Tourism Work

This page is dedicated to my Tourism stint in the local government sector, initially as consultant for Angeles City, and subsequently, as special operations officer functioning as city tourism officer (a department head role) from 2011 to 2013.


Objectives: Promote (encourage/support) tourism as per R.A. 9593 (Tourism Act of 2009). Set the stage to bring in tourists, create jobs, attract investments.

Below are some of my two years’ worth of work and collaborative partnership programs in various areas of tourism research, product planning and development, marketing, standards, and organizational planning and management:


Angeles City I Like! – a branding campaign which served to promote the more wholesome side of Angeles City and its diverse array of tourism attractions. Read brand story here.

  • PUBLICITY EFFORTS** – PR work and media collaboration in this link. 40% of total publicity from my personal national & international media network with approx. P14M advertising value (industry average). The rest of the publicity links marked with * were compiled by my office to be added to the publicity page.
  • CREATIVE WORK** – Samples of produced Tourism Branding campaign material including commercial tourism website summarized on this page.

**Public service, no external agency except for select printing used.


Main Responsibility: Led the team secretariat in charge of public recruitment of local volunteers and group orientation, facilitation of workshops and seminars, organization and digitization of raw data (a pioneering approach to cultural mapping data archiving), review and interpretation of raw data which may be pursued for local tourism development, validation of output, public presentation of 3 volumes of raw data, and presentation of leads to a national audience and foreign cultural workers.

Project Highlights (part of my cultural mapping presentation given at the 1st Conference on Cultural Heritage Mapping held in Manila in November 2013.)  CLICK IMAGES FOR FULL VIEW.

cultural heritage mapping angeles city

UNESCO national commissioner, Eric Zerrudo, facilitated the series of seminar/workshops for the cultural mappers of Angeles City. To validate and support the Angeles City I Like! branding claim, my team and I recognized that a scientific method of research is an important first step in Tourism Product Planning & Development. This project, which aimed to identify and document the tangible, intangible and built heritage resources of the city, was undertaken by the Angeles City Mayor’s Office thru the Angeles City Tourism Office in partnership with the University of Santo Tomas-Graduate School Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (USTGS-CCCPET). 55 volunteer teachers from Angeles City’s private and public schools as well as senior citizens participated in the initial research/documentation phase of this project using Prof. Zerrudo’s UNESCO-recognized cultural mapping module, the same program behind the tourism success of Vigan/Ilocos, Cebu, Bohol and several other local government units around the country.

cultural mapping documentation built heritage angeles city

Cultural mapping provided the scientific validation of the city’s existing  built heritage structures, specifically those located within the heritage district of Sto. Rosario and its periphery, which were previously listed informally by individual advocates. The project created awareness among heritage site owners, students and the community.

buenas angeles fiestang anghel

Cultural mapping also documented the story behind the discontinued Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels and supported its revival beginning October 02, 2012 by the combined efforts of the Holy Rosary Parish Church, Holy Angel University and the LGU thru my office.

cultural mappers field research angeles city

Cultural mapping yielded possible new types of tours such as spiritual/alternative healing tour,  “red tour” (American history tour), cemetery tour (as benchmarked against other countries), architectural, and enhancements to existing ones such as specialist culinary tours showcasing the city’s dynamic market central or its extensive variety of sisig (Sisig Tours).

cultural mapping validation angeles city eric zerrudo

Validation of alleged Japanese caves in Sapangbato with our UNESCO representative. First caves visited fell under the jurisdiction of Tarlac, as estimated by our local Aeta guides. More site inspections required. (This photo taken in March 2013, right after Prof. Zerrudo’s validation climb from Mt. Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental, recently inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site).

angeles city cultural mappers graduation

Angeles City’s first and only official cultural mappers pose for a graduation souvenir with Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan at a simple ceremony held at Gabaldon Hall, Angeles Elementary School, Barangay Pulung Bulu in October 2012. Photo also shows 3 green-covered volumes of work which contained the cultural mapping raw data and  were turned over to the local chief executive during this culminating ceremony.

lubenas angeles city validation unesco eric zerrudo 1

In December 2012, UNESCO commissioner Eric Zerrudo and his team graced the city’s staging of Lubenas ning Pasku, a local Christmas lantern tradition featuring the white, intricately unique Angeleno parol, to assess the event for submission to UNESCO’s global List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

angeleno parol lantern making workshop angeles city

HERITAGE SKILLS TRAINING (Angeleno Parol), a livelihood project born out of cultural mapping findings. Due to the limited supply of the delicate Angeleno parol, my office initiated and implemented a two-day lantern-making workshop in March 2013. Through the assistance of the City Social Welfare and Development Office, we chose participants from the following sectors: out-of-school-youth, persons with disability and single/unemployed mothers. We commissioned award-winning giant Christmas lantern maker to Roland Quiambao, who also apprenticed under Angeles’ octogenarian lantern master Eulogio Catahan. The participants were taught how to make the traditional Angeleno Parol using paper and bamboo, as well as modern, more durable materials for commercial purposes. The goal was to employ qualified participants from this group to make Christmas decors for the city, as well as fill the gap between seasonal supply and demand.

More on the skills workshop on this page.

BUENAS ANGELES! is an advocacy concept which aims to counter the negative image of the city as Sin City or City of Fallen Angels. Harmonizing with the cultural mapping findings, Buenas Angeles functioned as the local sub-brand of Angeles City I Like! campaign.


Thru the partnership of my office with the Barangay Affairs and Public Assistance Center, the city’s local government was the first to adopt the Buenas Angeles concept in the second year-running of its Barangay Christmas Decors Competition in 2012 by incorporating “white” and “angel” themes.


BUENAS ANGELES SIGNATURE HAND GESTURE: Our UNESCO rep, Prof. Zerrudo, performing the Buenas Angeles greeting and sign, after I presented the concept at the 1st Conference on Cultural Heritage Mapping as part of Angeles City’s cultural mapping story. Acknowledged by the Department of Tourism, Angeles City’s unique greeting served as a pioneering effort for DOT’s nationwide project, Mapping the Filipino Brand of Service, which encourages LGU’s to develop their own oral and gestural expressions that represent Philippine culture and Filipino core values. The Buenas Angeles hand gesture was created by our advocacy partner, Peter de Vera, an Angeleno who currently serves as NCCA-VP for Dance.

In June 2013 at SM Clark, the private sector thru the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Pampanga (HARP) launched “Buenas Angeles!” as official greeting (complete with unique hand gesture) for frontline personnel. Part of the goal of the tourism office was to have the Buenas Angeles Christmas concept adopted by the private establishments/organizations by Christmas 2013.

In November 2013, Buenas Angeles was presented by my office thru a cultural dance performance by the Sinukwan Kapampangan together with a youth marching band at the 2nd Association of Tourism Officers of Central Luzon Conference held at the Lewis Grand Hotel, Angeles City.

Buenas Angeles! Christmas in Angeles City 2013

CHRISTMAS IN ANGELES CITY:  2013 marked the arrival of the Giant Angels Festival beginning on the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels in October and lasting until the Christmas/New Year season.

Heritage Zone Ordinance – in the cultural mapping’s area of legislation, my office coordinated and facilitated the validation of the existing ordinance draft, which covers the proposed local law declaring the Angeles City Heritage Zone and its administrative functions. Prof. Zerrudo, together with heritage law expert,  Atty. Nicolas Pichay, reviewed and revised parts of the ordinance which dealt mainly with built heritage.

cultural mapping conference presentation angeles city

Here as one of the speakers at the 1st Conference on Cultural Heritage Mapping by University of Sto. Tomas Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics, where I presented Angeles City’s cultural mapping story (and information mentioned above) to an audience composed of representatives from local government units, Department of Tourism, other national agencies and foreign delegates. November 5, 2013

Post-event release here.

  • COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH REGIONAL/NATIONAL AGENCIES AND PRIVATE SECTOR/INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS (initiated, co-organized, supported by my office and/or facilitated under my supervision). These basic programs were undertaken as part of the thread that works to achieve the main goal of professionalizing tourism in Angeles City and  support the brand vision to make the city a “likeable” place for tourists, businessmen, residents and the rest of the community.

pampanga inbound tour packages workshop

Pampanga Inbound Tour Package Workshop – presented and submitted my tourist profile-tourism product proposal (which highlighted Culinary Tourism and required Specialist Tour Guides) to workshop organizers REID Foundation/Asia Foundation/USAID, Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (MACCI),  DOT-Region III and Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCAD) and their executives, leaders of travel agency associations, as well as to stakeholders and colleagues. Museo ning Angeles, May 2012

Tour types and target market grid – created and submitted list of potential tours matched with foreign tourist profile by nationality to DOT Region III, SCAD Council and heads of travel agency associations. August 2013

customer service seminar angeles city

Effective Customer Service Seminars for Frontliners in partnership with DOT Region III – invited and coordinated attendance of 200 frontliners from tourism enterprises, tricycle and jeepney drivers associations as well as employees from Angeles City Hall dealing directly with the public/visitors. Marlim Mansion Hotel, Angeles City May-June 2012

Validation and Inspection of Tourism Enterprises with DOT Region III – pending full institutionalization of the City Tourism Department, I initiated this partnership as a regular activity intended to standardize the quality of facilities and service among tourism enterprises in Angeles City. 2012-2013

tour guide screening and training

Local Tour Guide Screening & Rating with DOT Region III – interviewed applicants and evaluated participant’s performance who trained under DOT’s national tour guide program, “Tourist Reception and Guiding Techniques Seminar/Workshop”. July 2012

amega kuliat city tour angeles

Validation of Inbound Tour and Package of Amega Travel and Tours – accepted invitation to critique the pilot tour of a local travel agency. Undertaken to assess the standards of local tourism products and services including tours and package types. April 2013

dot accreditation summit angeles city

Simultaneous On-Site Online Accreditation for Tourism Enterprises with DOT Region III – In 2011, after initiating a consultation meeting with DOT Region III and stakeholders aimed at addressing the latter’s concern over illegal travel agency/tour operators,  I submitted a proposal to the Angeles City Local Government’s Business Permit and Licensing Division thru the City Administrator’s Office to consider the inclusion of DOT accreditation and inspection as requirement for business permit renewal of primary tourism enterprises. In answer to a related stakeholder concern over technical difficulties encountered during online application for DOT accreditation, I proposed to DOT Region III to set up a DOT Accreditation Assistance and Information Desk at city hall lobby in partnership with my office. The result of this series of consultative meetings is a pioneering activity, which involved one-on-one assistance by DOT personnel, organized by DOT Region III and supported by my office. This partnership undertaking, which served to encourage stakeholders to accredit primary tourism enterprises as per R.A. 9593, became an annual event. Coffee Academy Venue, Balibago, Angeles City June 2012-2013

Tourism Statistics Data Gathering with DOT Region III – pending full institutionalization of the City Tourism Department with a research and statistics division, I initiated the re-implementation of DOT’s regional system of data gathering as per Tourism Act of 2009. In coordination with DOT, an orientation  for data gathering was held for selected accommodation establishments to invite these tourism businesses to join this project. I hired a research specialist from the local academe to perform this task. This project was also intended to collect data needed for internal planning and to fulfill the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS) requirement of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). August-December 2013

Traffic Management Seminar for Angeles City Traffic Enforcers in partnership with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority – approved as initial response to address the results of my 2011 branding market research in which the city’s traffic situation topped the list among the respondents’ negative impressions about the city. Facilitated by my office, this 2-day project involved a series of lectures, workshops and live road training on professional traffic management given by MMDA officers to members of Angeles City Traffic Enforcement and Transport Management Office. Angeles City Hall, June 2012

cultural dance workshop sinukwan kapampangan angeles city

Cultural Dance Workshops with Sinukwan Kapampangan, led by National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)-Vice President for Dance, Peter de Vera – in a bid to promote the city’s 20-year-old festival, Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan (a street dancing party that commemorates the city’s triumph over the Mt. Pinatubo tragedy) as a major tourist attraction as required by principals, my office used Cebu’s internationally famous Sinulog as benchmark and proposed a daytime streetdancing activity which incorporates the city’s existing Bagius Festival, this time with an iconic hand gesture based on Angeles City’s fiesta theme (Soar Angeles!). Produced and organized these workshops to also develop the skills of choreographers and dance teachers based on proper technique and standards. The pilot festival event, staged in October 2012, was supported by Philippine Daily Inquirer, a national publication known to endorse select festivals with deep social and cultural relevance such as Sinulog and Lucban’s Pahiyas, among others. 2012-2013

Panata at Panalangin by Peter de Vera, Sinukwan Kapampangan – supported and promoted this Angeles-based performance group for its worldclass potential as a new Holy Week attraction that will cater to religious tourists and Lenten visitors. Panata at Panalagin is a dramatic presentation offering glimpses of the various practices of the Kapampangan faith and sacrifices through a fusion of visual arts, music, drama and dance. Holy Week 2013. View images here.


Re-instatement of Angeles City Tourism Office in the Association of Tourism Officers of Central Luzon (ATOCEL) – after a long absence as per DOT regional director Ronaldo Tiotuico, who presented the new organizational structure of my office to the group as proposed template for other tourism offices. Baler, Aurora, May 2012

Cluster Marketing Model – created in 2012  by my organizational development partner and Tourism Operations Officer/OIC, Rico C. Suarez (R.I.P.),  this marketing method was aimed at promoting tourism in Central Luzon via the method of “converging clusters,” designed in a way that marketing clusters are composed of places and attractions un-bounded by provincial and town limits. In April 2013, Rico presented this to the Regional Development Council-Special Committee on Tourism (RDC-SCT), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Tourism, Central Luzon Tourism Officers and stakeholders. Rico Suarez’ cluster model was set to be included in the Regional Action Plan. 2012-2013


Laid out the foundation for the institutionalization of the Angeles City Tourism Office thru the following:
– Skills assessment and training of political appointees
– Organizational restructuring; organizational chart used as benchmark by Olongapo City and visiting LGU representatives from Davao, as well as a reference material by some university thesis researchers.
– Organizational development:

tourism code workshop angeles city 2013

TOURISM CODE:  Main research, stakeholder consultation, drafting, facilitation, revision and defense presentation of “An Ordinance Adopting the Angeles City Tourism Code which provides for the Management, Promotion and Advancement of the Angeles City Tourism Industry” undertaken by Rico C. Suarez (as Tourism Operations Officer). This creates the basis for the institutionalization of the City Tourism Department, Tourism Council and Tourism Clearance Program (where all tourism and related establishments shall be classified, validated and registered in accordance with the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Department of Tourism and as mandated by the Tourism Act of 2009 (R.A. 9593)), including the code’s Implementing Rules and Regulations as requested by the stakeholders. The Tourism Code was passed and signed by the City Council in March 2013, with the IRR pending executive review. 2012-2013

culture and arts council of angeles

Culture and Arts Council of Angeles (CACA) – facilitated the professional organization of the city’s local culture and arts council by enlisting an external organizational development expert from the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council, Tony Salenga, and organizing a series of workshops re mission vision, and organizational development and planning. This organizational task assigned to my office by chief of staff. Angeles City, 2012


Solicitation of Funding and Sponsor Partnerships – undertaken by Rico Suarez for his sales and marketing expertise, mostly for the city’s tourism/culture-related events, as well as some non-tourism community activities. 2011-2013


Events Production – produced and organized over 100 events, 60% of which were tourism-related, including the local version of National Arts Month, Holy Week activities such as Siete Palabras, Independence Day commemoration (i.e. simultaneous national flag raising at Old Pamintuan House), Fiestang Kuliat activities, and Christmas events such as Lubenas ning Pasku. The rest comprised of community and non-tourism events, which included the inauguration of the local chief executive (re-elected mayor, Atty. Edgardo Pamintuan) and the city council in July 2013.

Crowd coverage at Siete Palabras 2013

Crowd coverage at Siete Palabras 2013

Creation and Organization of Master List Guest Directory for the Mayor’s Office – reviewed and combined  several existing lists from different office sources in coordination with principals to establish mother list of invitees for the mayor’s public events. May-June 2013

Other organizational proposals intended to help in streamlining the overall work system, re-align the roles and responsibilities of the new tourism office, and ultimately achieve tourism goals:

Special Events Unit (Events Production Team) – proposed set up of a dedicated team tasked to organize and quality-control non-tourism events assigned by other offices to the tourism office, esp the mayor’s high-profile activities. Organizational structure created by Rico Suarez. July 2012

Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan Festival Foundation – to address principals’ goal of launching this local event into national/international consciousness, proposed to institutionalize the city’s 20-year old festival tradition using Cebu’s Sinulog as business model, including its own system of fund sourcing. Facilitated by Rico Suarez, July 2012


SPEAKER – 1st Conference on Cultural Heritage Mapping, University of Sto. Tomas Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics, TARC Auditorium, UST, Manila, November 5, 2013

Tourism Code Workshop, Angeles City Tourism Office, facilitated by Rico Suarez, Angeles  City Hall and Hotel Euro Asia, Angeles City, January 22 and February 6, 2013

Philippine Tourism Towards Global Competitivenes and Sustainability, Tourism Congress of the Philippines, SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, January 31, 2013

Halal Food Preparation and Handling Seminar, Department of Tourism Region III, Marlim Mansions, Balibago, Angeles City, September 17, 2012

1st Association of Tourism Officers of Central Luzon Regional Conference, ATOCEL & DOT-Region III, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, August 16-17, 2012

SPEAKER – Local Tourism for Sustainable Development, College of Business and Accountancy – Tourism Management Department, Angeles University Foundation, Angeles City, March 13, 2012

6th Round Table Conference: Facing The Challenges of the Future, College of Hospitality Management, Holy Angel University, February 13, 2012

DOT-DPWH Convergence Program Seminar-Workshop, REID Foundation, Intramuros, Manila, January 19-20, 2012

Capability Building Seminars for the Preparation of Angeles City Heritage Zone Development Plan, United Architects of the Philippines, Angeles City Hall, January 9-10 2012

3rd League of Cities Philippine Cities Global Convention and Exposition: Bridging Cities, Transforming Lives, Resorts World, Pasay City, November 17-19, 2011

6th Philippine Towns and Cities Conference: Reflections of Past, Lessons for the Future, The Heritage Conservation Society, Far Eastern University Auditorium Manila, November 4, 2011

This page also serves as:

  • Memorial tribute to the late Rico C. Suarez and his public service contributions as Angeles City Tourism Operations Officer (September 2011-October 2013), Officer in Charge (October-December 2013) and City Tourism Officer (January 2014)
  • Reference material for student/academic researchers, thesis writers, government policy analysts, interested tourism/government workers, etc.


Rico Suarez
Christine Nunag
Angeles City Cultural Mappers
Angeles City Tourism Office 2011-2013

Last updated: July 2014


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