Roger Lucero, the funny tour guide of The Ruins in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, has become a YouTube sensation with 117,872 hits as of last night.
The video posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy_8TdfvJWs by a person only identified as “orsalia”, shows Lucero, 26, narrating the history of The Ruins as he walks visitors through the remains of a once grand mansion built by a Negrense sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, that has been turned into a tourist attraction by his great grandson Raymund Javellana.
Speaking in Ilonggo, Tagalog and English, Lucero keeps visitors in stitches as he crack jokes when he tells the story of how the mansion was built in the early 1900s by Lacson for his first wife, Maria Braga.
The mansion was torched in the early part of World War II by the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East), composed of Filipino guerrilla fighters, to prevent the Japanese forces from utilizing it as their headquarters.
It took days of inferno to bring down the roof and the wooden floors of the mansion that was never rebuilt.
Lucero manages to keep tourists interested and laughing. He has also mastered the art of taking pictures of The Ruins from its best angles so tourists go away with great photos of their visit.
Lucero, of EB Magalona town, is married to Jona Lindayao with whom he has a one year and eight-month-old son Nathaniel.
On his Facebook page, he said he went to the University of Gahandum Palang.
He told the DAILY STAR he worked as a houseboy for Javellana until his boss assigned him to The Ruins where he cleaned toilets.
Javellana said one day he went to The Ruins and saw Lucero keeping guests entertained as he told them stories about the history of the mansion that he probably heard from the other tour guides. He knew his facts and he was witty, Javellana said, so he promoted him to tour guide.
“We need more Roger Lucero’s in the tourism industry in order to make every visit wholesome and entertaining,” Javellana said.
Soon after taking on the job as tour guide, Lucero became a hit among guests.
I am glad I can make people happy when they come to visit The Ruins, he said.
Comments beneath Lucero’s video on YouTube validate that.
“Thank you Roger for making me laugh…galing mo idol kita...”, “Saludo ako sayo ROGER…galing...hehe”, “Grabe ang galing!!!”, “Roger, you are awesome...I experienced the tour myself. I will be back with my son and friends soon. You are doing a great job”, and “I’m visiting ruins very soon because of this guy...so funny”, are among the many comments.
Lucero said about 150 people visit The Ruins a day on weekdays, and about 300 to 400 a day on weekends.*CPG