On Monday, I hopped on a bus and headed to Cebu City.  I needed to go to Immigration and I had to appear myself.  I couldn’t use an agent this time.  A major pain in the rear end.  But, with no choice and a bureaucracy to deal with in any country is just that, a bureaucracy.   Sometimes interesting, rarely a joy.

This bus trip though was a shock!  How so?  It was a surprisingly pleasant trip.   With reasonable driving practices by the drivers and creature comforts that are uncommon in the Philippines.

Also, no more buang bus drivers. They both drove reasonably. I noticed the speeds were around 60 to 65km per hour instead of the 85 to 90km of the past.  The bus trip was not unpleasant at all.   It didn’t leave me drained and hot.

Ceres Bus Lines Enhances Service in Northern Cebu

The bus trip though, was surprising!  We were on a brand new bus with air-conditioning (aircon).  In the past, we’ve been able to get those from time to time.  Then they stopped them and I stopped going to Cebu City.   Too expensive for getting trampled in the malls and smog in my lungs so I haven’t been back to Cebu City in 18 months!   We’ve gotten along just fine without each other. This bus had more than just air con though.  It also have high definition TV screens that dropped from the ceiling.  They played movies throughout our 2 and half hour trip to the city.

Ceres Bus Liner seems to be raising the bar in providing more comfort to their customers!

Also, no more buang bus drivers.  They both drove reasonably.  I noticed the speeds were around 60 to 65km per hour instead of the 85 to 90km of the past.  There was no racing other buses either.  Oh they were aggressive by Western standards.  The Philippine theory of the biggest vehicle has the road right of way still was in play but it wasn’t abusive.  That last time I was on a bus, the driving style of the bus drivers were flat out abusive.   One got the feeling of, “Since I’m the biggest kid on the block, I’ll bully all I want.”

There were several fatalities in buses over the last six months.  One with more than 20 dead right here in Cebu Province.  There have been others in the province and around the country.  It seemed to me that the press was beginning to really hammer on this topic.  I just don’t believe that suddenly there were a rash of accidents.  I think it was more that the press was allowed to report on it.

Allowed you say?  Well there is a free press in the Philippines but there are also a lot of dead journalist.   In any case, the press has been reporting it and I now see a massive change in the way buses are being driven in Northern Cebu.  Well done Ceres Tours and to the other carriers as well.  I noticed that the Ceres aircon buses were called Ceres tours instead the familiar Ceres Liner.  I don’t know if this is a system wide change.

The people have wanted to see this.

tv screen on bus

Riding in Style in The Philippines

The bus trip was not unpleasant at all.  It didn’t leave me drained and hot.  On the trip back, I had Jessie on one side and another pretty Filipina on the other side.  I didn’t know her name and she didn’t seem to happy about being there.  I was happy about her being there.  The bus on our trip down was a little smaller and there were only two seats but they were wider and even more comfortable.

The fee for the bus air con bus is P100 each way.   The fee for a bus without air con is P50 each way.  The air con bus runs three times a day each way.

I also didn’t see the vendors getting off and on the bus the way they usually do.   Not one vendor boarded the bus, except once, to give the bus driver a bottle of water and he didn’t accept payment either.  Perhaps, they still board the non air con bus, otherwise I don’t know why the vendor would be so giving to the driver.

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Filed under: Buses in Cebu

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