubong”.
Raising the concern of mass tourism, a student posted, “’Yung mismong destination, nahihirapan sa pag-accommodate sa’tin. Katulad ‘nung 2:30 p.m. lunch natin, tagal dumating ng food for ibang people kasi kulang ‘yung nagseserve. [The destination itself can’t accommodate our numbers. Take for instance our 2:30 p.m. lunch on the first day, the other participants had to wait a long time because there were not enough members of staff serving the food.]”
“Mahirap i-monitor ang 160+ students sa mga kamay ng 6 na professors [It’s difficult for six professors to monitor 160 students],” stated one of the six, while another noted “unahan sa lahat ng bagay- bus seats, food, CR [always a race for bus seats, food, and bathrooms].”
Meanwhile, the yacht carrying the second batch of 80 to Aliguay Beach encountered engine troubles in the middle of the one-hour trip from Dakak, prompting them to return after hours of waiting for tugboats. The resort gave complimentary banana boat rides due to the mishap.
But the More, the Merrier
Despite negative reactions and problems encountered during the trip, participants claim they enjoyed the group tour. From those asked, Fantasy Land was the top answer for the best part of the OCLA, followed by Dakak and lastly, Aliguay Beach.
The river cruise was also notable, described by one student as “steady lang, worry-free, ‘di siksikan.”
On the issue of mass tourism, certain students felt that the number of participants actually made the trip worthwhile. One in particular shared, “Being with all my friends. They can make or break your experience,” when asked for her best experience during the tour.
Anna Tayag & Paolo Abellanosa