Beware of Scammers and Pythons Doing Door to Door Service from Manila to Marinduque
I am reprinting this article by Jun Pasaylo so that tourists are aware that there are scammers regarding the Door to Door Services from Manila to Marinduque. I am posting this especially for the benefit of my clients at Chateau Du Mer this coming Holy Week and Moriones Festival celebration. Please share this article so all the tourists coming to Marinduque are aware of this shenanigans of Pahid and his likes.
Marinduque: Wolves in its gateway
by Jun Pasaylo
AS A traveling journalist, there’s no place that captivated the tip of my pen as Marinduque — its enchantment can command the writer’s inspiration within me to chronicle the sweetest embrace of its places and people.
I never wrote (and published) so many stories of places as that of Marinduque since I first visited the place few years ago. Almost all of these stories remain accessible in the Internet via Philippine Star Online Portal, http://www.philstar.com.
But my good memories were tainted by an experience in my recent travel there last weekend.
At Balanacan Port, Mogpog, Marinduque. Photo: Mark Julius Estur
I came from a travel abroad and met my fiancée in Lucena City for her monthly pre-natal check-up. She is six month pregnant. After more than 12 hours in series of laboratory tests and shopping for maternity needs, we managed to catch the 10:30 p.m. Marinduque-bound vessel.
Seeing our cargoes, the porters met and offered us the “Door-to-Door” van service so we would save ourselves from the hassles of unloading-and-onloading when we reach Balanacan Port.
When we met the driver of “Door-to-Door” van (Plate No. 257, Green), I told him I will pay for six seats (we were only three — me, my fiancée, and our housemaid) provided that we will occupy the two seats on the front and the four seats at the back of the driver for our cargoes.
He has no words but, “Yes sir, no problem.” At P450 per head, I paid P2,700 for the six seats.
Leaving our things under the driver’s care and banking my trust to a Marinduqueno, I and my fiancée went upstairs and enjoy the three-hour boat ride from Dalahican Port in Lucena City to Balanacan Port in Marinduque.
But the romanticity of the moonlit evening was short live and turned into a nightmare.
When the Roro vessel positioned to dock Balanacan Port, we slowly squeezed ourselves to the lower deck like all other passengers. When we approached the “Door-to-Door” service, we find our baggage by the floor and not being on-loaded to the van.
While the passengers were busy for disembarkation, the driver attempted to put our cargoes at the back portion of his van, to which I protested because our earlier agreement was for those to be situated on the back of the driver seat.
Worse, when he opened the door of his van and invited us inside, the seats that were promised to us were already occupied and he wanted us (me, my fiancée and our maid) to sit in the back seats.
So I protested not to ride, considering that my pregnant fiancée could not be able to sustain the bumpy ride on the back. By this time, the driver called another man (later I knew him to be certain “Joel” a worker of Philippine Port Authority in Balanacan) and told us that Joel will guide us to a waiting van outside.
Hoping for another vehicle, we went with Joel only to find out that no van is waiting outside but a regular passenger jeepney. I went to the Police station to ask for a rescue, but no officer was awake that time (around 2am). When I went back to the Roro to confront the driver, he and his vehicle were nowhere to be found.
Later, I managed to know that the name of the driver was “Alyas Pahid”.
According to the porters that conversed with me, Alyas Pahid is a notorious scammer of tourists in Marinduque victimizing anyone that come in his way. But he still remains in his ill practice up until today because tourists don’t have time to file formal complaints against him, and authorities have done nothing to stop him.
Porters in Balanacan called him “Pahid” but I named him “Boy Buni” because you can easily identify him on the marks of “bunis” on his hands and face.
Few minutes later, we went back to the police station and managed to log the incident in the Police Blotter of Balanacan Police Station, leaving my number there with a promise from law enforcers that they will exerts all efforts to catch Pahid.
But until this blog is posted, I haven’t get any notice from the police that they intercepted Pahid and his vehicle amid the fact that there are only two entry-and-exit points in the province.
My fiancée has been once a victim to this kind of driver when the barker of “Door-to-Door” service promised that the van will travel up to Torrijos town, only to find out that the driver won’t go to her hometown anymore and left her past midnight at Sta. Cruz Plaza.
I wrote this article to warn tourists to Marinduque to watch for this man. I understood that he has connections because “Joel” himself, the man that brought us to the passenger jeep, has PPA identification in him.
I wrote this article because I pity those people and groups like the Marinduque Tourism Council that tirelessly promoted and trumpeting the havens of Marinduque in the tourism arena, not knowing of these wolves that are drooling to devour innocent victims even before they can set foot in the province.
I wrote this article to call on the attention of Marinduque tourism authorities to address this kind of problem because this is the main thrusts of your local tourism industry, a foremost strand of the province’s economic life.
I recalled my good experiences in the country’s top tourism destinations like Baguio and Davao, where you don’t need an extra tip for drivers but pay the fare according to the taxi meters. I left a DLSR Canon camera in Naga City and it was returned to me. I left a travel bag in a taxi in Legazpi City last December, and I still got it intact when it was returned to me early this month (February). You don’t need to worry to travel to Davao City if it’s your first time — go to the next police station and surely you have a law enforcer to guide you to your destination.
As we masquerade the province of Marinduque – Home of the Moriones Festival – to be on the top of the country’s tourism destination, these are the kind of people that we need to build, and not the kinds of “Pahid”, in the gateways of our localities. Grand Inquisitor
Seller Nollos: I think the first thing that the board members has to do in our province is to pass a resolution to control our door-to-door services. We all know that all of these vans are holding a private license plate. Require them to have a franchise if they want to be in that business. Enough is enough for all of these monkey business.
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