It’s not the first time for me to travel the Manila to Tacloban route via land trip but this is the first time I’m actually blogging about the whole travel experience.
Travel by land is not as bad as it sounds as long as you pick a reliable bus company to get you there. There are plenty of bus company to choose from for this trip. The market for passengers going back and forth (Manila to other points in Mindanao and Visayas) is very huge that each bus company has the opportunity to take a bite in the economy pie of travelers both on tour and on the road back to their respective hometowns.
My personal choice for this trip is the Philtranco Bus Line. I find it hassle free given the flexible schedules from morning until night time trips. I took the 9:30 PM so I could enjoy the long night ride.
Manila to Tacloban ₱ 1,567.65
Inclusive of :
₱1387.65 Bus Fare
₱ 180 Fast Cat Ferry Fare
On the Terminal
Since I arrived earlier than my scheduled trip, I went for a relaxing massage at the Positive Living Station just inside the departure area.
₱100 30 minutes
₱50 15 minutes
₱20 6 minutes
It was a relaxing treat before the 24-hour travel.
It actually calmed my system and prepared me for the expected long sit and sleep position. The 30 minute-angled whole body massage was worth it.
Time is gold so they say.
The bus departed on time at exactly 2130 H. And the journey back home began.
Stop Over 1
After 8 long hours, we arrived at San Fernando, Camarines Sur. 0530H
Designated stop over stations always offer local delicacies and I happily bought some for “pasalubong” and for a feature on this post. At CamSur they offer their Pili Tart for only ₱120.00 per pack.
Stop Over 2
Breakfast time was at Bulabog, Sorsogon at around 0930 H. Delicacy for this bus stop? The Daday Uraro with a price tag of ₱100.00, quite affordable for a pasalubong treat.
At exactly 12 high noon, we arrived at Matnog Sorsogon, the ferry port transfer that serves as the hub for RoRo ferry plying from Matnog, Sorsogon to Allen, Samar.
One thing of advantage with doing a Philtranco trip is the Fastcat ferry tie up. The Catamaran ferry that exclusively takes in Philtranco buses without unnecessary delays equate to less waiting time on the terminal. Which is very practical for those traveling on budget.
Stop Over 3
We arrived at Allen, Samar at about 1400 H. Allen, Samar is the gateway for routes that extend as far as Surigao and to other parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
Stop Over 4
Last Bus stop for this trip was at Calbayog, Samar at 1535H for a quick late lunch.
I arrived at Tacloban at 2030 H, one hour earlier than my estimated arrival time, impressive for a land trip experience.
The Philtranco Bus 1900 will travel one more day going to Mindanao before it can schedule another trip back to Manila, one more ferry ride and twenty more passengers to safely send home.
As to me, I’m just happy I came home one hour early. Sixty minutes of “babe-time” is precious. Time is gold so they say.
Important things to bring.
Bottled water, to stay hydrated
Toiletries, toothpaste, soap, etc.
Blankets or shoal, to keep you warm.
A book, if you like to read while traveling.
Stuffs you need to know…
•Stop over food shops offer meals ranging from ₱100-150.00. If you want to save and bring your own food, make sure you stow your food on tight and clean containers.
•Ready ₱5.00 coins for public toilet use and maintenance cost.
•Properly tag your bags and personal belongings to avoid mix ups with other baggages. And always bring your valuables like wallet and gadgets with you.
•Bring medicines and anti drowsiness tablets just in case the toil of long travel kicks in.
•Lastly, enjoy, make friends and talk to your fellow passengers, long travels like this one is an opportunity to meet new people and maybe share experiences.
Over all this Manila-Tacloban trip was excellent, no major delays due to engine troubles, and the accomodation from the bus to the ferry was excellent. I would recommend Philtranco Lines for any of your travels. They cater routes all over Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao so does their FastCat Services.
More than the time efficiency what I value about the trip is that I arrived home to my wife, safe and sound. I think that’s one major factor in choosing your preferred bus company in your future travels. Thanks to the Philtranco-JAM liner-FastCat services.
Byahe Na! (Go Travel!)