When we did our Backpack Photography Banaue 101, we took the GV Florida and was surprised to find that there are actually sleeper bus here in the Philippines. I had my share of riding a sleeper bus when I was in Laos, journeying from Pakse to Vientiane and finding them here made me excited. We were joking then that we should try for the heck of it. Being in Tuguegarao, we now had a valid reason to try it out on our way home. So after a day of spelunking in Callao and Sierra Cave, we trooped back to our hotel and prepared for the ride home via GV Florida’s Sleeper Bus to Manila.
The Sleeper bus to Sampaloc, Manila leaves daily at 9:15pm, thus giving us ample time to investigate the bus in all its corners and features. The bus isn’t exactly cheap at P1,050 per person but that’s the price you pay for the comfort of riding while lying on your back and the speed of a 9-hour overnight trip which is 3-hours faster on the usual ride on the route. I heard there are only 4 sleeper bus available in the country and Florida has them.
The bus has a 32-person capacity divided on upper and lower decks in 3 rows. The passage on the two aisle are a bit narrow for 2 persons to fit and going up on the upper decks can be a challenge. One thing I must commend is the clean restroom despite cramped size. There is little room to put big bags or luggage inside the bus so they should be placed at the compartments below. There are monitors on selected areas but they do close them when the lights are shut-down.
The 9-hour ride was rough on some places but it was comfortable on some spots. I guess in those parts in Nueva Vizcaya or Ecija where the zigzag slide and bumpy ride would wake me up on several occasions from my zzzzs. Walking on the floor of a moving bus to the restroom is test of one’s balance. Move more to pee. It’s also important to note that the bus doesn’t have a stop so bring enough food and drinks to tide the hunger over.
Overall, riding the Sleeper Bus was quite an experience. Not as comfortable as the sleeper bus I had in Pakse but it’s a start. I guess it’s a lot comfortable on smoother roads. They have a Laoag route for the sleeper bus and I’m better that road would be smoother.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.