Creativity and resourcefulness combined can create magnificent works of art. A perfect testament to this was Astoria Palawan’s float which participated in the parade under the large category of the recently concluded Subaraw festival 2018. Astoria Palawan’s elaborately decorated three-dimensional float told the story of the region’s biodiversity. The tale was woven through a colorful and lively interpretation of the various flora and fauna popular in Palawan.
It crafted a beautiful crocodile design as the main platform for various species of plants, a mini waterfall, a Dao tree, and a karst (taraw) cliff, that came alive, together with the participation of the Batak indigenous people.
The play of colors on the float did not only make it an extraordinary work of art, but a symbol that invites everyone to care for healthy ecosystems and rich biodiversity.
There is a very human story behind all the efforts, where each piece and idea on the float was contributed by Astoria Palawan’s hardworking staff and workers. Their in-house carpenters proved to be truly gifted and skillful and were able to capture the ideas they were given. These efforts resulted in an impeccably-themed parade float to show how committed Astoria Palawan is in helping protect Puerto Princesa Underground River’s (PPUR) biodiversity.
Unlike other artists whose creative juices are overflowing, their resort staff did not follow any physical blueprint to come up with the float that they paraded during the Subaraw. It was all as organic a development as the life thriving in Palawan.
For the Astoria Palawan team, the focus on the project was not about winning the prize, it was the story of unity behind all of it that really made them feel proud.
The float used whatever materials were available in their surroundings – coconut fruit, bamboo sticks, nipa fruit, twigs, broomsticks to make the turtles, peacock and others.
More than anything, the entire effort would not have been possible without the support of the management the Astoria Hospitality Group that pushed the staff to think outside of the box and create a truly stunning design.
Astoria Palawan’s float entry won P500,000 in the large float category of the Subaraw biodiversity parade competition.
Helping San Rafael Community
Astoria Palawan’s success in the festival that highlighted the PPUR day was a manifestation of their unity and strong partnership with the people in Barangay San Rafael, where their business is located.
Astoria Palawan is already a part of the life of San Rafael, where it hopes to continue making impact in terms of employment and livelihood in the lives of its residents.
What warmed the team members’ hearts was how barangay officials and students from their village worked hand-in-hand during the float competition to showcase their own creative products.
The team reached out to the community, recognizing the importance of partnership and giving value to the residents.
The driving force behind all of this is Sikap Pinoy, a project of Astoria Palawan that is the advocacy of their COO and that began in July 2018. It provides support to fishermen in the nearby Barangays Langogan, Lucbuan, Maoyon, San Rafael and Municipalities like Dumaran, and Port Barton, San Vicente.
The resort made an informal agreement with the fishermen for them to be the supplier of fresh fish to the resort at prices fair to their livelihood. The resort also provided solar lights to the fisherfolk which they use while fishing at night.
A training workshop on financial literacy to 200 fisherfolks was conducted too at the resort as part of the overall objectives of the Sikap Pinoy Project.
A basic principle of life is that, “you reap what you sow.” And this works for Astoria Palawan. Its generosity has been returned a hundred-fold through the years that it has been active in supporting the community. Astoria Palawan is one of the most popular and successful eco resorts in the region.
To cap off the string of victories, the resort also won in the cocktail mixology contest during the same Subaraw Festival. Astoria Palawan’s bar supervisor was crowned champion amongst 16 other competitors.
The first iteration of the region’s Subaraw Festival was a success overall and one that saw Astoria Palawan’s years of effort well rewarded.
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