Free wifi onboard a bus. Is this good?

Categories In Transit

Wifi on board the De Leon Express bus that I road from Kamias in Quezon City to Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga

Langyaw.com on my laptop while on the go. CLICK TO ENLARGE
I was bound for Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) for my flight to Cebu (well, I can’t complain if plane tickets are free) and what surprised me when I boarded the De Leon Express bus bound for Urdaneta in Pangasinan with a stop over in Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga was the presence of on board and free wifi!

This is the first time I’ve rode one as I just saw one bus company along Taft Avenue in Manila offering it but never expected it there. But anyway, it was a good thing. Wifi, especially FREE, is something that is always appreciated. Keeps one connected online and get to update, check emails as well as surf while traveling.

The service has been offered for three months now, according to the conductor. Service provider is PLDT but I suspect it uses Smart’s Smart Bro system which are installed in their cellsites. Is it seamless? No. During the time I was online, from the Kamias terminal to the Pulilan portion of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), I got cut off twice. Another inconvenience is the jarring movement while on the road.

I really like the service but for a seasoned traveler, is this good? It got me thinking. Do we really need these technological advances even while we’re in transit? If I’m a first time traveler in a particular route, I would not be using the wifi. It will only distract me from appreciating the scenery, unless it is night time. But to think that I’m always connected, at home, at the terminal, at the coffeeshop, at the mall, do I still need to be hooked up even inside the bus?

I can’t answer this myself. I guess, it just depends on the situation. But personally, people who are in transit should just lay off from it. Disconnect. Unhook. Instead, appreciate the views, the smells, or even just read a book or get some sleep.

Estan 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.

18 thoughts on “Free wifi onboard a bus. Is this good?

  1. Wi-fi will come in handy for long day trips especially when I’m going to my hometown which is 10-12-hour bus ride. But for shorter day trips, I’d rather sleep or enjoy the scenery ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. yun nga rin, it really depends on the situation. it has its pros and cons. but we really need to be unhooked sometimes. hehehe

  3. It depends. My boss prefers to travel to different states in the US prefer buses over flying because the buses have wifi so he can work more instead of wasting time at the airport and waiting for the seatbelt sign to be switched off.

    Personally, I like the convenience of having wi-fi (specially now that I don’t have a mobile phone). I have the choice naman whether to use it or not eh ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. A terminal of de leon bus just opened across the street from our office here in Dagupan… I’m excited to experience their on-board wifi! ๐Ÿ™‚

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