The Adventurous Bus Journey, Part 1

17 01 2015

As on the way in to Vigan, I had to take the bus the locals take to get to the airport to fly back to Manila.  My flight was at 8:40 pm and calculating that the journey was a couple of hours, I decided to take a bus that left Vigan at about 5 pm.  Earlier in the day, I had gone to the bus terminal to ask what I would have to do to get on the bus at that hour and was told to come about one hour prior, take a number, and wait.  So I did.  I left my hotel at a little before 4 pm on a tricycle taxi.

My ride to the bus terminal.  Cost me only 20 PHP.  On the way in, the driver charged me 50 PHP.

My ride to the bus terminal. Cost me only 20 PHP. On the way in, the driver charged me 50 PHP.

Sitting with my blue Samsonite.

Sitting with my blue Samsonite.

At the Partas bus terminal.  Sitting behind the guy in charge so as not to miss my bus.  It's not like they have announcements in English so I was on the alert.

At the Partas bus terminal. Sitting behind the guy in charge so as not to miss my bus. It’s not like they have announcements in English so I was on the alert.

My number was called out (numbers are always spoken in English in the Philippines) and I made the 4:30 pm bus it was full so I stood.

My number was called out (numbers are always in English in the Philippines) and I made the 4:30 pm bus. It was full so I stood.

Lady selling refreshments on the bus while the bus took a bathroom break at the terminal where I got on.

A lady selling refreshments on the bus while the bus took a bathroom break at the terminal where I got on.

An old Filipino lady sitting with her husband kept offering me 1/3 of their seats and I kept refusing but at the end she was more persistent than me and I gave in.  Half of me sat at the edge of their seats for about an hour and a half until another seat became available.

An old Filipino lady sitting with her husband kept offering me 1/3 of their seats and I kept refusing but at the end she was more persistent than me and I gave in. Half of me sat at the edge of their seats for about an hour and a half until another seat became available.

Fast forward.  We reached the final destination Laoag after more than three hours with traffic and stops made along the way only to find out that my “blue Samsonite” which I had checked in with one of the bus crew was missing.  Dread came over me and I thought, anything I had in that bag and the bag itself, I am not going to get back.  Ever. And by this time I was getting worried that I might miss my flight as well as my flight the next morning to Tokyo if I didn’t make it back to Manila.

Long story short, my bag was located at the terminal in Vigan though it took forever to find and thanks to one of the bus people in Laoag being smart and quick,  after hearing what time I was flying out to Tokyo and from which terminal, told the Vigan people to put my bag on the night bus that was leaving Vigan that evening, arriving in Manila at a terminal near the airport at 6 am the following day.  I was given numbers to call the next morning to see if my bag had been successfully transferred.  From there I hopped on a tricycle who would not go for less than 150 PHP to head to the airport and made my flight.

I told him to step on it and he seriously did.  He was overtaking cars.

I told him to step on it and he seriously did. He was overtaking everyone.

What awaited at the airport: a body weight check.  WTF

What awaited at the airport: a body weight check. WTF

I was one of the last passengers to arrive.

I was one of the last passengers to arrive.

My ride back to Manila.

My ride back to Manila.

To be continued.

 


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3 responses

18 01 2015
The Adventurous Bus Journey, Part 2 | A blog by Ayako Mathies

[…] after I got into a rather heated up dialog with the bus people with my luggage not turning up at the bus terminal in Laoag but…, I was met with another question.  Would the free shuttle bus still be running to my airport hotel […]

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19 01 2015
Kinpatsu Oneesan

Ahaha I like the body-weight check! What is that?!

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20 01 2015
Ayako Mathies

Dreadful, right?!?!

My flight attendant friend says:
“On smaller planes in particular they need to know how the weight is distributed. I’ve had that pleasure in Panama too… I weighed twice as much as the tiny Kuna women… But even on big jets, weight and balance can require people to be moved, particularly for take off.”

Meanwhile your hand-luggage max allowance is 5 kg. Over that you have to check your bag in and pay for it which is what I was told to do in Manila. I was ready to do it again but my bag got lost making me a rather light traveller…

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