Friday, April 17, 2009
Dimple Star Transport
April 5, 2009
I was going to Iloilo via the Nautical highway (Batangas, Mindoro, Aklan) on roll-on, roll-off (RORO) boats. I took the RORO way because the last time I took this route was about 4 years ago, so I wanted to see if there’s “something new”. But more importantly, I wanted to see the province of Antique. I’ve seen the 3 other provinces of Panay island – Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo – but I’ve never been to Antique before.
The lady at the ticket office in Cubao terminal said the bus would leave 11am, April 5, and I have to be there 1 hour before to find out the bus number that I will take. I arrived at the terminal at 10am, the terminal was so crowded.
I would take bus no. 744. But instead of leaving 11am, it left the terminal almost 1 hour late. Ok, I could bear that one. On its way in Edsa, it took a right turn at South Road, a street before Boni Serrano. The bus line has another terminal there and it picked up passengers again. It stopped there for another 50 minutes I think. There I began shaking my head.
It moved again, but instead of going to Alabang, it went to Pasay and stopped again in its terminal to pick up more passengers! This time, there were complaints from some passengers because they have a reserved seat but their seats were already occupied by passengers from Cubao and South Road terminal who have no prior seat reservation. The problem was somehow solved, the bus moved again. I slept.
When I woke up, the bus entered another bus terminal in Alabang! This time, a big number of passengers with piles of huge cargo were waiting there! Another 1 hour stop over!
When I took Ceres Liner several years ago, when it said departure is at 4pm, it left Cubao about 4:10pm, and went straight to Batangas for the boat. Here, Dimple made 3 stops to jampack the bus with murmuring passengers and their huge cargo. The bus was obviously overloaded, it was running slow.
My advice to passengers taking the RORO to Iloilo or Antique, ask the staff at the ticket office if the bus will go straight to Batangas or it will make 2 or 3 more stops before proceeding to Batangas. Or don’t take that bus line! Take Ceres or Gasat or Alps, provided these bus lines will not do the same multiple stops at Metro Manila bus terminals.
A passenger from another Dimple bus though that I met at the boat, said her bus left Cubao 2 hours late but at least it went straight to Batangas.