Local charity initiative sparks joy in community despite challenges for the tourism sector, a travel and tour business owner sought the time and resources to distribute sacks of rice to her community and colleagues in the industry.
Llemiche Artwork President and Klik N’ Fly Travel and Tours General Manager Michelle Taylan started giving sack of rice to her friends last year as a gift during the lockdown period and later in July named it as “Bigas Mula Sa Puso” to offer a small help to her fellow travel and tourism workers who have been greatly affected by the pandemic.
Taylan and her team were able to distribute 300 sacks of rice to 300 beneficiaries for the first batch. “Lahat naman tayo hirap sa panahong ‘to, pero if you can extend help, then by all means why wouldn’t you?” Taylan said. “The travel sector was badly hit and is still in the process of trying to stay afloat so any help from anyone is welcome.”
Taylan, who also serves as President of the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), the biggest group of travel agents and tourism stakeholders in the country, has been pushing for additional aid for industry workers.
This includes postponing payments for lease and waiving permits and other operational fees and premiums for travel and tour businesses that have yet to resume operations or are running under limited capacity.
“We want to imbibe the Bayanihan spirit, especially now with the sector still unable to fully get back on its feet. We took inspiration from the community pantries that sprouted last April,” Taylan said. Taylan said their goal is to continue providing more batches of rice donations and reach more beneficiaries. She is also hoping to expand donation items to be distributed if funds and donors allow it.
“No help is too small. We never know what someone may be going through so it’s always better to lend a helping hand whenever possible,” Taylan said.