It was finally the end of my 11-day Northern Luzon trip. The only remaining item in my itinerary was to take the bus from Baguio back to Manila.
I already had an idea of how to commute from Manila to Baguio. Somehow, I wasn’t able to find sufficient details online about the bus if coming from Baguio. I only found a lot of outdated web pages.
When I was finally in Baguio, I realized why there weren’t a lot of “Baguio to Manila” bus guides. There was no need for it. Commuting between Baguio and Manila was very convenient thanks to the excellent service of Victory Liner Bus company.
Victory Liner Bus Terminal in Baguio. Entrance at Utility Road.
Victory Liner Bus Terminal Baguio
The Victory Liner Bus Terminal was within walking distance from SM City Baguio. It was probably just one block away but walking along a slightly uphill road while carrying a heavy backpack made it feel like walking for two full blocks.
After passing through the entrance at Utility Road, I was impressed by the beautiful interiors of the Victory Liner Terminal Baguio. It didn’t look like the typical bus terminals in the Philippines.
The modern interiors looked more like a snazzed up airport terminal. Very fitting for a tourist city like Baguio. There were several frames hung on the stone wall displaying the history of Victory Liner and the construction of the terminal.
I learned that the Hernandez Family, owners of Victory Liner, wanted to make their terminal in Baguio a sort of flagship terminal for their bus company.
Interiors of Victory Liner Terminal in Baguio
Pre-departure area at the second floor
Instead of buying bus ticket immediately, I got sidetracked. Spent my first fifteen minutes taking photos and exploring the terminal instead.
Discovered the main entrance along Marcoville St. The facade looked much better than most airport terminals I’ve been to. It was also the most beautiful bus terminal in the Philippines I’ve seen so far.
Victory Liner Terminal Facade along Marcoville St. Baguio City Terminal of Victory Liner was located at Utility Road cor. Old Forestry Road., #02 Marcoville, Baguio City
Baguio to Manila Bus via Victory Liner
The Baguio buses run on a 24-hour service. No need to reserve a ticket since they have at least one bus leaving for Manila every hour. You can choose to arrive in Pasay, Cubao (Quezon City), or Monumento (Caloocan) Terminal.
Took the bus to Pasay terminal since I was staying along Taft Avenue in Manila. Departed from Baguio at 5:30pm and arrived in Manila seven hours later at 12:30mn (P440 fare). The bus trip should only take five to six hours but the ride was delayed because of the horrendous traffic along EDSA (entering to Cubao in particular).
Metro Manila Newbie
I arrived at the Pasay Terminal around midnight. There were a few taxi units waiting outside. I approached a driver who gave me a P500 contacted fare to take me to my destination in UN Avenue area, Manila City. Outrageously overpriced since the taxi ride should only cost P100.
Noticed there weren’t a lot of taxis passing by this very shady part of EDSA. I was afraid to stay at the roadside to wait for a metered taxi because there were no guards and a couple of “suspicious” looking people around.
It seemed logical at the time to head over to Pasay Rotunda (the end of Taft Avenue), where there were a lot of passing taxis and jeepneys.
Being such a newbie at commuting in Metro Manila at night and doing it alone, I got so scared. I started walking really really fast towards Pasay Rotunda.
A fourth of the way, I started doubting my decision. I was already alone in a very dark street. I was an obvious target since I was carrying a big backpack. I probably looked back a hundred times to see if I was being followed.
I never expected I’d ever feel relieved walking along the crowded intersection of Pasay Rotunda but after seeing the familiar sight of the MRT and LRT1 stations, I had got big rush of relief after safely going through my self-induced ordeal.
Manila to Iloilo Flight
Had a long restful sleep before my flight back to Iloilo the next day. I always looked forward to late afternoon flights because of the opportunity to take aerial sunset shots.
Beautiful sunset on my return flight back to Iloilo
The return flight after a big trip is always an emotional event for me. I didn’t go on a life-changing round-the-world trip but I’ve experienced a lot during the three weeks I was away from home.
Spent two weeks at home to recuperate before setting off to another series of trip: a 6-day trip to two Southern Mindanao cities and a 12-day trip to the northeastern corner of Mindanao.