Senior citizen lauds PGIN summer tourism program, "marami pa tayong magagawa"

Apr 25, 2018 ...

Young and still active, Mrs. Myrla Pilar C. Ambanta, a 63-year-old resident from Dingras is one of the nine senior citizen tourism ambassadors hired by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) for this year's summer employment program.

"We can still acquire more talents and skills, which we can later on share to other people. We still have time to learn and love Ilocos Norte even more [through this summer program]."

Ambanta is a retired registered medical technologist who worked at the Doña Josefa Edralin Marcos Memorial Hospital for 25 years. Regardless of the big shift and difference from her usual duties in the hospital, she said that her innate talent of being a conversationalist served as an advantage on her job as a tour guide at the Taoid Museum of the Ilocano Cordilleras located at Laoag City.

Coming from a business-oriented family in Delfin Alabano, Isabela, she has memories working at a very young age. She remembers having sold candies and biscuits in their grocery store, and being a store keeper at her grandfather's rice mill.

Ambanta was raised and trained by her Chinese grandfathers, thus she believes that you must continue working as long as you are capable. "Kung kaya pa, huwag lang tayong magkulong sa bahay. Sayang ang oras. Kaya pa nating matuto. Kaya pa nating ipamahagi ang ating mga talento. Marami pa tayong magagawa," she said.

According to her, the summer tourism employment program of PGIN is a great program that benefits both the youth and the elderly. She also commended Governor Marcos for initiating the said program, and for giving "importance" to senior citizens.

"I really bow to the Governor for her projects and programs. Siya lang yata ang may project na ganito for senior citizens. Binibigyan niya kami ng importance — na kahit retired na kami ay may silbi pa rin kami sa mundo.

"Nakakatulong din ito financially sa mga kabataan. Kaya naman, habang meron pa akong skills and talents naki-participate na ako kasi gusto talagang ma-inspire ko rin yung mga estudyante to make the most out of their time, lalo na't summer — sana maging mas responsable pa sila," she added.

PGIN summer tourism program is managed by Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO). The program immerses both the young and elderly as tour guides in different museums and churches in Ilocos Norte, also making it an ideal avenue for the youth to learn from their elders.

With this, Ambanta encourages fellow senior citizens to join and take advantage of the program, saying, "Lahat ng makikita kong matatanda, gusto kong himukin at hikayating makibahagi kasi masaya, laging may kakwentuhan. Iba yung may maibabahagi tayo sa mga kabataan at iba yung lakas at saya na nakukuha sa mga bata.

"Maraming magic ang nagagawa nito sa mga tao, lalo na sa mga senior citizen," she added.

The second batch of summer tourism ambassadors, both for the youth and senior citizens, had their job orientation last April 19.

INTO reassures that they will sustain the program, encouraging locals to apply as early as February next year. Applicants are reminded that they must also have attended first-aid training from the Philippine Red Cross to be qualified for the program.


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