Going above and beyond: Manila’s Road Rockstars
(Standing (L-R) Standing drivers: Antonio Maravilla Jr., Emerson Del Rosario Ignacio, Romualdo Salvo Alabarca, Edgardo Mangubat Casimsiman, Pedro Desucatan, Jovelton Almonte Lopez, Normando De Borja Cruz, Luisito Santos, Loly Santos spouse of Ronald Cachapero Santos; Sitting (L-R) Michael De Jose De Pedro, Jose Rizal Acevedo Matacot, Victor Gernale, Oniel Edoria, Ahdan Guzman)
The role of a Grab Driver is to bring you conveniently from point A to point B, making sure that you arrive safely at your destination. Most of the time, all you see while you are seated inside the vehicle is the back of their heads, as you tap away on your phone or occasionally look out the window to observe the flow of traffic.
While it may simply be seen as another way to make a living, many Grab Drivers take it to the next level by going above and beyond their transport jobs to serve passengers. You might not notice some of the simplest gestures that thoughtful Grab drivers provide – a clean car, a cool aircon, and friendly conversation. There are those who even go beyond Grab’s basic guidelines to provide extras such as a cleanup kit of alcohol and wipes, candies, even entertainment in the form of an on-the-road videoke session! Items left in the car or taxi can also be easily returned, and there are many happy stories of customers who have reported having cash or valuables handed back by honest drivers.
These are our intrepid heroes who go out day after day in the face of Metro traffic, to earn a decent income for their families, and to extend sincere customer service. Cindy Toh, Grab Philippines Country Marketing Head, remarks on the quality of service exemplified by these road rockstars. “The Grab ride-hailing platform is at the forefront of interface technology, and as you book your ride through the app, our drivers become the frontliners of the service. We value our drivers as they are instrumental in changing the TNVS industry, and they are at the core of our commitment to improve and consistently offer high-quality experiences to our passengers”
Not your usual driver stories
Grab recognizes these hardworking individuals who embody service excellence, by celebrating awesome drivers who look towards offering their passengers a great Grab experience. The company holds its Papugay Awards every quarter, to Grab Delivery, Grab Taxi, and Grab Car drivers with the most 5 star ratings in that period. This Labor Day, they invited the selected Grab partners to receive their service awards in a simple ceremony.
For the Grab Delivery drivers, the awardees included Ahdan Guzman, who has been commented for being “extra nice” and consciously makes an effort to give his customers the service they deserve. Sandro Lozano makes it a point to update his client to let them know exactly where their parcel is, saying, “by simply sending them a message when you receive it and you’re on your way, it makes a difference.”
Jimmy Orpilla Jr. and Antonio Maravilla ensure their clients fast delivery, with the knowledge that they are making their customers happy. Honest driver Oniel Edoria was mistakenly paid P500 instead of P50 and he promptly informed the customer, giving the exact change.
The Grab Taxi Drivers list was equally as stellar. Luisito Santos has been called Tatay Luisito by passengers as he shows the same concern for safety by a parent when you are on the road with him. The very accommodating Renato Meneses Mangalindan is a road whiz who knows the secret shortcuts in Metro Manila, impressing his passengers by taking them on the fastest or shortest routes.
Pedro Desucatan’s passengers comment on how happy they are on his trip, while Edgardo Mangubat Casimsiman’s passengers commented on his patience, even if it means going to different gasoline stations just to have their fare money changed to smaller bills. Victor Gernale was the hero of the day for a passenger who was about to miss his flight. Knowledgeable about the city, he also helped another passenger find a place to live.
“Malasakit sa daan”
There are more heartwarming stories about how Grab Car drivers were able to relate to their passengers. Jovelton Almonte Lopez is known for his good vibes on the road, and for offering water, candies, tissue and crackers to help make his passengers happy, comfortable and hydrated on the trip. Normando De Borja Cruz’s happy and relieved passenger who was travelling with a child offered him double the fare as he took them home at a time when it was a challenge to book, and he did not accept the extra payment, saying that he was only doing his duty.
Drivers Ronald Cachapero Santos and Jose Rizal Aceverdo Matacot were commended for their “malasakit”. Ronald lifted a passenger’s half-paralyzed mother on and off his vehicle, while Jose Rizal did not take the fare from a passenger who was bringing her aunt to the hospital.
Michael De Jose De Pedro likewise told his passenger that their fare was “on him” after he learned that they were transporting a bag of blood from the Red Cross for their mother’s transfusion. When Emerson Del Rosario Ignacio was told that one of his passengers had leukemia, he did not charge their fare, and even prayed for the patient’s recovery.
As 63-year-old driver Romualdo Salvo Alabarca picked up his passenger on his way home to Molino, he not only give his ride free, they also picked up passengers who were stranded along the way.
Five-stars for the road
Aside from offering Grab’s basic premise of convenience and safety, there are Grab Drivers who constantly provide service that surpasses standards in order to spread happiness on the road.
There are countless stories such as these, shared by passengers as a way to give feedback for great Grab service. Grab encourages more customers to keep telling their great experiences as a way to recognize these rockstars on the road. Share your own stories of how your Grab driver has helped you enjoy your trip by sending a message to the official GrabPH Facebook page!
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