Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016
50

I have to take a break from Baguio City after staying for almost half a year now since January this year and I usually don’t stay longer than a month in one place.  I’m starting to feel the cold and loneliness of a place after remaining for quite a while. 
I took the Deluxe bus of Victory Liner to Pasay City.  Fare is P750 one-way.  For some (I used to think the same) that sounds a little costly comparing it to the less expensive Ordinary airconditioned bus which costs only P455.  But I managed to justify the difference and somehow it all boils down to convenience, and if you add up other expenses during travel is almost in parity with the Deluxe.
I’m starting to like the Deluxe bus for several compelling reasons, here’s how I summed it all up:
Two rows of seats on the right side, one row only on the left side.

Both buses have flat panel TVs in front of the bus beside the driver showing B-movies which I never enjoy watching, not in any travel, I chose to either snooze or watch the invigorating greeneries – the mountains, oceans, rivers and rural scenes – outside the window. 

  • The Deluxe bus travel time is approximately 5 hours or even less traversing through the wider TPLEX highway whereas the Ordinary ones travel through NLEX which takes about 7 hours to reach Manila.
  • Deluxe has no stopovers at all as the bus has its own toilet, small but clean and enough for those call of nature, so you saved P5 each time you use the public toilets at every bus stations the Ordinary bus stops. Say, I normally use the toilets twice during the 7-hour trip of an Ordinary AC bus, I saved  P10 pesos already, if I have to pee at every stop then I have to pay each time.
  • Deluxe buses do not stop at bus terminals for meal breaks or to pick up passengers along the way as in the case of Ordinary buses which stops roughly 3 to 5 times, and since it does not stop, I’m not compelled to buy meals or snacks.  I usually eat twice during trips and that saved me about P200 or more.
  • Then consider the comfort – better reclining seats, more distance between my knees and the back of the seat in front of me which provides enough space to move and stretch.  The bus has fewer seating capacity, only one row on the left side where I was sitting which avoids the jostling of elbows with fellow passenger (seatmate) as in the case of the ordinary buses where there are two seats on each sides.  The two rows on the right side are better for couples or friends traveling together. 
Stewardess on-board the Deluxe bus.

  • If you’re like me who usually use mobile phones to listen to music while traveling and afraid of battery drain, the Deluxe bus has its own electrical socket to recharge, located on the bottom side of the wall on each seats, that’s a big plus there, I needn’t have to bring my power bank.
Electrical plug to charge your mobile phones.

  • Not too sure but I have noticed with taking the Deluxe bus twice already, it has better internet wifi connectivity whilst I find the Ordinary buses to be having a slow internet or even useless at times.
Adding it all up, that already saved me P210 (meals + toilet use) maybe even more if I buy some other snacks from vendors getting inside the bus selling peanuts, sweets, drinks and snacks.  The lady stewardess on board hands out bottled water, small cupcake to nibble on and a small plastic of peanuts for free!  The next time I got hungry, that would be the time I’ve reached my destination.
Say, I take the Ordinary bus, I pay P455 + 210 for meals and toilet use, that’s P665 in total.  A difference of P85 lesser than the Deluxe bus!  I paid P85, a very trivial amount, for the comfort of space, convenience of time, free on-board snacks, mobile phone charging, better internet connectivity, and uninterrupted sleep!  The last one being the most priceless, for me at least.

Toilet inside the bus.
So the next time you take a bus from Manila to Baguio City (or the Ilocos Region) or vice-versa, think about what you can get out of the fare and what you can’t.
Baguio to Manila Bus Schedule.

  • I took the bus from Baguio to Manila to catch the evening flight of AirAsia that got postponed twice, from 8:10pm to 9:10pm to finally 10:30pm – on to Davao City.

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