Boatmen charge exorbitant tips
Just where will you see a boat rental that costs 660 only per head then after the boat ride the boatmen will ask for a Php 2000 tip per head - oh my, it's even higher than the boat rental. Besides, it's just a tip therefore it should be lower that the actual expense for the river ride.
Unique Suggestions: Negotiate or if you can give then give what they ask (or even more). Honestly, I can't get help but feel sorry for them. Imagine there are 3600 boatmen in the area and 70% of the population rely on this for a living. Given that there are thousands of them, they get to work only once a week. They work on a rotation basis so that everybody gets top work. In that case, whatever they've got they budget that for the week. If there are 3600 boatmen and they have at least 2 dependents, imagine the help that you can give to the community. In addition, the efforts that they give is also tremendous. It ain't easy maneuvering a boat against stubborn rocks and naughty rapids. Whatever you pay them, you can always get that back when you get to the office (and you are just sitting there) My point is, this is something we can do out of compassion. We should still feel more blessed.
Fun Alternatives: Before getting in the boat, discuss this concern with the boatman and that you are not ready to pay that much ....
Local officials knew about this and so they hqve billboards posted in the area with the cellphone number to contact should in case a force tipping arises....
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Sailing and Boating
- Water Sports
A man along the highway introduced himself as an accredited tourist officer of Pagsanjan and showed us his ID, credentials. He brought us to the guesthouse and introduced us to a boat operator. The latter briefed us on the tour fees, amenities, travel time, etc. In all, we had to pay P750 per person.
Soon after we found ourselves enroute to the falls, women in another boat approached us and tried to sell their merchandise and coaxed us into buying drinks for our boatmen which we turned down. When we got to the only makeshift restaurant along the river for our lunch, the owner asked us if we want to buy our boatment their lunch and this time, we obliged.
After lunch, when we were on the boat again, the boatmen took us aside and explained that we have to pay them US$20 each or P1000 for their service. Normally they said, the foreign tourists who go there have arranged their package with a travel agency in Manila and they pay the boatmen US$30 each. But since we are locals and transact directly with them, they will give us a discount thus we need to pay only US$20.
Apparently, the boatmen's service (2 boatmen per boat) is not included in the fees that we paid earlier. Obviously also, the boat operator was silent on this part; a case of "error by omission". Since we were already halfway, we agreed, but not after we gave them a reprimand.
Unique Suggestions: Haggle. Play up to the boatmen's conscience so they won't charge you much :-(((
Fun Alternatives: Be prepared. Now that you had read this tip, make sure that there are no hidden charges before you board the boat.
- Sailing and Boating