Linggo, Abril 20, 2014

When in Siargao AVOID the Traveller's Pension House

It was a weekend to remember because it was our first time in Siargao and the only time my husband is available on a weekend. We were really looking forward to having a great time.And unfortunately this post is not about having a great time rather a traumatic experience we had in Siargao which we will never forget.:( 

It was a last minute plan nevertheless we made sure that our accommodations are in place.I personally chose Ocean 101 Beach Resort since it was near Cloud9 and we were hoping to see a real surfing action.

Along with our friends/tour guide JR and Jenny and honeymooners Arnel and Nana, we hopped on the bus to Surigao for a 9PM trip last Friday(April 18, 2014).We arrived at 12 midnight and was accommodated by Sir Ricky Amores in his house.

Sir Ricky who owns a travel agency in Surigao suggested that for first timers we should do the island hopping for us to have an appreciation for the island. He suggested to call owner of Traveller's Pension House and avail of a pumpboat for the island hopping. JR called her up and introduced himself as JR from DOT(Department of Tourism)at 3AM and arranged for the pumpboat ride @ P 1,500 and we were offered a lunch package of P 170/pax to which we all agreed of availing.

The only available trip was that of Montenegro Shipping Lines which was a 5-hour trip. Good thing the accommodation was air conditioned so we were able to sleep and refuel ourselves for our island adventure!

It was raining when we arrived in the Port of Dapa but nothing can't stop us from being excited. Finally we were in Siargao!It was a dream come true!(At least for me that is) We need to make most of our time since it was just an overnight stay.We checked in our bags at Ocean101 and proceeded directly to boulevard for our scheduled island hopping. 

We went to Naked, Daku and Guiyan Island. Naked Island is the best among the three for its super fine white sand and crystal clear waters!We finished our trip at around 3PM and freshened up at Ocean101 to prepare for our motorbike rides to catch surfers in action and try surfing if the available hours will allow it.

And this happened...

JR was furious and I don't blame him. The husband of the owner of Traveller's Pension House called him up and was very angry because we did not stay at their pension house.He told us that since we booked an island hopping package and lunch then it is ASSUMED that we will stay at their pension house specially because the one who called is from DOT.He said they reserved one room for us and denied other guests. He was shouting over the phone and he said, " Mga Jawa Kamo!!!" in English F*ck you. I'm not sure if that is the correct translation. 

And he was not yet satisfied with that, he barged in at Ocean101 while we were having snacks and just chillin' and repeated his "Mga Jawa Kamo Performance" in his very loud voice. All along he THOUGHT that we did not pay for the island hopping and did not pay for lunch! And ended his speech with, "May lang mo manugo sa ako asawa!Wala mi nanginahanglan sa inyong kwarta!(Who are you to command my wife. We don't need your money!)And walked out on us without hearing our explaination. And I was like,WTH?!? Artista to?!?


My contentions to wit:

  1. The booking records of Ocean101 would show that we have made our reservations with them last Tuesday(April 15,2014) 3 Waterfront View Air-conditioned Rooms so there is no possible way that we have made reservations to be at Traveller's Pension House at exactly the same dates. Who are we Naruto?
  2. It was made very clear that we ONLY inquired about the island hopping package and never asked about the rooms.Even if JR is from DOT, you have no right to assume otherwise because we were clear with what we needed and of course we are not from DOT so why would we stay at your place. We have the right to choose our accommodations as long as we can afford it,right? Traveller's Pension if at all made reservations for us could have asked for the number of guests, length of stay, which accommodation,etc.I'm betting they don't have a single document which could prove that we booked with them. Nada!None!Wala!Puff!
  3. We paid P1500 for the island hopping package and P1,020 for lunch immediately after the tour. We gave it to Manong Bangkero and he told us he will remit it to owner of the Pension House.We had lunch together with Manong Bangkero. We even shared the fresh coconuts with them! The bangkero did not remit the money to owner and that is not our problem. The bangkero was their contact so I'm pretty sure they can vouch for his behavior. 
  4. To make an assumption is making an ASS of U and ME. We've asked around and there was no written rule that when you avail of an island hopping package you should stay with the resort providing that service. It was a choice to be made by a PAYING CUSTOMER.So don't tell us of an unwritten code you made out of thin air.We belong to a thinking class so please don't treat us as if we are monkeys from the Paleolithic Era!(Sorry monkeys just emphasizing a point)
  5. And make the owner come and fight her battles and not you Mister because you don't have all the details, your accusations have not been verified and you don't have manners.
In conclusion:

It was a simple case of mis-communication but the husband of the owner was utterly rude and highly unprofessional and very bastos with how he handled the situation.


We are professionals too. We are not in the business of fooling anyone at the expense of another. Unless you are our parent then you have no right to shout at us and treat us like shit in a public place.Oh wait even our parents won't do that to us.

I will never regret choosing Ocean101 over your  pension house. And mind you Sir, you belong in the service industry. We called your wife to avail of your service and paid for it. We did not just gave her an errand.So stop accusing us when you don't have the facts to prove it. We RESPECT people even if we don't know who they are and what their backgrounds maybe.

And since YOU CLEARLY STATED THAT YOU DON'T NEED OUR MONEY, I'll make sure to spread the word to our friends, to the friends of our friends, to the owner of the travel agency who recommended your services. Hope this gets to your Governor whom I've heard is pushing for the enhancement of your island being a tourism destination.  If that's how you define Siargao hospitality then I'd gladly chose Boracay any time of the day.

I have high respects for his driver and their cook who spoke with diplomacy and listened to our side of the story. Because the owner did not listened to us anymore, we just apologized profusely to his driver and the cook. We explained everything clearly and I guess if both parties would have listened then there was no need for shouting and cursing.

Have we been foreigners I suppose we could have been treated better. But even if we look ordinary and poor, I believe we deserve the RESPECT any paying customer deserves.

Friends,I cannot stop you from going to Siargao because YES it is very nice place and a laid back one fit for rest and relaxation. But please make sure that you have clearly made your reservations beforehand and inquire of specific policies which might affect your reservations.

During the heated argument,we have made our apologies to the owner over the phone and in person for the mis-communication and yet somehow our explanation was not given due credit. Hence, I wrote about our experience here so that others may hear about it and come to understand.






Huwebes, Marso 6, 2014

Outdated

Between school, work and my small business, I really haven't had time to write on my blog. (Boooooo) When I first started this I hoped to make it somewhat on a regular basis.Yes nalang.

Now what?:) Well summer is just around the corner. I'd love to feel the sun on my skin and the sand on my feet in one of these days. Since my classes are on a  trimester basis(no break in between) I feel so sad that I may not have the time to actually have a decent vacation less a summer outing. (bummer) My third trisem is expected to end by April and next semester starts in May.Gaaaah! We always joke around in class and tell each other that we are probably out of our minds when we decided to enroll and take this school-thing seriously. As they say, time flies so we just stick to it and hope it will be over soon or sooner!hahaha

Me and my husband on the other hand were given an opportunity to manage a business for our friends in Canada. I know it won't be a walk in the park since doing business takes a lot of guts for it to really fly. Not counting the technical know how,etc. So we decided to attend a Franchise Expo in Cebu tomorrow! I think it's probably one of the reasons why I wanted to write this thing down because it's gonna be a huge milestone in our lives. :) I'm pretty psyched about it to be honest and happy at the same time to have gained friends who can trust us in running the show. Thanks to Maan for designing our business cards! Murag true!haha

And on top of that, our friends Jerico and Leah scored a one night stay for us at a resort! Check this out Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort :) I was utterly pleased and surprised! Thank you guys! Well, it really pays to help out friends because along the way you too will be blessed. We helped them out during their wedding last June which was also held in Lapu-lapu ----> Jerico and Leah.

My husband always tells me that our travels were never for leisure alone. Usually it's coupled with work or school or other matters but as long as we are together we will definitely enjoy it. I think it is great to have a partner who also has the same desire for knowledge and curious about things that interest you. Makes life more fun and travelling even worthwhile!

Here's to keeping my fingers crossed that we will find the perfect franchise for our needs and that I can write about our experience here. :)

Happy Weekend everyone!:)




Martes, Oktubre 1, 2013

istorya ni sooseet: longing

istorya ni sooseet: longing: have you ever felt this feeling? thinking, wondering, dreaming a little bit anxious,  a little bit of despair. have you ever been this...

longing

have you ever felt this feeling?
thinking, wondering, dreaming
a little bit anxious, 
a little bit of despair.


have you ever been this confused?
this or that,now or never
why and why not,whatever,whichever
never wanting.never ending.


have you ever been lonely?
alone but not quite,
unhappy but never sad,
happy? i doubt that.


take me to a world uncertain.
one with hope.one with color
show me a thing or two
what lies beneath.what lies beyond


i need a break. a really long one.
i need to correct the way i think
i need to reboot and reprogram
no tea or coffee can do the trick


complicated and distracted
motivated and disabled
sleep and wide awake
my sanity is at stake.
 

Martes, Mayo 28, 2013

You're in GOOD hands kuno.enk!

I always strive to be debt free.

Young as I am, I have small investments, a good business and a job that pays well. Suffice it is to say that gone are the days when I would walk from UP Cebu to Ayala(kay wala nay pamelete) to withdraw from the ATM because I haven't had a decent meal. Well if Lucky Me Pancit Canton will pass as a decent meal then I had plenty. :D And this post is not about that.

Disclaimer: There is nothing wrong with credit cards per se. It helps roll over your cash and it can work to your advantage as long as you pay on time.

Due to the overwhelming air fare promos, I applied for a credit card to gain access and convenience at the same time. It was very helpful especially when you book for group flights. Moreover my credit card provider (RCBC Bankard) keeps on increasing my limit since I was able to pay my dues on time.Anah!(Kudos! No frustrations so far.Keep it up!)

My second card *drum roll* is under Metrobank(Femme Visa). It is very elite to say the very least. Not eager to increase your limit and strict on their payment policies,etc. After months of using it they forced two supplementary cards for my mother and father whcih I did not need nor did they and did not care to use. I told them(Customer Service) I'm cancelling it to which they said okay.

Guess what? After a year I was charged with the very infamous ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEES for the supplementary cards. With call center history, I would always immediately call their customer service to solve the matter asap.Not that this was the first time( in fact it happens all the time this crazy love of mine)but I spoke in utmost sincerity and humility that I will not pay for those since it hasn't been used and I'd like for it to be cancelled. My call got transferred thrice! And I didn't mind as long as my concern gets fixed.

Next flash, this month's bill indicated to my surprise finance charges. I was like, for what??? Curious as I was, again I called up their customer service. Their number was already etched into my memory 02-8700700 and you press 1-then 1- then 7 for the other options.

For the purpose of discussion, I'll name the first representative, Conchita. Conchita told me that the finance charges is due to the fact that I didn't pay the ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEES of both supplementary card.( Gi-amnesia ba ko leng??? Di ba mao mani ako gitawag last time???) When I told Conchita about last month's calls she then transferred me to another rep. (Murag dili to ang supervisor kay iyang reply murag lahi ra.) Ramona, the second rep, answered resoundingly, " Ma'am, we cannot access your account for now because our system is down. We will just call you after 48 hours to address your concern.Of course I had to say something so sarcastic like, "How come the other rep was able to access it and in a difference of say 10 seconds the system went down?" Just to air out my frustrations, I had to tell her some facts that would somehow stir up her imagination and help me understand my dilemma but Ramona just answered the system is down,etc.God heavens who trained you guys on customer handling. :((

After 48 hours, no call from Metrobank. I must have not heard it right maybe she meant 48 years! 

Today, 216 hours from the promised call, I called them up, ask them to cancel the supplementary cards and cancel my card too. 

I am not a delinquent card holder.I pay on time and I expect to be treated fairly.  Not even extra special just FAIR. We too have jobs you know. If we keep on spending time just calling you for clarifications we expect to get answers and by answers I mean solutions and solutions that gets done. I'm hoping that one of your Quality Assurance people gets to hear our conversation to reprimand your sorry ass. Or to put it professionally, send you to further training.(Yes nalang!)

One thing I learned from my short-lived call center career is that you SET THE RIGHT EXPECTATIONS. When a customer calls you back for the same problem, that's not a good sign of excellent customer care. Never mind if others won't mind if you say a fictitious department or suntok-sa-buwan number of hours of a call back but for some of us who listens and understands the job, honor your promise because in this case it cost you one client whose not gonna say good things about you and your service.Moreover, she's gonna bash you in her blog. Hey I just did that here.hehehe

According to Manong Henry Ford, It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.


Huwebes, Marso 14, 2013

istorya ni sooseet: Toga-toga

istorya ni sooseet: Toga-toga: It's that time of the year when students are very busy accomplishing their requirements for graduation. When I was assigned at the Cash...

Toga-toga

It's that time of the year when students are very busy accomplishing their requirements for graduation. When I was assigned at the Cashier's Office, all we had to do was collect the necessary fees. Now that I am here at the bookstore, it's a totally different ball game all together. I just realized that there are so many things to take care of just like:
  • printing diplomas (even diploma's for one Surigao School)
  • medals
  • diploma holders
  • seat covers
  • gate pass
  • souvenir programs for all levels
  • and the highlight of today's post: TOGA
Just this morning a colleague of mine called me up and told me that a graduating student posted on Facebook that the toga does not smell good. In our defense, I told him that the moment I was assigned in this office that was the first thing I asked of them. What do we do with the toga? And surprisingly they told me that they used to hand washed it.2000 pieces toga??Hand washed??? You guys must be kidding me! Right then and there I decided to have it washed by a laundry shop for P 20 pesos per kilo(the name I won't discuss because that would be free promotion for them). The office paid Fourteen Thousand Pesos for that. My staff and student assistants were very happy because their hands will not be filled with bruises anymore.

Which brings me to a more pressing fact. Is the toga really that important? Or shall I say is the Toga's smell that important? What does it really stand for (I mean the toga not the smell :) )

Good thing we were not required to wear one during college. In my opinion, once you march down that aisle in your toga to the tune of tan-tan-tanan(repeat 1000 times) and accept your coveted diploma (or a piece of paper that looks like one),YOU will be judge not by your hairstyle, or the dress you wear, or your heels, your make up or your perfume or your sweaty toga BUT by what is inside that thing between your ears. Has it accumulated vast knowledge? If YES then, have you considered yourself highly employable for the set of skills you have "mastered"? Have you learned the art of critical thinking by sifting through all the varied information available for you? Are you able to reason your claims with facts you yourself has researched and carefully thought of?

Or were you able to master the art of cheating and plagiarizing just to beat a deadline? Or the right angle of your face which looks good on FB, Twitter or Instagram? Or using up all your allowable absences per subject? Or memorized the names of the cutest hunks in the school or the most handsome dancer in the dance company? Or maximized the use of your iPhone and iPad in garnering highest scores in your favorite games?

It is sad to note if the school produced more of the latter than the former. Your mind should be your crowning glory. Learning has no ending. Even if you have graduated, you will need to learn more and unlearn some.

If not for my college education I wouldn't be where I am today. I will never be afraid to speak up and I will never be afraid to ask the right questions. And most importantly, I will never be ashamed to admit that I don't know everything and that even with a college degree I will still make mistakes and face the consequences thereafter.

As Norman Cousins would put it: It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete.

Make that degree count, not by the amount of pictures or posts, but by doing something outstanding which you will be remembered for.

Welcome to the REAL world graduates!