In every business, we know that communications is crucial to make it in today’s cutting edge competition. Maria Gilda Quintua-Nakahara who was born deaf was able to break in and create a niche uniquely her own, in the field of tourism.
As in Tom Peter’s Pursuit of WOW, Gilda started her travel and tour business, inspired by foreign deaf friends who came to bond with her and other deaf Pinoys amidst rich tourist spots in the country. Her disability did not get in the way of making M.G.L.Q. Deaf Tour Assistance an outfit she started in 2004 known for fast and reliable tour arrangements for deaf and non-deaf tourists all over the world. For Gilda’s trade secret (which she generously shares with anybody who asks) is quick, quality service and the “age old” warm Filipino hospitality.
Starting small in 2004, Gilda herself mastered quality and quick dispatch though many labor pains, hurdling the same discriminating public. Going by her motto “honoring commitments” and following a strict work code, she eventually got the feel and skill to juggle a flurry of bookings for international and domestic flights, accommodations and tour management here and abroad.
It was therefore inevitable that her unique travel agency would widely spread by word of mouth of satisfied deaf and hearing tourists. In 2007, she joined 4 other outstanding PWD entrepreneurs awarded by the “Go Negosyo Caravan for People with Disabiities in De Salle –College of St. Benilde. For who would want to deal with frenzied loud tourist agent, if you have a calm, smiling and reliable Gilda minding your flight, hotel and tour bookings, getting free sign language lesson on the side.
Going up the ladder of success was definitely not a cinch for a deaf person like her. She had also her share of ups and downs communicating her messages and ideas. As Managing Director of the travel agency, Gilda equipped herself with education, experience, determination to hone her skills, her love to travel, sharing experiences and promoting the country were the solid foundation for the success of her business.Salle –College ofSt. Benilde. For who would want to deal with frenzied loud tourist agent, if you have a calm, smiling and reliable Gilda minding your flight, hotel and tour bookings, getting free sign language lesson on the side.
In her interview at the Manila Bulletin Websites & Publications dated August 15, 2009she mentioned that “As a deaf person in this kind of business, I am proud to say that I have crossed the border of so-called limited access. I honestly worked hard to achieve my goals. I wanted to show the world that we are not cut off from mainstream society and we are capable of regularly doing and keeping our jobs like the rest of hearing and speaking people.”
Gilda who was born onAugust 16, 1971at San Julian, Eastern Samar, finished her basic education at the Philippine School for the Deaf and took vocational & diploma courses atCAPCollegefor the Deaf and the Manila Christian Computer Institute.
Another milestone has come her way, her journey to married life. Gilda met her Japanese husband at one of her deaf tours and excitement arises as she passes through this newchapter in her life.