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The truth is: If you want to learn more, travel to other places. Indubitably, by visiting other places, one would be too dumb enough not to learn the culture of a people, or anything learnable about the residents and the uniqueness of their God-given geography, or what else do you think?

Nobody will dispute the fact that had it not because Marco Polo traveled to China, the Chinese will never have a taste of noodles (arguably because it was Marco Polo who introduced pasta to the native Chinese). Another heavy dose of fact is: Had Columbus and Magellan did not travel, we will never have the blessing (or curse?) to be called Filipinos. Hence, traveling is indispensable for one to learn.

This explains why the officers of Holy Name University Multi-Purpose Cooperative undertook to take the chance of learning on how people in other places manage their respective cooperatives. This thing called educational tour for coop officers is, however, mandated by the cooperative code of he Philippines (R.A. 6938), Art 4, par. 5.

This time, the Homco officers chose Western Visayas coops, or those that are located in Panay area, as the venue of their educational tour.

The so-eager-to-learn-via-tavel officers, namely, Henry Labasan (Chairman of the Board), Pruds Mondragon, Roque Bongcac, Juliet Salgados, Mars Cuasito, Grace Samson, Nellie Lumayag, Pinoy Ocon, and Ed Babor (former Chairman of the Board) started their educational journey from Tagbilaran City to Cebu, then to Caticlan, Malay, Panay, then to Boracay, then to Barbaza, Antique, then to San Jose, Antique, then to Iloilo, and finally to Cebu and back to home base, Tagbilaran City.

In Boracay, the Homco officers learned some crunchy ways through which transportation service of a coop can be established since the coop that they visited - located in barangay Manoc Manoc - controlled the transportation business in the whole of Boracay.

In Barbaza, Antique, the tourists were envious of the officers and members of Barbaza Multi-Purpose Cooperative; they manage a cable TV in the whole of Antique and its neighboring provinces like Aklan and Capiz. Other than lording the community cable TV, BMPC also handles the needs of their members who are actively and gainfully engaged in farming and fishing. In addition to their capabilities and asset, BMPC also owns a quiet huge 4-storey building loaded with high-tech equipment and expensive fixtures.

The last coop which the Homco officers visited was the San Jose Multi-Purpose Cooperative which is having its base in San Jose, Antique. If BMPC earns its own name and achievements, its competitor in the Antique province- the San Jose Multi-Purpose Cooperative has also established its own. The building owned by the SJMPC was far-off pompous, boxier, and elegant compared to that of the BMPC. In fact, when the Homco officers entered their offices, they were amazed to observe the wide ambiance and towering command of their location over San Jose territory.

The officers of SJMPC amiably, courteously, and proudly took turns in sharing the best of what they know and learn in cooperative management to the Homco officers.

Well, varied the learning of the Homco officers from the different coops they have visited maybe, one thing was the same to all of them: That their October 15 - 18, 2008 educational tour to the Panay Island was one of the things in traveling that they cannot forget - not to mention their praises and wonder to the world-renowned Boracay Island.

The pictures accompanying this write-up are res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself) evidence that gladly manifest the learnings they have earned from the aforesaid tour.

Opps!!! The Homco members must readily have dosage of this matter - off - factly shot: The officers need to reward themselves for their efforts. The educational tour per se is in itself the reward that they are worthy to cherish.

Till the next schedule folks.

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