Tet Abad Santos, cluster head of Filinvest Land, Inc. and in-charge of its residential leisure project called Laeuna de Taal, informed us last week by email that they have approved our request for Filinvest to donate a piece of land in Talisay, Batangas for a tourist information center.
This information center is a vital component of Turismo Mismo's Taal Agenda as proposed by ideasman, inc. to solve the perennial problem of harassment of tourists by boat canvassers or agents cum tour guides. In Pagsanjan, Laguna they are called flaggers. Both towns also have their respective versions of scooter-riding agents who pester visitors by trailing/overtaking their vehicles and scare them into patronizing resorts/boats they represent. In Talisay, they are called "hagad boys."
"Hopefully, price manipulations, forced tipping, and other problems associated with these undisciplined boat agents who pass themselves off as tour guides will be a thing of the past," says Daniel G. Corpuz, executive director of the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation (PCVC). Thanks to Filinvest Land.
With the tourist info center in place, these boat agents have a place to stay where they will be assigned on a rotational basis. This system gives those on "day off" the chance to find other ways to make a living. Unlike now where they waste a lot of time plying the national highways of Tagaytay & Talisay, and hang out in groups at street corners --- unsure of getting a client. This dog-eat-dog situation breeds disorderly and unethical competition among the hundreds of pseudo tour guides of Taal, Talisay and Tagaytay.
To assure tourists of competent and professional tour guide or boat services, only those who have undergone the Turismo Mismo seminars on "value of tourism" and "culture of excellence" will staff the center and pilot the boats or bancas of Taal Lake.
Filinvest Land, tel. no. (632) 7270431 to 39
Laeuna de Taal, tel. no. (632) 850-TAAL