Editor's Note: The University of Baguio deploys its Hotel & Restaurant Management and Tourism students in establishments in the country and abroad for its local and international on-the-job training program. For over five years, UB has deployed more than 200 trainees in more than three countries across Asia and America. In the following article, UB intern Danmer shares his experience training in San Antonio, Texas.
Competition in the workplace these days is mostly based on what you know and how you gained the knowledge through experiences. Successful people in the hospitality field always tell the younger ones to have as much knowledge and experience as possible to be able to cope up with the demands of the industry. The better résumé you have, the better chances you have of getting hired if you’re looking for a more decent, better-paying job.
As a graduating tourism student, my final requirement to gain my degree is to have an on-the-job training, my choice if it’s locally or internationally. International internships may cost a lot but I still pursued getting to the land of the Americans to experience global hospitality, which allowed me to better my well-being as well as learn the culture of the Americans and share it.
I was deployed in San Antonio, Texas which is the hill country of the South, Lone Star State of the United States. Upon arrival, my first impression was that it felt like home. Cowboys on the rocks on their horses enjoying country music while walking along the greens of Texas on a midday autumn breeze in late October – this is what you will see almost everywhere on this side of the state. Am I in Baguio? No. But it felt like I was. This eased my anxiety of the place and homesickness. I could never be thankful enough.
Tourism in this area is almost the same as our dear hometown. It gets busy during the summer and less busy during Christmas. There aren’t as much Filipinos living in the area, but you can always count them coming in visiting from other states. I know since I have worked in the front office of JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa which is a 12-acre hotel and resort in the countryside of the Spurs’ hometown. I’ve checked-in people of different nationalities and I’d say Filipinos are still the most courteous people you’ll ever meet. With the unending smiles and respectful way of talking through the strong, stiff Taglish accent, you’ll definitely know that you are speaking with a Pinoy. It always gets me everytime.
The City of Pines boasts of floral and botanical diversity. San Antonio does as well. The city has various kinds of plants you’ll see mostly in the wild, still untouched. San Antonio is popular with its ranches that house not-your-typical kind of goats, buffalos, horses, donkeys and many more. Instead of keeping them in the zoo, they leave them roaming within the ranches. The botanical and zoological diversity in this city co-exist together. They may not have as much crops than we do, but they are very popular with wine tours and vineyard visitations (San Antonio produces one of the best qualities of wine in the South).
The climate and weather patterns of San Antonio are extremely similar with Baguio City’s. Sun warmly strikes early in the morning with the cool, fresh breeze and rains randomly on chance days. Surprisingly, the temperature drops rapidly at late night as the sun sets down on a cloudy evening. The cold season starts in late October as the State enters the snowless winter season and then it starts to warm up as spring ends in early May.
The hotel industry is huge in the area because of the tourism offerings of San Antonio. The caliber of the hotel I had my internship in is equivalent to a five-star hotel, which is a four-diamond resort. JW Marriott’s 1002 rooms had been recognized as the “people’s choice.” JW Marriott was also named 2015 Hotel of the Year. It was such a great privilege and experience to work in a hotel this competent. It would also be a rewarding news if UB can send more students to train in this property for experience, training and leisure, too. – Danmer Jay De Guzman
Danmer with some Filipino visitors
Danmer with his front office supervisors on his last day of work before departing for the Philippines
Danmer Jay De Guzman is a graduating BS Tourism student of the University of Baguio.