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Riding a Bus

Updated on March 14, 2011

Bus hub

I often ride in a bus going back and forth to the city of Manila and to our province, Camarines Sur in Bicol, Philippines. The fare is cheaper than riding in an airplane. It's only P400.00+ pesos for ordinary buses but around P600.00+ for air conditioned buses. It's around ten dollars for the ordinary fare and 14 dollars for special fare. The normal fare for airplanes going to Bicol is P7,000.00++pesos or around 150 dollars.  Although it will take me more than ten hours riding in a bus than a 45-minute ride in an airplane, it is more enjoyable because you will be able to see different places, eat exotic foods from different cities or town in every bus stop and mingle with other people or passengers.

Bus Experiences In Some Parts of the World

My first long ride in a bus outside Philippines was in Yokaichi (1st Avenue), Osaka, Japan (year 2001). It was also my first time working outside the country as a seafarer. Workers who were going ashore rode the service bus to the city's downtown. Buses in Japan have GPS (Global Positioning System) and have buzzer that you can use when you reach your destination. Drivers seldom honk other drivers. They diligently follow road signals and precautions. Our driver courteously drove us back to the tanker terminal later at night.

Unlike in the Philippines, traffic congestion is a daily problem due to the buses that seldom follow traffic rules. But when you reach Makati City, bus drivers cautiously follow the rules of the road, but in EDSA (Efipanio de los Santos Avenue), drivers are racing to get prospective passengers along the highway that can cause road accidents.

In 2002, my colleagues and I rode a bus in Salerno (Salt City), Sicily, Italy. The driver knowing that were seafarers gave us a free ride to the city until we reached the plaza. He knew that we don't have euro money for the fare because we went first to a money changer to change our dollar to euro. Banks were closed because we always went ashore after dinner (that's 5 pm on board ship).

I rode a bus in Savannah, Georgia, USA along with my co-seafarers in 2005. Well, we paid our fares because were using US dollars.

The buses in Venezuela are like in the Philippines. Most of them are rickety and often emit dark poisonous carbon monoxide. We rode a bus (February 2009), back and forth when we went to Macuto beach in the municipality of Vargas, Venezuela. We don't have any problem about paying because we already changed our dollars to bolivares (Venezuelan money).

No Flat Rate

It is more cheaper to ride a bus than taxi cab. There's no flat rate of P30.00 pesos or 75 cents in US dollars (exchange rate is USD 1 = P46.++). If you're not in a hurry and have no budget to afford a taxi ride, you can either enjoy a bus ride (aside from jeepney ride).

The good thing is that almost all buses in the Philippines have television sets that passengers can enjoy. Some street hawkers or vendors frequent the buses when the traffic is so slow. They often sell peanuts (roasted, boiled, etc.), fish crackers, boiled fresh corns, other native delicacies and of course, bottled mineral water or iced tea to quench your thirst.

Pearl of the Orient Bus Ride

Although, there are still flaws in the rules of the road in the country, still the bus is the most convenient ride you can afford to travel the archipelago.

There are package tours that you can easily afford if you want to be a local tourist in a weeks time. The main islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have tour buses that can give you a package deal for a good ride around the archipelago's beautiful tourist spots. There are travel agents in the internet that can give you much needed help and information regarding your bus travel.

With just a hundred dollars in hand (around P4, 600.00 pesos), you can now tour the beautiful tourist spots in the Philippines. You can start in Luzon, then the bus will ferried to Visayan key cities then to safe places in Mindanao. Isn't it amazing?

You can now have a memorable account of the Philippines by just riding a bus. Any takers?


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @muhammad raouf51: I think I should make a hub about Ireland and its transportation system to keep you updated. Thanks on your personal insight.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @muhammad jumma: Thanks for the added information regarding Greyhound Bus Line. It's still the most popular bus line in the US!

    • profile image

      muhammad raouf51 7 years ago

      I would like to take Ireland as the first stop of my world tour, because it is said to be a country with peaceful social environment, amazing natural scenery and strong cultural foundation. However, it seems not so easy if I am going to visit there by myself – I know little about Ireland. At least I need to know the transportation system there in advance, I think.

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      muhammad jumma 7 years ago

      The Greyhound Bus Lines stated in 1914 and is one of the largest and oldest bus services in the US. Greyhound has over 2000 locations to pick up customers. Do you no how many passenger ride Greyhound? Over 25 million a year.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Í think, this time you'll get used to riding a bus,now that already a teenager.Thanks, bacville

    • bacville profile image

      bacville 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Riding a bus makes me dizzy. I puked when I was a toddler then. It was so embarassing.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, too, BkCreative. I didn't mention any name of bus company in the hub, but the most famous bus company is the PhilTranco (formerly known as Alatco, the first ever since the post war era).

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      As I was reading this I got an image of each bus ride and each city - how nice! I would prefer the bus for the reasons you mentioned - I like looking out the window, and seeing all the sites and sights. It made me think of the buses I've been on and sights I have enjoyed: City buses in S. Korea, in Thailand, in Singapore, and tour buses throughout the British Isles, in Senegal, Greece, Morocco and many more.

      The long distance buses in the US - Greyhound - is by far more efficient than our state to state train service - Amtrak - which is hardly high speed like the Eurostar or the KTX in Korea, and the trains are rarely on time.

      Thanks for such an interesting hub!