I love Pagudpud and been there a lot. But in summer 2009, Florida Bus gave me the worst headache I've ever had in my visit to Ilocos.
I was with four girl friends when we visited Laoag. That day, we planned on going to Burgos for the Cape Bojeador, the windmills of Bangui, and of course the beaches of Pagudpud using local transport available. We were so exhausted when we reached Pagudpud. But before enjoying the beach we checked out Florida bus for its schedule. All we wanted was a comfortable trip back to Laoag. We hope to get a seat but they are not accepting reservation. the dispatcher said we have to be there early to get a sure seat.
The bus' last trip was at 6pm bound for Manila. By 5pm we were already at the Pagudpud town plaza in the so-called Florida bus "terminal". We then approached the dispatcher that we will buy tickets for Laoag. To our dismay he said the bus is full and that we will have to stand. But we don't see that much people lining up to buy tickets. We said we don't mind standing if it is really full, besides there's no other buses, even non-aircon, available during that time.
The time has come for the bus to depart and we were thankful there were still a few vacant seats. We were chance passengers so we were the last to enter the bus. What we thought to be a comfortable ride became my nightmare as when a passenger bound for San Fernando, La Union was picked up along the highway. The bus conductor approached me and ordered me (he never asked) to stand up and give way to the new passenger.
What the f*@k was he saying???!!! I paid for this seat anyway!
He explained that it's their policy to provide seats for passengers with farther destinations. Passengers to Laoag only are not the bus' priority.
Until another passenger was picked up, then another - until the five of us were all standing.
Though we were furious of what they have done to us, we managed to stay on the bus because there was no other way. The driver nor the conductor were mindlessly ignoring our grambling. That two and a half bus ride was a nightmare. Should we have known that ridiculous policy exists, we could have taken other alternative.
I don't know if they were still doing the same stupid thing. But consider this as a warning.
Unique Suggestions: Take other buses other than Florida pink buses to Laoag.
Fun Alternatives: Leave early from Pagudpud and take the available non-aircon buses to Laoag instead.
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