Pick-up time was six-thirty in the morning of November 28, Tuesday, in Shakeys Magallanes. It was a weekday so it was best to leave Cubao early to avoid the rush hour. I left the house at 5:30 AM and was already at the pick-up point by about 6 AM. I saw fellow blogger Lariza Garcia waiting at Starbucks instead. So I went to join her.
I brought with me my travel buddies: Canon DSLR and DJI Phantom, to properly document this adventure.
The van arrived by 7 AM or so. They got caught up in traffic coming from the first pick-up point in Malate. It was an almost three-hour van ride from Magallanes to Acuatico Beach Resort. Everyone was asleep except me during the ride.
Acuatico Beach Resort, a premiere resort south of Manila, is lighting up stars to share the hope for a bright future to deserving students of the Laiya National High School K-12 Plus Curriculum, San Juan, Batangas. Hotel guests may purchase stars to decorate the Christmas Tree in the Oceano Restaurant for only P50 (small), P100 (medium) or P200 (large). Proceeds of which will be used to provide the necessary materials and resources to support the the K-12 Plus Program.
During the launch dinner of the Light Up A Star Charity Program last November 28, 2017, Ms. Simonette Gusi, owner of Acuatico Beach Resort, shared that the main objective of this program is to ensure the youth’s future job placement in the resort. Last year, Acuatico Beach Resort was able to provide workbooks for the Food and Beverage Service and linens for the Housekeeping Service curricula. There are plans to expand the program to include a Kitchen/Culinary curriculum.
According to Ms. Tess Samaniego, MarCom Manager, the Light Up A Star Charity Program is already on its third year. Currently, there are nine Grade-12 students and six Grade-11 Students who are undergoing training in the hotel.
Mr. Marcel Haessner of the German Development Program, who just flew in from Germany with his family, said that he is amazed at the Filipino hospitality, a trait that is sought after in the Hospitality Industry. Through this K-12 Plus Program, students in training would have the opportunity to further develop skills that will be value-adding when they finally join the workforce. He was happy to see how the already deployed students in the resort have developed over time. They have become more confident and personable. He admitted though that there are challenges especially so that year on year the number of students is growing. Currently, there are almost 300 students enrolled in the program.
Ms. Josephine Rosales, Principal of the Laiya National Highschool, said that all 256 students who underwent the assessment last school year for the Housekeeping Curriculum passed. For this school year 2017-2018, there are 120 Grade-11 students and 160 Grade 12 students who will undergo the assessment for Food and Beverage Curriculum. She is hopeful that all 280 students will pass and be placed across the 60 participating resorts in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas.
Further,the Light Up A Star Program was instrumental in training teachers during the launch in 2013. Twenty of whom were supported by Acuatico Beach Resort. Aside from the Laiya National High School, three other Senior High Schools are included in the program: Palahanan National High School, Buhaynasapa National High School and San Juan Senior High School.