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Taking a pose before the most extreme flight of my life.

As clichéd as it may sound, there are always times for our firsts. Unlike others, experience to seminars like this is really foreign to me. This is even my first time to travel to a scenic tourism destination outside Socorro, my first time to experience the extremes of whitewater rafting, first time to have clung on zip line, my first time to ride on a trike plane and the first time I shouted and laughed on the top of my lungs with many people in company.

Have you remembered when we are asked to draw something on our first day? I described myself a butterfly which is struggling to come out from the cocoon and that is my first time to ever describe myself. With this seminar, I have come to see that my mindset and experience level is only circumscribed at a narrow limit like that of cocoon. Had not been because the people have chosen me to become one of their legislators, I would have not traveled here and have not enjoyed Malasag Garden and the warmness of its people and most importantly, I would forfeit myself of this great learning experience we have here.

Taken while my knees almost trembled on my first trike plane ride.

What has been showcased in this wonderful garden is not really far from what we can see in Socorro but there is something in here that I dreamt to replicate in our town, and that is, the attitude of the people. Employees here are very accommodating and very courteous. You could just imagine someone to be delayed for some minutes with what he is doing just to find time to greet us one by one. Also the food is great and though I have my wifely-imposed inhibitions with what food to eat, I have still enjoyed the cuisine.

A smile before the extreme downstream raft ride.

To the lecturers, we thank you for pouring out to us your expertise in drawing plans for ecotourism development. It can really bring grand benefits in the ways that will truly help the most abject of our community members. This will really help us head to where we want our place to go and prevent our council from just wandering as to what should be done. I am certain that we will surely meet obstacles as we explore the world of our possibilities and have many frustrations but with what you have shared with us, we are optimistic enough that we will really get to where we are headed.

The taste of the splash! It's like my voice roared from every corner.

We assure you that we will really look for creative ways and means by which we can pass the wisdom we have learnt here to those who also need to equip themselves of these same insights. While we have people whose age-old-value imbedded upon them is in the most conservative level, we are optimistic that we can gently open their closed minds and attitude of resistance by letting them know that our place really needed this leap so that we will not cheat ourselves out of an important chance for a better ride.

We have learnt so many things from the seminar and I believe we now have so much which could eventually enrich the pool of our practical and useful knowledge from which we can tap guidance from. Rest assured Sir and Madams that the lessons we learned here will not remain in the abstract but rather be brought into the concrete realm of our day-to-day struggles on making Socorro a community participative ecoutourism destination that we have come to visualize.