Monday, February 20, 2012
Isarog Bus Line
Our original plan is just to experience riding the new PNR train. It has been in the news few years back that it is operational and in fact decent to travel from Manila to Naga and vice versa. It was assumed that we would be using the train to and from our destination but I have decided to just book a bus to Naga and we would just use the train going to Manila to experience Isarog buses. I have heard from a lot of my friends who go to Bicol that their first choice of bus to ride is the Isarog Bus Line.
I called their ticketbooth in Cubao and was informed that I could reserve seats and I could pay it at the most on the day before departure date but I could also buy tickets as chance passengers on the day itself. I chose to reserve seats instead. Since I have already experienced Lazy Boy seats when we went to Baguio, I chose the sleeper type. I had no idea how a "sleeper" type looked like so I was excited when the day to leave arrived.
The bus has 3 columns of double deck sleepers. It can be reclined from 90 degrees to at about 150 to 160 degrees. The bed is of course good for only one person. One way costs 1000php. Our schedule was 9pm and it left Cubao at 9:10pm. We were in Naga Bus Terminal by 6am the next day.
It is best to choose the either side of the lower deck. It was unfortunate that I was located in the middle lower deck so I always felt like falling whenever the driver was turning to sharp curve. My companion was laughing at me when he saw me hugging the steel ladder for the upper deck just to keep me from waking up and falling. I also have some problems with my back as I have a mild scoliosis. At home, i don't use pillow for the back of my head or the softest ones so as not to hurt my back too much while sleeping. The reclined sleeper proved to be a challenge to me. There was even a time that i would just curl to the flat surface and not use the reclined part just to not strain my back too much. If you have a normal spine, I don't think you would have a problem. I kept looking at other passengers and my companion every now and then when I was trying to sit to relieve my back from minimal pain and they were sound asleep. One of the passengers was even snoring. Or maybe the seats in the middle are more reclined than those on either side. But that is just an assumption and do not take my word for it.
Overall, it was an okay experience. It was not as comfortable as if you were in your own bed but it was not bad. In the 9-hour trip, I can say that I slept for a good 6.5 to 7 hours. That was enough to keep me recharged for the full day ahead.