- Advance Booking
- Travel from Manila to Banaue
- Banaue Ordeal
- Contact Information
- Bus Stations
- Additional Notes
Booking the bus from Manila to Banaue, Ifugao was one of the challenges in our trip for Batad-Hungduan-Banaue since we were booking on a long weekend. Very challenging that it went to a point that we almost backed out of the whole trip. Thankfully, with a lot of adjustments and persistence we were able to proceed with the trip.
We found out that Ohayami Trans had an e-mail booking last June 6, 2015. So we decided to try the e-mail booking and when they replied we will be able to transfer the amount immediately to their bank account. Unfortunately, they replied with this.
Since the option to do e-mail booking is no longer available, we decided right away that we would visit their station the next day and book directly with Ohayami Trans in Sampaloc, Manila for the night of June 11, 2015. This is what was written in their ticketing office when we arrived.
NOOOO!!! But not yet. I really want us to go. I asked the lady on the other side of the counter if we could book going to Lagawe, then we will just ride a jeep from Lagawe to Banaue. I’ve done it before, I could do it again. And she answered “Sorry, fully booked na rin po kami papuntang Lagawe.” (Sorry, we are also fully booked going to Lagawe.) This is what we get from being tardy with advance booking of a bus that is scheduled to leave on a long weekend. (June 12 is Independence Day here in the Philippines.)
NOOOO!!! I travelled from Palawan to Manila just to do this trip again and I could not go because the buses are fully booked. I called my brother and told him of the unfortunate situation. We also presented alternative places that we can go to, but none of them were appealing to the traveler in us. We were too focused in going to Banaue and visiting the Rice Terraces that alternatives were no longer a choice.
I asked my brother that night at home if he was open to the idea if we move our trip from June 11-15 to June 12-16. He thought about it, eventually he agreed that we could travel on those dates, he just needs to adjust his office schedule. And we had to rebook some flights going back.
Yes, it was expensive to rebook the flights. But this is a planned trip that involves us blocking our busy schedule and paying for flights. We have invested time and effort for this trip. It would definitely be more expensive if we did not push thru. Rebooking of flights and adjusting our schedule is way more cheaper than for us to go back to our respective places and plan the whole trip again.
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Wednesday noon, we were at Ohayami Trans again and we would be booking the night of June 12. When we talked again to the ticketing staff she told us that there were only 5 slots left and they are all at the back end of the bus. The bumpy back end of the bus. The least favorite seats of all people inside a vehicle. You can feel more the bump on the road and the engine of the bus is located underneath the seats making it the hottest seat of the bus. But we were focused. We would endure the bump on our butts and the heat of the engine for 8 hours so that this trip will continue. So we said to the staff “Book it!”. (450 Pesos/person – one way)
On that day, we also booked our bus from Banaue to Manila so that we no longer have to endure the back end of the bus. Luckily, we got the seats somewhere around the 4th row of the bus going back. She instructed us that upon our arrival at Banaue we would need to visit their ticketing office and get our tickets.
June 12, 2015: 8:57 PM – The bus was scheduled to leave at 10:00 PM but we would like to be there early. We would rather wait than be left by the bus. It was also helpful that there were not much traffic on our way to Sampaloc, Manila via taxi, maybe most people have traveled out of Manila on the night of June 11.
This might be my 4th or 5th time going to Banaue and it’s noticeable that there are many people in the station compared to my previous trips. There were a lot of foreigners too. A good sign if you want tourism to boom in Banaue. Bad sign if you are not pro-tourism.
Interestingly, since there were a lot of travelers they also opened slots for the 9PM bus going to Banaue. And I really wanted to ride that bus hoping that we would avoid the last row. But I’ve always wanted order and not to bother the busy crew, so I refrained from pushing thru with that thought.
9:21 PM – They announced that passengers of the 10PM bus could not ride the bus. We excitedly went up and went to the end of the aisle and took our seats.
10:03 PM – The bus started to move and we were now on our way to Banaue.
11:47 PM (1 hour 54 minutes)- The bus stopped at a Gas Station but no one announced if it was a bus stop or not. I can see heads popping up looking at the front then turning around having a questioning look as if asking “Why did we stop?” or “Is this a stopover?”. I really wanted to go down. I’m not sure when the next stop will be. I want to stretch my legs. Even if I do not feel it now, maybe somewhere along the road my bladder would go on a rage and at some point I would not longer be able to control it. Hopefully not. At least I could lessen the load to lessen the watery rage.
I found out on the 2nd bus stop that the Gas Station was actually a bus stop. Seriously, why are drivers or conductors not announcing if a stop is a stopover? Passengers need to be informed so they could stretch or unload bad vibes from their bodies. This is why I love Daytripper in Palawan because announcing stopovers is a standard to them.
3:44 AM (3 hours 47 minutes from the first stopover) – We arrived at the second stopover. I need to make sure that people would know that this is a stopover so I somewhat excitedly announced “Bus stop!” Heads then popped out and when the bus stopped people started to move to the comfort rooms.
3:57 AM – The bus started moving again towards Banaue.
5:35 AM – We arrived at Lagawe where many passengers went down. This is not a stop over.
6:19 AM (2 hours 25 minutes from second stopover) – We finally the bus stopped moving at Banaue. I remembered the Gas Station but this is not where we went down on my previous visits. I remember it was closer to the center of town. This was around 1km away from the town. Then after 1 minute of stopping (Yes, that long.) The conductor announced that this was where we need to go down the bus.
Total Travel Time: 8 hours 16 minutes.
Someone then went on the bus and confidently announced that this was the last stop and we needed to ride a free jeep heading to the town center. He announced so confidently it was much better than the announcement of the conductor making him sound more credible. He said that the free jeep was an extension of Ohayami Trans services.
Following the instruction of the ticketing staff in Manila, I asked the guy if I could just go and get our tickets. He said that the jeep is leaving and he will be the one to take care of it. We rode the jeep and they took us to an inn with a restaurant.
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The travelers that were with us inside the jeep were also heading to Batad, so the guy grouped us together and looked for a jeepney for us to head to Saddle Point in Batad. This would make the jeepney rental cheaper.
He then asked for the paper that were given to me by Ohayami Trans so that he could get our tickets back to Manila and give it to me before we ride the jeep to Batad. I gave it to him.
I then remembered that we needed to pay for an Environmental Fee of 20 Pesos/person at the Municipal Tourism Center. I asked him where the Tourism Center is and he said that it was closed and will open at around 9AM. I believed him. I just thought that when we went back to the town proper of Banaue we would pay the Environmental Fee before heading back to Manila.
Before we rode the jeep to Batad, he gave us our tickets going back to Manila. I was really glad with the service he did for us. We said our thanks and farewell when the jeep left.
June 15, 2015 – We arrived at the Municipal Tourism Center to pay the Environmental Fee and here’s what we found out according to the Tourism Officer we talked to.
- The Municipal Tourism Center opens at 4-5AM since the buses arrives around those times so that tourists can pay the Environmental Fee at that time and they could provide information to travelers.
Obviously, someone did not tell the truth.
I do not mind the additional services the guy gave us. I do not mind if he gets commission for his services, since everyone should be payed for the services they made. In my opinion, the services he gave us was really helpful especially to travelers. I just wish he followed the rules of the land and do not lie to his customers.
If you do meet the guy and would like to avail his services, please insist the you be brought to the Municipal Tourism Center so you could pay your Environmental Fee and get more information. Also, better if you are the one who will personally get your ticket going back to Manila.
P. S. On the trip from Banaue to Manila every time we get to a bus stop I would say out loud “Bus Stop!” for an announcement. And almost everyone would go down the bus to stretch, head to the comfort room or have a short snack.
Ohayami Trans Details
- Manila: +63-927-649-3055, +63-2-516-0501
- Ifugao: +63-917-561-7344
E-mail Address: [email protected]
- 450 Pesos/person – Manila to Banaue (one-way)
- 8 hours estimated travel time
Please note that some schedule are only available during peak season.
Manila Bus Station
This is located at Lacson Avenue corner Fajardo Street in Sampaloc Manila. This is just walking distance from University of Sto. Thomas in Manila.
You can also ride the LRT2 and go down Pureza Station. From there you can take a taxi to Ohayami Trans.
You can also walk along Magsaysay Blvd and ride a jeep that has a route parallel to Lacson Ave. I succesfully did this once but failed to do this on my recent trip to Ohayami Trans.
But if you ask me, I would highly recommend the taxi.
Banaue Bus Station
Located near the Municipal Tourism Center. This is where we rode the bus going back to Manila.
Interestingly, the location of the last stop from Manila to Banaue is different from where you will need to ride the bus from Banaue to Manila.
They do not announce the stopovers during the bus rides. Just assume when the bus stops in a gas station you are in a stopover. You can then be the announcer. It might be annoying to some but it would definitely help a lot of travelers.
During the stopovers there are restrooms and a place where you can buy some snacks. Be ready with some coins on restrooms as you need to pay them.
Once you arrive at Banaue. Look for the Municipal Tourism Center as you need to pay the 20 Pesos/person Environmental Fee.
During peak season book way in advance so that you would not experience what we experienced.
* Details may change without prior notice.
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