The owner of the Island Hop Nido Hostel in El Nido town, a local tourist accommodation that has received flak on social media after a guest published a complaint against how they were treated by the establishment, has spoken out in public to air their side.
Carmela Lucena, owner of the Island Hop Nido Hostel, stated in a public FB post on Saturday that she initially didn’t want to turn to social media to explain, but complainant Rufino Robles Jr.’s own Facebook post on May 26 has already hurt their family.
“Matagal ko po inisip kung sasagot po ako para marinig man lamang ang aming panig, pero inisip kong hindi ito ang tamang lugar para pag usapan subalit nasasaktan na po di lang ako kung hindi pati ang aking pamilya at nag aalala na rin na para ba ako[ng] nakagawa ng isang krimen,” Lucena said.
“Nag inform po k[a]mi antimano na 2 days lang ang room available. Wala rin confirmation. Pero kinabukasan nga dumating din po [ang] guests [na sina] Mr. Robles and [company]. Nainform po [noong] check in [na] sa 3rd day ay ililipat [sila] ng accommodation ng agency nila. Nakapost din [sa] lobby ang standard check in 2pm at check out time 12pm,” she added.
Lucena claimed that Robles’ group went island-hopping on May 25 while she was preoccupied. As a result, she failed to notify him that their check-out time is already that day.
She said, however, that she had called the travel agency that had booked Robles’ group into their hotel to contact him that they will be moving their belongings from their room because their next visitors are already arriving.
“Paulit ulit po [kaming] nag follow up, makikita sa convo na umabot na ng 2:16 p.m., bukod pa sa phone calls,” Lucena said. “Wala pa rin kaming ginagawa sa gamit nila hanggang sa dumating na po ang nakabook para sa araw na yon at um-ok na rin ang agency kaya po napilitan na talaga na ipaligpit po ang gamit nila”.
Lucena said that she personally oversaw the packing of the group’s belongings to ensure that nothing was lost or left behind. However, she was surprised to learn from a letter of complaint to the municipal tourism that the group was missing a cellphone charger.
She noted that when a certain Evelyn was interviewed, she did not mention the missing mobile charger. However, the complaint said that the item was missing.
“Wala namang nabanggit si mam Evelyn sa kanyng interview na me nawala kaya po medyo naguluhan din ako kasi po sa isang media, nagsubmit sila ng complaint ipinorward po sa akin at me sinabi na nawala na cellphone charger na hindi po consistent sa interview. Wala namang nabanggit. Di po namin alam what time at kung nagkakontak si guest at agency,” she said.
Their hotel, according to Lucena, kept the group’s valuables in a secure storage area. Even their damp clothing was carefully separated in a plastic bag.
She said that when Robles’ group returned from their island excursion shortly after 5:00 p.m., they were irate and stated that their reservation was for three days.
She tried to pacify them, but to no avail, citing that they obviously didn’t realize that they had been booked by their tour agency to another hotel.
“Nagalit po [ang] guest dahil doon. Tinry ko rin ipacify at sinabi nga nila na 3 nights ang booking nila sa agency. Parang di sila aware na yong 3rd night ay sa ibang hotel na dahil naibook na rin sila sa ibang hotel ni agency,” she said.
Lucena added that she was supposed to offer them a room that became available suddenly, but the situation had escalated before she could do so.
“Humingi ako ng sorry dahil sinasabi nila na napahiya daw sila sa ibang guest. Hindi naman bago na may mga check-out na nag-iiwan ng gamit dahil magto-tour pa though check-out na. Actually, may isa sa mga guest na nandoon na check-out na rin kapareho nila na galing ng tour,” she said.
To demonstrate their sincerity, Lucena said they apologized once more and offered to compensate the group for their last day, but they seemed to have interpreted their proposal differently.
“Naisip po namin na i-compensate [ang] last day supposed to be nila kaya kahit wala [ng] alam si agency o mag ask kami na hati kami di namin ginawa, out of our own pocket [nag] offer kami para lang ipakita ang sincerity namin pero mukhang nabigyan po ng masamang kahulugan ang act,” Lucena said.
“Inuulit ko, wala po kami[ng] intensyon o ano pa man, nasa kanila pa nga po ang simpatya ko,” she added.
Lucena felt bad, she said, when she learned there is a complaint reported by Palawan News and that there was a missing cellphone charger, which was also found.
The fact that Robles immediately went to social media to complain instead of discussing it with them was upsetting, she also said.
Even the complaint over the P25 they collected for the group’s use of the bathroom to wash themselves from the island tour was unreasonable since it is a little sum compared to their labor to clean it again for the next guests.
“Nakakalungkot kasi nagresort agad sya sa social media at hindi sa proper channel. About po sa charge me nabanggit din sila, yun po ay sa early check-in at yong sa iba rin na comment sinasabi na kolek sa ligo na naka check-out na ay sa napaka minimal na halaga 25 pesos para na lang sa paglilinis uli ng CR at sa kunsumo ng tubig,” she said.
“Ni hindi worth sa pagod namin na maglinis uli. Extra service na lang yun kung tutuusin hindi namin obligasyon na papaliguin sila pero para lang mapagbigyan sila ginagawa namin, kami pa lumabas na masama dahil kadalasan grupo ang nagbabanlaw, naliligo sa isa lang CR, 2nd pati rin sa maliit na CR sa lobby for 25 pesos each, gamit pa nila towel na itinatabi namin, extra service na rin dahil marami sila,” she added.
She said this is not allowed in other hotels.
“Sana lang po matapos na po ito. Hndi po kami kriminal. Biktima lang po kami ng miscommunication,” Lucena explained.