Experience Cebu by Bus
I am amazed at how many buses there are traveling from Cebu City to Bogo City everyday. There must be over a hundred each day. Going on my walk I often see three or four. The best thing to do is get one that has limited stops, that can cut the time of your trip down quite a bit but you should expect a two hour trip give or take 30 minutes. Also if you leave from Cebu City North Terminal near the rush hour 7am to 9am you might just add an hour to your trip.
The bus driver may also stop to eat. But you have not experienced all the Philippines has to offer until you’ve been on one of these huge buses traveling at 100Km an hour. They do drive too aggressively. I see them get up to top speed when they know they will have to stop a little bit ahead. They also pass when they shouldn’t but if forced to they would run the motor bike or small car off the road to get back in their lane. They are also depending on drivers they may encounter to be skilled. The only thing that bothers me is excessive speed for short periods. That short burst of speed is not worth the lives that are at risked.
Most buses are without air conditioning and the roads are winding so it is a rather tiring trip for me and takes its toll on Jessie too. You do get to see some beautiful scenery. You get up close and personal with the people but people don’t often speak to each other. Like the US or probably any place in the world. Now if I could take George, my Filipino Monkey, he would be a great ice breaker.
This was the first bus trip that I had been on were there were no religious symbols on the bus. The drivers usually have little mini altars on the dashboard, the window or both. Oddly, the taxi we took to our hotel had Taoist symbols instead of Christian. However, it looked like the taxi driver had added some pictures of Jesus and Mother Mary. Jessie explained the taxi company was probably owned by a Chinese company.
I had to sit on the back seat for my trip to Cebu City this time. I got a text message on the way, there was so much vibration I couldn’t reply as i couldn’t press or even see the correct buttons on my phone. I found this to be amusing. I listened to an audio book for about half this trip. That sped things up.
Once we arrived at our hotel or pension house we ran into a minor inconvenience. They told us there was no room at the price we had reserved but could give us an upgraded room but at the upgraded price. I felt this was a scam and refused. This was NS Royal Pension House. I gave them a chance via email to make this up to us but they refused. So I will not be staying there in the future. That is too bad, looks like a nice place but I’m getting a bit tired of people pulling their marketing tricks on me which amounts to little more than a scam.
We went a short distance down the road and stayed at Paragon Suites. They provided nice rooms, not quite up to American hotels but then the price of about $25.00 is substantially better than the US. I think this pension house would be sufficient for all but the most demanding expat. The room was about 1300Php. The beds were okay with decently firm mattresses and nice remote control air conditioner. They are located at 91 Juana Osmeña St Cebu City. There phone number is 63-032-254-8752. They didn’t have the lower priced rooms available either but I didn’t have a reservation with them. Room service was very fast, we ordered breakfast which was quite tasty as well. Desk staff was very friendly. When we went out they kept my video camera at the front desk even though it was too large for a safe deposit box.
The main purpose of our trip was to get my visa extended. I had to leave my passport with Travelways to get the extension for me. They handle everything for a fee of 500p. I was suppose to have heard something about my extensions on Friday morning but so far have heard nothing and have not been able to reach the agent handling. Hopefully we will reach her soon.
While there, we ate at Pizza Hut, went to see The Chronicles of Narnia which I enjoyed. The popcorn was awful though. No big deal, it was very inexpensive, about $2.00 or 80 peso. Was nice to get lost in fantasy for a while. As you walk into the theater, the tiles turns to blue and has sparkles added to create the magical fantasy. It is a nice touch. Sound is okay but not up to the experience of an American Movie Theater but it is still nice and I enjoyed my time there. The cost of the movie and popcorn is less than $10.00 for two people.
The theater we were at is located in SM Mall. It is a huge mall, probably as large or larger than Wolfchase Galleria in Memphis, Tn. Cebu City has a population of nearly 800,000 people. I read some place that Metro Cebu is made up of over five million people though. The 800,00 figures comes from Wikipedia.
On our bus trip home, we saw a totally naked man walking down a busy street in Mandaue City which is a suburb of Cebu City. i tried to get a picture of course but was unable to do it. He was probably mentally ill or extremely drunk. hard to k now for sure. People didn’t seem to even take notice of him.
Jessie was the victim of a pick pocket while in Cebu City’s SM Mall. That put a damper on things and upset her a lot. The trip was too costly, we would have been better off getting a van and returning the same day. We thought we would be able to pick up my passport the next day but once there they told us it would be Friday morning and that we could return later to get it.
I am concerned that the agent has not sent me a text as she promised to let me know the final cost. My extension was up on the 5th and it is now the 6th. I will be anxious until I hear everything is okay.
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