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. :)
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