I really hate to have to write anything negative about Filipinos and the Philippines. Unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary. I would like to warn people about hiring a kalesa in Manila to tour around the Malate area. We hired a kalesa last year in Malate because we thought it would be fun to see the city with it. We agreed with the kutsero or "driver" that the trip would cost 300 php for 1 hour. Okay, that seemed fair. Because I was pitying the horse and I wanted the driver to be able to feed his horse well, I didn't argue so much about the price. Well, halfway through the trip his whole attitude changed --he stopped being friendly. He said that the price is actually per person (so it's 900 instead of 300 because we were 3). I started to feel very uncomfortable. With my husband we argued with him that it was not the price we agreed upon. We just then asked to be let at the Robinson's Mall without finishing the 1 hour trip (we rode for only 15 minutes, actually). At the mall, he argued that the mall is not part of the trip so we have to pay extra. I felt that he was really getting worked up and I felt threatened. We were in a public place so I was not really really afraid of what he can do to us. I gave him maybe 400 and then walked away (I was pitying the horse). The author of My Egg Noodles had a worse experience riding the kalesa on their first day in the Philippines. At the end of their tour, another guy hopped in and then they were brought to a dark alley to be harassed for money. I am really disappointed that this kind of thing happens. If the Department of Tourism really wants to increase the number of tourist going to the Philippines then somehow this modus operandi should be stopped.
Note: The picture of the kutsero in the kalesa above is not the guy who harrassed us.
Kalesa+ride Malate tourist+trap Manila