Bus Trips in Cebu
Bus trips are a likely place for seeing things you’ve never seen before. Well, unless you’re a Filipino but even to Filipino, the activities on a bus can be surprising.
Street vendors often board the buses to sell their goods. Water and rice cakes are always a popular item on the buses. There will always be several people selling sunglasses too, though they don’t sell as well. News papers sell a little better. On our last trip, because we had one paper it was like the guy assumed we would want more newspapers from another source. He kept asking over and over. You have to give him credit for trying to earn a living in an honorable way.
On this last trip, one of the street vendors selling water got a request for his wares at the back of the bus, just as the bus was departing from our stop at a red light. See they sell along the street but as the buses get caught in traffic, they will board them momentarily, hoping to make a sale. Then they get back off the next time the bus must stop. This time though we saw something that even surprised even Jessie.
The bus got up to significant speed, it felt like 30 miles an hour but perhaps as low as 20 miles an hour. I noticed the vendor get near an exit and then to my surprise he jumped off. He managed to stay on his feet though. We heard his flip flops hit the street hard, then there were more steps, slap slap slap. Loud slaps as his flip flops hit the pavement. I thought to myself, wow this guy is a professional street vendor. It took a high degree of skill to do what he did. Jessie looked up and said “he’s crazy.” That would be a reasonable view of the activity as well. When I was a kid, I jumped off a car going less than 10 miles an hour. It was creeping along and I was shocked at the effect it had on me. I got scratch up pretty badly and ended up in a pile of trash sitting on the side of the road, waiting to be picked up by a trash collector. My friend ended up sprawled in the middle of the road as he jumped at the same time. We were in our early teens while the driver was in his late teens who was amused that we had been crazy enough to jump off. It was a lesson in life that taught me just how amazing it was that this Filipino street vendor could jump off this bus moving at a much higher rate of speed.
Jessie got pounced on pretty fast by some old Filipino. I was taking our suit case to the front of the bus and by the time I got back he was already asking her if he could sit beside her with a lustful look in his eye. I asked her if they where that fast when she came alone, she said she always gets some of that but usually not that fast. She has told me in the past there is a lot of “accidental” touching of her when she is on a bus, once we were even on the same bus but had to sit in different seats as we were the last two on the bus. We just don’t do that any more, we’d get off.
My favorite episode on a bus remains the time trip when a man got on the bus with his rooster. He seemed very proud of his rooster, my guess is that the rooster had survived his latest fight. I took pictures of that man with his rooster, I’m not sure which was the proudest, the rooster or the man.
If you come to the Philippines, you should really take at least one long distance bus ride. Just so you’ll have had the experience. We could take a taxi from Cebu City to Bogo City for less than $35.00. Not much at all for an 80 mile trip. However, it is a lot when you consider how much $35 will purchase. It will pay for a live in nanny for a month in Bogo City but not in Cebu City. It would feed two people at the BBQ by the Bay in Bogo City for about six visits. At the rate we go, that’s nearly half the month if we go every other day. A bus trip on the other hand is currently P80 one way from Bogo City to Cebu City. The buses can be hot. While waiting for the bus to fill can take too long and without wind it is quite hot. Also, if it rains, they may raise the windows even for small amounts of rain and it will become very warm in the bus if that happens. If you’re on a vacation, you might want to find a taxi to take long trips but for the expats that live here and trying to live here as cheaply as possible, the bus ride is the only way to go.
You haven’t really experienced all Cebu has to offer until you’ve taken a bus ride while living in Cebu.
Filed under: Living in Cebu
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