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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


OK, we broke the “no bus ticket reservation” rule. Our target date is from April 27 to May 1 and I can say that it’s peak season for travellers and tan catchers alike. We inquired through two bus companies that have transpo service to Banaue.

Option one is Autobus (+63 2 7358096). They have a station in España corner G. Tolentino just past UST from Lacson. Usually, they offer one direct trip from Manila to Banaue at 10pm but they added three extra trips (at 10:45pm, 11pm and 11:15pm) last April 27. I suspect that it has something to do with long weekend-ish weekend (some could be taking a day off on April 30 since May 1 is a public holiday).

Option two is Cable Tours (+63 918 5216790). Other than the usual service, this bus company also has collaboration with other groups that offer tour packages to Sagada (i.e. Nature Awareness & Conservation Club, Inc., / / +63 2 8061720 / +63 919 4839250 / +63 915 5101600). Their trip schedule to Banaue is earlier at 8pm and the bus station is along E. Rodriguez, right in front of St. Luke’s Hospital and Trinity College.

One week before the trip, we went to Autobus terminal only to find out that bus seats for 10pm, 10:45pm and 11pm were already sold out. From España, we tried to visit the Cable Tours terminal. It wasn’t easy to find at first. The place doesn’t look like the usual bus terminal, dark and the area was only lighted by the fluorescents from the bus which was Banaue-bound that time. We were asked by the driver to text a number and ask for a reservation. The next day, we received an SMS confirmation that no seat was available for us.

The trip, even we’re not starting yet, was almost over. Done. Dead. Finished. Gone! We facilitated the idea of reversing the whole trip, Baguio-Sagada-Banaue, though it’s less comfortable since the bus trips from Banaue are limited. And, yes, we also considered to take our chance as, err, chance passengers first before heading to any bus terminal to Baguio. But the force stopped us from being losers. Three days before, I rang Autobus to inquire about the “chance”. What I got was an announcement that an extra trip was being opened for an 11:15pm trip. The info guy/dispatcher even allowed me to reserve tickets over the phone so long as I can claim and pay up for those before 10 in the evening. I hurriedly got a cab and went to España.

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