JOYBUS REVIEW: MANILA TO BAGUIO AND BACK


 As a birthday weekend getaway, I went to Baguio with my sister via JoyBus.

joybus philippines
Copyright photo: DD and PFN
As advised by the company, we arrived at the bus terminal in Pasay more than an hour before our departure time. But there was no one around to check us in.

joybus baguio
Copyright photo: DD and PFN
When someone finally showed up, we, the executive passengers, had the luxury of waiting inside an air-conditioned area while the rest had to wait precariously close to the arriving buses outside.  Aren't there standards issued by LTFRB for safety?

 
joybus baguio
Copyright photo: DD and PFN
Going up to Baguio, we took a 28-seater executive coach with two seats on the left side and a single pile on the right. Although the seats were big and comfortable, the ride was jerky making me dizzy and nauseated. I suspect this was due to the bus’ poor under chassis. It didn’t help that we were seated across the toilet giving my sister and I an intoxicating whiff of smell each time it was used by the other passengers.

joybus baguio
Copyright photo: DD and PFN
Coming home from Baguio, we took the same liner’s premier bus which cost PhP30 more than the executive’s Php760. The seats had individual entertainment terminals, very much like those on a plane.

joybus baguio
Copyright photo: DD and PFN
However, they were smaller and a bit high that my feet hung several inches from the floor throughout the trip. The leg rest could not be pulled all the way up due to the cramped leg room. If you want to stretch your legs, they will be jammed under the seat in front of you. It was uncomfortable indeed, especially for people taller than my five foot frame. It was a good thing that the ride was smoother and less bumpy this time around.

joybus baguio
Copyright photo: DD and PFN
For both trips, we were given a small bottle of water, sweet crackers, and a blanket that reeked of detergent and fabric conditioner. While this assured us that they were laundered and clean, I could not help but wonder about how the strong scent might affect those who suffer from asthma and allergies.

Whereas in the executive coach, my sister and I suffered in silence from the wide array of odours that wafted from the toilet, we were spared the trauma on our return trip as we were seated in the second row, far from the toilet which was at the back of the bus. But this caused me some problems given that I am adverse to using public rest rooms and I have Parkinson’s Disease.

As much as I resisted using the toilet, my bladder wouldn’t stop nagging me so I got up when the bus slowed down due to traffic. Traversing my way down the aisle, many thoughts ran through my mind: “Let not the bus pick up speed,” “Let me not poke anyone in the face when I reach for the head rests,” and “Let me not be jerked around and fall onto anyone's lap.” Mercifully, the walk was a success until I got in.

As soon as I locked the door, the bus began to pick up speed. You know how it is on a bus. The farther to the end you are, the bumpier it gets and it doesn’t help that I have involuntary shaking due to my condition. It took a bit of an effort on my part to grab hold of the short handle bar beside the toilet bowl to avoid being jerked around like a rag doll. I also took hold of the door handle to steady myself amidst the speed and the fear that I might break the handle and lock myself inside. The bus was now running at an estimated 80 to 90km/hr. Should I go back to my seat? I spent too much time in the loo that my sister later told me that she was getting visions of me knocked unconscious. As I could not stay forever inside, I gathered all my strength and will power and went back to my seat successfully. Yey! But que horror, never again, please!

Will I recommend this bus line to a friend? Hint hint. But kudos to the drivers who brought us safely to and from Baguio as well as to the courteous, charming bus attendants.

- PM’d by DD to the Paranoid Traveler -


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