Horrendous traffic. No-go zones. Cancelled trips. Throngs of dazed working class commuters walking the metropolitan streets for hours. Kris Aquino’s repulsive sense of humor.
Indeed, if there’s one thing the 2015 APEC summit has taught us, it’s
expletives alternative solutions.
|Photo by Syra Arcipe via Trover.com|
And while we’re on the topic of alternative solutions, here’s one for those who don’t want to waste a long weekend golden opportunity (you know, like the APEC) simply hunkering down:
For the love of all things high and mighty, go North. Far North. Like, Ilocos.
As someone who was previously based in Manila for 25 years then Northern Luzon for six years (and counting), I can attest to the ease of traffic and commuting here versus that in Manila and southern Luzon destinations (particularly in Cavite, Luzon, and Batangas).
Not only will going north save you heaps of man-hours and leg power from the heavy Manila-south traffic, but it will also bring you to some of the most awe-inducing, less-trodden destinations this side of Philippine soil.
Here are some:
Narvacan, Ilocos Sur for an interesting “on-sea” grotto and Northern Luzon’s longest zipline
|Photo by ab vd Meeren via tripmondo.com|
Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur for Spanish period houses on cobblestone streets while riding an olden kalesa
Photo by Lauriza Langit via Trover.com
Paoay Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, one of four baroque churches that are declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their sheer strength and unique architecture
|Photo by Jan Ricasio via Trover.com|
Blue Lagoon, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte for hill-lined white shores and sparkling blue waters
|Photo by Joel Clavio via Trover.com|
|Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. Photo by Myron Dela Paz via Trover.com|
La Paz Sand Dunes, Laoag for some bad ass sandboarding experience
|Photo by Blau Earth|
BOOK AND BUY BUS SEATS IN ADVANCE: NOW AN ALTERNATIVE
Now you might ask: what if a crazy holiday (say, another APEC summit?) results in cancelled flights and meager buses to the north?
Two words: alternative solutions.
Remember travel booking startup Biyaheroes from that Mother’s Day ad of ours 6 months ago? They’re finally on to their first adventure, which involves – surprise, surprise – Partas buses plying the Laoag/ Vigan route.
Basically, this new Biyaheroes service let you choose, book, and reserve seats for any Vigan or Laoag-bound Partas Transport bus whenever and wherever you are, using one of these thingamajigs:
1) A PC or Mac
2) a laptop, or
2) a mobile device (tablet or smartphone)
What does that mean for you, my fellow biyahero?
No more long queues in bus terminals, no risk of being stranded elsewhere as a chance passenger, less peak season hassles. You can even book on the go. Seats are guaranteed and reserved until payment is made and you’ll receive real-time confirmation.
Speaking of payment, you can complete it via any of these venues:
1) Over-the-counter in major banks nationwide
4) Bayad Center
5) SM Supermalls
6) Cebuana Lhuillier
|Biyaheroes.com booking page allows you to choose either RT terminal-to-terminal or a specific drop-off point outside of the Ilocos Region including Pampanga and Tarlac.
Plentiful choices for drop-offs. Apart from drop-off-points in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, you can also choose other drop-off-points along the route, including Pangasinan, La Union, Tarlac, and Pampanga.
Travel rewards with every purchase. Every time you book via the Biyaheroes website too, you accrue freebies and mileage points, which you can use on future Biyaheroes bookings. Neat, ya?
How do you start a travel revolution?
“By first making public transport better and more efficient for everyone,” them folks at Biyaheroes say.
I agree. And the ability to book and buy bus seats from any location as you would a plane seat is a great start.
(Our politicians and future APEC organizers could learn a thing or two from these guys. But I digress.)