Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Legazpi To Naga

The Legazpi airport is still the same as it has been that I remember from long ago. If there’s anything new, conveyor belt (yes there is hehe) is now laced with a lot of pictures inviting people that its an available ad space. And arrival was pretty straightforward with just a few men outside arrival area and virtually none of those that would mob you for a colorum “taxi” or such things. Not even people meeting their passengers! Hmm, maybe because this was a hot midday. But the parking area teemed with a lot of vehicles! So I merrily just walked outside of the gate and hailed a trike going to the “FX/Van Terminal for Naga City”.

Wow! Just about a year since I last happened to be in this place and some significant improvement is already in place – at least as far as land transport staions are concerned. Hey, “GT Express, I already know” but “FILCAB” is new to my ears! And what a big and clean terminal! There are separate buildings for buses, jeeps and the vans. Now I think “FILCAB” is also a van but another group or class or organization from the very common GT Express. Everywhere buildings have big bold destination signs. There are even un-uniformed folks who direct traffic flow and illegal parkers. Hmm, even the comfort rooms are clean and air-conditioned!

I think I saw signs that said “Legazpi Grand Terminal” with faces of politicians. Okay, fine! There were not so many people mobbing me to 'ride this' 'ride that' – maybe again, because this was a mid-afternoon. But, new as the place maybe, I could already sense chaos coming soon. Examples? There are designated stalls for shops or eateries, though there are those who have installed their own tents by the perimeter fence. And those who have real stalls also laid out their own tents in front, for their customers to sit and eat. I asked one tindera why they had the “tolda” and the happy reply was “para di mainitan ang kumakain”. Oo nga naman! Nice but not quite! Why allow her to occupy a stall and open her turo-turo when there are no provisions for her to get customers seated? Meaning, they are using space for their tents that should have been for orderly flow of vehicles. Plus, I happened by a dispatcher jokingly bellowing at an ambulant vendor saying “bakit ka nandito, bawal magtinda dito”! It was just a joke, but I think they should be serious at doing that. Otherwise, count a few more weeks and this will be just like any bus terminal in this country… chaotic as always!

Easy to find the vans for Naga. There are the big signs, remember?! But uh! It immediately felt like I was in Pasay, Makati, Cubao or elsewhere. Why? The vans. Yep, they’re the usually dilapidated lot, rusty in general, with many things like windows or doors jammed and air-conditioned but faltering. Just a glance at them, I already know! Sorry folks, I have been too used and impressed by the vans in Tacloban, Ormoc or Catbalogan. So anything less than theirs I consider substandard and downright filthy! Where these vans line up for a slot is also getting ugly already. There are tapes here and there and the dispatchers and drivers themselves have already started vandalizing the otherwise new and fine terminal with their pentel-pens!

Seeing the next available van for Naga, I opted not to take it even if there was an available front seat. Why? I did not like the look and feel of that pretentious L300! It even smelled like a wet rag and there were little fans in the dashboard and ceiling. Meaning? It only means one thing, poor airconditioning system – already because its overused and old and should be thrown in the junkyard. On the outside, it looked still good though, but that’s what we Filipinos are known for, right? Making the outside of anything including ourselves look good so that everyone will judge the book by its cover, even if the inside is abhorable, right?! I was ready to walk to the bus terminal but I saw the next van and it was a white clean and new Toyota – just like those in Region 8! Yey! I immediately approached the driver and told him, I will take the front seat please. He told me to put my backpack there. Whohooooa! As I sat at the bench called a waiting area, dispatcher kept inviting me to ride the maroon van so that I, and more importantly for him “it” could already go. I just kept smiling and told him I was not in a hurry as he kept repeating 'so I will be in Naga soon'!

Wonder of wonders? The white van I chose was just waiting for two more passengers to get full when that maroon van finally got full and left. Not that the dispatcher did not attempt to entice all my co-passengers to take the maroon van. But like me, all said “no”. Hey, as you will have probably encountered in my stories, I am not that picky nor choosy on these transport modes WHEN there is no choice! But if there is a clean and new van, I will go for it hehe! And in another 20 minutes of waiting, our new van was off to Naga. AND… wonder of wonders again?! As we approached the Camarines Sur welcome arch… there we were... overtaking the maroon van! This was still about an hour to Naga City! Whaaahahaha! Who knows, that maroon van that was spurting darker smoke from its exhaust than is normal, may have even taken another 2 hours for the same trip hehehe! Merese!

I had a wonderful 'transit' in Naga City. That's coming up next!

For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers:
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12   13   14   15
16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30

1 comment :

  1. I agree on the van choice. Why ride a dilapidated vans when the fare is the same?