Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fantastic Hotel Reception at Dipolog

Funny meet-up at the airport's arrival area… even funnier arrival at the hotel. This was probably my day! As if I was some kind of a politician, the crews obviously went a quandary on my arrival! Yeah literally! I could see their hurried and harried movements as we approached! Once the Ford Expedition stopped at the hotel’s foyer, driver hurriedly got off and ran to my side to open the door for me. I just thought, “hello, am I an invalid who cant open a car door?” hehe. Not only that, guard was as if competing with driver on who could open my door first. He was a second too late but immediately grabbed my backpack and brought it to the hotel lobby. Well, I was at first not impressed. I panicked a bit why they were as if attending to some fire victim due for emergency treatment hahaha! A young woman and young man (obviously housekeeping) were at the lobby to greet me good morning, seemingly waiting for a command that I may suddenly blurt out, while the front desk clerk was ready with the form and a pen for me to sign.

Everytime I met or pass by someone, there was always a slight bow and a greeting. I had this urge to pinch myself to check if I was still really me. I also was looking for a mirror to see if I was wearing a crown or princely garments. What was wrong with these guys? I was just a backpacker who arrived at their hotel for an economy room and everyone was as if receiving the mayor, governor or congressman hehehe! Really, if I were at Singapore’s Ritz Carlton or Macau’s The Venetian, I wouldn’t have been any surprised. Then again, they don’t move as if in a panic, right?! But I left them to it, though I asked the clerk what was all the “commotion” about. With an obviously trained beam of a smile, she said “you are our guest, sir, and all our guests are special, so everyone is here ready to make your stay comfortable”! I had the urge to answer that with “aruuu utot mo!” but I chose to stay silent lest they start treating me like a pauper. Its better to be pampered like a prince after all, right?!

I just signed the ‘check-in sheet’ actually. The young man was already lugging my backpack and waiting for me while the young lady received the room key from front desk and said to me “let’s go to your room sir, room 202. As if that was high up a skyscraper and far on an exclusive wing hahaha. Its just a flight of stairs up one level. As we walked I was thinking how much should I give as tip for these two kids accompanying me to my room. I usually give P20. Sometimes P50. But its usually just one bellman or room boy who sends me. This time there were two. Awk! Both entered first, aircon was already on, guy placed my backpack on the rack and the girl started pointing to me the phone, the remote control, the toilet and just about everything in the room. I even jokingly asked her “how about the floor and the ceiling, where are they?” and at least they laughed. I fished a hundred peso bill and told them “hati kayo” but as if trying to beat each other, the reply was “thank you sir, but it is not allowed”! Wheh?! I was already feeling I was in some weird ‘Hotel California’. But I was liking it anyway. Actually hehe!

I thought everything was done and the two would be gone… but by the door, the young lady still had this to say (in English) “sir, if you like, you may now choose what you want for lunch so we can ask the restaurant to prepare it” – that as she pointed to the menu beside the TV. I said I would just go down and choose my food there. Before disappearing though, both wished me to enjoy my stay. What was wrong with me? Who was I this time? Why was I being accorded more than the usual hotel courtesy in these islands? And I was not even occupying a suite nor some presidential whatever room. All I was, was the usual me myself and I in porontong shorts and my crocs that look like an aircraft carrier. Yes, most everyone mistake me for a Korean or a Jap, but even with that I could still sense these guys at Hotel Camila 2 were just too courteous, too respectful, too prompt and too conscious to please me than normal anywhere in this country!

Hmm, I am thinking… maybe I should change the title of this story to “Fantasy Hotel Reception…” instead of just “Fantastic Hotel Reception…”. Indeed it was so uncharacteristically uncommon of such a small hotel in this country. Need I say anymore if I enjoyed my stay? I can at times be picky or even be a fault-finder when I sense I don’t like the service. Of course I know how to act those out! Those are part of my training modules! But I was never near from bitching around. So, the first impression lasted. Believe me! I was amazed. They got me!

I wish all hotel, motel, pension, inn, resort, etc. employees in this country could be like them! Aligaga to please hehehe!


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