"I went to another Southeast Asian country that has a big place in my heart. One day, as I was planning to go around the city, I was approached by one of the drivers of a local public transportation; he asked me, while showing a laminated paper with colorful photos of tourist attractions, if I have been to any of those places. I said no. He offered to take me to where I want to go, plus all those places, and even threw in a stopover at a gold store.
I considered the options I have, then agreed. It turned out to be a very beautiful day. When our trip was over, as promised, he took me to this gold store. As I was browsing the merchandise, I saw that one of the ladies working in the said store handed the man a gas voucher. On our way back to my hotel, I asked him what the voucher is for, and he told me that whenever he brings tourists in to the establishment, the owners give him a gas voucher for his trouble, even if the tourist didn’t end up buying anything from the store.
Same thing happened the next day, when I took a cab the driver offered me a sightseeing tour but this time what he showed me was a clear book of tourist attractions of their city.
As I was preparing my luggage that night for my flight back to Manila the following afternoon, my thoughts were in a riot. Granted that the motive behind the free gas vouchers may be purely business, it doesn’t negate the fact that in this beautiful country with a rich history like the Philippines, people, whether businessmen or simple people who drive public transportation do everything they can to help their tourism industry.
I came back to the Philippines with so many ideas as to how to empower my countrymen do the same; how to provide them with a free service that consolidates all the travel-related information about our country; how to connect the travel-related businesses to their target markets without so many channels; how to unite a nation of many different dialects and indigenous groups into one race that could stand together and promote our country as one people and one land and introduce them to the world.
There were setbacks; funds, the fact that despite the ambition and the passion, I was considering maybe it wasn’t yet time for such a project to come into fruition. I was also busy with my other business, so I told myself the project would have to wait.
Then one day, a few years forward, I started sharing my ideas to a friend of mine from a business club that I belong to; he listened, gave his comments, and convinced me that it’s time to push forward and launch the project.
Today, thanks to the help of our team, it is with great pride that I welcome you to our project; a project that would, hopefully, bridge the gap between our people and would help spearhead our country as a top Asian travel destination.
Welcome to Yapak Philippines.