Traveling to General Santos City via the Yellow Bus Line Executive Class Bus

This is a late post but, since summer vacation is right around the corner for the Filipinos, I think this will serve its purpose.

For my son's birthday, my partner's family decided to have a family reunion. My partner's matriarchal grandfather, uncle, and our son all have the same birthday and to make it a grand celebration, they all decided to go on a road trip to General Santos City and head to the beach and go grape picking the next day. We agreed to meet them at General Santos City since we would be coming from Davao City. My partner said it would be more convenient for us just to go straight there rather than meeting up with the whole family in Tacurong City. He said, "It's like going in a straight line."

Since it was 2 days before Christmas, we expected Ecoland Bus Terminal to be busy with people heading home for the holidays. And we weren't wrong! The lines of people submitting themselves for bag inspection before entering the terminal were long! I have to admit, I was impressed that the Dabawenyos fell in line and didn't shove or cut (one of my pet-peeves). Or maybe they were particularly wary of the men in uniform (the military) walking around the terminal since Mindanao is still under Martial Law. Well, if it means safety and security and getting people to abide by the law and act with discipline, then maybe there is some good keeping Mindanao under Martial Law. I wonder what would happen if Manila would go under Martial Law? Food for thought.

Ecoland Bus Terminal now has an air-conditioned waiting room with food kiosks and pasalubong stalls and of course, a restroom. We had a snack at the 7-11 beside the terminal before entering since it's a known fact that food inside terminals are a bit more pricey so, we didn't eat but, we did use the restrooms. You need to pay 5 Pesos to use the restroom. I just hope that some of the money they collect goes to the renovation of the restroom because it is in dire need for a renovation. The toilets had no flush and you have to use the trusty makeshift "tabo" found in the drums being continously filled with a hose of running water to flush after use. Sometimes you have to wonder why you have to pay for such lousy service. Well, at least there was running water.

Although the lines to the buses were long, it only took us 15 minutes to get seated in one of Yellow Bus' Executive Class buses. Due to the influx of passengers and to meet the demand of travellers, Yellow Bus had buses lined up and when one left for its destination, another one would take its place. I actually wanted to ride in the Executive Class bus of Mindanao Star since their buses looked new but, their buses were queued all the way at the end of the terminal and we just didn't want to walk that far or stay out in the heat anymore. Maybe next time.

The Executive Class bus is non-stop to GenSan, spacious, has its own TV, free Wi-Fi and has its own bathroom. My partner who is a bit tall didn't have to worry about "knee space" or his knees hitting the chair infront of him. My son, on the other hand, was able to sit comfortably in between us... well, that was before he crawled over me and situated himself by the window. Unfortunately for him, the heat of the sun from the windows was just too much for any of us to bear so, we had to close the drapes. He did get a little ticked off but, since it was his first bus ride, he didn't stay mad for long. He enjoyed riding in the big huge bus!

There is an outlet on the side if you would like to charge your gadgets and overall, the bus was clean and surprisingly quiet. Unfortunately, the bathroom started to smell as we approached GenSan. I guess the conductor forgot to fill the flush with water or he was just plain lazy. Why do I know this? On our return trip to Davao City, we again rode a Yellow Bus Executive Class bus and I saw the conductor pouring water down a hole on top of the restroom after each time someone would use it. He made sure the restroom did not stink up the whole entire bus. Kudos to him.

The trip from Davao City to GenSan costs 320 Php each (256 Pesos for Senior Citizens and children) and only took 2 hours and 30 minutes. The last time I passed through GenSan heading to Tacurong City, the bus ride took almost 5 hours and this was mainly due to traffic. Apparently, because of the "road widening" project of the government, the highway is now 4 lanes on each side. I dozed off during the trip and was surprised when I was awaken by the conductor of the bus. We all had to go down and present our IDs to the military before we could enter GenSan. After inspection, we all hopped back on and proceeded to GenSan proper.

We got off at Gaisano Mall to be picked up by relatives. It was a smooth trip. I was worried that my son would get sick (motion sickness) but, he didn't and the best part, we were't even tired from the trip.

I will definitely ride in a Yellow Bus Executive Class Bus again. I just hope that the next time I do, the conductor remembers to fill the water tank of the restroom. 😁

Ecoland Bus Terminal is properly known as the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal located at Candelaria, Talomo, Davao City, Davao del Sur or Ecoland, Davao City near SM City Davao. It is open 24 hours. For southbound destinations within Mindanao, it is advisable to journey by bus from Ecoland Bus Terminal although there are UV Express Vans located at mall terminals.

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