The Unsung Heroes of Philippine Tourism

By , on July 17, 2013


While the Department of Tourism gets most of the credit when it comes to promoting the Philippines as a “more fun” destination, most of the time, it’s the local tour guides who have to make sure that the tourists have the time of their lives. With my limited (but slowly growing) travel experience, here is my list of highly recommended tour guides.

L-R: Yobic, Kuya Bennet, and me after our daytrip in Taal, Batangas.
L-R: Yobic, Kuya Bennet, and me after our daytrip in Taal, Batangas.

If you’re heading to Taal, Batangas this summer, make sure to book a day tour with Bennet Amoroso. He’s a history buff and a member of the Taal Heritage Tours, so he can definitely give you the down-low about Taal’s famous spots. He has a lot of connections, so he can get you access to places where most people cannot go. You can reach Bennet via email (heritours@yahoo.com) or mobile phone (+639183155634).

L-R: Yobic, Kuya Jomar, and me after the daytrip in Pagudpud.
L-R: Yobic, Kuya Jomar, and me after the daytrip in Pagudpud.

Being toured by Jomar Villaluz all around Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte was a very memorable experience. In fact, I am inclined to believe that he’s a chauffer-photographer-guide hybrid, a stronger and more fun mutation of the Filipino worker. On board his tricycle, Jomar will take you to the famous tourist destinations from one end of Pagudpud to the other. He will even hook you up with equally competent guides for other popular Ilocandia destinations, like Jeremy Rosal of Laoag, Ilocos Sur (+639102572426). You may reach Jomar through his mobile number (+639203183945).

All smiles: Siquijor tour guide Joam Camingao and his tricycle AMJO.
All smiles: Siquijor tour guide Joam Camingao and his tricycle AMJO.

Perhaps Joam Camingao of Siquijor Island is one of the best guides in the country today. With his trusted tricycle “AMJO,” he will take you all around Siquijor – from the churches to the beaches to the off-road destinations that will surely take your breath away (literally and figuratively). He’s been conducting tours of the entire island for 9 years and he’s lived in Siquijor all his life, so he definitely knows what he’s talking about; and he definitely knows the best spots to take photos. He will spare no sweat or step to make sure his guests are safe, comfortable, and having a blast. You can reach Joam through his mobile phone (+639276932095).

Traveling with a tour guide is not a prerequisite to enjoy your vacation, but their services will definitely help you make the most out of your stay.