Good news for biyaheros, biyaheras, and lovers of the open road! Victory Liner has recently resumed its provincial route operations — and we can’t wait to explore all the possibilities this reopening unlocks. But hold your horses; before boarding your very first province-bound bus when you’re ready to travel, let us ask you this: Do you remember how bus rides were before the pandemic?
If your answer is yes, then you know full well we can’t possibly carry on that way — especially now that health and travel protocols are strictly implemented for our own safety. Sure, provincial buses are back; but while we’d love nothing more than to go on a road trip, there are some nasty bus commute habits that you’re better off leaving behind.
Also read: Commute Etiquette: 10 Things Filipinos Should Know By Now But Don’t
Bus commute habits you have to bid goodbye to
Here’s a quick rundown of bus commuters’ WORST travel habits that you absolutely have to kick for a new and better normal!
1. Disrespecting personal space
We’ve heard of one too many commute horror stories where absolutely all regard for personal space goes down the drain. While some instances are undeniable examples of harassment, we have to admit that dealing with overcrowded vehicles is nothing out of the ordinary for most Filipino commuters. During any trip, there are many opportunities for you to feel as if someone’s invading your personal space; and chances are, others feel the same way about you.
Have you ever been in line for your tickets while the person behind you literally breathes down your neck? How about finding yourself shoulder-to-shoulder in tight spaces while locating your assigned seat? Gone are those days, especially now that
Victory Liner strictly implements physical distancing on all their provincial buses!
We know it will take some getting used to, but we must also use this pandemic as the perfect exercise to build respect for each other’s personal space and personal belongings. Keep your distance and only touch what’s yours! This way, we’ll all have better bus commute habits even long after the world has overcome COVID-19.
2. Eating smelly food (or drinks) on board
We feel like this happens too often without anyone actually calling it out — so we’ll be the first to do so! Please, for everyone’s sake, try to munch on food that doesn’t give off a very strong aroma. To be clear, we aren’t judging anyone’s diet preferences! We’re just saying: If you already know that your food or drink smells a bit funky, then maybe it’s not the best idea to eat or drink it in an enclosed space shared with strangers.
We know that in the time of COVID-19, we should be thankful that our sense of smell and taste are working in tiptop shape… but surely there are other ways of testing that out. Besides, eating and drinking are highly discouraged (if not completely prohibited) inside public transportation vehicles, considering health protocols. It’s safer for everyone if we comply!
Travel tip: Treat yourself to a heavy meal before your next provincial bus trip. That way, you won’t get hungry on the road.
3. Being inconsiderately boisterous, noisy, unruly — you name it
If you used to ride the bus a lot, you’ll know this one, too. There you are minding your own business, when suddenly a few seats away, you start to hear the loud chitchat. Sometimes, they’re a group travelling together. Perhaps unable to contain their excitement about their barkada trip, they’ll go on and on playing games, updating each other about their work, love lives, and latest K-drama series, or they’ll even discuss their itinerary for all passengers to hear!
Then, there’s always that one person who takes a phone call the entire ride. Never mind that passengers can hear every detail of the conversation (which isn’t always pleasant or wholesome — yikes!); it will seem that this person and their phone pal are on a mission to keep everyone wide awake during the entire trip. Another shoutout to parents who can’t keep their unruly children in check. They’re young and energetic, we know, but that doesn’t mean they get a free pass to make the bus ride uncomfortable for everyone on board.
With the pandemic still in full gear, we should all know to keep talking and interacting in public at a minimum. Plus, Victory Liner requires all passengers to wear masks and face shields at all times. We already know how difficult it is to hear each other through these PPE, so why not save the daldalan and kulitan for when you arrive at your destination?
4. Watching videos or playing music via speakers
Don’t think making noise on bus rides just applies to conversations. It’s just as bad if you whip out your gadgets and play music or videos via speakers. Use your headphones or earbuds! Remember, respecting personal space includes managing the noise you make so that others can have a peaceful ride, from start to finish.
5. Coughing, sneezing — or worse, spitting — without a care in the world
Inside the bus, outside the bus — it doesn’t matter; one should never spit in public spaces, and it’s appalling to know that some people still do this to date! Just as bad is coughing or sneezing out in the open, without even covering your mouth and nose. This has been tagged as a mortal sin since COVID-19 reared its ugly head — an unforgivable don’t that comes with obvious stigmas. This doesn’t mean it was acceptable before; it wasn’t.
Note, though, that especially with the resumption of its provincial bus services, Victory Liner reserves the right to deny boarding to passengers who:
- Have temperatures above 37.5.
- Show flu-like symptoms, or any other symptoms related to COVID-19.
- Do not comply with travel requirements.
Fair warning: Don’t even try to push through with your bus trip if you’re feeling unwell. Do yourself and others a favour; undergo self-quarantine and get yourself the medical attention you need.
6. Hogging the air conditioning
This rarely happens when you know your bus seatmate. Either that or you simply have the guts to call them out when they hog the air conditioning. But when a complete stranger shifts the direction of cool air their way all throughout the entire ride, that is a major bummer — especially on days with sweltering heat.
Keep in mind that these bus rides are shared with other people. You’re practically in a moving public space. Be considerate and think of others. The golden rule applies to travel as well as it does in every life scenario: Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.
7. Being messy and hygiene-deficient
If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us effectively, it was to pay more attention to our hygiene. In a world where a rapidly spreading virus takes lives, we all had to buckle down and re-learn how to be clean, from washing our hands the proper way to disinfecting our homes and belongings.
Pasintabi sa mga kumakain, but we can’t count how many times we’ve spotted people picking their noses onboard — YUCK! Don’t even get us started on the grimy fingernails we spy when helping to pass on someone’s change or payment to the bus conductor, or the trash we see strewn across the aisle upon disembarking.
In a post-lockdown world, these are absolute no-nos. You shouldn’t even have your hands anywhere near your face the entire bus ride, especially one that’s headed to the province (as this means longer road travel). And you better make sure you dispose of all waste properly, so that you help limit the spread of droplets, bacteria, and other viruses. Most importantly, you should be armed with cleansing paraphernalia as well as trusty disinfecting alcohol.
Victory Liner cleans and disinfects every nook and cranny of their provincial buses before and after every trip, so make that arduous effort count. As passengers, we must also play our part to ensure that every bus ride we take is safe for all on board.
8. Taking up too much space
Meet the cousin of disregarding personal space — it’s when you occupy too much space. Sometimes, they go hand in hand, but this entry especially goes out to people who do one or all of the following:
- Block the way at any time during the ride.
- Place long hair over the backrest.
- Hit or kick the backrest in front of you.
- Leave personal belongings (or worse, trash) scattered all over the place.
- Keep your legs wide and open, so much so that it makes others’ space cramped.
- Touching any part of any bus seat that’s not assigned to you.
There are a multitude of things that constitute being rude during a bus ride, and taking up too much space is just one of them. This serves as a friendly reminder to be polite and considerate during your travels!
9. Not knowing the requirements and pertinent details of your trip
This is absolutely basic, yet we’re sure many passengers are guilty of it: Not paying attention, or being aloof. Keep at it, and we’re pretty sure you’re bound to mess up your travel requirements and trip details at some point! These mishaps are often a result of poor trip planning — which most newbie travellers go through, don’t worry. But the pandemic’s added precautions and travel requirements should be enough to encourage you to level up your trip planning game!
To avoid getting frazzled by additional travel requirements during the pandemic, make sure to note them beforehand. Make a list if you must, and keep all documents in an envelope or folder. Victory Liner lists travel requirements for various provincial routes (such as Baguio and San Fernando, Pampanga) online through Facebook or via their official website. You’ll find the answers you’re looking for in just a few clicks, and if not, their service hotlines are always open to inquiries.
10. Causing unnecessary delay at any point during travel
Time is gold, now more than ever. Provincial buses are designated routes and time slots for reasons that have our best interests in mind. These days, bus operators like Victory Liner have taken into account our safety with regard to standard heath and travel protocols amid COVID-19.
If you cause unnecessary delays during bus trips, you’re inconveniencing not only yourself but everyone on board. Kaway-kaway sa mga nawawala while waiting at the bus terminals and during stopovers! If dilly-dallying and being late were part of your travels pre-pandemic, it’s high time you kick those habits.
There you have it, some of the absolute WORST bus commute habits you have to say bye to now that travel is slowly reopening in the Philippines!
Also read: COVID-19 Philippines Travel Advisory for Filipinos & Foreign Visitors
Things to note for your next provincial bus trip with Victory Liner
Think of them as pabaon para sa mga biyaheng biyahe na, pero ayaw ma-diyahe! Before booking your next trip in select Luzon destinations with Victory Liner, note the following updated travel protocols, according to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF):
- Quarantine in a government-accredited facility is no longer required upon arrival for as long as the traveller does not show symptoms related to COVID-19.
- Some cities and municipalities still require COVID-19 tests (RT-PCR tests) before entry. Make sure to coordinate with the intended destination’s local government unit and secure all travel requirements before finalising any travel plans.
Once you’re armed with the knowledge of safe Philippine travels, as well as the protocols and requirements of your ever-reliable bus operator, you’re prepped for your next Luzon road trip!
Ano, ready ka na ba bumyahe? Do you have any bus commute pet peeves you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section!
For more information, visit Victory Liner’s official website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Brought to you by Victory Liner.