It’s been really quite sometime now since I went home to Bicol onboard a bus. I guess it is more than five years now, this is because of the budget airlines that have tremendously affected the Aircon Bus business travelling back and forth to Bicol. The regular bus fare from Pasay or Cubao to Ligao City for example is P800. My plane ticket last year Manila – Legazpi was only P398, plus P200 terminal fee. That justifies everything. Plus, travelling by plane from Manila to Bicol is only 45 minutes versus the classic bus ride of more than eight hours. Of course, you have to plan and book your flights early to avail of the promo fares.
But recently, the passing of my grandfather would require all of us to go home. And buying plane ticket is way pricey already. So I had to take a bus ride. DLTB Pasay is closest terminal to me and since we took the same bus on our Calaguas getaway (Read my article here), I said to myself why not try it again, this time not on a business trip or tour, a personal experience.
Regular fare is P800 on a regular airconditioned bus, this is the commuter type bus with four seats in one row. But I took the business class type, the 19-seater tree-seat per row all-wide lazy boy seats which costs P1,100 from Manila to Ligao. The bus has restroom which is not present in the regular aircon bus, it has free WiFi onboard.
It has a non-stop movie that plays on a 32-inch LCD TV. Aside from a really wide seats, it has lots of leg room, an adjustable leg rest, and you can recline the seats if you are ready to sleep already, or enjoy the movie while the bus is moving.
There is a mandatory bus top near Candelaria, Quezon for dinner. After this bus top, it goes to the long ride until it reaches the first commercial terminal, the Naga City CBD Bus Terminal. Exactly eight hours, we reached Naga City. And an hour later, we reached Ligao, my final destination for this trip.
The trip has had several unnecessary bus stops which I did not like. The bus was not full, we are only about half full. And then one passenger which is I guess a personal friend of the driver have been talking aloud with the bus crew as if nobody were sleeping! The unnecessary stops was made to pick up possible passengers, the crew trying to fill up the vacant seats along the way.
Over-all the trip was very comfortable, as compared if I took the regular airconditioned bus. I slept well which was important. After three hours in the road, the bus turned into a freezer! Good thing I brought a jacket with me, I came prepared this time as compared to when I did the Calaguas Getaway.
Now, for the tips which I promised you earlier. TIPS IS TAKING A LONG BUS RIDE.
You have to prepared in going to a long bus ride. I have been doing this since I was young but this is the only time that I can share these stuff. So here we go.
- Jacket. Bring a thick comfortable jacket. Even if it is summer time, after three hours the bus turns into a super cold freezer! Oh, by the way, I always take the night trip, so that I can sleep and rest during the trip.
- Extra blanket. It wont hurt if you bring extra blanket. In case your jacket is not enough, the blanket will put you to a good sleep.
- Travel pillow. The DLTB premier bus has a comfortable seat, but you know, your pillow will give you more comfort.
- Junk foods. Bring your own “baon”, because you might not like the food offered in the bus stops.
- Water. Bottled water in bus stops are equally expensive just like in airports.
- Don’t wear slippers. It will make you more cold.
DLTB has several stations and terminals in Metro Manila. Here are the list.
PASAY – Main Office
650 Malibay, Pasay City
Tel. No. +63 2 855 8040
CUBAO – Ali Mall
between SM Cubao & Gateway Mall
103 EDSA, Cubao, Quezon City
CBD Terminal, Triangulo, Naga City
Tel. No. +63 54 478 8009
LKY Grand Terminal, Tahao Road, Legaspi City
Tel. No. +63 52 435 6393
Gil Puyat LRT Station,Buendia cor. Taft Ave
Tel. No. +63 2 419 9970 / 254-9868
PASAY formerly Partas
650 Malibay, Pasay City
For more information, you can check DLTB website at http://dltbbus.com.ph.
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