Looking Back: Top 5 Siem Reap Memories

My husband and I spent 3 weeks traveling around Southeast Asia for our honeymoon in 2011. We went to 5 countries in total with a shoestring budget that nobody would believe, thanks to a seat sale on a budget airline and my newly acquired flashpacking skills. We were not disappointed. Continue reading

Musings of a (Former) Teacher

As a teacher, I am not paid to be your friend. I am paid to teach, to guide, to encourage. If we become  friends despite my methods, which you may, at times, find severe, then, well and good. I count that as a blessing and I consider that a compliment. If we don’t, then that’s OK, too. But I sincerely hope, for your sake, that you remember and imbibe what I taught you, because while I do not put all my effort into trying to be friends with you, I do give my best in teaching, guiding and encouraging you so that you may hopefully reach your full potential.

There is nothing for a teacher to gain in what you may think as making life difficult for you. Don’t get me wrong, we do take it personally. We make it our personal goal to help you be a better person. But we are not sadists; we find no joy in seeing you suffer. Sometimes, however, it brings far greater good to have you learn things the hard way than see you not learn anything at all.

Why isn’t common sense and common decency so common anymore?

Sometimes the terms “common sense” and “common decency” baffle me.

While I do understand why they exist and why they should exist, what is perplexing to me is that it isn’t as “common” as I thought they were. You’d think that something as simple as compassion or good sense or prudence or enterprise (the Filipino term diskarte comes to mind) should be so common place that you need not even explain why things should be or are the way they are.

It turns out that it isn’t; some things aren’t as “common” as we were taught they were.

Is it ignorance? Weren’t they taught properly? Didn’t their parents or mentors counsel them? Is it a matter of not being taught? Or is it a matter of not imbibing what they were taught?

Is it selfishness? Would they rather inconvenience other people than do the right thing so that they’d get what they want?

Is it laziness?

And as a teacher, I find this very depressing. You can mentor your wards to the best of your ability. You can lead by example, guide them, even cajole them until you’re blue. But nothing will matter until they accept what is true and good. I guess a mentor’s greatest tragedy is the realization that you cannot teach everyone. A friend once said, “You cannot save everyone.” You can only choose your battles, pick the ones worth saving and do the best that you can.

Of Complaints and Paninirang Puri

PR Failure

Is this how one should respond when somebody complains about your service, sue them for libel?

Perhaps there’s much to learn on how businesses, particularly those who have much to lose from negative press, respond to consumer complaints expressed through social media. Chicboy will do well in heeding Erik Qualman’s advice:

Don’t come across as defensive – In the event someone uses a social media venue to question your product and/or service, negatively comment, etc. don’t launch into attack mode. Try and get to the bottom of why the customer is upset, how you can resolve the problem, and how you can learn from and avoid such a situation in the future.

You can read the full article here.

Resolution of Ensogo and Resorts World Manila Debacle

I’ve been meaning to write this blog, but work got in the way. Plus, simply put, nawalan ako ng ganang magsulat (I lost the drive to write about it). The whole thing was such a huge let down. In any case, perhaps many can learn from our experience so I’ll share with you what happened next. The dates are a little hazy, though, so please bear with me.

This blog reached both Ensogo and Resorts World Manila (RWM). We found out that, through six degrees of separation, people knew people and my blog got forwarded to both. I think it was also through Facebook/Twitter/Plurk/other forum shares. We didn’t really expect much from them, considering how things got handled in the first place.

Ensogo was the first to reach my husband, through a friend of my sister-in-law. Supposedly, they were to schedule a meeting with us, people from Ensogo and people from RWM. But that fell through, because I don’t really think they wanted to even meet with us in the first place. Next to call was RWM’s Director of Sales. She wanted to meet with us, perhaps to placate us. She was able to, to a certain extent. But the meeting fell through, too, because she had to attend to something “urgent” and had to re-schedule for another week. At that point, we just didn’t want to bother with anyone anymore and said that we didn’t need to meet with them and that all we needed to know was whether we were going to get refunded. She said we would.

We did get the check a few days later. The check’s receiving copy was an email trail of exchanges between Ensogo and RWM. I got a glimpse of this–I regret that I didn’t get to photocopy it. But the gist was, we were getting refunded because RWM wanted to ensure that every customer was satisfied. That raised an eyebrow, believe me. But I wasn’t going to raise an issue with Ensogo’s kind messenger.

And that’s that.

I’d rather just count my blessings and be grateful that we were, at least, “attended” to and were refunded. I can’t say that that’s the same for others involved in other–bigger and more expensive–scams, such as the Hong Kong farce that a reader, Ms. Darlene, was involved in. You may read her comments here.

Through all of this experience, I learned this:

  1. Ensogo will not refund unless they have the vendor’s blessing. If RWM didn’t agree to have us refunded, we wouldn’t have received any check.
  2. It pays to complain using the right channels. Find out if you know somebody connected to or working with Ensogo or the vendor in question. And complain with the DTI. DTI NCR is coming up with a case with Ensogo. I know this because they emailed my husband asking for the details of the case. You may complain here: http://www.dtincr.ph/cpapp/index.php
  3. And the most obvious, there are a LOT of complaints against both Ensogo and Resorts World Manila. I found this out while digging through Ensogo’s Facebook page (which, btw, censors all bad/negative/violent comments posted on their wall), an Ensogo complaints page on FB–Ensogo Ripped Us Off, and through friends’ accounts of doing business with RWM. If they’ll ever make it to marketing/PR/social media books, the subject heading would read “What NOT to Do to Be a Marketing/PR/Social Media Success.”

Thank you to everyone who shared our unfortunate experience with Ensogo and RWM. I hope we all learn from this. Have a good day!