It was already late at night when I arrived in Cebu.
I didn’t realize that it was hard to get a cab at the airport, so I used Grab. It was actually my first time to use the app. Yes, after years of making waves in the Philippines, it was only a few months ago that I’ve tried it. I didn’t even download the app on my phone. I sought the assistance of a Grab personnel at the airport to book a car for me. I know, I am so oldies. Hahaha!
So that’s it. I got on the car and told the driver my hostel and the address.
When I arrived at the hostel, it was already like a few minutes before 11PM. With all my huge backpack and all, I went straight to the reception.
I told them that I booked online. While the reception dude was looking for my booking, he asked for my ID. So I gave him my company ID because my driver’s license is already expired and left it at home. You know, I wasn’t able to renew it since I don’t have a car anymore.
To my surprise, he told me about their policy of requiring 3 valid ID’s for guests availing the dorm type room. Oh my, they’re even worse than banks for requiring identification. Aside from my company ID, I only had another one which is invalid because it’s an ID for a membership.
So I presented just one valid ID, but my company ID has all the details there. I even told them the address of our Cebu office, and he knew the place. But unfortunately, they’re strict of the 3 ID policy.
And he dropped the bomb, he said, they couldn’t accept me to their hostel.
“May confirmed booking ako dito, bayad na downpayment. Sa tingin mo san ako matutulog ngayong gabi?” (I already paid for my confirmed booking here. Where do you think am I going to sleep tonight?) I asked him. He was just silent, and replied, “Sorry, this is our policy.”
I could lose my temper. I tried to be calm but by the tone of my voice, it was obvious that I wasn’t happy.
Our conversation dragged longer and longer. I was pointing out that they should’ve put it on their page at the online booking site that they have a policy like that. It’s unbelievable, that he was serious at kicking me out of the hostel in the middle of the night.
Then I saw two white dudes, foreigners passed by and walked upstairs. So another question just popped up. I asked, “So for the foreigners? Do you also require 3 IDs?” And with so much confidence, he said, “No just one, passport is enough.”
I just lost it. I stopped talking and just raised my hands in disbelief, because the moment I utter another word, I might strangle him. Hahaha!
He picked up the phone, and talked to someone. I guess he was pretending that he was talking to someone just to cool down the situation. Tension was building up, and an attack was imminent. Hahaha!
“So if I have a passport? Would that be enough?”
“No, you have to present 3 valid IDs. That’s just one.” He replied.
Oh my! (pigilan niyo ko!)
That statement made everything clear to me. This is a clear discrimination of a Filipino hostel to their fellow Filipino! Thinking about it was more painful than being unbelievable. Mabuhay kayo!
At that point, all I wanted was to express my outburst and disbelief. “So ano tingin niyo sa mga Pinoy? Ano tingin niyo sa akin? magnanakaw ako sa dorm?!” I honestly didn’t want to sound rude, but I had to stand up for the Filipino travelers who have been treated this way.
At the end of the day, I won’t let them kick me out of the hostel for the sake of my pride and honor. I knew they were serious for not accepting me, so I had no choice but to be creative.
So again, I talked to him. I explained that if they doubt my identity, my personal stories and identity is actually open, wide open online. He seemed intrigued, then I gave him the url of my blog, check this website, jontotheworld.com.
He checked the internet and I saw his eyes became wide open and his face changed to a mixture of shame and smile. “That’s me” I told him. And seriously, If I steal something in their hostel, they can easily track me.
“Ikaw po to? travel blogger po pala kayo.”
He excused himself and again pretended to be calling someone on his mobile phone. When he went back , he has this new aura and welcoming smile. “Sir, san po kayo nag book ulit? hahanapin ko lang po sa email.”
He finally decided to accept me in their hostel. But we went back to zero when he kept on looking for my booking confirmation. Another disappointing , bad service.
He apologized and reiterated that he was just an employee following the policy of their management. It’s sad. It’s just sad that there are establishments and businesses in our country who prefer foreigners despite the fact that we are all paying the same. Actually, I don’t care if they prefer foreigners, what’s infuriating is their policy that clearly discriminates their fellow Filipinos.
Before I went to the room, I just had one quick question to him. I got confused with the name of their hostel outside. I knew I booked for Tropical Hostel Cebu, but there’s another name there that says Cebu Budget Hotel. Maybe to make up with all the inconvenience they’ve given me, he was very honest with his reply. He said their hostel has two different names in many booking sites. Why would they do that? well, to get more bookings. What a good business practice.
Same Address But Different Names
To those who are planning to travel to Cebu, take note of this hostel with two names. If you’re a Filipino, prepare 3 valid IDs if you plan to stay here okay?
But I suggest that you look for other hostel and accommodation, there are a lot in Cebu. Because it’s clear that this hostel doesn’t want any business with their fellow Filipinos. Let’s just give them what they want.