Unlike my first visit, I reached Bicolandia via land transportation, specifically by riding a Philtranco bus. Philtranco traces its beginning in the year 1914 when a two Americans, Albert Ammen and Max Blouse, established a bus company in Iriga, Camarines Sur. Now, Philtranco is one of the biggest bus company in the Philippines and its buses ply the between Metro Manila and the areas to the south like the Bicol Region and the Visayas. Philtranco buses also travel between Metro Manila and Pampanga.
|(Source: Philtranco Radio Portal)|
I am fortunate to travel to Camarines in the middle of the year because I avoided the peak travel periods that usually occurs during the Holy Week and Christmas Season. Weeks ago, I read a blogger's complaints regarding Philtranco when traveling during peak travel season. The blogger complained about the crowded and noisy Philtranco Pasay terminal. I am glad that I did not experience such an ordeal. On the contrary, I found the Philtranco Pasay terminal half-filled with people when I went there.
If you are planning to ride the Philtranco bus, It is recommended that you buy your ticket an hour or more before your chosen departure time. If you are traveling during the peak travel season, then it is recommended that you book your trip weeks in advance.
Philtranco buses have wide windows that allow its passengers to see the sights while traveling. And because of the long travel time, Philtranco buses have an on-board comfort room so passengers can pee while traveling. I did not use the comfort room because my urine might pour on places other than the toilet bowl because of the shaking inside the bus. The bus also has reclining seats that allow passengers to sleep more comfortable during the whole trip.
I chose to travel during the night that's why the bus' wide windows are useless because it is too dark for me to see the sights outside. I also traveled in Philtranco's air-conditioned bus that made me shiver and wish that I should have brought a jacket. I also tried not to fall asleep because I have some fear that I am not able to wake up. I have that fear because buses here in the Philippines are known to be accident prone. Many provincial buses fell over cliffs or collided with other vehicles because the driver fell asleep or the breaks malfunctioned.
My voyage is fast because of the absence of heavy traffic. I am glad that no unfortunate thing occurred while we traveled the road to the Philtranco’s first stop in Gumaca.
Second part of this post is the stop-over in Gumaca and the second-half of the trip to Naga City.
Visit Ahab Reviews and Tips and read about what Team Azkal can learn from the Philippine Dragonboat Team.