In observance of its 15th year of operations, KSearch Asia Consulting Inc. recently organized a forum on sustainable tourism at Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas. The event coincided with the launch of KSearch Asia’s new practice area – the D-Suite Services – with guests coming from the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), and the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (WBCP).
Hosted by Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist and sustainable tourism advocate Tessa Prieto-Valdes, ‘Preserving Paradise’ was held at Pico de Loro Beach Club and featured two speakers, University of Asia and the Pacific professorial lecturer Roni Balbieran and Atty. Angela Ibay of WWF or the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines.
Prof. Balbieran, who also serves as infrastructure and national budget consultant to the Department of Tourism and the Department of Public Works and Highways, delivered a lecture showing the link between infrastructure development and tourism growth. Atty. Ibay, head of WWF-Philippines’ climate change and energy program, gave a talk on the pillars of sustainable tourism based on the WWF framework.
Among the forum participants were leaders from the public and private sectors, including former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Philippine Ambassador to Germany Delia Albert, Philippine National Bank Chair Flor Gozon-Tarriela, FINEX Past President Frank Ysaac, MAP Climate Change Committee Chair Dr. Cora Claudio, and WBCP President Boots Garcia, who is concurrently Board Director of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
On hand to welcome them were executives from KSearch Asia and Horton Philippines led by Manny Guillermo, President and Managing Director; Tony Pedro, Chief Finance Officer; Karmeli Kintanar, Vice President for Business Services; Ruby Barcelona-Benitez, Consulting Director and IT/HR/Sales & Marketing Practice Head; and Albert Gamboa, Senior Advisor for D-Suite Services.
After the forum, the participants took a quick speedboat ride to Santelmo Cove, one of the WWF project sites at Hamilo Coast. They saw prototypes of fiberglass banca boats for Filipino fishermen displaced by Supertyphoon Yolanda in line with WWF’s ‘Bancas for the Phiippines’ project, as well as giant clams planted by WWF at Santelmo Cove.
The crystal-clear waters and fine white sand of the cove made it the perfect venue to reflect on the need to preserve paradise while making the most out of the natural tourism assets of the Philippines.