The Philtranco bus terminal in Pasay

Categories The Loop
philtranco bus terminal.jpg
The lounge area of the bus terminal filled with passengers.

theLOOP map_manila.gif It was CHAOS as I excitedly wound my way to the lounge area of the Philtranco bus terminal in Pasay City on the evening of my trip. But what greeted me was the throng of people in various states and disposition as they were awaiting for their bus to arrive. Unfortunately, because it was 30 December and the height of the passenger season, all buses were late for as much as 2 hours.

Philtranco services southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao routes with their main terminal in Pasay City along EDSA.
Tel. No.:
+63 2 832 2456
+63 2 833 1369
+63 2 833 5061
(These are their posted numbers and I can’t always assure that they answer)

With all the things going around, I can’t help but observe:

  • all available seats were filled not only with people but with baggages as well
  • children running and playing around
  • leftover food like Jollibee hamburger wrappers and plastics with some soda spilled on the floor
  • people watching TV patiently trying to make out the sounds above the din while others were animatedly gesticulating, conversing with their companions
  • many were standing, at the sides, while others, seated silently clutching their bags or texting at their cellphones or impatiently checking the time
  • the guard doubling as bus announcer complaining to the people not to blame him for the delay but raise it with the dispatcher
  • various tongues: Bicol, Waray, Tagalog, Cebuano mixed with the laughter, TV, vehicle’s horns and buses’ brakes
  • a bored female passenger amusing herself with self portraits using her cellphone’s camera
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The disappointing first class passenger's lounge.


The disappointing first class passenger’s lounge.

This trip was rather expensive. When I went to get my ticket the day before, I was left with no option but to get a Legazpi bound bus for 2000H. The regular aircon bus was already full that I just had no choice but to buy the pricey, P900, super deluxe.

Seeing the chaos around, I was sort of comforted that having a first class ticket, I would be spared all these but when I reached the supposed exclusive lounge, it was nothing but a cramped corner and separated from the rest with a 5 foot partition. But just the same, it was crowded and littered with food wrappers. Curiously, many passengers were already bundled up with their jackets even if the room was not so cold. Were they already anticipating the aircon bus trip?

philtranco2.jpg
Outside the Philtranco terminal, an Amihan bus was parked

Outside the terminal, passengers spilled into the steps as the lobby was crowded. While some got their tickets, many were hopeful that a seat would be available at the last minute and be able to go as a chance passenger. While Philtranco buses loads and unloads passengers and cargo inside, an Amihan Bus, probably an affiliate as they have their ticket office inside, loads them just at the front of the terminal.

philtranco5.jpg
Inside the supposed first class bus accommodation. Its still crammed with seats.

My disappointment was not only with the first class lounge. When I was able to get on the bus two hours after the scheduled departure, and I was even a chance passenger because bus 795 did not arrive yet, I was not really happy with what I saw. Instead of the original 27 seats, they changed the configuration of the seating arrangement so that they can cram in a total of 40! Now, isn’t that greedy? The deluxe buses of Victory Liner bound for Cagayan is much much better.

philtranco4.jpg When I found my seat, I was in the last and I already cringed at the thought of a sleepless journey especially upon passing the newer Tagkawayan – Naga route. While it is much faster by skipping Camarines Norte, I have known this highway to be perennially unfinished, riddled with potholes, dusty and just bad. What aggravated my situation more was at my right is the imposing door of the comfort room (left). Yikes! But despite all these, I was still comforted with ample leg room and was able to stand the constant opening and shutting of the rest room door with its accompanying sweet scent of deodorizer riddled with hints of ammonia.

Well, the travails of taking the bus on this journey during a passenger season. But come to think of it, it adds spice to the experience of travel.

NOTE: Check out the rest of the articles of this series at theLOOP.

Stan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London).

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. Open for work, collaborations and inquiries for site features.

107 thoughts on “The Philtranco bus terminal in Pasay

  1. Pare, ang galing ng mga kuha mo. Huling-huli mo ang biyaheng style-Pinoy.

    Tbe observations you listed are uniquely Filipino. Yan ang mga pirming sinasabi ng mga foreigner na nakatikim na ng biyaheng bus sa Pinas. Hehe… ganoon talaga e..

    Ingat,
    Lester

  2. The longest bus commute I had was 3 hours (Cabanatuan to Manila). I plan on going to Vigan via a bus ride where the trip was for 10 hours. I am glad you shared your experiences here. have a safe trip.

  3. Hi Estan, your post reminded me of a yearly agony I had to go through. Every year I made it a point to go home to Bicol and spent New year my parents. And it is during this season that ordinary bus fares which during the lean months priced at P300-P350 could double. Last December, the ticket for an ordinary bus shoots up to P600 – Manila to anypoint of Bicol region! Now, I wonder if the LTFRB is aware of this and I wonder how bus operators can moderate their greed. This is rampant with provincial bus operators but not in other mode of transportation. I think its high time for the government to do something about this. Or shall I presume that any inaction from their part means that, they too have their share in these?

  4. I think parang practice na nila talaga yan and really, I agree, its greedy. Also think that the government board handling this should know it by now as I’m sure complaints have reached them. Action on their part is another.

  5. To the Management;

    Good day, this is simple what happen last night when I went from Bicol Legazpi City, April 7 around 7:00pm the bus was carrying us for about 11 passengers and supposed to be going to manila, and 8:00pm to 9:00pm bus arrive in Ginubatan to pick up some passengers notice that they got only 2 passengers in the Ginubatan the driver felt disappointed what was done during that time, maybe they expect a numbers of passenger but I didn’t happen, after few hours. The technicians’s diffused some of the electrical wirings and try to trouble shout. But noted before leaving Legazpi everything is in good condition without knowing that this will happen. And after 9:40pm waiting for any development on the technician, the driver said that they will to drive until Iriga to find another Philtranco Bus, 11:21pm finally we transfer to another Philtranco bus. Carrying 10 passengers and a total of twenty plus.

    After they transfer while on the way to manila, we expect that we transfer with a good one’ but this was very disappointed and tragic happen that almost after an hour the driver stop and check some problem encountered by the bus for some several times. We have almost 5 to 7 stop over and the last stop Quezon a very dark place forest at the left and at the lower is the seashore; we ask for what happen’ we never heard any apology or any decisions from them if they want to help us to be rescued by other bus.

    Knowing some of the passengers are the old ones. One of them experience hypertension, there was a lady 8 months pregnant and another lady with her baby a month old. They said “akala ko gigising ako Cubao na! tapos pagdilat ko dagat and bundok ang left side ko”.

    No one from the driver or his helper doing makipag communicate man lang sa company on what happen.

    So we decide to take AB ordinary bus just to leave the area where in maybe it could not be safe if we stay longer kasi walang mga tao sa area.

    We arrive in manila around 11:13am gutom, pagod, and puyat expecting the good service from this Philtranco, I have my office 8:00am but nasayang lang time namin.

    Please do necessary action on this for the management of the said company,

    This will serve as an eye opener for some.

    Some of the passenger already encounter like this problem going pa lang sa Bicol they said, same problem.

    Thank you,

    -Romel-

  6. romel, that surely is such a bad experience. I know that it happens from time to time but twice? Maybe Philtranco should look into these problems.

  7. Hello! Good morning / good evening whatever the case maybe.
    My wife and I will be in Manila en route to Davao after a few days (2 to 3 days) of stay in Manila. Just learned that Davao can be reached over land travel. I decided to take the bus via Pan-Philippine Highway (Maharlika Hwy) to Davao. Ang wife ko will take PAL to Davao. She doesn’t want to be inconvenient ng long travel by bus. Me, I like to experience adventure once in my lifetime. My first to travel this way at supposedly this long. My questions though are these:

    1) What bus at saan ang start going to Davao?
    2) Are the buses reliable at comfortable?
    3) Are the buses with air-con, I am hypertensive / high blood?
    4) How many days travel from Manila to Davao?
    5) Magkano ticket?

    Maraming salamat po!

  8. george, i would suggest that you take Philtranco. They have a terminal in Pasay. You should contact them personally for the latest information as their website is not updated. I don’t have the numbers but you can search it through the internet. They have different buses from aircon to nonaircon at different price levels and the higher the price, the better the accommodation. I think it’s around 3 days by bus.

  9. ask ko lng po kung may byahe po kau punta leyte.at kung magkano po ticket mag pa2bok po kmi .

  10. ask ko lng po ano ang best way n makabili ng ticket papuntang bicol..kailanan ko bang pumunta ng terminal sa pasay bago kmi byumahe or 2 days b4 or punta n kami ng pasay ng derestso..sa gabi at mag kano naman ang pamasahe sa aircon buz kc ang concern ko kasama ko ang mga anak ko firt time nilang mag byabyahe papuntang bicol baka sa buz palang mag reklamo na mga anak ko kung hndi sila comportable sa seat arengement..salamat

  11. cherry, if you want to be able to seat comfortably and choose your seats, you should go two days before. di mo kasi hawak ang demand ng seats kung on the trip na kayo pupunta.

  12. mr george of course they are use unit 2 davao new plenty of new units going 2 davao.injoy your travel and you can see saigth seeng.

  13. hi,isa sa mga bus ng philtranco byahe pasay to roxas city ang nkwala ng malaking box na dala ko. dahil bayad iyon at responsibilidad ng company na bayaran,ngapadla ako ng mga papeles proving na nawalan ako. subalit lumipas nalang ang mga raw,wala man lang po akong narinig mula sa philtranco. dahil ba tapos na ang kontrata nila dito kaya ipinagwalang bahala nalang nila ito?ang masaklap pa dito,tinangka pang itakbo ng driver yong ticket ko sa baggage pra ala akong evidence na ipapakita. then,nangako sila na gagawan nila ng aksyon pero sa malas,nagpalit na ng contact # ang driver. tama po ba yung ginawa nya? student palang po ako at almost lahat ng gamit ko pang school at personal,andun lhat kya nga nilagay ko nalang sa box pra d ako mahirapan kahit magbayad nalng ako..sana po magparamdam nman ang kompanya at harapin ang kapabayaan ng nasasakupan nya,ipangmayabang pa nman ng driver during our trip na mayaman talaga ang company nya,tanong ko lang sa kanya sana na bakit sa kunting halaga,nagtago kana. plate # ng bus evr 321 at body # 449,waray ung driver..pakigawan lang po ng aksyon.k ganda ng pangalan ng company nyo dudumihan lang ng isang basura dyan. salamt

  14. pls lang paki inform ng manager at pakicontact ako..
    andun tlga laht ng gamit ko..
    ok lng sna n naiwala nila kc aksidente un pro sana nman pinanagutan nila. june 7 po nagyari un ds year..isipin nyo kung gaano katagal na,kung d alam ng driver,sana sir: magawan nyo ng aksyon.

  15. Hello,

    To all who patronizes the Philtranco bus company, we apologize for the inconvenience brought about by our service. We are doing our best to give due service to our passengers.

    For comments and suggestions, you can email at: [email protected]

    If you are not satisfied with the service given you, please email at: [email protected]

    Rest assured that the above email addresses goes to concerned officials who are most willing to listen and do action.

    Thank you.

  16. hanggang ngaun wala paring reaction ang company,ilang buwan n po ung nangyari. nag email narin ako sa bngay n address pero hanggang ngaun,para akong nagbibilang ng patak ng ulan sa d pa dumarating na bagyo.

  17. hanggang ngaun wala paring reaction ang kompanya,ilang buwan n po ung nangyari. nag email narin ako sa bngay n address pero hanggang ngaun,para akong nagbibilang ng patak ng ulan sa d pa dumarating na bagyo.

  18. be patient my friend when travelling. u travelled that date(dec 30)? susmaryosep, passenger season ata ito ata traffic season, so just be patient when travelling on peak season..

  19. gud pm! ask ko sana if meron bang mga byahe ang philtranco papauntang butuan next week. pwede q b makita ang sched kc nahirapan me maghanap eh!!

  20. adsk ko lang po kung may byahe kayo pasay to baguoi..ilang hours ang byahe at magkano po pamasahe?thanks

  21. morning po…

    ask ko lng po mga ilang sakay po ba bago po mkapnta ng masbate city?? or my byahe po ba kau papnta dun?? taga alabang po ako..

    thnx… godbless

  22. just take any pilar, sorsogon bound bus from alabang and take the fastcraft or pumpboats. pwede din via Bulan, sorsogon for RORO links.

  23. estan

    u have ym?? kc dmi ako ask f pnu pmunta dun sa masbate.. kc nid ko lng sna mkpnta na dis januaryy… hirap kc pag dito ako mag ask,.. f ok lng po sana thnk u.

  24. Pucha puro ka reklamo! mag eroplano ka kasi! sa 900 hundred nga namamahalan ka na tapos kung umasta ka napakaarte mo! Magpaka totoo ka brader “it was nothing but a cramped corner and separated from the rest with a 5 foot partition. ” di bagay sayo bro

  25. john, hinay hinay lang. masyado ka affected. di na ba pwede magcomment and magsulat sa observation ko? unless you’re the type of person who doesn’t complain when paying for premium seats and given shabby treatment or the service is not at par with the price, then, at least, I will understand you. Now, punta ka ng Vigan and try to stay there for the night. Kung okay lang that you pay overpriced but ugly rooms, then I can say that establishments with poor standards would love you.

  26. walang kwenta ang service on fhone lines.. lahat na ng number tinawagan q kaso puro walang kwenta, sa cubao busy lagi sa pasay naman walang sumasagot… sana hindi n lng kyo nag post ng tel no…
    date ako tumatawag feb 13 2010. kung sinu man ang incharge.. paki terminate na lng po.. panira cla sa pangalan ng philtranco!! im just wasting my time with you…!!!

  27. hi good day! i would like to ask lang sana ilang hours/days po ang byahe from manila to davao? Is it safe po ba? It’ll be my first time to travel alone and this far po.. tnx

  28. hi estan, i am planning to go to davao by bus, this trip is my dream since i was working but everytime i planned it failed but now i am decided to go with my niece, i am 58 yrs.old, can you give the route from manila to davao, i want to see beautiful sceneries in going there and can you suggest where we can stay and safe, please also give me an itenerary, i dont want to miss beautiful place in davao and can you give also estimated budget in the said trip. thanks and god bless.

  29. @manse,

    hmmm, i don’t know much about the budget and places to stay in davao since I’ve been away for a number of years already. regarding your trip, do you plan to do a one bus ride? philtranco have these trips. if you want to stop and visit places along the route, it’s still possible but will entail riding on several buses.

  30. ask ko lang kaylangan na bang magbayad agad kapag nakapag reserved ng upuan?at san po ba kaylangan bayaran yung ticket.

  31. I want to share my experience in riding Philtranco bus going to Bicol. I went to Daet last Friday, April 23, 2010 to attend my uncle’s funeral. I rode an ordinary bus because i want to be in Daet the earliest possible time. Unfortunately, the bus left the terminal almost 30 mins late from its original schedule and the worst, took an almost 2 hours stop over somewhere in Laguna (if im not mistaken in one of their terminals located in Sto. Tomas near First Philippine Industrial Park).

    I asked the driver about the delay and he told me that we are waiting for a passenger whom yet to arrive from Alabang. I replied “pano naman yun iba pasahero na naghihintay.” And he told me na ako lang naman daw ang nagrireklamo. Sabi ko kasi ang allowable time lang for a stop over is 30 mins. That’s why I am trying to call the management of Philtranco to report this incident to them and have them teached their drivers to at least be courteous to their passenger and learn how to communicate properly and observe the rule on handling passengers complaint and might as well teach them how to follow time schedule. But sad to say pati pala ang hot line nila ang hirap kontakin considering na the numbers are declared as HOTLINES…

  32. i ride on ur philtranco bus body no.778, plate no. evk-176 last 28 oct at pasay rotonda our destination s iloilo.. i notice that ur driver always using his phone calling plenty of times while driving, my concern s he ignore the safety of his passenger. my question s do you tolerate this activity?

  33. what is the address of the philtranco terminal in pasay? im trying to see how far it is from the Copacabana Apartment Hotel. Does anybody know how far the hotel is from the terminal? Thanks for the help.

  34. ask lng poh my db kau fully bok s 23 poh at mgkano ang aircon poh philtrnco poh rply agad poh

  35. Good Day.. PHILTRANCO, isa sa mga kilalang BUS COMPANY na bumabyahe sa BICOL REGION.. wala pa kung na experience na problema sa pag byahe since 2000 sa philtranco.. SAFE ako pag sa PHILTRANCO ako naka sakay..

  36. Andito kmi ngayon s tacloban stranded kasi sira ang bus since pgbiyahe nmin last May 4,2011 until now May 6,2011 andito p kmi sa tacloban,pangalawang beses na ito n pgkasira s biyahe nmin. Almost 24 hrs.n kmi stranded d2 wla mnlang ginagawa ung mga tga PHILTRANCO o di kayay palipatin mnlang kmi ng bus o di kayay pakainin mnlang,ngtatanong kmi s conductor/driver hindi sumasagot at kung mkipag-usap mn prang kmi p ang sinisisi bat kmi ng bus kc ndi dw obligation ng tga bus ang mga ganitong ctuation.
    Ang concern lng nmin n sana my mga remedy or option n dpat gawin ang tga Philtranco s mga ctuation n gnito,kc transport sila so dpat expect nila n my mga ganitong mga hindi inaasahang mangyayari….pls have response on this,mrami kmi dito.

  37. ask ko lng po magkano n po ang pamasahe from manila to cabalian southern leyte?

  38. hi po ask ko po how much po ang transpo frm manila to gingoog City.
    thank you po

  39. ask ko lang what time ang departure papuntang st bernard so. leyte at magkano ang pamasahe..

  40. ask ko lang po kung mag kano ang pamasahe ng aircondition bus ng philtrancon from manila to legazpi albay ?? pati rin po sa ordinary bus lang same route po. . . tnx

  41. ask ko lng po kung anung oras ang dating ng bus galing cagayan de oro plate no. AVK-178 with body no. 8324.

  42. ask ko lang po kung anong oras ang dating ng bus galing cagayan de oro papuntang cubao ba may plate no. AVK-178 with body no. 8324.

  43. ask lang ko po kng mag kano ung pamasahe frm manila to iloilo ung aircon sa ka non aircon pwd txt k 09287417008

  44. magkano po ung puncher nyo na Control Nippers Model: 40 at Control Nippers Model 10/165 – Modell: 10/175

  45. hi ask ko lang po how much po pamasahi from manila to surigao non-air and aircon? at anong mga available schedule of departure?

    thanks a lot.,

  46. Management of Philtraco…yung BUS body 711 with plate number PYK 835…from Caticlan going to Batangas…nasa loob na ng barko ang bus at mga pasahero nasa taas na so naiwan yung mga empleyado nyong driver at conduktor yun naka aircon ang mga bugok…sarap buhay naman..pag nasa loob na ng barko ang bus patayin nyo na ang makina…kailangan suspendihin nyo mga empleyado nyo…MANAGEMENT NG PHILTRACO…ACTION !!!

  47. date nang trip ng Bus 711 with plate number PYK 835..May 4-5 , 2012….

  48. ask ko lang po kung merong byahe manila to bacolod at magkano po anf fair at kung kailan po schedule. ty Godbless!

  49. ask ko lang po f how much ang fair going to kitcharao agusan del norte,at ung bata n 5 yrs old at 7 yrs old libre p po b or half n? dis week sana ang byahe hope malalaman ko agad!tnx

  50. mga anung oras poh ba makakarating sa manila kung umalis ka ng10:00 ng umaga sa anao-aon surigao????

  51. mag kano poh ang pamasahe ng philtranco ngaun…na aircon…mula dito sa manila hangang davao…tnx poh…09291393875

  52. corection lang po. mg kano po ba pamasahe sa in ung bus mula manila hanggang bikol.

  53. SUGGESTION LANG PO,, SANA MAGLAGAY DIN KAYO NG BUS FARE SA WEB NYO PARA COMPLETO INFO NAMAN. DI NA KELANGAN MAG TANONG PA SA OFFICE NYO AT TUMAWAG SA NUMBER NA PI-NOST NYO NA LAGING BUSY.

  54. Laurel, this is a travel blog, not the bus company’s website. Besides, fares are subject to change without notice.

  55. tma nga pla mga snsabi ng ibng psengers n mhirao kntkin tel nr nla khit ring ng ring wla smgt.

  56. hello po, mgtatanung lng po ako kng my sked po kaung byahi ng manila to maasin southern leyte?

  57. Nag ka trauma ako dyan sa Philtranco, way back 2012 umuwi ako sa bicol (Cam. Sur) it was raining, pero grabe mag patakbo ang driver, nang nasa Quezon province ata kami, can’t remembered the exact location may naka bunguan ang bus na jeep, wasak ang harap ng salamin ng bus duon na rin kami dumaan ng palabas, kasi can’t even open the ent/ext door. Can’t tell who’s fault. Pero grabee iyong impact sa akin. Kya tlagang planado ang uwi ko para sa air fare :(. Pero no choice rin ang luggage ko need ko na ipadala sa Philtranco para makatipid.

  58. ask kulang po kung magkano na po pamasahi papuntang bayugan???f may promo magkano kaya??? plz pm me,,,

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