The best transportation that will take you from Cubao to Baler is riding a bus in Genesis Terminal located in New York Street corner Edsa in Cubao. 

A taxi can take a passenger directly to the bus terminal.  Other modes of public transportation to get to the terminal may not be possible for schedules that are almost set on midnight time.  Few jeepneys may be running and all trains definitely closed.

A bus is usually dispatched every hour that will take you to Baler with schedules of 11pm, 12am, 1am, 2am and 5:30am from their Deluxe and Semi Deluxe buses.  Always be earlier from your scheduled time.

Fare is P730, about $14.50, for Deluxe and P650, less than $13, for Semi Deluxe. 

A reservation beforehand is needed for a guaranteed seat.  But many passengers try their luck to be a chance passenger. 

Sunrise at Baler

How do I get from Manila to Baler commute?            

You can book through Grab to pick you up and bring you to the Genesis terminal.  Or you can ride a jeepney with a route going to Cubao. 

When in Cubao, look for a tricycle and tell the driver to bring you to the Genesis bus terminal.  Genesis buses would take you to Baler, Aurora. 

Buying tickets for reservation is the best option before going to the scheduled trips of Manila to Baler Aurora, or you would end up as a chance passenger.

Late Night Travel

A midnight trip is a less-traffic journey.  But it is not always true.  There would always be some problems that would arise that would cause traffic.

Going to bus station became easier by booking a trip through Grab car.  Sometimes, the app of the driver pinpoint to wrong streets, so the driver got stuck to somewhere else.  And, by calling us is the only option of the driver to locate us.

During unexpected heavy traffic at midnight, your own decision may apply.  You see, common sense is still the best to prevent from going on circles. 

But, when you were too stuck on unmoving vehicles and the scheduled bus was nearly near to run with or without you, then, breathe and get your bags and start walking. 

And with so much luck, the rain was dripping and the sidewalks were really wet.  Now, you realized what light traveling really meant.

A little huff & puff and untimely burden of bags, we reached the bus station at 1:15 am.  We were the last to hop in. 

Passengers waiting and taking their chance to book for a trip lined up here, on the station.

Chance Passenger

You can go to the station without a reserved ticket, making you a chance passenger. For off-seasons, there is a hundred percent assurance that you can ride one. 

Off seasons are the months of July to August for there is no swell making waves for a surf.  The water is too calm for surfing.  Most travelers to Baler look forward to the surfing season.

On Christmas season with a long-weekend, passengers also flocked to bus stations for their holiday vacation, or homecoming, to their provinces. 

If you happen to be a chance passenger looking for a deluxe/semi-deluxe bus and all were fully-booked, there are drivers who offer another option. Read more and I will discuss it sooner.

How long is the drive from Manila to Baler?

Travel time usually takes for 5-6 hours, no stopping.  Deluxe and semi-deluxe buses have no stop-over, the comfort room is on board.    

It can take shorter if one chooses to travel on Christmas Eve when each one is at their home spending the night for Noche Buena.  Almost no one is traveling at this time. 

It can also be longer from what you expect because of some factors like traffic or rain that make the zigzag roads slippery.

Van Ride

If you are not lucky enough to be a chance passenger, there are drivers who would approach you offering their vans for a ride to Baler.  Riding the van would come from your own decision. I do not find the van route to Baler registered.

Fare is P600, about $12, quite expensive if you looked forward to more leg space.  It would be much comfortable and relax to ride a bus, so much hard squeezing yourself in from other passengers on your shared seat.

If you have extra loads, you may not freely move on a 6-hour journey.  Though, travel time may lessen depending on the speed of the driver.

All you need to hope is that you will doze off and sleep deeply that you will not feel all the discomfort you were expecting. 

Deluxe and Semi-deluxe Bus Comfort Room

These kinds of buses are the ones used by the Genesis bus, each board with a restroom.

Having a restroom on the bus is comfortable enough to think that you will not need to wait for another bus stop, if you wish to go to one.  The problem is that if you are a girl and very particular of the comfort room’s look.

A Travelling Girl

When a restroom did not pass your standard, you had an option to hover just above the toilet seat, not allowing the back of your legs to touch any part of the toilet bowl.  That is because you did not bring any toilet paper.

No toilet paper available, you need to bring your own.

How this Girl Used It

First, you unlock the toilet’s door outside.  Yes, there is a lock from outside to keep the door close. 

You enter and wonder where the light switch is.  This is assuming that you need to pee when all the light of the bus was off because it was wee hours and passengers are asleep so all lights were turned off. 

After groping to feel the switch for about two minutes, you decided to come out and found it at the top of the door’s luck. You should have found the switch before entering.  Now, you switch on the light.

So, you enter again and close the door, found that it did not suit your standard, because you are a bit difficult to please.   But you need to pee, and need to do it. 

So you choose not to allow your legs to touch any surface on here.   But it is not that possible to an on-going traveling bus having the bumps and turns. Actually, even if the bus is traveling on straight roads, it would still be hard not touching anything.

It is good that handles are really available on the sides.  If you choose not to sit, hold the handles. Hang or hover your legs so as not to touch the toilet seat and do it. 

It is possible, just be sure that the door is locked to prevent the door swinging open and have an audience watching you. 

The other problem is that the lock inside is broken.  They do some repair by hooking the lock to a thin rope, and you need that rope to hook somewhere to lock it. 

The Travel

When you are all seated and the travel started,  you may watch the movie showing on the monitor in front of the bus. Or try something else.

I tried to find the best position and decided to sleep.  Hours went by and as my sleep got deeper, I heard a bag fell from the backside. 

It was from the elevated vacant portion in the middle of the bus wherein back passengers put their bags on if they did not choose to put it on the top rack. 

Zigzag Roads

So, I decided to go back to sleep.  But I felt that the ride became zigzag, wondering if I would be going to Baguio.

The truth is that there is more than an hour of travel on zigzag roads as the trip approach Baler.  No wonder some bags fell.

The sharp turns and curves made my mind swirl, and my stomach turned upside-down.  It seemed very hard to go back to sleep.  And upon looking at the other passengers, they were all asleep and snoring. 

A faint pink orange on the sky had told my senses that dawn was about an hour away. 

When the morning light came, about 5:30 am, I was exactly looking on mountain ranges with fog hanging on them. 

And the view was down there, clouds clinging on the side of the mountain.  A breathtaking view that, luckily, I had not missed. 

It was just only a moment when the bus made a sharp turn again for the nth time. 

I prefer not to sleep again, hoping that any moment from now I could catch another good view loaded with such serenity energizing your spirit.

I feel that this is only the start for this exciting trip to Baler. Want to join?

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