For the last four years, Asia Pacific Hotel Inc. Saipan, which handles Century Hotel, Kanoa Resort, and Fiesta Resort & Spa (both in Saipan and Guam), has been celebrating International Housekeeping Appreciation Week. Now on its fifth year, APHI is hoping that the event would also be embraced by all other hotels in the CNMI.
The International Housekeeping Appreciation Week, a global event celebrated usually in the second week of September, puts a spotlight on the important role housekeepers play in the tourism industry. This year’s celebration would run on Sept. 8-12.
Glenn Policare, Kanoa Resort’s director of operations, explains that the celebration gives housekeepers a chance to feel how much their 24/7 work is appreciated, and they get a chance to interact with housekeepers from other hotels and have fun.
“We have all the big hotels out here and, hands down, housekeeping has the dirtiest, hardest job of any of the different departments in the hotel,” Policare said. “Housekeepers, on this week, will be treated to breakfast, followed by fun activities, including a tea and cake party.”
Crispin Huliganga, who handles 44 housekeeping staff in Kanoa, said housekeepers are the unsung heroes of hotels. “Housekeepers are the heart of the hotel. If no one would clean [the hotels], no one would bother staying in hotels. The job of a housekeeper is very difficult, but very important. It is proper to show them any appreciation that may give them even a little bit of happiness.”
Paulina Pascual, Fiesta’s executive housekeeper, first brought the celebration to the islands through Fiesta in 2015. Pascual is originally from Hawaii where the International Housekeeping Appreciation Week is celebrated.
“Housekeeping in the hotel industry is one of the toughest jobs. We do all the dirty work,” she said. “When I came to the CNMI, I saw that while housekeepers are being appreciated, they are not into celebrating it for an entire week [as in the rest of the world].”
Pascual, who has been in the business for 14 years, proposed the idea of celebrating the International Housekeeping Appreciation Week to her boss, who agreed to it, and Fiesta has been celebrating it since then.
“I’d like to encourage the whole community, especially the hotels, to start looking into the celebration of the International Housekeeping Appreciation Week as a way to recognize and appreciate the people because housekeeping is a very tough job. Housekeepers must be appreciated,” Pascual said.
The highlight of this year’s celebration is a grand ball, the “5th Annual Housekeeping Gala Night,” on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan.