Training outside

Now that we have finished a week-long communications seminar, we then had our on-site training. It’s just like a field trip because all of us were excited to finally get out of the lecture room. Little did we know that we’re in for a big challengeguiding inside a moving vehicle.

Nicky Godfrey-Evans, our trainor, gave us a briefing on the basics of introducing ourselves, the proper way to hold the microphone, safety reminders, basic information about the destination, travel time, and other details that we should tell the guests.

Nicky gives us some pointers. There is a proper way of holding the microphone.


She asked us to construct our commentaries based on the top visual priorities (TVPs) and follow it up with TNVPs (Top Non-Visual Priorities). We were leaving the office of the Department of Tourism and we were told to take note of the buildings/structures/points of interest that we will pass by.

I saw people lining up to apply for jobs as part of a ship crew; Jollibee, a famous local fast food chain; the National Library then the Luneta Hotel before turning left; the US Embassy and Roxas Boulevard and the Baywalk area.

It all seemed too much to take on our first day but we had to memorize and anticipate TVPs on our next run. We were also instructed to use an open palm to point to the structures or TVPs that we will pass by. The timing ought to be right.

Information about these sites were quick to be gathered with the help of the internet but interpreting information is way harder than you think. There’s a risk that you might dry up and run out of things to say and that’s what happened on the succeeding days. It was disappointing at first but Nicky and Roger didn’t give up on us.

The bus tour training took us more than two weeks to master. It was one of the components of the Blue Badge Training. We did this until our practical exams.

Here’s their assessment of my bus tour:

My first try. This is Nicky’s.

My second try. This is Roger’s.

Practice makes perfect. After knowing the stories behind the landmarks and reciting them before going to sleep, most of the guides have shown improvement.

* * * 

There was also the site tour and the walking tour. Our instructors are truly masters of their field. They devised a very good route designed to ensure the guests’ safety and provide a great view.

I’d be lying if I say that we didn’t feel the pressure. Expectations were high because the government spent a lot of money in having these speakers and trainers. The training was more than six weeks and it included all Saturdays. We sometimes found ourselves going home late.

I was working in the night shift and I only had three hours of sleep at most but I still managed to attend all sessions because I wanted to pursue this. I just want to do it but there were repercussions.

Examinations were coming up and all of us cramming all the that we have learned from the past weeks. We’re all eager to get this done and over with.

-End of Part 4-