On May 24, 2017, Go Negosyo Radio hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Faith Salaver featured Clang Garcia and Ragde Falcis – two notable travel and tours negosyantes that want people to explore the best of the Philippines. Clang and Ragde both shared their stories on how they turned their passion into a business.
Clang’s story started with her experience as a traveler herself. Whenever Clang would travel, she imagined having a safe and efficient transportation system that would be different from regular travel tours. She wanted something different and at the same time be able to integrate the Philippines’ history, culture and diversity. Clang decided that a jeepney would be the best representation and symbol of the Philippines. With this, Jeepney Tour came to life. Starting the business was not easy, it took Clang 4 years before Jeepney Tours could operate since government regulation was tough. Their jeepneys are not like any ordinary jeepney, they are customized with air conditioning, on board karaoke with a maximum capacity of 20 seats. Today, the Jeepney Tours is considered a breakthrough in Philippine Tourism by offering a convenient and daily sight-seeing tour to travelers to explore the best of Metro Manila with the intent of leaving a positive image of the Philippines with every single ride.
Ragde started as a traveler himself as well. He has always enjoyed going on adventures and being one with the locals. He is part of a group of explorers passionate about promoting their own Philippine experience to the world. Ragde wanted to utilize his tech expertise to innovate how people travel. The group developed Fliptrip in 2014 and was later on launched as Tripkada in 2016 as the solution that came about from the experience and learnings of developing Fliptrip. Tripkada is an online platform to connect tourists to local communities. It is a mobile app where travelers can join trips organized by fellow travelers, meet new friends and tick things off their bucket list for less. In short “Its like Uber but for travel” Ragde said. Tripkada now has 50-70 organizers in their app.
Go Negosyo sa Radyo host Sen. Bam Aquino with guests Clang Garcia (lefmost) and Ragde Falcis (beside Sen. Aquino).
Clang and Ragde shared that Jeepney Tours and Tripkada became a hit mainly because they were able to give the full Philippine experience through their tours.
The biggest challenge in business, Clang and Ragde said is really starting. “Its always difficult at the beginning, but we had to start somewhere” Clang said. For a start-up company, it was difficult to get people to partner with them or even get customers to trust their business. As an online platform, Ragde said that there were both advantages and disadvantages. Using the app is more convenient and easy to access but it is inevitable for problems to occur such as not reaching the level of satisfaction of the participants. Therefore, reviews in the app is highly commended and vital to ensure the customer’s experience.
What’s in store for Jeepney Tours and Tripkada? Clang and Ragde are both aiming for expansion. Clang’s next step for Jeepney Tours is to share the experience around the Philippines and to lessen gas emission without changing the image of the jeepney itself. Ragde on the other hand has plans to explore Mindanao, partner with airlines and move on to other Southeast Asian countries.