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Zine Entry #27 – Calbayog to Angeles

Zine Entry #27 – Calbayog to Angeles



These next few posts will be about our short little trip to Angeles City on Luzon and how things were good and how things were bad.  I have a little over 12 pages of notes in one of those small spiral notebooks.  That’s 12 pages front and back, so actually slightly over 25 pages if you count each side for a page.  I hope that y’all learn some things to do and some things not to do when/if you are ever around Angeles and especially if you are trying to get a Space A flight.

I didn’t get too many pictures at the beginning of the trip and, since I don’t want to put pictures on here of places we were before I talk about them in the post, I will have a few older pictures at the bottom of this post.  We should be okay with the rest of the posts though.

This little trip started on the 4th of July around 10:00am.  Lita was told by the bus company that the bus to Cubao usually arrives between 10:30 and 11:00 each day.  The bus terminal is only about a quarter of a mile down the road from us and Lita didn’t want to be late.  Saddam gave us a ride there in his tricycle.  Of course this is the Philippines and, at least for that day, the bus did not arrive until 12:10.  We waited there for about 2 hours.  I did get a few pictures of the inside of the terminal.  It’s the first time I have been inside there even though they are so close to the house.

Part of the inside of the terminal

The bus terminal where we started.

Right before the bus showed up I got a message from Juvic letting us know that one of the expats here, Rick Smith, died from kidney deterioration.  He had been fighting it for a few weeks, but it was a losing battle.  I was debating as to whether to stay or not because of that, but that’s when the bus showed up and I figured there really was not much we could do anyway.  His widow, Flor, will probably have to move back in with her family.  She is such a nice person, I really hate to see her have to deal with all this, but, as I said, there is just so much we can do to help.

The bus line we left Calbayog on is called Golden Dragon.  The bus was okay, but just okay.  The air con leaked pretty badly for awhile, but they did get it fixed to where it didn’t leak much at all before we arrived in Cubao.  Upon entering the bus, there were only 2 open seats, but the bottom parts where you sit were off.  The driver said that it was done on purpose (whatever), but he went ahead and fixed them for us.  The seat back I was in by the window would not go all the way up.  It was okay for me, but the lady behind me was not too happy.

Inside the Golden Dragon bus

Another view of the bus terminal

Our first stop was in Allen.  It takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes to get there.  This is where you and the bus get on the ferry, separately, to got to the Bicol region on Luzon.  You have to pay an additional fee of P11.20 for the ferry.  The time of the trip itself is unclear right now.  Juvic told us 45 minutes, Lita says about 1 hour 25 minutes but it seemed closer to 2 hours to me.  After some wonderful backward driving, our driver got the bus on the ferry.  On this particular trip, Lita talked the driver into letting us stay on the bus to sleep.  I think she slipped the guy some extra pesos, but I’m not sure about that.  We did sleep about the whole trip.

The next time we stopped it was about 6pm and was at a little restaurant for all to eat.  We were only there about 20 minutes.  It was a nice little place, but I was so tired I forgot to take pictures of the place.  This was also a CR (comfort room) break and I was sure happy for that.  I don’t think my bladder could have held out much longer.  When you use the CR in at these places, it cost money.  It’s only usually P5 and the money is the salary of the person that cleans the CR.  Now this CR was very clean so I had no problem leaving the pesos.  In fact, with the combination of a clean restroom and relieving my full bladder, I was so happy, I just left P10.  We didn’t stop again until about 11pm.  It also was at a nice restaurant with a clean CR, but it had little flying bugs assaulting you in the outside eating area under the lights.  Again I was happy to be leaving P10 for my CR break.  After my CR break, I bought a small bottle of Coke.  It was one of those 5 1/2 oz ones and the ‘over’ price of it was P15.  You know that when you drink a whole bottle of Coke at one time, people look at you.  At least they usually do for me and they sure did that evening.

Warning posted on ferry

DLTB bus line

Finally, after what seemed like days, we made it to the Manila area.  I still have not gotten an exact time of that bus trip from the ferry to Cubao.  I’ll have to work on that.  It is a long ways though, that’s for sure.  Maybe a plane trip would be best for us next time.  At least going there would be.  Coming back, we most likely will need to take the bus because our bags might be a bit heavier after visiting a military commissary.  That’s another story for another time though.

In Manila we almost got off at the wrong stop.  They go to Pasay before Cubao and we thought we finally made it there.  It was not that much further to Cubao anyway, but we just really wanted to be off that bus.  Even when we finally did get to Cubao @ 0905 we run into another problem.  The bus line we are on does not have service to Angeles.  So, with the help of one of the terminal fellows, there are plenty of them around there, we walked down the street to 3 different bus terminals until we found one that had service to Angeles.  It was 5-Star bus lines.  In fact, there was one getting ready to leave very soon.  So soon we were allowed to get on the bus right then.  We were the first 2 on the bus, so I picked the seats I wanted.  Those were seats 5 & 6.   While Lita went to get some peanuts and use the CR one more time I checked out the bus.  It was nicer than the Golden Dragon bus, plus it did not have an air con leak.  The fee for this trip is P140 per person.

Ciriaco pool rules

Casandra Pearl

Finally, at long last, we made it to Angeles.  I was so happy to be getting off buses, that I failed to notice that I left my Retired US Air Force cap on the bus, along with my notebook that I had been taking notes with for this blog.  Naturally I didn’t notice that until the next day.  I was just happy to be making to a hotel and get some decent sleep.  Of course things didn’t go as “I” planned when we first got there, but I will pick up on that on the next post.

Salamat Y’all








An interesting article provide to me by Moonglow.


  1. Just FYI, we drove from Manila to Matnog where you catch the ferry to Allen, Samar. Total time was around 18 hours to Allen, and another 1.5 hours to our Barangay.

  2. I think do it once for the experience and then fly next time… Long ride,flight is not much more expensive, but you can carry more pasalubong on the bus.

    • Well John that is exactly what our plan was. We wanted to go to a military installation, go to the commissary and bring back some things we can not get here. I am now trying to talk Lita into taking a plane there, then taking a bus back. It was a bit adventurous but it’s hard on my ass. Of course the bus we returned on had much better seats than the one we went up on, so it was a little better.
      I think that this is your first comment on this site. At least it is with this e-mail address. Thanks for commenting and I hope to hear more from you on things. I can use some help at times.

  3. Our bike club took a roro over from Luzon to Marinduque. My first ferry ride, not so bad going there but it was packed on the way back so if I was on a bus, probably would have wanted to sleep on it as well. But then a few weeks back, a roro sank and if you were on the bus, dont know if you would be able to get off in time. These ferries sink like a stone.

    • Maybe that’s why they don’t really like people to be on the bus during the ferry ride. It was not so crowded on our ride back, but it was in the wee hours of the morning.

      • John, for the purpose of safety, people are generally not allowed to remain in the loading bay. Vehicles are usually packed so tight that it makes exiting a vehicle almost impossible if something were to happen (fire, capsize, etc.) It’s just safer to be topside.

        • I figured that, but I also noticed that our driver stayed with us. I know he is not a passenger. Anyway we made it through all that and I did get some sleep I needed. Lita had been sleeping about the whole trip thanks to her motion sickness pills.

  4. Hey John just want to say hello and let you know we made it back to states after 3hr delay in Korea. Missed flight to San Diego so airline had to book us on another flight that left us hanging around LAX for 4hrs. Made it to San Diego at midnight and had to take Nila to hospital for check-up as soon as we arrived. She had went to doctor in Calbayog a week or so before we left because she thought she might have blockage in vein of her leg because it was hurting her. Doctor said he could not tell because they did not have equipment to check and she had to go to Manila. So he gave her meds to help until we arrived back in states. They kept her over night and ran a bunch of test but could not find problem so now she has to follow up with family doctor for more test. Good to hear you made it back from your trip. Bus rides in the Philippines can be an adventure specilly during storms. Nila says high to you and Lita and hope everthing is fine there.

    • Howdy George. Glad to hear you made it back, each of y’all in 1 piece. I hope Nila will be okay. She’s a tough old bird so she probably will.
      Yeah we are back from Angeles, but we did not get accomplished what we wanted to. We did do some other things and found out some more things though. All that will be in future posts.
      The first part of our bus trip was during a lightning storm, so I know what you mean on that.
      We are all fine here. Will be glad when y’all are back. Stay safe until then.

Texan in the Philippines