YTRIP: The Young Filipinos’ Journey Towards Discovering Their Own Heritage and Culture

How can you love something you don’t wholeheartedly know?

Thus is the question being asked by YTRIP volunteers to the Filipino people—and to themselves.

Truly, how can you say you love the Philippines and you love being a Filipino if you are oblivious of our nation’s history? Of our culture and heritage? How dare you say you love this country if you first dreamed of touring the scenic spots of other countries than to set-your-sights to the picturesque places in our homeland?

These questions and such thoughts were what prompted the founders of YTRIP to put up an organization that could help educate the Filipino people—especially the new generation—of the importance of knowing our own history and discovering the heritage and memoirs enveloped in every place in the Philippines.

YTRIP or Youth Tourism Response-Philippines is a group effort of young Filipinos who want to spread the good news about the Philippines and its wonderful places. Clare Amador, however, is said to be the fire that burned the flame. “YTRIP is actually a barkada effort of me and my friends and with some help from our families, too,” shared Clare who is a freelance Researcher by profession. “Since I’m a passionate traveler and I love discovering historical stuff, I told myself ‘why not help the country through my passion?’ if I can’t take care of the orphans, at least I can do something.”

Clare then shared the idea with her friends, Lesly Umali, Anne Elicano, Olive Castillo, May Anne Umaly, Pam Sevidal who all supported the idea of YTRiP because they all shared the same passion. And together, they led the way into the realization of a once unpromising dream.

“We had fun since we feel that YTRIP is our response to the problems we see in our country,” added Clare. “It is our way of responding to the needs of our community. And whenever we have trips or advocacy campaigns, we are also asking people to respond to those problems.”

Clare further shared that she didn’t really see herself leading an organization such as this at a young age. She said that she was supposed to pursue with the idea in her mind when she reach age 35. The thought of waiting for 10 years more to make a move, however, changed her mind. “If I had to wait for 10 years more, baka buwag na ang Intramuros by then.”

Thus, in November of 2006, Clare and the rest of the group launched YTRIP. And since then, the response of the concerned Filipino people never fails to overwhelm the group. They’ve been receiving emails from different people of all ages and status who sincerely showed their gratitude and happiness that at least, somebody is taking a stand and making a brave move to change the course of the wind by promoting the country’s culture and heritage. And yes, this writer is also a proud member of this organization.

Her being a passionate traveler is just one of the reasons why of all the possible dogma for an advocacy campaign, Clare chose traveling as her channel of reaching out to her fellow Filipinos and her way to create a difference and show her love for her motherland. Furthermore, Clare clearly pointed up the importance of traveling in discerning and understanding one’s culture and heritage.

“Through traveling, the younger generation could meet and talk with the old ones and learn from them the stories of our past,” Clare shared. “The Tagalogs could meet the Maranaos, and both of them could discover what is beautiful and realize what is wrong. When one is able to bear a sense of national identity, it not only accepts the existence and interest in others but also enables one to go around other places, see other cultures and appreciate their significance.”
Since its induction in 2006, YTRIP had already coined various projects, which all aimed at promoting the Philippines tourism and culture. The projects include Photography for Non-photographers Session, the various Museums Walk, the Bahay Nakpil Walk, Afternoon with F. Sionil Jose, and the latest was the Food Trip sa Kape Isla in cooperation with the Phil. Coffee Board. The group also organized some historical tours projects in cooperation with the Filipinas Stamp Collectors Club and Old Manila Walks such as the Postal History Walking Tour and the Chinese Cemetery Walk. Moreover, the group is also doing trips in various public schools in the country to help educate the students more on the value of our history and why it’s important to know and understand them. The group also plans to provide field trips for public school students for free for they believe that if you give these young people access to travel opportunities, they would be able to decipher better and know better, and eventually be able to help the country.

YTRIP do organize domestic tours and special trips, too which are centered on cultural and natural heritage for any group, family, or barkada whether based in the Philippines or abroad. This is sort of a fundraising program to provide the field trips for public school students.

Clare finished off the talk with an inspiring note: “YTIP is basically giving people the chance to get to know the Philippines and its wonders without having to sacrifice their money a lot. If you’ll open their eyes to it, they’ll be more inspired.”

*****SIDEBAR*****

Are you interested in joining this group? Simply send Clare Amador an e-mail atcattleya.amador@gmail.com or at youthtrip@gmail.com. Tell her why you want to be part of the group and what you can contribute for the promotion of tourism in our country. You can also visit their site at www.youthtrip.org or at ytrip.multiply.com.

Note: This is a repost from my Blogger site.

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