Gingoog Mountain Air Hotel / Goods and services paid for, not supplied
My Fiancee and I decided to hold our wedding in this establishment (as well as staying there) because the package deal seemed very reasonable at 36, 500 Philippines Pesos (around $1, 200 Australian, US$775).
The first shock was they informed us the package was now P41, 000, despite the fact that, to this day, the website still advertises P36, 500. You can read about it in their website,
click on "packages".
We proceeded despite the price amendment. I asked about the "lechon", which is a spit-roasted pig. They said it was 15 kg (33 lb.), enough for the bridal party and sponsors. As we had invited 100 guests, I enquired about an additional pig. Yes, they could arrange another 40 kg (88 lb) lechon pig for an additional P4, 500 (AU $146, US $94), PAID IN ADVANCE.
So the total weight of pig meat came to 55 kg (121 lb), about half a kilo, more than a pound per person. Considering we had 8 apologies, and 2 guests had to leave immediately after the ceremony, 90 guests remained. Not to make too fine a mathematical point, that's 600 grams, or 1.34 lbs of meat per guest, and together with the rice, noodles and other foods (supposedly) included in the package, quite a substantial meal one would think.
When the food arived I was given 2 small slivers of meat, perhaps 50 grams (2 ounces?). Almost half the guests got none at all. It became evident that the 40 kg pig did not make an appearance. The meat was already sliced when it arrived, and, seated at the bridal table, I was unable to see exactly what transpired.
You need to understand that sufficient "Lechon Baboy" (spit-roasted pig) at a wedding is a cultural status matter, so my wife and her family were immediately subjected to (unspoken) shame. It was palpable.
I waited until the next day to speak to management, who immediately attempted to put the blame on the family; "You know these are -mountain people- (an insult), and are known to take meat for later...".
One of my Australian guests, who was seated near the door, said "nobody took anything out".
Momentarily taken aback, the manager then proceeded to explain that a lot of weight is lost in the cooking process. "What, 40 kg?" I asked. No reply.
Other things we did not receive:
1. Personalized Guest Book
2. Free Wine for Toasting
3. Overnight Stay for your Honeymoon (we were staying in the hotel, but were denied 1 free night's accomodation)
Furthermore, I was charged P100 "corkage" because my mother-in-law brought in extra rice, as there was not enough to go around (like the lechon), and I was billed P60 because the celebrant judge asked for 7-up, not coke as in the package.
I understand there probably is not much that can be done about this, but an establishment that is attempting to attract an international (western) clientele should understand there are certain rules and standards in play, and that if we enter a contract, albeit verbal, we expect delivery, especially if paid in advance.