Text and Photo by Gil Alfredo B. Severino for the NEGROS DAILY BULLETIN
“Screen shot of NDB Article by Gil Severino. In Photo: ANP President, Joji Locsin, Marketing Manager, Teena Rodriguez, Executive Director, Gardinia de Erit and VP-Marketing, Jojo Vito”
The Association of Negros Producers’ (ANP) Negros Showroom is a national icon when it comes to indigenous ingenuity and creativity. No traveling and home-based visitor should miss this part of the Island if only to see what a gathering of 15 Negrense ladies metamorphosed into a 141-member power house. They summoned prayers to move the Lord’s Hand in alleviating the plight of fellow Negrenses suffering a tragedy born out of a monocrop economy. The Lord heard their cry. To date, ANP continues to hit the export market, despite odds, giving jobs, livelihood and opportunity to thousands of Negrenses lead a life of decency.
Of late, ANP’s Showroom along Lacson Street unveiled a tourism desk described by their newly elected President, Miss Jojie Locsin, as a humble beginning and a contribution to the Negros Island’s tourism efforts. Miss Locsin “chuckled” when reminded to call it an “office” instead. “It is a table!” she laughingly retorted. It is a table but surrounding it is a concept, which is “very ANP!” somebody quipped. Its four feet are solidly grounded on the Philippine Tourism mandate as “an engine of investment, employment, growth and national development”. Somewhere above is a television set running for the entire duration of the store hours showing the Negros Island as a destiny (See Photos). It was not set up to impress but reading materials are there to serve 80 percent of the Showroom’s clients – tourists.
“An engine of investment, employment, growth and national development”, are ambitious semantics but with the involvement of expert marketeer like Jojo Vito, the tourism desk is a proud forefront of sustainable tourism patterned after the unwavering strength of ANP itself. It is not a one-day activity. Jojie Locsin – Jojo Vito tandem know what they are doing, they knew exactly what tourism is all about but like a spark, the desk is but a start. Correct vision and idealism must be fanned and cultivated until the spark starts to glow, soon other bits and pieces of wood are gathered and a bonfire is set. The excitement is afire!
Miss Jojie Locsin explained that the vision is not just Negros Occidental but the entire Island which included the Oriental side. After all, they are called Association of “Negros” Producers which does not subdivide the Island to the Occidental and the Oriental. The tourism desk was conceived as promotion for the “One Island” concept. Eventually, Miss Locsin said, she will post a big map of the Negros Island where arrows are pointing to collection of items manufactured in every City and Municipality and an inventory of destinations will be bannered offering ANP’s Showroom clients and the general public a tower to see the vast stretches of Island in one sitting.
At the forefront where ANP’s Showroom Tourism Desk is stationed, clients and visitors are transformed as travelers and not wayward wanderers. It is best to travel if destinations are known. New ways of looking at these destinations must be understood by travelers. Such vision starts at the forefront.*