“THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO BACK AND FORTH … ALL DAY LONG”

So,  another ExperiencFilipino Bus1e and you are looking for a whole lot more (Perhaps something on the Milder side would be better though eh?). What could happen on a bus you ask?  Well … we will get to that.  First I need to preface my comments with this.

 

There are a number of types of transportation in the Philippines Jeepneys, Trikes, Taxi’s, Shuttles, trains, City Buses and intercity buses. They are all safe. well relatively safe. I have no hesitation to put my wife and kids in a bus, trike, train, shuttle or anything else this wonderful country has to offer.  Like any other metropolitan country, with massive cities, it too has its share of disaster. Please note: the following is not intended to discourage tourism to the Philippines but rather have people see also the vast adventures in the Philippines. After all … “LIFE IS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!”

So let’s make it very clear, just like any other country, the Philippines has vehicular accidents. In the last couple of years, we have seen accidents where the train didn’t stop

bus crash 4

A BAD BUS CRASH

and crashed at the terminal, there have been a number of bus accidents involving other vehicles, people and yes, even causing a number of deaths. It is sad to report that I have heard at least three buses in the last 4 years going off of the road over steep embankments, over cliffs and killing most, if not all it’s occupants. In fact, there was a case just recently of that happening, and amazingly, a baby and a few others survived. They say two of the contributing factors was speed and being overloaded with passengers. It is extremelfull Intercity bus stuffed with peopley tragic when something like this happens, and disastrous especially when there is a loss of life. Even one life is too much! It should never happen and when things like this happen there should be serious consequences for the drivers and the bus companies themselves who put extreme pressure in terms of deadlines (sorry perhaps not the best phrase to use here (timelines), long hours, etc. They and the conductor are expected to have the bus filled or overfilled so they can make the most profit from a job that actually pays very liitle.  OK, ENOUGH OF MY RANT! TOO MUCH SERIOUSNESS!!!!!!  packed full city bus

 

It is nomotorbikes1t unusual to see buses, trikes and Jeepneys overcrowded and way past the capacity allowed. BUT HEY, THIS IS THE PHILIPPINES. YES THEY HAVE RULES BUT ALL TOO OFTEN ARE LOOSELY FOLLOWED AND YES IT IS ALL PART OF THIS WONDERFUL CULTURAL WEAVE THAT YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE.  VICTORY LINER BUS.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you are getting on a bus and finding a nice seat. (I say nice because it is not uncommon for a seat to be broken so it stays in the recline position permanently or vice versa. You look around the bus and see a big TV screen at the front or if lucky a second screevendors 4n halfway back. It looks pretty decent with the seats all coordinated with the curtains. the seats, the floors, and aisles are for the most part clean and it looks like you will have a quiet relaxing bus trip. NOT!!!!! NOT !!!!! AND DEFINITELY NOT!!!!! BELIEVE ME, THE EXPERIENCE IS JUST ABOUT TO START AND YOU IN FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE. If you don’t believe me go to the Philippines, and try it! (I suggest however that you read this first lol). You got into the bus early and you found a conductor who’s English is not too broken and he explained to you that this is the bus you take to get up to Angeles and then you will have to switches buses there again to get to Capas Tarlac.  You thought you had tbuko pie vendorhem all fooled. You saw all the vstreet vendor2endors approaching you, trying to sell you buko pie, candy, pop, and water, nuts, hamburgers, hotdogs, various BBQ’d parts of Pork, newspapers, Sweet Filipina desserts, Coffee and Juices, seafood, banana cue, and so many other things and now you’re on the bus. away from them all. Or not. As people are starting to board the bus slowly you realize that some of these people are vendors now coming on to the bus to sell you these same items. There really is no stop to them. It’s like massive swarms of fliestreet vendor1s coming to your seat that you viciously swat away over and over again. Unfortunately, just when one group of vendors leave another group is there to replabananacuece them.  You almost feel like faking some real bad disease just to scare them all away so that they leave you alone.  Lol. The good news if there is something you need you will most likely be able to get it. So the bus starts filling up and filling up oh and did I say it fills up? Ok, it actually depends on where you are departing from as to how full it can be. But often when leaving a Bus terminal it will be quite full. Now, If you can imagine a greyhound bus with a conductor (takes fares), this is pretty well the Philippine intercity bus lines. In fact, there are some that operate out of Batangas Port our ferries port that are nicer than our buses. Well almost. You see If you were to continue on your journey you would after a bit discover that there are no bathrooms on these buses. This means that either nice bus 2you use the facilities at the stops or you have the bus stop and go on the side of the road.  Yes, it is not uncommon to see men peeing on the side of the road somewhere. Now, did I happen to mention that these buses are going what seems like three hundred miles an hour, weaving in and out of traffic, constantly passing other vehicles by going into oncoming traffic? Ode to sickness. (in the tune of ode to joy)

“sickness sickness how i hate you bus is fast the stops too few, vomit, vomit soon is coming slow down driver here it comes.

driving crazy, weaving through traffic, hits all bumps and up i go.

crazy drivers should be fired, slow down drivers keep us safe. we want to get to our destination, in one peice and still alive.

oh yes, and if you are near the back of the bus be prepared for bumps, lots and lots of bumps. I remember on one trip I had a real sore butt and a real sore head. the real sore head is obvious, I banged my head repeatedly on an already low roof.

Another song my 3 year old daughter sings “The wheels on the bus go round and round”  modified my yours truly,  me

The Wheels on the bus go back and forth …. all day long

The heads on the bus go bang bang bang … all day long

the people on the bus go barf barf barf … all day long

sing along with me if you know it

The people on the bus go brrr brrr brr … all day long

conductors on the bus go pay the fare … all day long.

conductors on the bus say it’s your stop … all day long

people on the bus go “glad we’re stopped” all day long

(I give you fair warning, Jeepneys, trikes, and buses are NOT  MADE FOR NORTFilipino Bus1H AMERnice busICANS.  THESE ARE SHORT, NARROW AND EVERYTHING THAT MOST NORTH AMERICAN ARE NOT. MOST FILIPINOS ARE BETWEEN 5 FOOT AND FIVE FOOT 6. ANYONE BIGGER WILL SUFFER.  DON’T SAY I DIDN’T GIVE YOU FAIR WARNING. Anyhow the sore butt is from coming down hard on myfull Intercity bus stuffed with people tailbone on the edge of the seat.  It sometimes feels like you are on some amusement park ride that throws you around constantly and you are paying for the nausea pain and suffering, not to mention high blood pressure and stress.

So you are getting on a bus and finding a nice seat. (I say nice because it is not packed full city busuncommon for a seat to be broken (to it stays in the recline position permanently or vice versa)). You look around the bus and see a big TV screen at the front AND if lucky a second screevendors 4n halfway back. It looks pretty decent with the seats all color coordinated with the curtains. the seats, the floors, and aisles. All are for the most part clean, and it looks like you will have a quiet relaxing bus trip. NOT!!!!! NOT !!!!! AND DEFINITELY NOT!!!!! BELIEVE ME, THE EXPERIENCE IS JUST ABOUT TO START AND YOU IN FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE. If you don’t believe me go to the Philippines, and try it! (I suggest however that you read this first lol). You got into the bus early and you found a conductor who’s English is not too broken and he explained to you that this is the bus you take to get up to Angeles and then you will have to switches buses there again to get to Capas Tarlac.  THEN THERE ARE THE AGGRESSIVE VENDORS. You thought you had tbuko pie vendorhem all fooled. You saw all the vstreet vendor2endors approaching you, trying to sell you buko pie, candy, pop, and water, nuts, hamburgers, hotdogs, various BBQ’d parts of Pork that we won’t mention(in this post),  newspapers, Sweet Filipina desserts, Coffee and Juices, seafood, banana cue, and so many other things and now you’re on the bus. away from them all. Or not. As people are starting to board the bus slowly you realize that some of these people are vendors now coming on to the bus to sell you these same items. There really is no stop to them. It’s like massive swarms of fliestreet vendor1s coming to your seat that you viciously swat away over and over again. Unfortunately, just when one group of vendors leave another group is there to replabananacuece them.  You almost feel like faking some real bad disease just to scare them all away so that they leave you alone.  Lol. The good news if there is something you need you will most likely be able to get it. So the bus starts filling up and filling up oh and did I say it fills up? Ok, it actually depends on where you are departing from as to how full it can be. But often when leaving a Bus terminal it will be quite full. Even when it is empty it desn’t stay that way, rather you will have people shoulder to shoulder standing in the aisles waiting for a seat to open up.  Now, If you can imagine A greyhound bus, this is pretty well the Philippine intercity bus lines  . In fact, there are some that operate out of Batangas Port when you are coming from ferries that are nicer than our buses. Well almost. You see If you were to continue on your journey you would after a bit discover that there are no bathrooms on these buses. This means that either nice bus 2you use the facilities at the stops or you have the bus stop and go on the side of the road.  Yes, it is not uncommon to see men peeing on the side of the road somewhere. Now, did I happen to mention that these buses are going what seems like three hundred miles an hour, weaving in and out of traffic, constantly passing other vehicles by going into oncoming traffic nearly avoiding other ones?  You see in the Philippines they don’t drive like us normal people, they for the most part drive absolutely crazy. Yes Crazy. They honk for every little thing and as I mentioned, Filipino drivers weave in and out of traffic and do things that most drivers do not do. In any North American country, they would be ticketed for aggressive driving,  unsafe lane changes,  and making illegal U-turns. They may be in an intersection and need to pull into traffic, Instead of doing what normal people do they will keep pulling the nose of the car out further and further into traffic until the other vehicles stop and then they can pull right into the lanes. Need to do a U-turn? No problem. Same thing. Forget about that other traffic in both directions is coming towards you or that the rules say no u-turns, just do it anyways and hope that you don’t get hit. Driving in the Philippines can be hazardous at best, but especially when you are in the bigger city centers, where driving resembles more a game of dodgeball. (I know I’ve driven here) The only unwritten rule is that the bigger trucks and other vehicles have right away.  Obvious isn’t it? Otherwise, you and your car end up looking like a can of sardines. Anyhow, I digress. Back to the bus.  oh yes, and if you are near the back of the bus be prepared for bumps; lots and lots of bumps. I remember on one trip I had a real sore butt and a real sore head. the real sore head is obvious, I banged my head repeatedly on an already low roof. (I give you fair warning, Jeepneys, trikes, and buses are NOT  MADE FOR NORTFilipino Bus1H AMERnice busICANS.  THEY ARE SHORT, NARROW AND EVERYTHING THAT MOST NORTH AMERICAN ARE NOT. MOST FILIPINOS ARE BETWEEN 5 FOOT AND FIVE FOOT 6. ANYONE BIGGER WILL SUFFER. I DON’T SAY I DIDN’T GIVE YOU FAIR WARNING. Anyhow the sore butt is from coming down hard on myfull Intercity bus stuffed with people tailbone on the edge of the seat.  It sometimes feels like you are on some amusement park ride going up, down, and side to side. Now to add to this mix, at almost every stop light, stop for passengers and rest stops you will have vendors coming on to the bus for a mile or two with you, filling up the bus further, pleading with you to buy their goods. (like that is just what you need when your stomach is upset right?) Remember there are no toilets on this bus. All these factors can make for a very interesting bus ride. Of course, the bus lines don’t want you sick (or at least some of them anyways) so they crank the aircon,       (that’s air conditioning that for those who don’t speak taglish(Tagalog-English)) to about -500 degrees (or so it seems). THIS WAY YOU ARE A POPSICLE THE WHOLE TRIP WITH ALL YOUR INSIDES FROZEN SO THAT YOU ARE NOT LIKELY TO DIRTY THEIR BUS LOL) (MY OPINION ONLY)

It is at this time I am reminded of that famous Disney song “Let it go”,

Let it go, Let it go let the vomit spew all out, Let it go, let it go, may your bowels and bladder let loose, I don’t care what people say, I stink, I’m wet, I never liked them anyway.

Sorry to Disney in Advance. Let’s hope they don’t sue me lol

Of course needless to say, when you get to Capas Tarlac in the middle of the province it is like +400 degrees (actually only 36 Degrees but feels like 40). It’s like arriving out of a freezer and walking right into a convection oven. You are alive, (this time) and happy to get out of that popsicle stand, but not so happy taking a dip into the lobster pot where in the hot season it is not unusual to need a shower 3+ times a day.

As you can probably tell, I exaggerate some. well, a little bit anyways. I hope you are enjoying the stories, the sarcasm, wit, and humor. If you enjoy this leave a comment, follow me… not literally, just this blog (stalkers need not apply) and let me know what you think. check out my other blogs too. Some are of a more serious nature and others light-hearted. take your pick. Ingat (take care)

If I offended someone, I apologize and hope you will continue to read my blogs anyhow lol

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