My sister and her friends had a very unpleasant experience when they stayed at Caliraya. Here’s what happened:
My friends and I stayed here last January hoping to spend some quality bonding time with each other. We were suggested this place because it was cheap and looked like a lot of fun in the photos. Also, it seemed pretty popular, so why not right?
The nine of us arrived at 1am, we had lunch, checked into our villa, walked around the grounds a bit, had dinner, and, after a bout of bonding time, finally went to bed at 2am.
It all seemed like a pretty normal stay, until what happened next.
I woke up that Sunday morning at 7am. I could hear my friends discussing something about our bags. When I got up, I saw and realized what all the hubbub was about: all our overnight bags, a total of about 15 backpacks and duffel bags, were GONE. Our entire villa was wiped clean of our belongings, even some of the items that we had kept close beside us in our sleep were gone. None of us could believe it! We thought it was some kind of joke.
It finally dawned on us when we saw one of windows open. Its flimsy wooden screen had been removed. They had repeatedly told us that the villas were “the safest accommodations” in Caliraya but how could we believe that when with just a pair of box cutters the robbers had broken into it so easily? We also noticed that the locks were broken in most of the other windows. The safety promises they told us was a joke. We were nine girls who have little experience in self-defense, who knows what could’ve happened had we slept in the bunk beds downstairs? We wouldn’t have just lost our bags, we could’ve had something worse happen to us!
Anyway, as soon as we found a guard, we told him about the break-in but all he did was shrug and ignore us. It’s as if he thought we were making it up. We immediately called the management to report the robbery.
The police arrived an hour later to investigate. They found some of our possessions in a pile all over the lawn not too far from our villa, suggesting that the robbers had taken their time to sort the items they didn’t need from our bags. We were furious. Obviously the guards didn’t roam that night, so the robbers had all the time in the world to look through our bags one by one. This is when we learned thatthey only had six guards in the entire area. The place is huge, how can families feel safe and secure in a place where the nearest guard could be twenty yards away?
We were glad that some of our items were retrieved, but we remained shaken and terrified by the incident. We also couldn’t believe how easily the robbers carried out their crime.
In addition, because of this horrible incident, we spent the entire day cleaning up the mud from our clothes and writing affidavits at the police station instead of have fun like we intended.
We asked if the management could give us at least a refund of our stay, because we had no money and what happened was a terrible inconvenience for us. All they did was smile, and instead gave us 3,500 PHP hoping that it would be enough for us to get home. Yeah, right. Good thing some of us found their ATMs in the pile or else we would’ve had to settle with dividing that money among us nine, which just doesn’t seem very realistic.
A month later, we haven’t received any substantial feedback from the management. We’ve been following them up diligently by texting them weekly and asking for updates. Instead we feel like they’re treating us as a nuisance. They say they feel uneasy when they receive our texts and have some doubts about some of the items wereportedly lost. The security agency even requested that we give them some consideration regarding the situation. To put things in perspective, we lost 100,000 PHP in total, and this doesn’t even include all the items we lost like clothes and toiletries, surely that’s consideration enough.
There are a dozen of other cheap options to stay in that costs as much as Caliraya is offering. Do not pick this resort if you don’t want to want to end up like us. You might lose more money (or worse) than what you paid for.