Tag Archives: transportation

Holiday Commuting: Philippine Midterm Elections 2013

Traveling via public transport during the “sold-out holidays” has always been one of my most dreaded commuting stories. The Monday holiday for the philippines’ May 13 Midterm Elections is no exception!

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And my current (yes as in I’m still on the bus, thanks to their free WiFi service) sitting-by-the-stairs-right-next-to-the-glass-door position is a perfect example. Grrr.

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Kuya Driver was nice enough to let me put the cake in the bus' fridge

I didn’t realize that there will be a lot of people who are still hometown-bound to vote and participate in the midterm elections. So, I took my sweet time longing at our Quezon City home before leaving for the bus that will take me to Victoria, my hometown. Yes, I have not changed my residency and I am still a registered voter in Tarlac!

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The view when I stand up: Kuya Conductor looking over the SCTEX horizon and the impending rain!

My “seat” situation might not be ideal but that’s the price you pay for being patriotic (ehem!!! Hehe) and exercising your right to vote! Or, if you were lazy to move earlier in the day! Oh well. Either way. I hope Philippines’ 2013 Midterm Election and the new leaders who will be elected are worth the sacrifice and efforts of voters. Sulong, Pilipinas!

Note: The elections in the Philippines are considered sold-out holidays. Touristic travel via public commuter vehicles such as provincial buses will prove to be stressful, both among locals and foreigners. Most bus fares will remain the same though, unlike airfares that peak during sold-out holidays. Otherwise (as in on normal days), bus commuting in the Philippines is generally comfortable (especially AC/deluxe buses), reliable and safe.

Postscript: returning to Manila right after voting (9am) was a breeze–even got so sit from our town to the MRT station. Though there were people who had to stand, it wasn’t as packed as when I went home. It was a different story though for my mom, bro and grandma who had to cut their trips just to make it back due to the huge number of people!

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Tikling Island, Matnog, Sorsogon (Philippine Summers on my Mind)

One of the things I am looking forward to upon returning to the Philippines is the summer season! As a tropical country with 7,107 islands (yep, you read it right!), Philippines proudly boasts of white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters, and palm frond shorelines!

Tikling Island: Beautiful, isn't it?
Tikling Island: Beautiful, isn’t it?

Continue reading Tikling Island, Matnog, Sorsogon (Philippine Summers on my Mind)

Backpacking South East Asia: Brunei – Walking around the streets of Bandar

After visiting the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) Mosque and before heading to the Kampong Ayer (water villages), I first went around to check out the streets of Bandar.

The Sultan's 60th Birthday Monument and buildings in downtown BSB
The Sultan’s 60th Birthday Monument and buildings in downtown BSB

From the massive open field to government offices, from clean streets golden posts and chic-looking shopping places, Bandar Seri Begawan, to me, screams of opulence. Continue reading Backpacking South East Asia: Brunei – Walking around the streets of Bandar

Family Fun in Boracay (2010)

My Boracay family vacation video post on Facebook back in 2010 has been “resurrected”, thanks to my relatives who liked and commented in the past days. With it is a possibility of another family vacay, God-willing, maybe in Boracay again but also, maybe in El Nido!

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Take me back to Boracay!

Continue reading Family Fun in Boracay (2010)

Backpacking South East Asia: Onward from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei

Day 3: Kota Kinabalu-Labuan-Brunei via Ferry (the route most traveled)

Room 99 awaits!
Room 99 awaits!

After a great day and evening spent with Zuldee and Sally, I spent some more time chatting with the other guests at Sensi Backpackers. The Shanghai family is scheduled to leave the day after, just like me. We spent some more hours just chatting and me trying to convince them to come here in the Philippines. After that, my eyes and body finally gave in to the strong pull of the comfortable bed.

I woke up at about 6am and readied my stuff. I grabbed some breakfast too, and got myself some baon fruits (an apple and an orange), free! :p Before I left, I bade Sally goodbye (she told me to wake her) and promised that I’d see if I can come back to Kota Kinabalu before she returns to London (December 18). Unfortunately, I did not hold future at my hands and as much as I wanted to return and visit the Kota Kinabalu National Park, I no longer can. (If you are reading this Sally, I’m sorry! Come visit me instead! Hehe)

Anyway, if my camera time tag is correct, I am still having my bread toasted at 6:45am. The ferry that would take me from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei, passing through Labuan Federal Territory of Malaysia, is set to leave at 8am. Meaning, I should have been on my way at that time already instead of having two toasted bread with butter (more of margarine actually), strawberry jam and orange marmalade. So, I had to rely on my long legs and even longer strides to get me there before the departure time. I even made some stops actually, taking snaps here and there (I think I ended up erasing those here and there snaps when I ran out of memory somewhere in Vietnam).

One of the snaps here and there that survived the cut!
One of the snaps here and there that survived the cut!

I think it took me about 20 minutes walking from Sensi to Jesselton. It probably helped that I have been to Jesselton the day before for my Sapi Island Hopping Half-day Tour. I bought my ticket (sorry, I’ll try to juggle my memory to remember from which counter it was purchased) and paid the terminal fee. I asked for the cheapest ticket available (economy ticket), priced at RM53 + RM 3.6 for the terminal fee at Jesselton.

Off to Labuan!
Off to Labuan!

I figured, we’d all get there anyway. Besides, it’s an air-conditioned cabin whether you choose first-class or economy. Perhaps they got a better view though. Or they would be served a meal or something. I really didn’t know and I didn’t care so much. What mattered to me at that time was that I can save some bucks. :p Continue reading Backpacking South East Asia: Onward from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei