MANILA: More and more young Filipinos are taking up hotel and restaurant management courses, all thanks to the country's booming tourism industry.
Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy Carbaque can't wait to finish her household service course.
In three months' time, she will finally be able to fulfill her dream of working in a luxury hotel.
Ms Carbaque, a household service student at the Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, said: "The salary is big especially when it comes to tipping. Plus there are many hotels here and abroad. That is why they need a lot of manpower so I chose housekeeping."
As the Philippines intensifies its tourism campaign, the Labour department said that the demand for professionals in the hotel and restaurant industry will also increase. That is why more and more young Filipinos are taking up courses related to these industries to fill the gap.
Francisco Naguiat, a student who took up the International Hospitality Management course at Enderun Colleges, said: "As opposed to other booming course like nursing, etc., in terms of hospitality, there are really opportunities right now. You have so much hotels opening up and so much other brands are coming in to Manila so it's not something you have to go to abroad to do."
Industry experts said that the Philippines needs to develop at least five million additional workers for the tourism and hospitality industry between now and 2016, as the country aims to achieve its goal of attracting 10 million foreign visitors in four years.
Filipino workers are also very much in demand in land-based and crew-based jobs in the hospitality industry abroad.
Reny Garcia, who is studying at the Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, said: "In a year, we would be graduating around 700 students and it is increasing by at least 10 per cent every year. It has been attributed to the increase in the demand for Filipino workers abroad both in the land based hotels and cruise ships."
Another student Jeffrey Viray said: "Filipinos are always known for this so called flexibility. We're always flexible in all sorts of endeavours. Aside from that, we are also known as hospitable. I think these are the characteristics which put the Filipinos always on top over the other."
Last year, there were more than 130,000 students who took up Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, making it the second most preferred course in the country.
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