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12 Hard to find books in the library of the Department of Tourism

If you want a good reason to visit the Department of Tourism, it could be to visit the library and see books you don't normally see in bookstores now. They were either categorized as trade books with limited print runs, or one-time printing book projects of government agencies. Of course, all of them would be travel-related, and some (the government books) are considered buried and forgotten. But I dare bring them out in the open! Coz they are really significant in putting our culture and history in perspective (not just travel).


1. The only historical hotel that never stopped its operation in the Philippines.

2. This book seems really old, but the illustrations are educational.

3. You might still find copies of this coffee table book in National and other bookstores. Published by Bookmark, and designed by my friend, Robert Alejandro. 

4. It was contemporary during its days. Very interesting.

5. Before WWF's (Worldwide Fund for Nature) Lory Tan became its Philippine head, he was obsessed with whales and dolphins. Thanks to him and the the pioneering Filipino marine mammal expert, Louella Dolar of Silliman University, I was able to join some of the expeditions to see whales and dolphins in the wild.

6. Tubbataha is a success story in conservation, inspite of so many challenges and influential people and nations that damage it, either by accidents or plain greed. Read on the early days of Tubbataha.

7. Hala Bira!!

8. Postcards and pictures. Nothing beats looking at them to while away your time.

9. Ehem! Unfortunately, this is one book that is very, very hard to find now.

10. Jose.... who?  He happened to be the first government cabinet official who headed the Department/Ministry of Tourism. The Philippines was ahead of the tourism game in the 70's. Because Mr. Aspiras had so much resources and power during his time. Oh... you should hear the stories of the old DOT guards of the times when rooftop parties were like weekly events.

11. There are more ways of exploring Intramuros other than walking and riding a calesa.

12. I like reading on war exploits, especially of Filipino warriors who gave their lives for others.

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