Tacloban City – More than a hundred barangay chairmen from this city went on a week-long “Lakbay Aral” by land to various destinations, to learn and study their “best practices” in the hope of duplicating it in Yolanda-stricken Tacloban. The group visited the city of Daraga in Albay Province, Taguig City, Baguio City and Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Along their way, too, they also made some stops at some recreational areas, aside from historical and cultural sites.
The group took off May 23, 2015 and made their first stop at Barangay Busay, Cagsawa of Daraga, Albay Province, to see the Cagsawa Ruins, a remnant of the 18th century Franciscan Church that was destroyed when Mayon Volcano erupted in 1814.
The Lakbay Aral participants likewise exposed themselves to Philippine history and culture at the National Museum in Ermita, Manila.
They likewise visited the Senate and observed how its sessions are conducted. A tour of the Philippine Senate was made possible by Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez, the mayor’s wife, per invitation of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Mayor Lani Cayetano of Taguig, on the other hand, imparted their “best practices” on Education and Health, one of their “secrets” why the city became progressive and is one of the top economic earning city in the country.
In Baguio, summer capital of the Philippines, City Mayor Mauricio Domogan welcomed the Lakbay Aral delegates and gave Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez a symbolic key for leading the delegation. Mayor Domogan inspired and encouraged the barangay leaders to be strong and help their Mayor to rebuild back a better Tacloban. He recalls being in the same situation when an earthquake destroyed Baguio, adding he can empathize with them.
The group also attended an advocacy campaign on HIV-AIDS awareness, sponsored by UP-Manila. It was followed by a visit to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The “motor manufacturing city” of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, on the other hand, showcased their newly built Theater and City Hall Annex B building. Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas proudly elaborated how Sta. Rosa became a motor manufacturing city, and a tourist destination, greatly helping their economy. Mayor Arlene is a friend of Mrs. Romualdez and surprised Cristina with a bouquet of flowers as a belated birthday greeting.
It was not all work for the barangay chairmen, though. Along their way, they were treated to a tour of the Ocean Park, compliments of Leyte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
At the park, delegates acquainted themselves with marine creatures. They also enjoyed a 20-minute “Fish Spa”. The village chairmen recalled they giggled a lot when the fishes crowded their feet to eat dead skin.
They were also able to visit the “Antarctica”, and donning winter clothes, viewed real penguins and a winter Christmas setting.
The Labay Aral’s last leg was a visit to the Enchanted Kingdom. The delegates went home armed, not only with the knowledge of best practices shown by Baguio, Taguig and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, but also memories of a fun week.
1) Leyte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Martin and Yedda Romualdez hosted a welcome get together party for the participants of the Lakbay Aral Tour for Tacloban City Barangay Chairmen at Manila Polo Golf Club last May 24, 2015.
2) Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez and First Lady Councilor Cristina Romualdez treats delegates of the Lakbay Aral for Tacloban Barangay Chairmen to a dinner date at Patio Victoria, Intramuros Manila. Cristina posed for posterity with Tacloban City Area 2 Barangay Chairmen.
3) Tacloban Barangay Chairmen Lakbay Aral delegates visited the Senate of the Philippines to observe its regular session upon the invitation of Sen. Bong-bong Marcos. The delegates was led by Tacloban City First Lady Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez and posed for posterity at the Senate.
4) Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan welcomed participants of the Tacloban City Barangay Chairmen Lakbay Aral led by Tacloban First Lady Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez at the summer capital city of the Philippines held May 27, 2015 at Baguio Session Hall.
5) Tacloban City First Lady Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez accepts Baguio City acceptance symbolic key from Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan to welcome Tacloban City Barangay Chairmen Lakbay-Aral delegation held at Baguio Session Hall May 27, 2015.
News report courtesy of Gary B.Gaspay.