I'm one of the owners at YGD travel inc, a multinational travel agency focused on bringing tourists to the Philippines and making sure they have an enjoyable and safe vacation.
Our approach to travel is that it has to be personal. Both in terms of the services we provide, which are customized for the client's exact wishes, and the personal connection we aim to establish with each of our guests.
We feel this is our strongest added value - We are not just a standard booking agency who focuses on getting good rates. When you book through us you also get a friend who will guide and help you throughout your entire trip.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"We cover the entire country and are always open to special requests. If you have an island you are curious about then let's talk about it and we'll find a way to get you there safely and make sure you have a wonderful time there.
Typically most of our clients go to the popular spots so that's where we already have very strong local connections. This means we can give very competitive rates while still offering a customized experience - we make sure you get to do the activities you want the most.
In terms of tours available, our focus is on adventure. This is simply due to the fact that this is what the Philippines has to offer - it's mostly about nature and wildlife. We specialize in island hopping, hiking, surfing, canyoneering, and of course diving.
Watersports, ATV rides, and kayaking are also very popular requests.
However, we are the only local agency to create tours upon request - so if you want something specific just let us know. So far we've done big game fishing, a party yacht cruise, a cultural immersion experience in Palawan (live in a local village), a Manila slums tour, and a week-long survival class in the jungles of Cebu.
We are always open to special requests because it helps us increase our portfolio!"
How did you get involved in travel?
"I had a great managerial position at one of my country's leading high tech companies, until one day I felt I needed a break from the 9 to 5 routine. So I resigned and started traveling the world extensively.
Once I reached the Philippines I immediately fell in love with this country. The people are friendly, the vibe is relaxed and everywhere you go nature is just amazing.
The problem was I felt like it's extremely hard to travel here since delays and cancellations are so common. Also, it's virtually impossible to find good and reliable information online. So I teamed up with some local partners with experience in the travel industry and this agency was established."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"I think i will never forget the first time i went to Palawan since this is the day i decided i want to move and live here in the Philippines.
I'm usually a pretty uptight person, what other people find relaxing i find boring and i prefer activities all around the clock rather than chilling at the beach. Palawan was the first time where i just felt happy to lay at the beach and gaze at the horizon, grab a beer and just think about nothing.
Later on when i already became involved in the travel business here, one thing that bothered me (and many clients asked about) was the fact there aren't many cultural immersion tours offered. We really felt like while the beaches are amazing, there's a huge interest and value to people from learning about the locals and their way of life.
So we found a way to do a tour to Manila's old town, slums and big market. This is a hands on tour with a local guide, and you really get your hands dirty (literally). We were all pretty shaken after taking the tour for the first time, to see if it's suitable for our clients. We believe it is, but it's a very unsettling and thought invoking experience ."