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Next Week: Out of Town We Go + Pandemic Travel Concerns

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Avatar for LucyStephanie
Written by   196
1 month ago

Who wants to travel? Haha. Well if it's not important to go somewhere everyone is advised to stay home no thanks to COVID-19. However since I will have to travel for future work then I will definitely be commuting to another province!

Hurray, I just love getting good news! Haha. Finally I have some wonderful update on my upcoming On the Job Training (OJT)! No need to spend my days wondering when I'd get that call. I just answered a call yesterday morning and oh boy I start the OJT process on Monday next week. Woohoo!

 Oh what to do...

Since I will finally be leaving Metro Manila (NCR) again I am quite excited! Oh la la. 😁 Happiness is in the air! 😆 Time to see the ocean once again for I will be staying and working near the beach. 🥰

Not sure if there are open to the public beaches because some are exclusive resorts. 🤔 I really hope I can still swim from time to time before or after work. 🙏 That's all I wanna do. Haha.

However I need to plan how I will go there. As you know there are still not much available provincial buses here in the metro. Bus stations in certain areas are closed and not operating. Would have to go to other cities in order to get a bus ride to my destination.

I was also told not to get a swab test before going there. Huh? Only a letter of recommendation to make my travel official will be given to me. Uhmmm. But I would need to get a swab test from there. It seems they do not have any free tests in the area like here in NCR. Oh noes.

If possible I still would like to get a FREE swab test this Friday or on Monday instead just to be safe. Unfortunately all the dates for swabbing next week are already full. Huhu. On top of that I don't have my PhilHealth ID card anymore, no thanks to Ma-Cho Temple. Ugh. I need to get a new one.

Online I found out I should be going to either Manila or Makati City to find a way to ride a bus to the province on Monday. Should there be no available buses that'll pass by my destination then I need to go to another city. 🙃

I checked the travel requirements of the province I will go to and it seems a swab test isn't required. The establishment I will work for does require it so I would be forced to pay for either an antigen or RT-PCR test once I get there. Ouch. Was hoping my vaccination card would be enough.

 The Pandemic Bus Transportation Situation in Metro Manila

There's a good and a bad side to this COVID-19 predicament when it comes to commuting. Let me talk about the current bus system in NCR. I've experienced all of the following:

The bad side:

  • If you don't have any bus/transportation card/s you cannot ride most inter/intracity buses. It may take hours before you get one that accepts cash payments.

  • Limited buses and trips are available to go to and from various provinces in the country. It depends on the quarantine status of each area.

  • This leads to commuters having to pay double or more than the normal fare because people pay for carpool services instead.

Because of these, more people have taken out loans just to buy cars. Hello traffic and additional air pollution! Some people bought bicycles instead but it's not always used for great distances. Not everyone likes to arrive at work all sweaty and grimy when there's no shower available. Using bikes has it's own pros and cons too like any kind of transportation mode.

The first bullet caused me to send a message to various transportation related government agencies via Facebook, Twitter and email. I also reached out to the Congress Transportation Chairperson Edgar Mary Sarmiento.

I still prefer to use cash when traveling. What, there may be a wide variety of transportation cards soon if we keep doing this cashless payment thing. Egads, different cards for different bus companies? WTF too many cards just to travel somewhere? I pray it never happens that's why I contacted those government offices.

The Beep card is already multi-use that's why I like it. One card can be used to pay fare on trains (MRTs and LRTs), point to point (P2P) buses and other Public Utility Vehicles (PUV). Unfortunately I discovered a different Beep transportation payment system that uses another kind of card separate from the previous one I mentioned. Turns out that just started last year and there was even a viral complaint about it.

I mean, wow having two different Beep cards is definitely misleading even if the latter are currently offering free rides as a promo. Why make another company with the same brand name? How smart of the person to think of such huh? 😏 Good way to confuse people during the pandemic.

Still, I would prefer to use cash to pay any fares. Even with the pandemic in our midst we have alcohols in our bags whenever we go out. We use cash everywhere, even in supermarkets and other places. We are a cash based society and I was hoping it would stay that way forever.

Buses should still have the option to allow passengers to pay in cash if they don't have cards. It should not be mandatory to have those things. Tsk. What kind of life are we getting into just because of this pandemic?

It would be better to just let ATM debit cards be used to make payments if that's the case. No need for all kinds of cards, just use any bank card and the fare is paid! Pffft. Summady make that a reality or bring back the option to pay fares in cash!

Okay let me get to the good part or else I will rant forever. Hahaha.

The good side:

  • Free bus rides to various areas in NCR thanks to local government initiative.

  • Social/physical distancing measures are implemented.

  • Point to point buses are the norm now and are faster than the usual stop-anywhere buses.

  • People fall in line all the time to ride any bus.

With all the bad things mentioned, the good things are heaven-sent. Thank God there are free transportation available to all. Saves us the trouble of having to buy Beep cards. Well that second Beep one still requires the use of their cards for contact tracing though. Ugh I really don't like that card system for the reasons I stated.

Anyway I also like the fact that almost everyone follows the social distancing and no speaking in the vehicles rule. It makes traveling comfortable all the time. We are also reminded to bring down our face shields whenever they see we have it up on our heads inside the bus.

Plus the point to point system allows for faster travel time. Pre-pandemic, the buses would stop anywhere even if there were no bus stops there. Also passengers would ask to be dropped off at non-bus stops and the drivers comply! What the? Imagine how many stops the buses did along the busy and major highway back then? These days it's way better to travel along EDSA here in Metro Manila.

Also I like how orderly it is now. It used to be that people will not fall in line just to get on buses. Especially during rush hour in mall bus stations, omg you'd be pushing and pulling other people just to get inside the full seating capacity bus. Of course you'd be standing and sometimes almost sandwiched with other people inside the middle part of the bus just so you can get home. I've lost 3 phones to thieves because of doing that over the years.

Now because there is a need to do social distancing everyone is told to fall in line before boarding. Hurray! Finally Filipino commuters are learning discipline because of the pandemic! Thank you Lord! Haha.

Sometimes I don't want to go back to normal because of the crowding situation. It's really 1,000 times better when people aren't jampacked and sandwiching each other while commuting in trains and buses.

Anyway, of course we have other forms of transportation but I just wrote about buses. That's one of the most commonly used PUV here.

 Am I Not Afraid To Travel Because of the Corona Virus?

Well of course there is some fear in me but I am confident that my immune system will not fail me. Why? I've already proven and tested it. Haha. I rarely get sick because I drink specially mixed all natural health superfoods (juice or coffee) since 2019. From that time until now I have only gotten ill once (just colds)! And that was my fault too for not sleeping enough for almost a week. Haha.

For my entire life before then I would always get the flu or sore throat twice a year or sometimes even more! Lozenges became my friends. 😂 Also if someone beside me was sick and coughing or sneezing, the next day for sure I would be sick with it too. That's how low my immune system was especially from more than a decade ago. However since June 2019 my body has become better than ever!

Also I only travel when it is important. I don't go out much at all unless it is needed. It's still better to be safe than sorry. Hehe. Meaning I will only be traveling for the third time this year to a different province! Hurray!

My only hope is that I really learn from my OJT. Hopefully I also get a great employer and work outside the country otherwise everything might just be a waste of money. 😅

How about you? Anything you're looking forward to do next week? And do you also like commuting by bus now than before?

XOXO,

@LucyStephanie

* * *

Lead image and non-watermarked images are via Pixabay.

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Written by   196
1 month ago
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Comments

Na amaze naman ako sa beep card. May beeo card na pla tayo dito hihi. Apaka ignorante ko sa mga bagay2 jusko huhu. Anyways,ingat po kayooooo sa travel and Goodluck to your OJT.

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1 month ago

Dito sa Metro Manila meron, di ko lang alam sa Cebu at ibang areas. Hehe.

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1 month ago

Korean2 sis haha

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1 month ago

Ha? Ang alin?

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1 month ago

Ang beep card hahaa.

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1 month ago

Ay gnun b, haha. Parang wla pa ako napanood na nag-mrt sa KDrama makahanap nga. Haha.

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1 month ago

Inddddiii hahaha. Yung pa card2 na idea sis ba 😂😂

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1 month ago

Ah ok hahaha. Hmmm, kelan n nga ba nag-start yung Beep card. Ndi ko n maalala nagulat din ako dati ndi na yung tig-isang card per sakay ang binibili. May tutut card na. haha.

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1 month ago

nka ilang swab test ka naba sis? heehehe

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1 month ago

Ah, more than 3 na. Hahaha.

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1 month ago

I can't wait for your travel blog! Tell us about your first trip outside Metro Manila and the beach!

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1 month ago

Ehehe I dunno but I somehow don't feel like writing it even up to now. I am such a slowpoke in writing it. I went to Cebu so part of it has been written already. The two articles about the airports, that's the first trip. The second trip was in La Union last month which I've already written too. Hehe.

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1 month ago

I'm reading them now. Grabe, inggit ako. Huhu. I wish to feel the airport, sand, and sea again!

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1 month ago

Wahaha go na dali. Start na sa Oct 16. XD

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1 month ago

Here there was a route that was paid by card and the buses went point to point, I thought it was excellent, you arrive faster and everything is better organized, but with inflation, the equipment was damaged, the cards were not recharged, so we returned to the same thing, there is no social distancing, but we queue, although there is always the one who gets on first to get on. We are crowded together, some of us wear masks, others do not, those who wear masks take them off when they speak, it is a total disaster.

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1 month ago

Oh boy, that's such a mess indeed if people cannot maintain the right process well. Hopefully your COVID-19 levels are less than ours...

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1 month ago

The worst thing is that people continue to die from Covid, yesterday a general died, 2 days ago an acquaintance died, cases continue to be reported, we ride the buses because there is no choice, but we try to leave as little as possible. I have seen military and police without masks. Many food vendors do not wear masks either, but you have to buy from someone. Two days ago I was in a line and a lady passed by and took off her mask to cough, then spit on the floor where there were many people.

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1 month ago

Oh my gosh that is the biggest problem when people disregard the use of masks... I hope things get better soon.

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1 month ago

Extra ingat kapa rin dapat kahit pa malakas immune system mo. Mahirap na, baka di mo alam may nakasalamuha kana palang ano. Anyways, I also want to travel kaso mo nga, takot ako mag trabel mag isa. Paano kaya ako makaka experience nito ay no. Ayaw ko pa naman na nagtatanong kaya pag di ko alam ang way ko, kahit abutin ako ng hating gabi sa daan di talaga ako maglalakas ng loob nag magtanong hahahaha.

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1 month ago

True importante pa rin gawin mga dpat gawin para iwas sakit. Hehe.

Mahirap maligaw ng gabi dapat magtanong ka na before dumilim if ever haha. For sure di ka naman gagala ng mag-isa. Hehe.

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1 month ago

Hahaha oo Hindi talaga lalo na at takot ako magtanong sa tao hahaha

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1 month ago

Nice to meet you nature lover. I am damn sure you also a good photographer? Am i right?

Sad to hear that, you are still facing COVID 19 pandamic. Here in my country is not anymore. But government is still forcing us to wear mask or social distance. All country got vaccine but still need to care. By the way where are you from ? Lets interact. Nice article, keep it up. You lucky rusty is not missing your single article he visited all i wish me would visit my articles too.

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1 month ago

The best way to be visited by Rusty is to read the Rules and Rusty's post. Also to check @ Read.Cash posts on how to earn from writing. :)

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1 month ago

Rusty have one one article. And where i can find read cash posts?

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1 month ago

Just search the read.cash profile. :)

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1 month ago

Wow. Godbless to your OJT💛 and take care wherever you go🤗

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1 month ago

Ok thank you. :)

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1 month ago

I am also torn between enjoying bus/train rides with less people and going back to the old normal na crowded. Basta ganun!

I also agree with the point to point bus stops however the highway (in this case sa EDSA) needs to be more pedestrian friendly kung hindi man malapit sa bus stop yung destination mo.

Ingat sa pagtravel!

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1 month ago

Ako mas prefer ko tlga now na di crowded. Since may bike lane na I think medyo pedestrian friendly na haha.

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1 month ago

Haven't experienced having a beep card yet. I only saw that on Kdramas. 😂

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1 month ago

What? Really? Oh my, you should get one soon if you would like to travel around here. He he.

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1 month ago