Renowned travel blogger and AIT instructor Ivan Anthony S. Henares suggested utilizing the experience from the Aug 19-21 Dapitan OCLA for classroom case study discussions on mass tourism.
“Mass tourism is a fact. It happens. As AIT students, you have to understand these concerns, and it was good that we went through this exercise for you to see that it is not as easy as one thinks,” he said in an online interview.
“You were able to experience firsthand the difficulties of mass tourism and can discuss the issues and concerns that need to be addressed,” he added.
Henares’ commentaries came amid mixed reactions from students on the recently held trip.
Students noted problems on planning particularly in the itinerary and the evident difficulties brought about by mass tourism. Meanwhile, other students seemed to have enjoyed being part of a large group on their vacation.
Nobody, nothing is perfect
Henares was one of the six professors who supervised the tour. The other five were Paolo Fresnoza, Richard Gonzalo, Avelino Zapanta, Maricel Gatchalian-Badilla, and Giovanni Legaspi.
A total of 160 students joined the tour.
“This trip was not perfect- nothing is. But we learned a lot from it.”
Henares also said that the participating faculty members were “the most stressed during this trip…who joined while you guys [students] were able to experience a lot of aspects of Dapitan”.
No Super OCLA Next Semester
Henares stressed that this semester’s Super OCLAs (Out-of-the-Classroom Learning Activities) are “experimental”, adding that they aimed to “rationalize OCLA costs”.
“It had been noted that every semester, parents had to pay for OCLA in various classes, so it was agreed upon that we should experiment on a centralized OCLA.”
Asked whether a similar form of field trip will be organized next semester, “We are still discussing, but definitely not next semester. One proposal is to do it every first sem [sic], then reserve the second semester for individual class trips.”
The faculty is yet to formally meet to evaluate the OCLA.