Bicol Express: Bus Riding to Bicol Region

17 04 2009
Friday, 26 December 2008
Bicol Region, Philippines

When you ride a bus, what do you consider most? Safety and quality of the bus or speed of the bus just to make sure that you will reach your destination in time?

One thing good in this country (amongst all other things), is that you get to choose what your priorities are. My boy friends and I opted to choose speed of the bus. Or shall I say, literally speaking “bicol express”. We aimed to catch the Ro-ro to Virac, Catanduanes early morning the following day.

From Pasay, we went to Tabaco on board the what we call, “happy bus”. Yes, we laughed ourselves out from Manila to the Bicol region hence our endearing name for the bus. Nothing else we could do, but to be happy anyway. Or else, our heart palpitation will speed up and we will all end up in a hospital!

At first we were hesitant to take the chance. We were supposed to take another bus line company. But all they could offfer was a monobloc seat in the isle. (Take note, the passenger should bring their own monobloc. We had to understand the situation due to busy season.) Then buco pie and oven, two of the three boy friends, found “happy bus”. All four of us got our own seat not onto the monobloc, mind you.

Since it was a 13-hr bus travel, bucopie, bought 3 pillows for us to share with. Ah, oven was very happy cuddling his pillow. We all thought we were ready for happy bus..


Then came a man selling trouser belts! Then another seller with her food and water stuff. Ahh,, it was a crazy scene.

After few more minutes of waiting inside the non-aircon “happy bus”, all we could see were baggages literally flying inside. They were loading the bags!

bag-handling1bag-handling2 Riders were shouting at the top of their heads asking if they could see their baggages at the back since they could no longer have visual from the front of the bus. That was how the logistics of “bag handling” was made. Finally, even the isle was full of bags! Whoa!
isle-full-of-bags But what amazed me most was when a passenger had to get off the bus, all other passengers will spontaneously help unload the baggages one by one. I did no longer see flying baggages. Instead, I saw baggages slowly being passed on to another passenger just to be able to reach the exit door of the bus. “Bayanihan” spirit, huh!

So did we reach the port and catch the Ro-ro? Was it really a “bicol express”? Yes, of course. Thanks to ‘happy bus” who gave us all one hell of a ride! hR1




One response

19 04 2009

I’m enjoying every bit of your experiences; can’t wait for more adventure! take care!

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