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Bus Travel in Manila, Luzon

Posted by on Apr 11th, 2009
Filed Under: Bus, Luzon


Bus Terminal

Due to the large network of roads and highways in the Philippines, bus travel has become a preferred mode of exploring the country, especially for those on a budget. There are different kinds of buses to choose from, from luxury liners where you can enjoy long road trips on lazy boy chairs, or simple buses with air conditioning and movie entertainment. For those on a really low budget, they can also opt to go on open-air buses, which are significantly cheaper than air conditioned buses.

Most people who travel by bus fall into the lower class demographics, mainly because they cannot afford to travel by plane. A large percentage have come to Manila for work, leaving behind their families in the province. Because of this, bus travel provides a cheaper alternative for them to see their family back home for days or weeks at a time. However, there is also a small percentage of those in the middle class who travel by bus, mainly because it provides a unique way of seeing the country side and a fun option for road trips. It’s also a practical choice for those traveling in large groups, considering the rising gas prices today. Many of the local bus companies offer charting services for large groups as well, such as for company outings and special trips with a large group.

The continually developing roads around the country have made bus travel the most practical choice for seeing the many tourist spots around the Philippines. Within the cities of Manila, it is quite obvious that buses dominate the highways and major streets. There are a number of bus terminals that can take one to almost any point in Luzon.

Longer trips spanning more than 4 hours usually stop over for 30 minutes to pick up and drop off other passengers, and in these stopovers you can also expect to use a public bathroom. It’s highly advisable to avoid drinking large amounts of fluids because one can’t just ask the bus driver to stop in the nearest bathroom. Ask the bus liner where and how often the bus will be stopping over during the course of your travel.


Bus Types


There are basically 3 types of buses:
1. New air conditioned official buses with TV
2. The older non-air con official buses
3. Private buses


Safety Tips


Traveling by bus also means that one must practice safety precautions. Generally, bus travel in the Philippines is safe, but it’s important to never compromise safety just as you would in other modes of public transportation. Before you hop onto a bus, it’s recommended that you give the telephone number of the bus company and bus number to a family member in case of any emergencies. Also, when en route to your destination, never publicly display that you are carrying a big amount of money and also don’t wear expensive or flashy jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Especially in cases of long bus trips, be sure to carry change including coins and small bills for stopovers and when you want to purchase snacks and meals along the way. Lastly, dress down and try as much as possible to avoid attracting a lot of attention to yourself.


Onboard Entertainment


When it comes to entertainment options, these are quite limited and vary depending on the kind of bus you are taking. Most buses are equipped with one television so that everyone can watch television or a DVD. Other than that, radios are the only other entertainment option aboard the bus.


Estimated Bus Fares


Bus fares are very modest. Currently the fare is about 1km = PHP 1.00.


Bus Terminals in Metro Manila


Bus companies have several terminals scattered throughout Luzon. Within Metro Manila, one can find bus stops in the following locations:

1. Alabang
2. FTI
3. Baclaran
4. Magallanes
5. EDSA Shaw Boulevard
6. Ortigas Avenue
7. Las Pinas
8. Cubao
9. Coastal Road
10. Pasig
11. Novaliches
12. SM Fairview
13. PhilCoa
14. UP Diliman
15. Zapote
16. Taft Avenue

These are just some of the bus stops around the Greater Manila Area (GMA). They are very easy to find. The bus fare for travel within GMA is around PhP 15 upwards, depending on the bus facilities and the distance of travel.


List of Bus Companies


For out of town travel, here is a list of bus companies and their destinations in Luzon area:

Victory Liner

Terminals: Caloocan, Cubao, Kamias, Pasay, Sampaloc, Dagupan, Baguio
Destinations: San Fernando, Iba, Olongapo, Tarlac, Baguio, Dagupan, Bolinao, Alaminos, Aparri, and Tuguegarao.
Read more about – Victory Liner

Philtranco Service Enterprises

Philtranco Manila Luzon Bus

Terminals: EDSA, Pasay, Cubao
Destinations: Legaspi City, Daet, Naga, Bulacan, and Clark.
Read more about – Philtranco

Dangwa Tranco

Terminals: Sampaloc, Cubao
Destinations: Benguet, Ifugao Province, Cordillera Administrative Region
Read more about – Dangwa Tranco

Farinas Transit Company

Terminal: Laon-laan cor M. dela Fuente Sts. Sampaloc, Manila
Destinations: Vigan, Laoag
Read more about – Farinas Transit Company

JAM Transit

Terminals: Taft Avenue, Cubao
Destinations: Quezon province, Laguna, Batangas
Read more about – JAM Transit

Five Star Bus Company

Terminal: Aurora Boulevard
Destinations: Bolinao, Dagupan, Cabanatuan.
Read more about – Five Star Bus Company

Dominion Transit

Terminal: Cubao
Destinations: La Union, Abra, Ilocos Sur
Read more about – Dominion Transit

Baliwag Transit Incorporated

Terminal: Cubao
Destinations: Aparri, Tuguegarao, San Jose del Monte, Baliwag
Read more about – Baliwag Transit Incorporated

Franco Frederico Lines

Terminal: Sampaloc
Destinations: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur
Read more about – Franco Frederico Lines

Aladdin Transit Corporation

Terminal: Sampaloc
Destinations: Cagayan Valley, Ifugao, Laoag, Baguio, Kalinga, Isabela, Dagupan
Read more about – Aladdin Transit Corporation

ALPS Bus

Terminal: Tel. No.: (02) 911 2186
Destinations: Batangas City in Batangas Province
Read more about – ALPS Bus

Autobus Transport Systems, INC.

Terminal: Dimasalang corner Laon-Laan, Sampaloc, Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 743-3227
Destinations: Aparri, Tuguegarao in Cagayan Valley Province, Banaue in Mountain Province, Laoag in Ilocos Norte Province, Lagawit, Tabuc, Tuwaw
Read more about – Autobus Transport Systems, INC.

Bataan Transit INC.

Terminal:
Destinations: Balanga, Mariveles in Bataan Province
Read more about – Bataan Transit INC.

Batangas Express Bus

Terminal:
Destinations: Batangas City in Batangas Province
Read more about – Batangas Express Bus

Cagsawa Tours

Terminal:
Destinations: Legaspi in Albay Province, Naga in Camarines Sur
Read more about – Cagsawa Tours Bus

Candon Bus Lines

Terminal:
Destinations: Candon in Ilocos Sur Province
Read more about – Candon Bus Lines

Celyrosa Bus

Terminal:
Destinations: Batangas City in Batangas Province
Read more about – Celyrosa

CROW Bus

Terminal: (02) 851-8852
Destinations: Nasugbu in Batangas Province, Mendez in Cavite Province
Read more about – CROW Bus

Dagupan Bus CO., INC.

Terminal: New York St., Cubao Quezon City
Tel. No.: (02) 727-2330
Destinations: Agno, Anda, Alaminos City, Bolinao, Dagupan City, Manaoag, San Carlos City in Pangasinan Province, Baguio City in Benguet Province, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan Valley Province
Read more about – Dagupan Bus CO., INC.

Dalin Bus

Terminal:
Destinations: Tuguegarao City in Cagayan Valley Province
Read more about – Dalin Bus

De Leon Express

Terminal:
Destinations: Pangasinan Province
Read more about – De Leon Express Bus

ES Transport

Terminal:
Destinations: Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija Province
Read more about – ES Transport Bus

Florida

Terminal:
Destinations: Tuguegarao City in Cagayan Valley Province, Laoag City in Ilocos Norte Province
Read more about – Florida Bus

German Espiritu Liner

Terminal:
Destinations: Balagtas in Bulacan Province
Read more about – German Espiritu Liner Bus

Genesis Transport Services, INC.

Terminal: Unit 101 A Giselle Park Plaza Edsa Corner Rotonda 1300 Pasay City
Tel. No.: (02) 551-0842
Destinations: Balanga, Mariveles in Bataan Province, Baler in Aurora Province, Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija Province, Baguio City in Benguet Province
Read more about – Genesis Transport Services, INC.

Gold Line Tours

Terminal:
Destinations: Bulan, Matnog & Magallanes, Sorsogon
Read more about – Gold Line Tours Bus

Jasper Jean

Terminal:
Destinations: Dasmariñas in Cavite Province
Read more about – Jasper Jean Bus

JAC Liner

Terminal: EDSA corner Kamias, Quezon City
Tel. No.: (02) 682-5750
Destinations: Lucena City in Quezon Province
Read more about – JAC Liner Bus

Maria De Leon

Terminal: Gelinos Street 1000 Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 731-4907
Destinations: Vigan City in Ilocos Sur Province, Laoag City in Ilocos Norte Province
Read more about – Maria De Leon Bus

Nelbusco

Terminal:
Destinations: Santiago City in Isabela
Read more about – Nelbusco Bus

Partas

Terminal: 816 Aurora Boulevard corner P. Bernardo St., Cubao 1109 Quezon City
Telephone (02) 727-8278 (PARTAS8)
Destinations: Laoag in Ilocos Norte Province, Vigan in Ilocos Sur Province, Baguio in Benguet Province
Read more about – Partas Bus

Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, INC.

Terminal: 819 Oroquieta Street 1000 Manila
EDSA, Balintawak, Quezon City
Tel. No.: (02) 734-9836 , (632) 3643477
Destinations: Angeles City in Pampanga Province, Tarlac City in Tarlac Province, Sta. Cruz in Zambales Province, Alaminos City and Bolinao in Pangasinan Province, Baguio in Benguet Province, San Fernando in La Union Province, Vigan in Ilocos Province, Laoag in Ilocos Norte Province
Read more about – Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, INC.

RCJ Lines

Terminal: 1558 España, Sampaloc, Manila
Destinations: Laoag City in Ilocos Norte Province
Read more about – RCJ Lines Bus

RJ Express

Terminal:
Destinations: Arayat, Macabebe in Pampanga Province, Cabiao, San Isidro in Nueva Ecija Province
Read more about – RJ EXPRESS Bus

Royal Eagle

Terminal: (02) 833-9074, 832-1006
Destinations: Apalit in Pampanga Province, Hagonoy in Bulacan Province, Roxas and Santiago City in Isabela
Read more about – Royal Eagle Bus

Santrans

Terminal:
Destinations: Norzagaray in Bulacan Province, Dagupan in Pangasinan Province
Read more about – Santrans Bus

Saulog Transit INC.

Terminal: 1377 Quirino Avenue, San Dionisio 1700 Parañaque
Tel. No.: (02) 825-2926
Destinations: Cavite City in Cavite Province, Olongapo City in Zambales Province, Baguio City in Benguet Province
Read more about – Saulog Transit INC Bus

Sierra Madre Transportation

Terminal:
Destinations: Arayat, Candaba in Pampanga Province, Cabiao, San Isidro in Nueva Ecija Province
Read more about – Sierra Madre Transportation Bus

ST. Joseph Transportation

Terminal:
Destinations: Laoag in Ilocos Norte Province
Read more about – ST. Joseph Transportation Bus

Superlines

Terminal:
Destinations: Daet in Camarines Norte Province, Legaspi City in Albay Province
Read more about – Superlines Bus

Tritran

Terminal:
Destinations: Laguna Province, Batangas Province
Read more about – Tritran Bus

Viron Transit

Terminal: 1209 Blumentritt Cor. Dapitan St., Sampaloc 1000 Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 741-0405
Destinations: Manaoag in Pangasinan Province, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur Province
Read more about – Viron Transit Bus

With all these destinations and affordable bus fares, there’s no excuse not to hop onto the next bus going to breathtaking sights in Luzon.

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15 Responses to “Bus Travel in Manila, Luzon”

  1. Kuffour says:

    It’ll be great if you can provide some photographs of the conditions of the buses mentioned. I had very bad experiences with taking long distance buses throughout my travel, sometimes you can even find rats / cockroaches in some of them – and not to mention that some of the seats are just so badly damaged, that i had sore back after the ride. Horrible.

    • Ron says:

      as ANOTHER rule of thumb: ordinary buses are filthy as an unbathed homeless person.. yes, they are “economical” but would you risk getting a skin infection or TB on that 1 ride that you decided to “save money”.

      Also, observe the bus companies. If their buses are of different make and models, there is a high probability their fleet of buses have been pieced together from other companies. In layman’s term, their buses are 2nd hand (or even 3rd or 4th hand).
      Look for bus companies where 99% of their buses are alike.

      Those that I don’t recommend are

      SUPERLINES (hygenically dangerous),
      JVH (will take anything on board including fish, crabs, and dogs),
      BOBIS LINER (if the bus is half empty, you’re most likely to be transferred to another bus that’s close to half full),
      RAYMOND TRANSIT (conductors are liars and just plain gready)
      and GOLD LINER (they run their buses 24hrs and only have it rested when it needs repairs).

      how do I know these?
      because my job requires me to travel from Manila to Matnog, Sorsogon and back almost every other week.

  2. allan says:

    i have exprienced na bastos yung conductor ng JASPER bus line(Jasper jean services inc) although hndi nman cguro lahat ng sa jasper (pero sana hindi lahat)..nkaupo kme with my friends and the conductor approaches us para sa bayad instead na sir itawag smen the conductor called us “kupal bayad nyo?”..and pinaulit namen and he still say “kupal” and hiningi nmen ung name nya and binigay nya “Gago daw name nya”…to jasper..ganito po ba mga conductor na kinukuha nyo..ang babastos..passenger kme ang you should treat us with respect..ngbabayad kme ng tama and sana good service naman ibalik nyo smen..lagi ako smskay ng busses nyo around metro pro mdalas d2 s rotonda going to ayala and jasper lagi pinipili ko..but this time hindi na bcoz of your bastos na mga conductor…

    • Ryan says:

      Hi Allan,

      I would suggest that you call and complain the Jasper’s main office, make sure you take note of the bus number and the place and date where the incident happened. I am not sure but maybe you could also report this to the LTO/LTFRB/MMDA (although I doubt it if they are going to do something about it).

      I hope this incident wont happen to anyone ever again. I would also advise everyone to write in English so we could warn non-Filipinos about similar incident like what happened to yours in the future.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Cheers

      Ryan

    • Ron says:

      hehe .. there are conductors like that.

      it must be either they are ill-paid, no sense of accountability, or simply don’t care about their job.

      I had my share of such treatment. I complained but nothing came out of it. the only recourse (or course of action) is to simply BOYCOT the bus company as a whole.

    • MRS. FORONDA says:

      I JUST WANT TO COMPALIN REGARDING WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT ON MY WAY HOME, LOKO LOKO UNG DRIVER AT CONDUCTOR NG JASPER JEANS, PLATE NUMBER: PYJ 431, NAIINTINDIHAN KO NA MADAMING PASAHERO, PERO BUNTIS AKO 4 MONTH SA KONTING CONSIDERATION LANG NMAN SANA UNG MGA BUNTIS WAG NA NILANG IPILIT PAURUNGIN SA LIKOD NA SOBRANG SIKIP NA AT MEDYO MATAGTAG NA, AT NAMAMAHIYA PA SILA NG PASAHERO, SINABIHAN AKO NG BUS DRIVER, NA “HARANG KA LANG JAN” AT UNG CONDUCTOR NMAN ANG SABI SAKIN “KUNG MAARTE KA MAGTAXI KA NLANG” PARA SAKIN NMAN NASAN UNG KARAPAN NMEN MGA PASAHERO! NGBAYAD AKO NG TAMA WICH SUPPOSED TO BE i KNOW THAT COMFORTABLE AT SAFE AKO SA BUS NA SASAKYAN KO PERO YANG MGA LOKONG DRIVER NA YAN WALA MANLANG RESPETO SA PASAHERO NILA, SA MANAGEMENT NG JASPER JEANS KELANGAN YATA DISIPLINAHIN NYO ANG MGA DRIVER AT CONDUCTOR NYO, KYO DIN ANG MASISIRA SA MGA ATTITUDE PROBLEM NG MGA EMPLEYADO NYO..

  3. Sol says:

    I have one concern though, like for night trips, I hope the drivers won’t get sleepy on the wheel. Especially I’m looking forward to travelling from Vigan- to Manila.

    • Ryan says:

      Hi Sol, from what I have noticed for some of the overnight trips, that the bus has two drivers, taking shifts..I am not too sure if that is the norm for most bus companies. But when we took the night bus from Daet (Camarines Norte) to Manila; they have one other driver sleeping at the back of the bus and then they take turns driving,

  4. ernie says:

    hi
    if you need to complain, you need to do it in writing and make sure
    you copy furnish concerned government agencies – LTO, LTFRB, DOTC,
    and even DTI (Complaints Department). make sure you send them
    registered mail with return notice. verbal complaints do not count.
    try it.

  5. Roth says:

    Can be out of topic, because I did not travel, but I have an experience with Raymond, too, particularly in the Alimall Terminal. Everyone, including the booking staff are GREEDY indeed. I had to send a package to Lagazpi, and the “auditor” said that I should ask the conductor. The conductor then said I should pay any amount I want so I gave him Php75. That is the normal flat fee rate bus terminals charge for terminal to terminal delivery. When I asked for receipt, he said no need. No need? In my mind, I was, like, “ano to, under da teybol?”. Greedy bastard. I refused. But it gets worse.

    I went back to the “auditor” (you must have noticed the quotations by now) and told her that they are asking for more than what I should pay. She then whipped out her receipt booklet and signed me a receipt for the right amount. What he heck? She is in connivance with the greedy conductors. She and a few others even scolded me for getting mad. I just scolded her back, “miss, I may look young but I’m more mature than what you expect. You can’t cheat me.” Then I asked for the management’s number. That’s when everyone stopped trying to scold me.

    Lets just hope the package arrives safely at Legazpi. I won’t use their services again. Greedy and rude bastards. Even that “auditor” is a greedy piece of shit. I was an auditor and shes giving the good name a bad rep.

    /end of rant

  6. Alexia says:

    ive had my fair share of problems with these buses most especially non-air-conditioned buses. although i don’t ride them but bus drivers are reckless. tonight, i got hit by a bus with no plate number. he drove away like nothing happened. i was too shocked to even chase it. they drive like it’s an empty road and they don’t have any passengers to think of. && they are pretty much the cause of traffic. && during the wee hours, some buses would race along the highway. urgh. too bad our government is pretty useless.

    i really don’t recommend buses in the philippines. better take the mrt or jeep or taxi.

    • Erald says:

      this one’s applicable in the metro manila. yeah, our public transportation in the metro is not good compared to other countries (like in an instance, Japan -the best ever!).
      I don’t recommend taking MRT too, worst ever railway transport. so congested and will just give you a headache. But if you’re into adventure and some sort of into trippings, then go take MRT.

  7. Erald says:

    if you’re on a pilgrimage to Manaoag, i wouldn’t suggest DAGUPAN BUS.. worst bus and killer bus, as most of us tag that bus company. though it’s the only bus company that directly passes through town of Manaoag, there were some alternative routes. Ride on VICTORY LINER (i recommend this one), drop by binalonan, pangasinan and ride on a jeepney. You will enjoy the urban set-up as i did.

    Dagupan Bus company always experiences malfunctions and they wouldn’t give alarm or just advises to the passengers that they’re having trouble. They just tell you to transfer to one of their buses when you reach their station at tarlac. (this one’s hassle for those who lot of buggage, i’ve experienced this). at you’re gonna wait for an hour in that stinky station. and tell you the ussual 3-4 hours trip, when you’re gonna ride at their buses will take you 6-8 hours.

    i know all of these since i’m a residence of Manaoag and I’m always travelling to Manila, since my work is there. When going home to Manaoag, i’l always take Victory Liner or Five Star, much comfy and safer.

  8. nila perez says:

    i just wan to share my experience sa jasper jean bus. sumakay ako ng bus from dasmarinas cavite going to ayala. ng malapit na kmi sa ayala , i told to bus conductor na baba ako ng ayala. at nong nsa me bus stop na, ang ginawa ng driver binagalan lang ang takbo ng bus, at pinababa na ako, at dahil go signal na at lalagpas na ako i tried na bumaba . at di nakaya ng balanse ko, nadapa ako at nasugatan at napilayan. ang walang modo driver di man lang ako hinintuan. ung mga tumulong sa akin , hinabol ung bus pero di na inabot. hanggang ngayon me pilay pa ako due to that accident. and the worst thing is that wala bus number kang makikita sa kanilag mga bus tickets. at ang fares nila much higher than other buses here in cavite going to manila.. at karamihan sa buses nila bulok na..

  9. John Miele says:

    We have had good luck with Florida Lines and BBL (Ballesteros Bus Lines) to the Cagayan Valley. On Florida, in particular, the Super Deluxe and Sleeper busses are new and comfortable (With few, if any, stops). During busy times (Christmas, before Holy Week, All Souls), you really need to reserve a seat a few days ahead (Don’t call—visit the terminal or ask someone to do it for you) or you may wait hours for a seat or end up sitting in the aisle.

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