Taste Tour Guides - Raphael

Raphael in action

Raphael in action

Meet Raphael / Lead Guide

Raphael was born and grew up in the Philippines. Together with his parents and two younger brothers, they moved to Australia about 25 years ago. They firstly settled in Berala, and then in Auburn, and Raphael finished high school at Birrong Boys High School near Bankstown. He completed a variety of courses/trainings at TAFE and other colleges such as Travel and Tourism, Desktop Publishing, Web Design, as well as Tour Guide training. He has also worked as an accounts clerk/office admin at a corporate travel agency, as well as a labourer, ticket writer, production assistant and he’s also currently a tour guide in Auburn. Raphael enjoys cooking Filipino cuisine and keeps fit by running.  He started with Taste Tours in April this year and you may meet him on A Taste of Chinatown tour. 

Why did you decide to join the Taste adventure?

I first met Lesley and the other Taste Tours guides while taking a tour guide training at TAFE. I was impressed by them, so when Lesley asked me and our other classmates if we were interested, I decided to join Taste Tours since I already enjoy being a tour guide for Flavours of Auburn – and Taste Tours also allowed me to expand my knowledge and experience of new food and cultures outside Auburn. And yes, eating food (and earning money), while promoting other cultures and businesses is indeed a rewarding experience!

What skills, knowledge and opportunities has this experience brought you?

Being a Taste Tours guide enriched my knowledge of other cultures and their food. I learnt about the stories of the business owners and it also gave me more confidence to speak to a group in public.         

What are you enjoying the most about being a tour guide for Taste?

Giving clients a memorable and positive experience through food, and letting them talk to and learn from business owners of different cultural backgrounds is the most enjoyable part of being a tour guide for Taste.

How do you think Taste makes a difference (both to the local community and the customers)?

I believe that the best way to fix negative perceptions is for people to visit and experience these places – and hopefully, they will return with their friends and family which is also good for the local economy.

What else do you do when you’re not a tour guide?

I am currently a Flavours of Auburn Tour Guide for ASCON (Auburn Small Community Organisation Network) and Cumberland City Council. I also volunteer for a couple of Filipino-Australian community organisations: I am a administrative assistant for Kapit-bahayan Co-operative Ltd. and a technical assistant for a community radio program, and I help the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations Inc. (APCO).

I keep fit by running, so I would also join charity fun runs. I also like to keep in touch with old friends through social media.

Could we hear one interesting story about you?

Moving from the tropics in summer to Sydney in the middle of winter was quite an experience for me and my family! A couple of weeks later, there was also the shock of going to a Boys’ High School where everyone was misbehaving – students in Asia are well-behaved and were all afraid of their teachers. 

A last word, what are your hopes for the future?

I hope that Taste Tours will keep growing – and as more people from other parts of the world make their home in Australia, we’ll all get to experience more varieties of food. I also hope to meet more people, and learn more things, and in turn impart what I’ve learnt to more people.