Sunday, January 29, 2006

Asian Institute of Tourism

Also lying on the outskirts of Diliman (can we say a Diliman suburb?) is the Asian Institute of Tourism. A lot of Tourism majors wail because of their isolation, or is their wailing remnant of the charred endings of some parts of their buildings?

I'm obsessed with top floors even if it means going into creepy, cold staircases that lead to the real upperfloors. When I got to the 2nd Floor of the AIT building, I know I wasn't on the top floor because I saw another level (see, that set of windows) above me. Aside from that, the unused elevator clearly indicated that there was a 3rd Floor.

And there it was. A real rooftop. I can't access the floor itself, all entrances were barred, but I could see beds and the curtains were still hanging. Of course, there's the collection of old furniture. And fantastic views. You can see the Iglesia ni Cristo in the most intimate level as compared to the other buildings that spot it in campus. Commonwealth Avenue seems to look different at this height (and also at this height).

The AIT Complex is the first Tourism Institute in all of Asia (inagurated by Tita Meldy in 1978). The floor I've been to was part of the AIT Hotel, leased by Brentwood Corporation back in 1989. According to some helpful student tambays in the Tourism Management Society, it burned down in 1994 (ergo, it's listed in their official timeline as "closing down"). They also asked me if I did see anyone up there.


At 29/5/06 22:05, Blogger my advocacy said...

I am a graduate of the AIT. I share the call of the disenchanted that the Institute needs to reinvent itself or perish. In form and content, it failed to serve its founders' vision---to produce graduates who will lead the industry to millions and millions of foreign visitors a year. More than 20 years have passed, where are its alumni? More successful in other fields than tourism, or perenially enrolled in other training courses to keep up with the real needs of the industry. AIT does not equip its students the appropriate skills, attitude and responsiblity towards developing a vibrant, creative, sustainable and most significantly, economically productive tourism industry.

At 13/6/06 23:37, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i,m a graduate of this institute and i would love to see it fix soon.i'm cecilia salazar.batch 2000.

At 28/6/06 21:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from the earlier batches more than 20 years ago and is a witness to the grandeur that once was AIT. Should we allow this once beautiful structure and institution to just fade away with neglect? We owe it to ourselves and to our Alma Mater to help restore AIT so it can continue its mission and vision to produce graduates with the skills and right attitude to lead the industry... Ana - 10th Batch

At 3/7/06 18:47, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asus! Marami kayong hindi alam! Alam nyo ba na talagang pinapatay ng mga diyos-diyosan ng UP ang AIT para maibigay na sa mga Ayala? Remember the 101 hectare technopark project nila la presidenta roman? Yup, kasama pa po siya sa original gang na gustong ibenta ang UP sa mga bisnismen.

At 25/7/06 11:06, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 28/7/06 21:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm currently a student in AIT and yes, I have lived with such miserable surroundings for years. I agree something has to be done, but what can we expect from the government? From UP? They have no money. We need the help of the the alumni and private sector to revive the old AIT, whose stories of grandeur I have heard from returning alumnis.
As for AIT not producing graduates to lead the "Tourism Industry", I beg to differ. I have a prof who worked for an international airline, he was the asia-pacific regional manager, another prof who was vp for WWF Philippines, Patrick Gregorio used to be GM of Waterfront Cebu, younger alumnis like Marco Abesamis who ranks 3rd as 1 of the best wedding photographers... some of our graduates may excel in a different field, why? Because AIT and our industry is not simply limited to tourism, in fact, Tourism can be related to all industries. Also, AIT inculcates in its students a sense of adventure, we may be tourism students but we're not only that.

To the Alumni, support AIT--- and if you can, why not visit? I'm sure you'll understand what I'm talking about.

At 28/7/06 21:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad someone remembered AIT.

At 28/7/06 21:14, Blogger Teh Topnotcher said...

Hello everyone, especially AIT alumni.

I'm so glad that at least there's regard coming from you for your alma mater (because obviously, to get here, you ran a search about AIT). I am not from AIT, however, I see the value in Tourism because I believe in tenets of diplomacy and inculcating the beauty of this country.

Visiting this site is a step, but I hope you do go back to your school, and create more proactive/tangible actions.

Sabi nga ng mga aktibista: "Kung hindi tayo, sino? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa? (or was that Ate Vi in Sister Stella L? Hehe)

Teh Topnotcher

At 8/10/06 09:09, Anonymous said...

hi. i am delighted to be here. i was just searching for the ait student council website but i was brought here.

it always make us feel bad everytime they say...D NYO NAABUTAN ANG GLORIOUS DAYS NG AIT...the engineering department tells it all...and we just cant believe how the ait sank into this situation.

we've heard lots of stories-ait is sold to this; we owe millions; d na makakabayad and ait; etc. it is just hurting that those early batches who had the golrious days of AIT are almost nowhere to be found. Where are they? We want to make a change but we do not know how. I suppose the graduates know more, can help more, not financially but maybe in giving moral support.

Please let the students know you are there and that we have produced great graduates. Let us know that there is still reason for AIT to exist and for us to rebuild it. If we cannot find you, maybe it is true...AIT has produced very few great graduates.

Please help us know we are going somewhere and if you may, lead us the way.

i am currently enrolled and hoping to graduate soon.just email for comments thanks.

At 5/2/07 13:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AIT... goodluck... its a ghost town now. bulok na canteen. bulok na sistema. at nabubulok na building. mahal ko ang UP at ang AIT... pero ang mga nagpapatakbo... hai... goodluck! sa totoo lang.. unti unti na namamatay ang mga student orgs sa AIT... tinanggalan ng mga kuryente ang mga tambayan, ung mga ilaw na pundido sa student lobby -- hindi pinapalitan. wala ng gana mga bata studyante magtagal sa AIT. napakaplastic pa ng el corazon.... kung alam nio lang paano manira ng tao yang si el Corazon? hai... dibale sana kung may laban ang mga studyante... wala.

At 14/8/07 20:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To tell it simply, AIT is in the last stage of breathing air along the traffic breeze of Commonwealth. AYALA will do away with it in about 2 to 5 years, I bet you. And if there's any hope for it to be revived, it shall not be named AIT, but AYALA Tourism Institute. Will that name matter to us?

(I am batch 2008 of AIT. I currently lead the ANTI-AYALA, ANTI-COMMERCIALIZATION, ANTI-CPR HEGEMONY in the UP Board of Regents)

At 1/7/08 12:24, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a graduate of this institute. Now that I'm working in the hospitality industry(hotel), of course i always think of helping the AIT graduates to have the position or work in this industry especially now that alot of us working in our company are UP AIT GRADUATES!...In my opinion, The problem right now in AIT is the SYSTEM!!!! how will u be able to produce very good individuals if the management especially the HEAD only thinks of her plans and not considering the student for its development....I was there, I experienced the bad system....Let the student think and decide or atleast give them a chance to say their opinions and consider their opinions! TAKE NOTE- We are now left behind by other schools out there especially college of saint benilde... They are more considered in the hotel industry right now because of there very good programs... Even the Assumption of Pampanga have their own hotel in which the students can apply the things they learned in school. Hindi ako papayag ng ganun! WE ARE UP-AIT, we should have the best training!!!! The alumni are willing to help of course but we are also tired of the system that is going on right now in AIT! We need to move asap!! revive the first tourism school in asia and be the best one...CHANGE THE SYSTEM! To the students- we are just here

At 6/7/08 23:39, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a graduate of this institute but I know lots of things about AIT. Though I never saw how great AIT was, I heard a lot of stories from my senior office mates about how beautiful this institute was more than 10 years ago. The institute was a unit to behold. Unfortunately, I also found out about the unhealthy politics inside the institute, the problems of management, mistaken perceptions of success and failure and its consequences, reasons why the AIT hotel has lost its glamour, issues on sustainability, and other problems which made AIT lose its identity as the premier tourism education provider.

Your criticisms about previous actions and experiences have brought about suggestions that may improve AIT. I applaud your action to bring up these ideas in this page. But your suggestions are just ideas which will not yield any benefit if you just post them here.

Talk is cheap. I have yet to hear news about AIT graduates coming back to their institute to contribute for the repair of your building structure, upgrade your computer laboratory, add more chairs to your former classrooms, donate funds to purchase more educational resources for the younger AIT students, suggest programs to keep the link between the institute and the industry stronger, propose to the current admin your ideas on how to run the institute better, or even attend alumni meetings to do something to make AIT great again! You may say these are matters of the current AIT management but you already aware they can do so much. Its up to YOU to do something more productive for the institute! Do something, not just talk about this and that. Go back to AIT, see what you can do to help out, come up with a plan and execute your plan!

You have a lot of good ideas and ambitious plans. But I tell you, ideas don't matter if you don't do anything to draw something valuable from it. DO SOMETHING. Dont forget to implement and execute what you plan to do.

I'm not a graduate of AIT. I came from a unit in UP which is now known as an instution of excellence in may schools and colleges and in the industry. My unit was not as great as it is today. Like most normal people, some of us had grudges against its admin. Several of us criticized the unit heavily. But several of us graduates came back to this unit to give it something we think will make it greater than it was when we were just its students.

I wish many of the AIT alumni will do the same as what many of us did for our unit. You can say anything you want, but DO SOMETHING other than just talking.

At 10/12/08 08:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe doing nothing for the moment is the best thing to do... :-) if one knows how things are at AIT for the past few years... the wisest thing to do is NOTHING. Some people tried to do something but it was misinterpreted and rejected even from the start. for somebody who claims to know something especially the politics in AIT, i think you really should think again..if your line of DO SOMETHING is really a good advice. Ask the alumni association about their efforts to help AIT? OF COURSE, they wanted to help AIT. I think at some point they gave up on's a hopeless case for now. I just feel sorry for the students because they are not the priority now.... there are a lot of people in the AIT who are there not to serve the Institute but to make something out of it. Kakalungkot!


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