As in the rest of The Philippines, the main problem is how unprofessional it can be. Service in the restaurants is slow, transports will try to overcharge us, and travel agencies are the most incompetent:
- Our trip to Coron Island with Calamian Islands Travels & Tours left more than an hour late, so we returned more than an hour late, and the light in the last place, which turned out to be the best, Kayangan Lake, was no longer very good to take pictures.
- But at least the guides were friendly, and lunch was decent, so we decided to hire Tour C (Malcapuya and Banana Island) with them for the next day. They forgot about us, the boat sailed and we stayed on land. The situation was even more unnerving because when we realized that they were half an hour late, we called them and they assured us that they knew it and that the guide would soon arrive to pick us up. Half an hour later a guide from the company showed up… to pick up another couple who had hired Tour A, but he told us not to worry because another colleague was coming for us. Another half hour later we called again and they said no way, they thought that we were the couple they had picked up half an hour before. Being already 10 o’clock in the morning, we ran to the port to see if any boat of any company had not yet sailed, but all had done so, so we were stuck a day without doing anything in this regrettable town.
- So we tried another agency, this time through our accommodation, the Sea Dive Resort, which led us to Blue Budget, where Mrs. Dolores referred contemptuously to Calamian Islands Travels, commenting that they were very disorganized, but that we were now in good hands. The next day, while we waited at 8:30 in the agency for the arrival of our guide, she received a phone call telling her that the tour was canceled due to bad weather. I have rarely seen my wife so angry towards a stranger; her English may be basic, but her furious face spoke itself, so that Mrs. Dolores began to call non-stop one company after another until one who had free seats on their boat picked us up, and we could check that all the bangkas were sailing. What happened was simply that the company we had hired had the boat half empty, so they felt that it was not worth leaving, and instead of locating us in another, they directly chose to say that the bad weather prevented them from leaving. All an example of disastrous professionalism and organization, and that even the calmest of you will have to lose your nerve more than once to the rudeness of Filipino job incompetence.
Health. Also like in all The Philippines, the risk of health problems, mainly traveler’s diarrhea, is high. Always pay attention to where and what you eat or drink.
Money. In 2016 there were only two ATMs, both accepting Visa and Master Card. A fee of PHP 200 is charged each time money is withdrawn. It is convenient to bring cash to spare, since most accommodations and restaurants do not accept credit cards.