Let’s discuss about hotel and tourism industry outlook post-pandemic
to overtime and ah another topic aton Miss Butan karong adlawa and ah ah for a starter let's welcome ah Attorney Oscar Es Moreno. Sir Mayong Hapon. Hi Cel. Good afternoon. Manghapon and ah good afternoon everyone. May happen sa tanan and ah it's another day, another episode, sa atong programma overtime. And, ah,
wow, ang atong topic karon is ah, medyo opening hotel teams in numerous capacities such as front office manager, director of sales and marketing, executive assistant manager, and resident manager for ah well-rounded experience in hotel sales and operations management. And sa mga nakatakilala. He used to be with Limit Ka Lux Hotel and but he left for other hotels and at present he's the managing partner of 360 Hospitality and Lifestyle Solutions. And he used to be the general manager also of Kulay Springs Berhard, Malaysia. And he's also the
resident manager in 2005 to 2007. of Aqua Hotels and Resorts. And in two thousand to 200 five, he was the executive assistant manager of Sofitel Hainan in Hainan Island, China. And he's also the in 2002 to 2004, he's the general manager and general manager and Singapore for a sales general manager and sales manager for Singapore and Malaysia based hotel and this is yeah. And in
October 2000 to 2002, Novotel Atlantis in Shanghai, Shanai. It was also then the director of and marketing And in nineteen ninety-six ah to two thousand he was the director for sales and marketing for Hilton International. And ah he was also the director of sales and marketing for Holiday Inn Crown Plaza. Ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome Mister Jerome the la Fuente. Welcome to overtime Sir Jerome. Thank you for inviting me. Yeah.
Thank you. Thank you Jerome for honoring us by accepting our invitation. Wow. And you know the first time I met Jerome when he was here. Uh ang apilido kasi dila Fuente cell 'no? The first thing that came to my mind was ah ah he must be from Manila. Yeah. Ah there was a mayor in Manila then in the 60s or probably even earlier.
Sao Paulo area has been named Dela Fuente 'no? Ah Travels and ah ah you are now in Bangkok the Thai company is ah I'm sure, a big, conglomerate that is, into, among others, hotel and travels. Yes. And ah, how, how, how are you doing there? Well, ah, pandemic, so, a little slower than expected. Ah-huh. Business in in Thailand
is also not the best. But ah, we have are still restricting. Like ah we are very dependent on the Chinese market. That's one of our biggest market. And it's also a market that everybody is dependent on. So until they
open up and allow their citizens to travel. That's a chunk that's being taken out from the arrival figures. But we will be able to make it for this this year. But of course it's slower than 29 million. We make 29 million a year. For
arrivals. Yeah. Yeah. That's 29 million warm bodies. Yes. every year. Wow and of course with the, it seems to me that, China has decided to be very strict in their Covid rules, no, ano, even up to now. Uh,
their lockdown is, is still the norm. Uh, but of course, China has prove is the Russian market. Because the Russian market normally stays two weeks minimum. And
they don't go out. Meaning they eat, they drink, they they spend inside the hotel. It's the same formula that happened in in China for the Russians. If in Boao, in Hainan Island. The the minimum booking is two weeks. Now, this is a market
that the Philippines should tap. Particularly because they boost, I mean, the sale on beverage is very high as against food. Yeah, how would you say the market, the tourists that go into Bangkok, particularly from Asean and then from North America and Europe and Middle East. Ah ah like you have some data there. Yeah, the biggest for us is again, European travel. It's it comprises about 36%. Uh huh.
And then China gets about a slice of thirty-five. So you can imagine then the rest is already Asians. Yeah. Uh the next one that's very strong with the Thai market. As compared to the Philippines which is in the middle of the sea. In Thailand, it's connected to Malaysia. So it's
an easy access. That's why we have a problem because we are in the in middle of water Thailand, Singapore. You know to Thailand. That's correct. And even Cambodia and some other neighboring countries. In Indonesia. Yeah. So. Yeah. That's why we have to In the Philippines the the Philippine tourism team has to really give more be given more budget.
Because the budgets that are being used by Malaysia or even Thailand. These are the top two markets. Thailand and Malaysia that either one or two. Unfortunately to the Philippines is still a number of the flight. And I think Cagayan the Oro will have the Indians too via Davao.
Hopefully this works. Because they're the biggest now. In terms of population, it's China and India that will travel. And yeah lately India has gotten more active 'no in yes. In the international community of nations 'no? And yes. Um yeah yeah and ah also India has ah improved relations with many other countries as well 'no? And ah so you also consider market as ah ah getting ah more vibrant in the coming years.
Yeah, especially the young generation who loves to travel. Like for instance, in Singapore, when I was GM in Singapore. Um I wanted to heed the Indian market only because the old people of I mean the the more older you get, they don't travel as much. As
compared to the newlyweds. So we need a package to do two things. Weddings in Singapore and medical tourism in Singapore. Because there took
medicals is very not so good as well as Singapore, right? Oh. So those were the two markets we opened. And because I was a core, then had a better cloud. That's a difference when you're working for an international chain. You have a lot of support from that chain. As
against you're working for a stand alone. Mm mm. Like when I was with Limket Kai, I had Yeah. Because again, Mindanao is always an issue. So I said,
we don't carry Mindanao. We carry Cagayan the Oro. So that they don't know at the end of the they will discover when they already inquire for. It's a a a standing to you. That was what Cebu did ah one year. Ah about ah a little more over a decade ago 'no? Ah but in Cebu had had succeeded ah because Cebu is an island 'no? Yeah well because of infrastructure issues. Mm. You know and
everybody thinks of Boracay but that's the height. You know in Mindoro there's also Puerto Galera but it yeah. It just died down. Because the infra is not there. If you go to Puerto
Galera, it's still very unless you really want to go to the the antique, you know, the antiquated stuff, then, yes, Puerto Galera is nice because you still have to, you know, electricity has an issue unlike Boracay, everything is a lot of opportunity in Mindanao. It's the land of there's so much money you can do. If you are just smart. Yeah. Money even in the back. Even in the even in Cagayan the Oro. Cagayan the Oro should be positioned as the gateway really and that's I've always been making noise. When I was offered a job in Da offer. Because I really want
Cagayan the Oro to shine. First Kagendi Oro is the hub. It's the educational hub of Mindanao. was still alive. We were program to start doing foreign students. Because is will give a caller to the city. It
becomes more cosmopolitan. Unfortunately. Yeah. Yeah. We did not push through with that project. So that's one
unfinished project for me. the successor of Doctor Rotoras, Doctor Cultura, who is also from ah some concerns that ah I as mayor of Cagayan the Oro ah we had a bombing ah in ah in downtown 'no? told him pointers that I've seen that needs improvement and he should get involved. If he ever, you know, gets to become a BB. Because of course, Duterte made a decision to run was at Twinkat Kai. And really he said, okay, I will really run. I'm not cloudsourcing
anymore so I told him these are the things, you know, they never promoted Mindanao. And you know, Mindanao is the land of opportunity. I, the mere fact that it's never been promoted, there's so much opportunity to make money, but we need investments to come in. Whether it becomes a look, Filipino investor, or a foreign invest the reason why people you have so many bureaucracy in the government. That that's why they're so afraid what will happen to their money. When
they have come in already. It's nice to talk to them. But it's the implementation on that needs to be done. And I'm only asking you this because not because I'm staying and managing this hotel but because that's one reason why I accepted this this assignment in Mindanao because I wanted to see how I can help. In my own
little way to promote that Mindanao is a safe place. It's not a haven of hood but everywhere there is still, you know, even in Manila, you have a lot of them. It's just you don't highlight it. Here, the
problem here in Mindanao you know it just rains, everything is blown out of proportion. Then I said, this is one thing you need to look at. I think you should even go to Marawi.
If I can broadcast my show in Marawi, you can go to Marawi. I will make sure you are safe. I will know where to, I will tell you where to run when things go wrong. You need to meet the
Dimaporos and the Adyongs. Because they can help you. Cotobato, let's do it some other time. But please
concentrate first, in order me, at least you have some platform to start with. Mm. And hope he's he will. The mere fact now that he wants Mindanao promoted. Starting with Cagayan
the Oro. To me that's a sign that it's moving forward. Because if you promote a city more than usual investments will come. And I'm really going for it. You know, I mean, I will be there in October. Um, we have a meeting with the, I have a meeting with Olympiat guys. So let's see what happens
from there. Yeah, yeah. October is less, less than a month away. Yes, yes, yes. Yes. They're pushing me to, to, to, finally say, what I, I want to do. Actually, I don't want to do any hotel anymore. I want to do some other projects. Unfortunately, nobody wants to tap my service I had a meeting with you know when I was in the and now he's back there I tourism. Because that is what,
you know when we did a project with Atop, which is the organization of tourism officers, I told them I don't want anyone to give sick to, I mean, ah, city tour. Why? They can find that city tour later on. I want them to experience Cagayan the Oro. I want them to feel it, meet the people. Then
that is more experience for them. When they can talk about it for ages. And I think I was able to do so with that. Um, I
brought them to all the sitem ah, awardees. They made their own Pakari, they made their own paper, lantern, and you know. Yeah. I guess the the it has gone up. So now they're still
trying to see how they can compete with Caguendio in terms of creativity in that particular event. But yeah I always believe in that. We just have to tap the people.
And they will come out. Doing Yeah, yeah, and, yeah, the, actually, agriculture, is, really the strength of Mindanao. And, not only for our food security program, but also for, ah, livelihood, and ah, ah, of by addressing the root causes of insurgency the connectivity, the build, build, build program of the government is also focused on, 'no? So, now we are ah, hearing about connect LGUs around it 'no? And ah hopefully up there in the mountains you can go to any direction from wherever you are without Having to ah go back the hub. Right. Is very important. Why? Because
the next mission would be to hit the excellence Sikhs are looking ah quite ah encouraging and ah I hope you'll continue to help promote Cagayan Dioro and ah Mindanao ah Jerome and ah soon ah I hope that ah because you have many friends here. Yes You have many friends here and ah you have made ah actually your your stay here in Cagayan the Oro has ah raised the level operations and ah strategies. And ah was there. We already conceptualize what we will do.
I mean we already know where the international terminal is. We know where the domestic terminal, the cargo, the cargo will be further and that's it. Yeah. Unfortunately, he was replaced. That's one area we
need to push. That airport because it is an Ayala project that they gave that area. We need to pursue because next to that we also have an you know business. And then of course
you when you were the mayor you sent me to some of your schools. And along the way I saw your dump site. And this is another issue and I think you made a project on the downside.
Because now that it's greening. This is the climate change is the big issue we also have. So yes. Hopefully this can be
addressed. Yeah. Ah the dump site has already been closed. Ah thanks God 'no? And ah we now have ah Sanitary Landfill.
No on the airport you are right. Ah ah it needs upgrading. Ah and ah we are just waiting for ah National Government to continue ah cell? Yeah. Ah Sergio. Ah nan mention ni Attorney mo kakanina. Ah it's about ah
condos. It's ah sprouting rapidly here in Cagayan the Oro. Ah and ah sure. I said, no, I can do, I can help you, but because here in Cagayan the Oro, we have already the atrium. All we need to do is really clean it up.
Then we have the hotels here. So we first have to strengthen this. Of course, we will strengthen, we will, that has to be promoted. But, the distance, you need to do something about it with the, you know, the road. It cannot be saying, oh, where is this convention center? You don't know, even nowhere. And I told
him, who's going to ob of the cost from the from the hotel to the convention center. I said it's nice. You really catch them. But don't forget people
go to a convention to see the city. I and I want them to wander around. Because every time the hotel I remember when one day we were busy. And yet you don't see guests outside.
There is a sari sari store across at the USTP in that Basilio. Came to me and I said asking me if the hotel is empty. I said no we're full. And I said why can't why are you saying this? Then he he said because I don't have buying. I wonder why. I said
because these are doctors. They're not going to buy your cigarettes. That's for sure. So I that's when I had the initiative to really pursue it. Because if you're busy alang undertaken by the DPWH had been completed already. Although there are still some minor probably had undertaken a road opening project the sight of the Court of Appeals, the future court of appeals, and the convention center. So the road would not
be a safe as ah the main road. And ah of course I'm sure in the you here sa atong hope to see you in October. From Miss Julie Ang. Ay, okay. You know there's a lot of as I've always telled you know I had a heavy heart leaving. You know that were together in Cebu. But, you know, you have to wait. I wanted to venture
into something else and you're not to get a break from from and I guess working with another international conglomerate. Also gives you an opportunity to learn more. And I always I that's my philosophy. I want to learn and keep on and then I will offload it in Cagayan the Oro. Whatever I learned outside I offload it there. Okay. So one of the things is upscale I mean you know upskilling the staff. You
know like now we finally I was able to entree somebody to sponsor the mice meeting. I mean the mice mice workshop. Now I'm also I'm twisting her for another one. The last one. The 103. So hopefully the the employees or the the people in the industry are are equipped.
Yeah. To compete with the other other not other countries but within the country we are competing with other destination. Yeah certainly. Certainly. Yeah. So Wow. Yeah. Wow. Wow. So, I heard, I heard that with your, since you're working for a big conglomerate that has presence in the Middle East, in Europe, in North America. Uh you are having difficulty with your time ah somebody wants to sell his island. So we looked at it. And
ah slowly I will bring him to Mindanao. Just that he has to be, you know, it's his first time to travel to the Philippines. So, I I don't want to shock him first right away but I told him, I told his father that I hope he can invest in the Philippines. Ah, Jerome. Jerome, let me ask you this, no? Ah, you've been ah, here for about four years or, or a little over 4 years, noh? And ah, you have really, ah, ah, engrossed yourself ah, with and Dioro and ah given the operations of of the hotel. You have come to know people from the region. What was your best
experience here in Cagayan Dior? Well, the thing that when I took over the hotel, the hotel wasn't making good. So I started to do to train them on standards. At the same time, you know give them enough training that I can give. And then I decided to raise the rate. And then attack the Manila markets. Because I
wanted to uplift the rates. Because if I can bring up the rates all the hotels in the area will. And plus I'm giving a lot of opportunity for the retailers especially the small ones. That they can get business out of our our guests. And I think we've done that.
We've contributed to that already. But I still want to pursue you know to make it really and our destination. When I say Cagayan the Oro, it's the destination. Not like what now we always are second to some, to another destination. You, as I said, you enter via Cagayan the Oro and you exit via another city down there. In the south of,
of, of Mindanao. And hopefully with the developments with the Chinese Embassy consulate in Davao. And the consulates are being opening in Davao. We can extract business them. I think we just have to be very aggressive. There must be a
concerted effort At least for the Ola Chamber to come in really this time. To really push for it. I mean there you have Big Afria there. You have the high the you know the the Who's Who in the Oral Chamber. I think we should I I gave him a marketing plan. What to do
for the city and for the Oro Chamber projects for Oro Chamber before I left. So I hopefully they will and I'm going to come back to them in October and I'll ask them what happened to that plan. Right? really want to pursue it this time. My second time around.
Okay, yeah, sell. Yeah, sir, after the pandemic, do you think there are still specific measures that the hotel industry should put in place in we declare endemic by the end of the year, the emergency power has is gone. Everything will go to as normal. But of course, as I said earlier, we need to sell the city the properties that the the city is safe. Meaning we are all vaccinated and I'm for vaccination and booster shots. I will keep on making noise on this. You get two vaccine
vaccination plus two booster shot. Why? Because you're opening the country already. So that you are if ever something happens Another thing that we want to push is I will, in my case, I want to push medical tourism because we have all the facility. Whether it be in the provincial or the city on on the private, especially with the two new new hospitals that came up. Uh we have an opportunity to sell that Cagayan the Oro is the medical hub. So people from Mindanao
will come to Cagayan the Oro to have their treatment. I mean I just have to sit down with some people untwist them to to to think my way. Yeah. And come October they will get it from me. Yeah. Actually Northern I think a an another plan to ah build another building are are now being handled ah ah heart, kidney, etcetera 'no? And ah we're happy that ah Cagayan Dioro, particularly Northern Mindanao Medical Center, has reached the level of, ah, what I would call an apex hospital, na should be as well. China equipments or the instruments. So we don't know. We it's a lot of legwork
to be done. And there must be somebody who is very dedicated to do this because this can float after a while. Yeah. It's a nice idea but noone is following it up. Mm. actually ah Northern Mindanao Medical Center during the pandemic especially during the surge ah has shown its ah capacity to take care of ah ah severe cases ah ah not just in the region but ah even from Cara talking about here in Northern Mindanao and from Mindanao. And I I hope the the Department of Health would really be would really work harder in ah providing the equipment to our specialty hospitals. Ah in the
regions 'no? And ah like I said ah Cagayan the Oro is well positioned already to absorb ah or to to reach that level. Hm. Even the J Borha, you know your hospital, your city of hospital. I apparently it's been improved now. So you know
that is already a plus factor. hospital that is I, I, I, I have to comment, ah, And ah many many other friends that ah you have over the years here in Cagayan Dioro and Northern Mindanao. So. Yes. Uh you might want to say your yeah. Parting words. Jerome Before. Before you do that, let me thank you again. Thank you
very for honouring us our invitation and ah I'd like to thank you also for sharing Cagayan and Northern Mindanao and Mindana Further. And at the same time establish that. You know as I said I always love this word hub. Because to me it will
generate revenue for the city. It will generate employment. Which is how we can alleviate poverty. If we keep them busy people are willing to invest. Then everything is hunky dory already. I mean, to me, I'd solve. That's ideal but I
can't. But I look forward to working with people and pursuing my dream of becoming that making Cagayan the Oro really as a hub of Mindana it's very ambitious but I'm willing to work on it. Yes. Alright. Thank you very much. So Jerome
Mia's attorney. Yeah thank you. Thank you sir. Jerome thank you very much. Very thank you. Very heartwarming. Uh very
heartwarming. For one to who is a Manila boy. who grew up in Manila to be committed to help Cagayan the Oro. It's really
really very heartwarming and thank you for the friendship. Thank you for your love for Cagayan Dioro and its people. And to our guests to our Suki. Yeah. Uh not just promising discussion with Jerome the la Fuente and joining us and we hope that you could join us again tomorrow.
And ah stay safe everyone. Good afternoon to you all. Yes thank you very much Attorney and ah Sir Jerome. Thank you again. And ah to all our viewers thank you for joining us this afternoon until our next episode here. at Overtime. Kini si Maricel Casiño Rivera. May yung hapon karinyan tanan.
Thank you. Thank you, Jerome. Thank you. See you. See you.