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Group Suffers Accident in Sagada, But Tour Agency Charged ‘Penalty Fee’ for Cancellation

The Philippines is a beautiful country with a lot of tourist spots and destinations located in many places across the archipelago. To cater to the needs of tourists and travelers, a lot of tour agencies provide services for tour packages that include the travelers’ transportation, accommodations, and a tour to the top attractions in the destinations they booked.

While booking trips through tour agencies make the vacation easier because you no longer have to worry about transportation and where you’ll go when you get to your destination, not everyone has a good experience with these companies.

Netizen Billyjoe Baronda shared a bad experience he had in a recent trip to Sagada. They had booked an exclusive trip with a tour agency to ensure they had the van to themselves, but they ended up having ‘joiners’ in the trip.

Photo credit: Billyjoe Baronda / Facebook

The tour agency changed the van they were supposed to use after they paid the downpayment. But what’s worse, instead of the seasoned driver they were supposed to have for the trip to Sagada, a replacement driver was given to them at the last minute.

This driver wasn’t familiar with the destination as this was also his first time to Sagada. This led to the group getting lost for 3 hours because the driver didn’t know the way.

But after the somewhat successful tour they had on the first day, the group noticed that the van was moving differently as they were headed back to their transient house. They told the driver about it, but the guy felt insulted by their observations. Instead of checking the vehicle like he should have done, he took selfies as ‘proof’ that he’s a good driver.

The group no longer complained as they knew they were near their transient house, anyway; though they felt a bit fearful as the van was overspeeding at 140 km/h.

About 10 minutes away from the transient house, the vehicle slammed into the road gutter, with its two wheels going over the concrete and the vehicle was half hanging at the side of a cliff!

The driver hurriedly jumped out of the vehicle. Instead of helping the passengers, however, he knelt on the road and later said he was ‘praying’ because he got out safely. The tour coordinator tried to also jump out of the vehicle but changed her mind when she opened the door and found herself nearly falling down the cliff.

Photo credit: Billyjoe Baronda / Facebook

Baronda was thankful for the locals who helped save their lives; though he felt scared as it was him and his brother who were the last to be saved from the van.

But after the accident, the tour agency offered them only two outrageous options:

Option 1: The trip goes on as planned (no extensions), with the same van and driver

Option 2: Canceled tour, refund on accommodation and half of the van rental because they managed to arrive safely at Sagada.

The group eventually chose Option 2 because they definitely didn’t want to ride the same van with that driver, but they were charged a ‘penalty fee’ for cancelling the trip! The tour agency also refused to pay for their medical fees or the items damaged in the accent. The agency didn’t even pay for their transient house.

So, the group had to cut their trip short from the supposed three days to just one day because they no longer had money to cover for the additional expenses they might incur as they had essentially been left by the tour agency to do things on your own. Still, they were happy to be alive as the van was just inches away from rolling off the side of the cliff!

Read his full account of the incident below:

An unforgettable experience in #SagadaFirst of all Thank you Lord for the another life. We are really grateful for the…

Posted by Billyjoe Baronda on Sunday, March 3, 2019

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Giant Bamboo to Be Planted Along Marikina River, Fundraising Goes Viral

Giant bamboo will be planted along the banks of the Marikina River. What’s so amazing is that the fundraising project has gone viral, with so many people offering to help donate money for the cause and also in planting the bamboo as part of a natural flood-control barrier! Wow.

Giant Bamboo to Be Planted Along Marikina River

So many floods ruined Metro Manila and other areas due to deforestation and other activities that ruined nature. It is sad reality that humans have cut down most of the world’s forests and removed many plants to convert these areas into roads, subdivisions for houses, factories, and other structures.

Photo credit: Benigno P. Beltran / Facebook

With many of the watersheds destroyed through mining and other forms of deforestation, more severe floods are experienced in many areas. In 2017, then DENR Secretary Gina Lopez warned about the destruction that could happen from floods due to the denuded watersheds, but no one listened.

After Typhoon Ulysses brought Ondoy-like floods to Metro Manila recently, the people are finally listening!

Photo credit: Benigno P. Beltran / Facebook

Fr. Benigno P. Beltran is among those leading the fundraising so that they can plant Philippine Giant Bamboo along the banks of the Marikina River. While the project won’t have an immediate effect on the area, this will truly have long-term benefits as the plants will save so many people from floods in the future.

Dendrocalamus Asper – we will plant the Philippine Giant Bamboo along the river banks of the Marikina River and its tributaries along the Marikina Watershed. We already ordered seedlings from Bukidnon. Take a look at the shoot I am holding! In ideal conditions, it’s poles can reach up to 14 inches at the base. Help us purchase more cuttings of the giant bamboo, pretty please?” the priest shared in a post on Facebook.

The post has since gone viral, gaining nearly 20k shares and more than 16k reactions. Thousands of people promised to help plant the bamboo, once the project is launched. Wow.

Photo credit: Benigno P. Beltran / Facebook

What’s a Watershed?

A watershed is a land area, often several hectares in size, that collects and drains off water into a body of water, such as a river, lake, or bay.

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Task Force Illegally Confiscates GrabFood Rider’s Key for Traffic Violation

The GrabFood rider admits that disobeyed the traffic rules but this does not give the task force any right to confiscate his motorcycle key! Tsk. Tsk. His fines also amounted to Php5,150!

Task Force Illegally Confiscates Rider’s Key

It is true that there are a lot of hard-headed motorists out there who disregard traffic signs, especially if they don’t see any traffic police or barangay task force along the way.

Photo credit: Raffy Tulfo in Action

Though they have to be fined for the violation, of course, getting their driver’s license is actually against the law. Moreover, confiscating the vehicle key is also illegal!

Recently, GrabFood rider Ramil Romaraog figured in altercation with a Task Force of Brgy. San Antonio, Makati. The GrabFood rider admits that he made a mistake in entering the one-way road from the opposite direction, but things got complicated when he asked the Task Force to give him a ticket then and there so he could get his license back.

Photo credit: Raffy Tulfo in Action

According to Romaraog, he followed another delivery rider who entered the one-way road. Both of them got caught by the Barangay Task Force.

The other delivery rider readily left his driver’s license but Romaraog wants to get his back because he still has to work that day. It would be easier for him to just pay the fine. But the group didn’t have a ticket stub. They insisted on confiscating his license.

Photo credit: Raffy Tulfo in Action
Photo credit: Raffy Tulfo in Action

When he insisted on getting a ticket, one of the Task Force guys illegally confiscated his motorcycle key! The Task Force was identified to be someone named John May, as confirmed by Ronald Ferrera, the Barangay Admin of Brgy. San Antonio.

According to Ferrera, John May is part of the Bantay Bayan augmentation team.

Photo credit: Raffy Tulfo in Action

After his story went viral, the rider was informed that the barangay captain will pay for his ticket to help him out. But everyone was shocked that he received fines amounting to Php5,150!

Aside from getting a fine for disregarding the “No Entry Sign” that amounted to Php2,000, he was also fined for DTS (Php500), obstructing roads (Php500), reckless driving (Php2,000), and being arrogant (Php150)! Netizens think this is too much – the fines are redundant.

Watch the video here:

What is DTS?

DTS is a traffic violation that means “Disregarding Traffic Signs”. This is one of the most common violations in the Philippines and carries a fine of Php500.

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Other OFWs Break Up Hair-Pulling Match Between Two Pinays in Hong Kong

A group of OFWs in Hong Kong had to break up a hair-pulling match between two Pinays who could be seen wrestling each other on the ground for yet unknown reasons.

OFWs Break Up Match Between Two Pinays

Photo credit: nhe’nhen tv / YouTube

Even with the COVID-19 crisis going on across the world, there are still a lot of places where people congregate to simply hang out and have fun with friends. This is particularly true in Hong Kong where overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) often go to certain areas to meet up with friends during their day off.

For these Filipino workers, their day off is also quite important for their sanity – and many continue to avail of this privilege by spending the day with friends at popular hangouts like Tamar Park in Admiralty, Hong Kong.

Photo credit: nhe’nhen tv / YouTube

Recently, however, the OFWs hanging out at the park witnessed the hair-pulling match between two Pinays. For still unknown reasons, the two had a catfight and were seen pulling each other’s hair even though they were being held by their respective friends.

The women were so angry with each other that no amount of advice from their friends made them stop – and they had to be physically pulled apart from each other, with some force, before they finally quit pulling each other’s hair!

Photo credit: nhe’nhen tv / YouTube

There were so many people watching the two, yet they did not seem to think about the consequences of their actions at all.

Though the reason behind the hair-pulling match is still unknown, many netizens are speculating that this has something to do with some guy. A lot pointed out that no respectable woman would go all out on another woman in a catfight like this, if a guy was not involved in the story.

Photo credit: nhe’nhen tv / YouTube

Other netizens said that they don’t care what the two were fighting about but wish that they had stayed decent. No guy is worth losing your face amid such a big crowd!

Watch the video here:

What’s a Catfight?

A catfight is a fight between two women. Though this might involve just a verbal match, there could be some physical altercation involved.

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