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Smokey Tours

#4 of 100 Tours in Manila
Manila, Philippines
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About Smokey Tours
Smokey Tours are not just bricks and mortar tours. We offer a special experience, believing that deep experience equals deep insight. We train and develop talents of people from underprivileged communities to run eye-opening tours around Metro Manila. Our mission is to show "the other side of Manila" with safe, sustainable, genuine & eye-opening tours while aiding the local community. Visit one of the biggest slums in Manila, haggle and eat in Quiapo & see how people live among the dead. Experience Manila with us while supporting our local community work! Our Tours: 1) Slum Tour - our most popular tour that goes through the slums of Manila, wherein profits are donated to our current community projects. 2) Cemetery Tour showing you the lives of the people living in Cemetery North and introduces you to their beliefs and superstitions. 3). Family Tour, especially for families with kids, exploring Quiapo. 4) Market Tour, a food tasting experience through Quiapo & Binondo.
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Hours Today: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Ingemuis wrote a review Apr 2020
Zoersel, Belgium189 contributions54 helpful votes
Our local tour agent booked the "slum tour" for us. So at 08.00 Eileen picked us up at the hotel and together we went to KFC to pick up Janet, our guide for the "slum tour". Janet lives also in this part of Manila so she know really everybody and everything. The walking tour itself is very confronting, you 'visit' the poorest part of Manila. Where water and electricity cannot be taken for granted. Where thousands of people live together on a few square kilometers without (or few) conflicts. When you know that your paid fee is going to the local people to help start up projects such as a library with books for children, help young people to pay for their study etc, this is a very good initiative. At the end of the tour you have the possibility to give a donation, but it is not obligated. The only regret is that no photos may be taken.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from TeamWEP, Guest Relations Manager at Smokey Tours
Responded May 21, 2020
Dear Ingemuis, Thank you for taking time to participate in our Slum Tour and seeing that amidst the bright lights and resorts that surrounds the city, there's a place where water and electricity are a luxury rather than a necessity. That survival and learning are dependent on the kindness of our guests. Yet, this community strives to live harmoniously and peacefully with each other. Taking the Slum Tour is humbling in all aspects of the word. Thank you for being part of it and sharing your experience with many. Sincerely, Smokey Tours
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Mark v wrote a review Mar 2020
Soest, The Netherlands2 contributions3 helpful votes
I did a guided walk through BASECO with Smokey. An very informative, personally moving, and, strangely enough, entertaining experience. It is perfectly safe, by the way, but dont wear your white sneakers. Being a funny white guy, it was easy to entertain the many kids. So, when in Manila go Smokey!
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Date of experience: March 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Response from TeamWEP, Guest Relations Manager at Smokey Tours
Responded Mar 17, 2020
Dear 220markv, It was such a treat being of service to you to make your short term booking for a Slum Tour, exhausting all efforts for it to push through. Thank you for making making it happen. We are happy to know that your tour was such a success. We hope to see you back for another tour in the future! Sincerely, Smokey Tours
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Vincent wrote a review Feb 2020
8 contributions
I had such conflicting views about engaging in "poverty porn" while I was on vacation. But I saw that Smokey Tours, run by its parent organization, the JoHo Foundation, reinvests profits into building up Manila communities affected by poverty. When vacationing, it's so important to learn a bit about the history, culture, and politics of the place you're visiting, including its most vulnerable communities. I did not get to join the Slum Tour, but the Cemetery Tour offered a unique window into the lives of North Manila Cemetery's caretakers, about 4,000 of whom live on the 54-hectare property. My guide, Marjorie, helped me understand so much and I'm deeply grateful that members of the community took the time to talk to us while on the tour. It gave me a true sense of how people live and the issues and sometimes discrimination they face for living at the cemetery. This tour is recommended for people with open hearts and the humility to learn about a community's unique circumstances.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Response from TeamWEP, Guest Relations Manager at Smokey Tours
Responded Mar 4, 2020
Dear Vincent Paolo V, Thank you for a very sincere review about your Cemetery Tour. More often than not, look past smaller communities that thrive among unexpected and more unique locations. We are grateful for your deeper understanding and appreciating cemetery dwellers, whom, just like any ordinary citizen, strive to live an honest life. Sincerely, Smokey Tours
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Hiro wrote a review Feb 2020
Palawan Island, Philippines1 contribution
We showed up at the point where the tour showed before leaving Tokyo. It was a bit earlier like about 30min before but she(main guide staff named Melanie) was already there and trying to find us. She was so nice and always treating us well even we were in some tough area for tourists. The tour is the must if you haven’t experienced. people in the slum are so peaceful and they believe the word “be kind”. You will know what I say when you experience the tour.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Response from TeamWEP, Guest Relations Manager at Smokey Tours
Responded Feb 15, 2020
Dear hiro-tokyo-j, We're glad that you took the time to get to know the slums a little better and learn that it's different from what it is stereotyped to be. Thank you for your positive review and recommendation. We hope to see you in future tours! Sincerely, Smokey Tours
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Anthony Barrette wrote a review Feb 2020
Gatineau, Canada2 contributions1 helpful vote
Me and my brother went for the Slum Tour with Melanie (guide). She lives there since 20 years so she was able to tell us the reality. All the people we met were happy to see us. We played basketball with the kids and peeled garlic. We went there by Jeepney's and Tricycle, it was our first time and it was really fun. This was an awesome visit and I would highly recommend it to anybody. Thank you very much !
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Response from TeamWEP, Guest Relations Manager at Smokey Tours
Responded Feb 11, 2020
Dear AnthonyBarrette, Thank you for a positive review. We are happy to know that you and your brother had a good time socializing with the community of Baseco. It is guests like you that make us continue to do what we can do to help empower people from the slums. We appreciate your visit and hope to see you in future tours! Sincerely, Smokey Tours
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