The Future is Female

WANDER WOMEN Seated, from left: Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco, Vice President Sara Duterte, and Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer Marga Nograles; standing, from left: DOT-Davao director Tanya Rabat-Tan, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) undersecretary Margarita Gutierrez, Clark Development Corporation president Agnes VST. Devanadera, and Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Rep. Migs Nograles

Behind this weekend’s successful hosting of Micecon 2023 are some very clever, resourceful, and determined women

March being International Women’s Month there was no way it could have escaped any observer that the presidential table at the farewell dinner hosted by Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and its chief operating officer Marga Nograles at the Tent at Azuela Cove in Lanang, Davao City was occupied entirely by women.

It was the last day of the three-day Micecon 2023 (Philippine Meetings Incentive Travel, Conventions, and Exhibitions or MICE Conference) and front and center of the country’s premier gathering of MICE professionals this year, aside from Nograles who, along with the Davao City government, spearhead the event, were Vice President Sara Duterte, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, and DOT-Davao director Tanya Rabat-Tan, accompanied at the presidential table by their special guests Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Rep. Migs Nograles, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) undersecretary for plans, public affairs, and communication Margarita Gutierrez, and Clark Development Corporation president and CEO Agnes VST. Devanadera, who was also called on to the stage after the TPB COO announced that Clark, Pampanga won the bid to host the next Micecon, Micecon 2024.

Needless to say, there were men involved in such a huge success and, though he is seen in a photograph on this page in a sea of women, foremost of these men who were as responsible in the success of Micecon 2023 was Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, who hosted a big dinner—and the best Real hands down at the conference, replete with eat-all-you-can durian, marang, mangosteen, and other fresh fruits—at the SM Lanang fountain court the night before, the second day of the conference not so much to welcome the guests and delegates as to showcase the best of Davao in terms of cultural performances, indigenous costumes, cuisine, and hospitality.

DAVAO CITY’S BEST Mayor Sebastian Duterte hosted a big dinner—and the best meal hands down at the conference, replete with eat-allyou-can durian, marang, mangosteen, and other fresh fruits—at the SM Lanang fountain court

Now that the world is fast opening up after nearly three years of closure and isolation, meetings, incentive travel, conventions, and exhibitions are charting a new course toward economic opportunities for the Philippines, where business and leisure easily mix, thanks to its natural diversity, vibrant culture, and its friendly, helpful, welcoming people.

The MICE industry is crucial in contributing to the economic growth of both global and local economies, creating employment opportunities, and building a country’s reputation,” said TPB’s Nograles.

The weekend Micecon in Davao City was a showcase of how immersive, inclusive, and memorable any MICE activity could be when held not only in Davao or Mindanao, but also anywhere in the rest of the country. Activities at the Micecon 2023 included expert talks on sustainability, event designs, development, and technology solutions, the economics of
business travel spending, the power of storytelling, and new findings on improving the customer experience.

“This year, as we have seen, Davao has raised the bar for Micecon, having held such an excellent exhibition of the potential the Philippines can have to be the leading
MICE destination in Asia,” said Sec. Frasco.

FEMME FORWARD Behind the success of the just concluded Micecon 2023 are TBP COO Marga Nograles and Vice President Sara Duterte of Davao City and DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco of Cebu

Inspired by the showcase of such potential, Vice President Duterte said, “I look forward to the reemergence of a strong tourism sector. I commit to work together with the Department of Tourism to help increase the tourism budget in the coming years.”

Clark, Pampanga cannot wait for its turn.

Reference: Manila Bulletin, Sunday, March 5, 2023, Page 13