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affordable accomodation, food, etc.
May be too primitive for some tastes
In a nutshell
A lovely island with friendly people.
When you arrive at Jordan Wharf, you will be swarmed by tricycle drivers, jeepney drivers, and multicab drivers, each one vying for your attention and consent to hire his vehicle to go to your resort or tour the island. I already expected this to happen, as I have read about this in different blogsites. What I didn't expect is to find the Tourism Office at the Wharf closed and unmanned. We planned to charter a vehicle through the assistance of the Tourism staff.
Left on my own to negotiate, I chose to deal with a man who claimed to be the president of the Jeepney drivers and operators association. We agreed on prices for specific destinations. I was impressed that he even brought us to the Tourism Office near the Capitol in San Miguel so I could inquire from the office about rates for hired multicab. Unfortunately, everyone at the Tourism Office seemed busy collating flyers and other info materials. I requested to see the head of the Office, but he/she was reportedly out for a meeting. I just asked for some flyers, and inquired about the regular rates for renting a multicab. I was told that if we would be brought to ALL the places in their flyer/brochure, P1,800 would be fine, but if we will just go to Guisi Lighthouse from Jordan Wharf, P600 would be okay. The man was charging us P700, but I felt it was okay since the difference was only P100. Said amount could very well be his tip. From Jordan to Raymen, he quoted us P400, versus the resort's pick up service for P500.
I really thought I was dealing with a straight guy...but things soured up when he charged us P1,000: P400 for bringing us to Raymen (from Jordan), then P300 for bringing us to Guisi (from Raymen) and another P300 for bringing us back to the resort. We could have just hired a tricycle parked at the street near the resort to bring us to Guisi for P300, roundtrip already. That could have meant P300 savings from which we could still take P100 for driver's tip... Actually, if the multicab guy was upfront, I wouldn't have minded the extra cost.
Unique Suggestions: To spare you of misunderstandings and stress on hired vehicle-related issues, be clear about the terms of payment and the coverage of transportation service (places to be included, and time considerations for your itinerary). As a friend said, it isn't wise to start a "quarrel" in a strange land, no matter how "nice" the locals might seem.
Fun Alternatives: Personally, I feel it is better to hire your resort's vehicle or their accredited public utility vehicle even though it might cost you a little more. We will do that the next time we go to Guimaras.
Updated Feb 14, 2011