I accomplished a lot this Bonifacio Day by driving around Pampanga to review a route for this weekend. I’m pretty much confident that I can find my way in the H-less province. Napagod nga ang mga paa ko. A-a-a-a-a-a-a.
On a related note, I got to give credit to those drivers who I have worked with in the past. It’s no easy job. I know there are tour operators who really take care of their guides and drivers. However, I also experienced a different kind of treatment from companies who think that paying for services rendered after more than two weeks is a good business practice.
What these companies fail to see is this: these drivers and guides represent you and it is just right to accord them with respect that they deserve. Before doing something like that, ask yourself: Ano kaya kung gawin iyan sa iyo?
The driver is the guide on the road. While the tour guide keeps the guests interested with what they see. It’s really Anthony or Ameng who does the job in making sure that the guests are comfortable and safe. It’s Joseph who finds a way for the group to complete the itinerary while plying the busy streets of Metro Manila.
The guide should be able to recognize this and I would even go further. I really think that tips should be shared with the driver. It’s all about goodwill or good karma or what-have-you. The driver-guide tandem is a must to ensure a good tour for everyone. This is what I have learned so far and if one is quick to acknowledge the role of the driver, the work’s 30 percent done.
The guide is your direct contact to your guests. The kind of service they deliver reflects on the agency and of course, the country. From a guide’s point of view, I really think the responsibility is enormous. The welfare of the guest is top priority and it’s second nature to them to engage, inform and entertain.
If the airport is the last place tourists see in the country they visited, then the last locals they had a real conversation before flying out are the guides and the drivers.