Friday, June 22, 2012

Raphie Respicio -- One of the best tour guide's in Pagudpud!

I've truly grasped the meaning of 'Thoughtful Tourism' after meeting a humble tricycle driver/tour guide from Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte...

The Journey

Rubel and I just came home from our Ilocos trip (June 5-9), where we spent 2 full days in Pagudpud during this travel. When we checked-in at Cathy's Homestay by Saud Beach (co-owned by Mrs. Cathy Respicio), we were introduced to the tour services of Kuya Raphie Respicio. Kuya Raphie is Ate Cathy's brother-in-law.

A Customized Ride

Kuya Raphie, a father of four, was an exceptional tour guide. Compared to other tricycles, his was customized so that his guests would not feel constricted inside the vehicle. It had a lot of headroom even for Rubel who was 5'9 in height, and was also fixed with cushioned seats. And unlike other small and tight-spaced tricycles, his was very spacious and comfortable to ride in (take that from us since we toured for over 8 hours!). And when it rained during our tours, he made sure to protect us with appropriate plastic covers, which were easily attached on the vehicle.


The humble and hard-working tricycle driver

One of the most impressive things about Kuya Raphie was that he literally took the scorching heat of the sun just so he could take picture-perfect snapshots of us having the Kapurpurawan Rock formation or the Patapat Viaduct behind us. He was real patient with us.


He would also instruct us into doing different poses when we reached Cape Bojeador Lighthouse and the Bangui Windmills, which was actually very cool of him to do. 

 

We even shared a meal together at one of Blue Lagoon's palutuan, and shared stories about life and blogging. He was nice, appreciative, accommodating and was very down-to-earth. He really warmed up to us easily.

The real-deal tour guide

Unlike other tour guides that we've met from our previous trips, he knew very well the historical backgrounds of each destination that we visited. When we asked him questions, he always found a way to answer our queries. He also made sure that we visited every tourist spot that was indicated on his tour signage (except for Dos Hermanos Islands since the weather wasn't that great anymore), so that we could certainly get our money's worth.


On #ThoughtfulTourism

That full day with Kuya Raphie was enriching. Not only were we able to know more about the tourists spots that we visited, we were also impressed with his work ethic. He worked hard to get his tour guide certification and attended all the required seminars.

Best of all, he thought about his potential clients and decided to buy his own tricycle (instead of renting one). He had it customized so that his guests would always feel comfortable during their tours. He certainly went out of his way just to serve the needs of his potential clients. So in return for his thoughtfulness, I decided to thank Kuya Raphie by writing about him in return. To let others know how remarkable this man is.

We need more people like Kuya Raphie. So it's best to give them that much needed support whenever we can. :)


For the time constrained

If you're strapped for time just like we were, you can request for both north and south tours to be done in just one day. It was possible for us, as Kuya Raphie ensured that we got from one destination to another before the sun went down. So take his tours and book ahead of time! He's worth it :)

 

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

*You can reach Raphie Respicio at (63) 929-1462505 or (63) 905-7256500

***UPDATES from fellow traveler Jose Mendieta:
There have been a couple of changes with the tours like an additional PHP300 for the south tour (started a couple of months ago). Pagudpud drivers aren't allowed to tour the south area as much anymore, so new visitors will have to get another tour guide for the rock formation and the lighthouse. Other than that, a Zipline can now be accessed (already functioning for about 2 months now), which costs PHP700. Jose mentioned that it crosses over the blue lagoon, where a nice view of the sea awaits. :)

72 comments:

  1. Pagudpud is another place in my to visit list.  It was great that you had a great tour guide there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If I make it Pagudpud, I will searching for Raphie

    ReplyDelete
  3. He does seem like a very thoughtful driver. Sana dumami pa ang mga katulad niya. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never been to Pagudpud and it's so nice to see images of Pagudpud here! Great captures. And yes, we need more of respectful and knowledgeable tour guides like Raphie.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Mai! I miss you na. Regards kay Rubel :)

    Anyway I love kuya Raphie. Ang bait niya.. Hindi gaya ng mga trike drivers sa Vigan, LOL!
    I'll be in Pagudpud soon and will explore it extensively! Keep safe!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Whatta sweet driver! And such a pimped ride that is! I'd prolly look for him if and when we revisit Pagudpud :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. i never knew there is a tour like that one.. next time we will try that one out so we could save more money on the trip

    ReplyDelete
  8. It was indeed, Franc! Should you ever need a tour guide in Pagudpud, you know who to call. :P

    ReplyDelete
  9. That would be great, Jon! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ay, I hope for the same thing Maricel. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. We sure do. I mean, our local tour guides are one of our front liners when it comes to promoting our provinces. So we should really help them out in whatever means we can. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Awwww.. Miss talking to you Edmar! :) It was a lovely dinner, just us three conversing about different stuff. Maulit sana, soon? Manila naman! :) Heheh!

    And have you met Kuya Raphie na ba? :) And oo, correct -- ok naman tricycle drivers sa Vigan (so far).. kaso maliit lang talaga ibang rides. :/ keep safe din palagi ah! Loved your trek with your brother btw. :P

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hallow Gay!!! ;) OO, sweet driver nga, very enthusiastic pa siya when he took us around Pagudpud. He didn't show any form of pagod kahit magdamag na kaming naglalakbay. Nafeel talaga namin yung determination niyang ilibot kami sa tourist spots. :) And oo nga, 'pimp my ride'talaga ang dating.. spacious talaga sa loob! :)

    Look for him please when you do visit Pagudpud again? That would be of great help! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. oh, the rate is still Php600 per tour. Even though we took both tours in one day, we still paid Php1,200 all together. We only got to save on time. :) 

    ReplyDelete
  15. Noks Sosa I SiningFactory.comJune 24, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    Wow. I havent been to Pagudpud. The place looks so nice and syempre more fun with that kind of driver/tour guide. Bihira na lang may ganyan eh. And you are so lucky to meet kuyang driver. Noks Sosa I SiningFactory.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anyone who is serious in making good in his profession in whatever form deserves commendation

    ReplyDelete
  17. yup it is still cheap considering the travel.. one package would last how many hours?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Maria Gemma Defeo-HilotinJune 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    ang swerte nyo naman sa tour guide na un! would love to visit and take our own pictures too!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. tour  rate is so cheap.. i wish i could there too

    ReplyDelete
  20. Kalabasa K. KamoteJune 24, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Mr. Raphie Respicio's example is worth emulating .  Selflessly dedicated to his work, people like him give hope to the promotion of Philippine tourism to greater heights.

    ReplyDelete
  21. About 4-5 hours.. of course , it would still depend on how long you intend to stay in each place. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was indeed fortunate! WE were graced with a truly awesome and dedicated tour guide/driver! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I couldn't agree more, Teresa! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Bisita na sa Pagudpud, Gemma! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Why not visit soon, Mavin? Anything holding you back? :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. You are so right! Thoughtful Tourism indeed! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Bangui windmills had always been on my destination wishlist.  Hope to go there someday too!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ang ganda sobra! Sana makapunta din ako jan soon~ Thanks for sharing these photos!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I went once to Pagudpud when there was still no cellsites, ha ha ha. I've included this to the places to bring my wife and daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great experience plus awesome tour guide. Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow another trip? Nice, sis! You're solucky.. And very pretty. :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love the rock formation on one of your pics!

    For Kuya Raphie, he really deserves a post in your blog. :) I wish I could also go there one day...if only I have time and resources! haha XD

    ReplyDelete
  33. wow nakawerte kayo! unfortunately not all drivers are like kuya Raphie most of them nananaga sa presyo basta alam nila na turista ka. sana dumami pa tulad nya. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Will it Gigi! :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. surely Miss Genn! :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. True, hehe! Thanks for the comment Ronnie! :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Awww.. thanks sis! You know what they say, one who appreciates beauty, is also as beautiful! Well wishes your way sis. ;P

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Lily! :) Thanks for the compliment on the photo.. save kana! Worth it magtravel to Ilocos, especially Pagudpud! :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Super swerte nga namin sis! :) Sabi nga ni Edmar, grabe daw managa sa presyo sa Vigan. Sa Pagudpud naman kasi, fixed na ang tour rate na P600 for 2-3 pax max.. tsaka the tour was more than worth it, talagang na-lubos namin yung money plus the whole day. :) Bait pa ni kuya Raphie, very enthusiastic all throughout!

    ReplyDelete
  40. wow nakakaamaze yung paligid.. i love Philippines :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Oo nga! :) #itsmorefuninthephilippines!

    ReplyDelete
  42. thx po a mga comments niyo mam,lalo n po kay mam mai

    ReplyDelete
  43. You're welcome, Joy! How are you related to Kuya Raphie? :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. wow.. kuya raphie sounds like he's passionate in what he do. kudos to him! :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I've always wanted to go to Pagudpud.. Thanks for sharing about kuya Raphie. We'll rent his tryc for a tour when we visit Pagudpud. Hopefully soon.. ^^

    ReplyDelete
  46. WOW! That's a great  tour guide you were able to find. I'll keep this for reference when we get there to Pagudpud. ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  47. One more question, hindi ba mahirap kung both north and south tour in just one day? 

    ReplyDelete
  48. He really is passionate, Airra! We really felt it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Go Sumi! Do share your trip experience ah when you do push through. :) Would love to hear your story!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thanks Sir Mark! :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. No naman po. :) It was actually more convenient for us. For each tour po kasi, mostly 4-5 hours ang dapat i-allot. Pag north tour kasi, you'll only need a few minutes per tourist spot -- unless you intend to stay for longer time. Yung Paraiso ni Anton mga 2 minutes nga lang kami nag-stay don. Depende pa rin po talaga sa turista. :) We opted to do both tours kasi other than constrained sa time/sched, we really wanted to maximize all the time that we have. :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. gustong-gusto ko talaga ang mga tour guides na passionate ibahagi sa mga turista ang mga kwento ng lugar nila.. pero wow, advertise na advertise talaga ang route ng tour guide niyo. :)

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hahaha! Oh yes, i really wanted to help Kuya Raphie to meet new, prospective clients.. kaya todo advertise! :P

    ReplyDelete
  54. Good day! Si Kuya Raphie din ang naging tour guide namin nung pumunta kami sa Pagudpud last May. Another thing na maganda sa kanya ay nagbibigay sya ng tip kung san mas mura bumili ng souvenir and alam nya kung kelan ang magandang time sa pagpunta sa lugar na gusto nyo pasyalan.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Awwww! Thanks for posting this, rpc_halang! :) I agree. Very knowledgable si Kuya Raphie. AS in tinulungan niya talaga kami sa pag-manage ng time namin for both south & north tour. Super worth it yung paglakbay namin with him. Bukod pa sa maalam, very down to earth pa! Thanks for posting & sharing the photo po! :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. try my willys 4X4 style jeep tour service.. :) http://pagudpud4x4tour.multiply.com/

    ReplyDelete
  57. thank you ms. mai!
    very helpful po itong blog nyo, naging memorable po ang ilocos tour namin, feb 22 -26, 2013. :D
    to kuya raphie, maraming salamat po sa extended hospitality na ginawa nyo samin!
    * nung naiwan/nahulog ko ung wallet ko sa bus papuntang pagudpod, tanggap ko na, na hindi na mababalik wallet ko, pero ginawan ng paraan ni kuya para macontact ung driver ng bus at dispatcher at naibalik din kinabukasan ung wallet ko. :)
    * sa mga nagpaplanong mag ilocos ngayong summer, text or call nyo si kuya raphie para makapagpareserve ng araw sa para pagudpod tour nyo. sobrang mura at reasonable po ng rate ni kuya raphie compared sa ibang trike driver na ang tingin sa mga tourist, naglalakad na bangko.
    * for sure may part 2 pa ang ilocos tour namin, particularly pagudpod di lang dahil sa maganda at malinis ang lugar, kundi rin sa mga mabubuting tao tulad ni kuya raphie! :D

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am deeply touched by this, Jem. :) Salamat at binisita mo ang blog ko, at may nakuha kang value out of it. Masaya din ako na pinili niyo si Kuya Raphie na maging Tour Guide niyo. Talagang napaka-noble at humble niyan si Kuya Raphie. Sobrang mabait at maasikaso. Kaya naman wala akong hesitations when I told his story and my great experience with his tours. Talagang mas nagExude ang character niya, kasi talagang he gets out of his way to do help others. Salamat sa Diyos at naibalik ang wallet mo din. :) Marami pa din talagang mababait na tao sa mundo. :)


    Keep in touch! :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi! Im basing my entire pagudpud trip on your review :D Really excited :D thanks for putting up a blog like this, really big help :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hello @josemendieta:disqus :) Thank you for your kind words! My goal (when I created this travel blog) was to help travelers like you to enjoy smoother and fun-filled trips. I hope you get Kuya Raphie as your tour guide! If you do, please send my regards. Again, many thanks! Here's to a happy trip your way. :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Just got back! We had a blaaaaaast KUYA RAPHIE IS THE BEST and get this his pedicab now has FREE WIFI!! Blew my mind away haha our stay at ate cathys was so much fun too :) Saud beach was way better than the blu lagoon :) it was alot more peaceful :) for anyone planning to go get kuya raphie :) !! Mai did you get to zipline at the blue lagoon? So much fun :D

    ReplyDelete
  62. I have so much to say about kuya!! Lolgetting him as a tour guide is like having family in pagudpd:) he dropped is off at the bus station for free and he even txted us after, just to make sure we were safe :)
    Things you might want to know fellow travellers: the south tour now has an additional 300 for the windmill and lighthouse tours because te north driers are not allowed to drive around the south area anymore (kuya raphie went with us though which made us feel safer :))
    If you plan on goin to the blue lagoon bring 700 pjp for the zip line which crosses the blue lagoon its worth very peso :)

    GET KUYA RAPHIE! Tourguide/photographer haha he is the best!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Awesome recount, Jose! So glad you enjoyed your tours with Kuya Raphie! And thank you for the juicy tips. :) Until your next adventure!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi! just to share our Pagudpud experience with Kuya Raphie :) I strongly agree that KUYA RAPHIE is the BEST! Sobrang bait, thoughtful and sobrang ganda ng mga pictures nmin dhil he know kumuha ng good shot sa bawat lugar n pupunthan niyo! He even monitor and guide us on our second destination(LAOAG). Kaya if you have plans for your Pagudpud getaway si Kuya Raphie lang ang hanapin and rest assure two thumbs up ang experience :)

    ReplyDelete
  65. Salamat sa magandang review, @facebook-1545285927:disqus! Sa uulitin? Safe travels always! :)

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thanks for this blog. It was indeed very helpful for travelers like me who can explore places sa 'abot kayang halaga, busog na mga mata'. All that has been written and commented on this page definitely meets my expectations. Two thumbs up ako kay Kuya Raphie, he is really hospitable and great tour guide. Huwag ismolin ang tricy niya, may wifi yun. Haha. And I was surprised that he knew how to take good pictures, lalo na pag jump shots. Perfect! Very accomodating pa to the extent na kahit tapos na dapat yung service niya ehh nagawa pa kaming isabay papunta sa Laoag para hindi na kami maligaw. Hoping for more tourists to avail of his service. God bless to the blogger as well. :D

    ReplyDelete
  67. That's Kuya Raphie! Ibang klase magtrabaho, buong puso binibigay sa mga guests niya each and everytime. Worth it diba?

    And maraming salamat. It warms my heart to know that we can all help each other in our simplest of ways. Salamat sa magandang feedback! God bless you too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  68. Hi,
    Thanks for this blog. I was Travelling alone in pagudpud but I did not feel alone because of Kuya Raphie and his family. He fetched me in the bus stop and helped me to find a suitable accommodation.

    We started our tour early in the morning. He is very helpful and patient. He became my official photographer as well.

    The only downside was (not from kuya Raphie) we decided to eat in one of the turo turo in Kabigan falls. We ordered Pinakbet & Sinigang n isda. The food came , 1 plate of Pinakbet and 1 piece of sinigang n isda. After we ate, I was surprised with the bill, it was 500plus. Woooowww.... Kuya Raphie did not know as well that they charged too much. The price of Pinakbet was 150 and sinigang is 150 as well and they have cooking charged of 200. Wtf.....the place is filthy and dirty. I told to kuya raphie that don't recommend this eating place. Sobra sila manloko. The name is Pa-Good-Foods by Lita Sanuel. Mahiya nmn ikaw Lita....

    After the tour, I asked kuya raphie if where can I take a shower? Because on that day I am scheduled to go home in pampanga. Sabi Nya sa bhay n LNG. Sobrang bait talga. I took a shower and after sabi ko Tara na po? Sabi Nya Maaga pa let's have dinner first. Wow. Sabi ko kakahiya nmn nakiligo n ako tas naghanda p sila ng food. Hay salamat talga. Then they drop me in the stop bus with his wife. Take note pinareserved p ako ng seat sa bus dahil daw punuan Minsan. Hay sobra. Kaya salamat sa blogger. More power and more tips. ;-)

    Ron

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thank you Ram! Thank you for sharing your experience with Kuya Raphie. I'm sure, matutuwa siya sa feedback na binigay mo about him. :)

    And sorry to hear about the food incident, at mukhang nataga ka nga sa presyo. Grabe, nung kumain kami nina Kuya Raphie sa may Blue Lagoon (paluto din), marami kaming na-order sa ganong halaga. But thank you sa pagShare ng info. At least, warning na siya for other travelers.

    And si Kuya Raphie, he extends all the help that he can. Above and beyond ang serbisyo niya, kaya talaga hanga ako sa kanya. Our country needs more travel ambassadors like him. :)

    And maraming salamat ulit, Ram! :) God bless and safe travels always. :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. Thanks to this blog, I was able to find kuya Raphie Respicio, a tour guide whose worth every peso.
    Ang bait nya and very warm mg-welcome, you'll feel family when your with him.
    Even after the tour, he will check if you got to your next destination safely.


    If you want a fantastic tour when your in pagudpud, you better check him out.


    Thanks also to mai_flores. Naging reference ko ung mga blogs mo when I visited Ilocos last week.
    It was indeed a big help.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hi Carla! Thank you so much for the positive feedback. Your opinion of Kuya Raphie's work ethic will greatly affect his business. :) I'm sure he'll have a great morning upon seeing this. :) Anyway, thank you again for availing of his tour. Hope you can share us some photos from your trip. You can also tag Kuya Raphie and Budget Biyahera's FB pages if you'd like so other readers can see as well. :) Again, many thanks for the recognition. Hope to help you with your future travels soon!

    Hope you can visit our FB pages as well...

    Budget Biyahera: https://www.facebook.com/budgetbiyahera
    Kuya Raphie's FB: https://www.facebook.com/raphie.lagundinorespicio?fref=ts

    ReplyDelete
  72. What an amazing article. I would love to go on a guided tour with Kuya Raphie Respicio when I visit this beautiful country.

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...