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Voyager39

Seek Tour Guide For Pre-Retirement Trip

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Voyager39

I'm planning an exploratory pre-retirement to Cebu and am exploring the possibility of hiring a tour guide to guide me through the process of checking out rental buildings and neighborhoods and to generally learn about living and getting by in Cebu.   I suppose that, early in my trip, it would also be beneficial to get help with the transit systems of the region.

The guide could be for a few hours, a day, or several days, should I choose to have a guide accompany me to a series of cities and/or islands.

I'm posting to get recommendations for how best to approach the process of choosing and hiring a guide of this type.  If recommendations for specific guides aren't possible on this board, perhaps people could direct me to web sites where I could search for myself.

Thanks in advance.

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Headshot
5 hours ago, Voyager39 said:

I'm planning an exploratory pre-retirement to Cebu and am exploring the possibility of hiring a tour guide to guide me through the process of checking out rental buildings and neighborhoods and to generally learn about living and getting by in Cebu.   I suppose that, early in my trip, it would also be beneficial to get help with the transit systems of the region.

The guide could be for a few hours, a day, or several days, should I choose to have a guide accompany me to a series of cities and/or islands.

I'm posting to get recommendations for how best to approach the process of choosing and hiring a guide of this type.  If recommendations for specific guides aren't possible on this board, perhaps people could direct me to web sites where I could search for myself.

Thanks in advance.

Maybe the online dating sites (there are many) would work out for this purpose. Just put in your profile what the purpose for your first trip will be, and where you would like to look, and those who are interested in hanging out with you while looking will respond. I wouldn't mention pay or a salary though. It is likely that a few nice gifts would do just as well as a salary. Just say you are looking for a guide (who can help you get to know the country and find a good place to live) ... NOT hiring a guide. You should keep your eyes and ears open for your guide trying to lead you into a situation where they will personally benefit (commission, kickback or family ties) regardless of how you find your guide.

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Paddy

Headshot's suggestion is good. There are some Tour Guides (maybe) who advertise specifically in Craigslist, or you could just google philippines tour guide and see what comes up (e.g. http://www.privateguide.com/en/guides/philippines/?Language=)

Alternatively - book a hotel and car pickup from the airport. Talk to the driver on the way to the hotel. He can probably suggest local travel agents who would be happy to arrange accompanied/unaccompanied trips for you. The hotel can also arrange this sort of service (usually costs more than if you do it yourself). Start off with simple day trips - but talk to the drivers and guides who accompany you. You are likely to find someone knowledgeable and whose company you like as you do your early trips. Assuming that you do, simply negotiate directly with that person for assistance/guiding with longer, more adventurous trips.

Years ago I had my hotel arrange a car for me so I could pick up my partner at the port in Cebu (I had flown in from the UK the day before). While we waited for the ferry, I spoke to the driver and I asked him what he would charge me for a day's worth of sight seeing in Cebu. It was a lot less than the hotel would have charged. I also asked him to plan the day. We got to see the major sights in Cebu very comfortably and with a personable driver (I really enjoyed the Taoist Temple btw).

Last year, we asked at a hotel in Legazpi if they knew any guides for the area. Next day we had a guide, driver and vehicle and "did" Cagsawa, Sumlang Lake etc. Both the guide and driver were personable and very competent and the day was excellent.

I have done the same sort of thing in Manila. All you need to do is speak to the people around you at the airport, in cabs, at the hotel or even at various sites - if the impression they give you is one of knowledge and trustworthiness. I also strike off on my own from time to time - much to the horror of the hotel staff when I told them I was going to Divisoria one morning, Getting a cab at the hotel was simple of course, getting one back was a more interesting experience but I had a great time exploring the markets and stores in the area. (I don't recommend this sort of thing later at night).

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Soupeod
16 hours ago, Voyager39 said:

I'm planning an exploratory pre-retirement to Cebu and am exploring the possibility of hiring a tour guide to guide me through the process of checking out rental buildings and neighborhoods and to generally learn about living and getting by in Cebu.   I suppose that, early in my trip, it would also be beneficial to get help with the transit systems of the region.

The guide could be for a few hours, a day, or several days, should I choose to have a guide accompany me to a series of cities and/or islands.

I'm posting to get recommendations for how best to approach the process of choosing and hiring a guide of this type.  If recommendations for specific guides aren't possible on this board, perhaps people could direct me to web sites where I could search for myself.

Thanks in advance.

The Gent in this video got a tour guide and ended marrying her.  Pretty good videos if you want to check them out.

 

 

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Davaoeno

Anyone who has lived here for any amount of time knows that the term " tour guide"  most of the time means a girl who will take care of ALL of your needs while she accompanies you on your travels .

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LechonBuddha

All you really need to do is ask the concierge or front desk personnel at your hotel to arrange a driver for you. Let them know what you plan to do and request someone they personally know who has a nicer vehicle, speaks good English and is knowledgeable of the area.  I've done this several times and have always met great people who couldn't do enough to show me around. Settle on a daily rate and also pay for their meals/refreshment and any admission fees you incur while out exploring. 

 

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Voyager39
All you really need to do is ask the concierge or front desk personnel at your hotel to arrange a driver for you. Let them know what you plan to do and request someone they personally know who has a nicer vehicle, speaks good English and is knowledgeable of the area.  I've done this several times and have always met great people who couldn't do enough to show me around. Settle on a daily rate and also pay for their meals/refreshment and any admission fees you incur while out exploring. 
 
Sounds great. At a minimum, I'll plan on doing this as a backup should my online searching not yield anything.

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exploringlife2

I would check the Quest Hotel out. It is in a good location. The accommodations are very nice, the food is great and a close walk to many things. The dating site idea would be fun and interesting. 

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Voyager39
I would check the Quest Hotel out. It is in a good location. The accommodations are very nice, the food is great and a close walk to many things. The dating site idea would be fun and interesting. 
Thanks. I'll check it out.

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Voyager39
On 2/24/2018 at 5:31 AM, Paddy said:

Headshot's suggestion is good. There are some Tour Guides (maybe) who advertise specifically in Craigslist, or you could just google philippines tour guide and see what comes up (e.g. http://www.privateguide.com/en/guides/philippines/?Language=)

Alternatively - book a hotel and car pickup from the airport. Talk to the driver on the way to the hotel. He can probably suggest local travel agents who would be happy to arrange accompanied/unaccompanied trips for you. The hotel can also arrange this sort of service (usually costs more than if you do it yourself). Start off with simple day trips - but talk to the drivers and guides who accompany you. You are likely to find someone knowledgeable and whose company you like as you do your early trips. Assuming that you do, simply negotiate directly with that person for assistance/guiding with longer, more adventurous trips.

Years ago I had my hotel arrange a car for me so I could pick up my partner at the port in Cebu (I had flown in from the UK the day before). While we waited for the ferry, I spoke to the driver and I asked him what he would charge me for a day's worth of sight seeing in Cebu. It was a lot less than the hotel would have charged. I also asked him to plan the day. We got to see the major sights in Cebu very comfortably and with a personable driver (I really enjoyed the Taoist Temple btw).

Last year, we asked at a hotel in Legazpi if they knew any guides for the area. Next day we had a guide, driver and vehicle and "did" Cagsawa, Sumlang Lake etc. Both the guide and driver were personable and very competent and the day was excellent.

I have done the same sort of thing in Manila. All you need to do is speak to the people around you at the airport, in cabs, at the hotel or even at various sites - if the impression they give you is one of knowledge and trustworthiness. I also strike off on my own from time to time - much to the horror of the hotel staff when I told them I was going to Divisoria one morning, Getting a cab at the hotel was simple of course, getting one back was a more interesting experience but I had a great time exploring the markets and stores in the area. (I don't recommend this sort of thing later at night).

I reviewed some web sites advertising private tour guides and was surprised to see them charging between $100 and $165 a day!  This cost level is surprising when an internet search indicates that the average salary for customer service representatives is about $20/day - a job that requires a college degree and good English language skills.  I may keep contact info for a number of such options and let them compete with each other.  That said, I sit and wonder who would pay $165 a day for this service in the Philippines.

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Jawny
3 minutes ago, Voyager39 said:

I reviewed some web sites advertising private tour guides and was surprised to see them charging between $100 and $165 a day!  This cost level is surprising when an internet search indicates that the average salary for customer service representatives is about $20/day - a job that requires a college degree and good English language skills.  I may keep contact info for a number of such options and let them compete with each other.  That said, I sit and wonder who would pay $165 a day for this service in the Philippines.

This price is not especially bad of the service is by a professional agency dealing with this sort of request.  Your needs may be pre retirement, but it wouldn’t surprise me that the typical client is a business intending to host a visitor or a newly hired employee.  

If the price includes transportation it also makes sense.

i had a “guide" provide assistance to me years ago.  Part of this service was to guide me to the Korean consulate to obtain a visa.  In preparation he assured me this was something he did routinely.  The reality was quite clear once we arrived at the consulate.  His only clue was to slip a bribe to the guard to get a better seat.  The documents he was to have copied were mostly illegible which I didn’t discover until the visa clerk examined them.

If I had hired an agency, I’d have more confidence in their promised services.  Of course, this comes at a price.

 

 

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Paddy
10 hours ago, Voyager39 said:

I reviewed some web sites advertising private tour guides and was surprised to see them charging between $100 and $165 a day!  This cost level is surprising when an internet search indicates that the average salary for customer service representatives is about $20/day - a job that requires a college degree and good English language skills.  I may keep contact info for a number of such options and let them compete with each other.  That said, I sit and wonder who would pay $165 a day for this service in the Philippines.

I suppose it depends on the language skills and knowledge, who their intended target customers are, what's included in the price etc. As I see it, you have at least 3 options:

  • use tourism / guiding professionals
  • find a willing and, hopefully, knowledgeable touring companion via the various dating / personals sites
  • explore on your own, talk to people and negotiate specifics

and each of those options has several "flavours" such as arrange internationally, arrange locally, etc. and you could use more than one method. You can go all 5 star. You can go all 3 star or less, or you can mix it up. Unless you're going to buy a package tour from some global operator (and I'm sure someone, somewhere, arranges package tours to the Philippines), you will be arranging your own package.

Whichever method(s) you use, take basic tourist precautions and don't travel with high expectations (you're less likely to be disappointed).

All you need to start is a return ticket, passport and a booking in a hotel of your choice for a few days while you sort out what you will do next. 

Having an adventure and a memorable experience, while gathering the information you need to know before retiring, is going to be entirely up to you.  Good luck.

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Davaoeno

I would rather have a root canal before I would agree to pay someone $165 usd a day to show me around the Philippines  !!! 

Most people here with a college degree and decent English skills work for $7 a day .   

 

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jtmwatchbiz
58 minutes ago, Paddy said:

find a willing and, hopefully, knowledgeable touring companion via the various dating / personals sites

oh yea what could possibly go wrong with that?

 

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Paddy

@Davaoeno  @jtmwatchbiz

You guys crack me up :)

I agree, $165 / day is way too high and a local guide is going to be nowhere near as expensive. Probably, however, Voyager will need to be in-country to find one (a professional tour guide) for $7 / day.

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