At Mt. Batulao: Mountaineers with colorful backpacks
In the Philippines, bus conductors are considered as necessity jobs which are unlikely in other countries. In order for them to earn more, they need to go beyond the quota by inviting more people to ride the bus and fill it in a very short period of time.
Since most of us want more money, we tend to be very greedy at times. When we’re greedy and hungry for money, we tend to overlook other people and do not care about them anymore. A great example of this greediness was the recent maltreatment of the bus conductors by one of the bus transport group in Cubao, to be exact, Jam Liner, Inc. (Kamias – Cubao).
We were originally bound to Nasugbu-Lemery, Batangas and told the conductors that we will be going to Mt. Batulao. However, when we arrived, bus to Nasugbu-Lemery was already full. We then have to wait for another bus.
While on the process of going to the waiting area, we were approached by several bus conductors and told us that we could also take the bus bound to Turbina and just drop off Tambo; in which, according to them, more faster and convenient than Nasugbu. Basically, bus conductors gave us more likely, a sales talk.
We once again confirmed that we are going to Mt. Batulao and it has to be Nasugbu-Lemery, yet they insist that Turbina bus was also the correct bus. They told us that once we reached Tambo, all we need to do is just ride another bus or jeepney going to Evercrest, Lemery.
So we did what they told us, we hoped the bus. Since they are conductors and knew the place well, we believed in them. However, we were wronged.
When we finally got to Tambo, we found out (from asking locals) that Evercrest was 3 more rides from the area where the bus conductor and driver dropped us off. We were very dismayed by this.
Later on, my sister told us that she saw the bus conductors whispering at each other. Could it be that they were talking about us? That we will get lost later on?
Instead of paying PHP 132.00 for the bus fare, we ended up spending PHP 276.00 just going to Evercrest. Mind you, our budget ranged from PHP 450.00 to PHP 500.00 each only. From then on, we needed to be cautious on our budget.
It was funny that their Wi-Fi password was ‘ilovejam’, but since they mistreated us, ‘wehatejam’. We were already joking to give up and back out afraid that our budget will ran out. But in the long run, we just took it the positive way.
Going to Mt. Batulao with Jam Liner was a pain in the ass, but thank God climbing it was a very pleasant experience. The mountain was beautiful, fantastic view from above. It was easy to climb, there were few difficult and slippery spots but we were just laughing at ourselves. We were joking about Jam Liner all the time!
And when we finally got home, we uploaded our photos and my cousin’s album title for Mt. Batulao climb was “Jam Liners.”
We are now in the process of cooking an itinerary to Puerto Galera, I told them the bus which caters going to Batangas port was also Jam Liner, we were laughing about it lol. Jam Liner has given us an unforgettable experience in a bad but funny way. However, we MAY NOT be riding Jam Liner again. But we will try to give them another chance.
May this serve as a warning to all bus commuters. This may not only apply to Jam Liner but to all Bus Transport group. I’m pretty sure that 2 out of 10 bus companies have greedy bus conductors.
Lessons learned: Stick with the original route. Don’t be fooled by greedy conductors or dispatchers telling you that it’s the right way.
The Jam Liners
The Jam Liners! Yeah bah!
From the damage caused by the Jam Liner bus conductors; we weren’t able to ride a tricycle. We walked from Evercrest drop off point going to the mountain.
Also, hiring a tour guide wasn’t an option to us anymore – our budget was no longer enough to pay for them. Nevertheless, we learned that tour guide wasn’t really necessary when hiking Mt. Batulao even if we’re all beginners.
Update: I found out that we’re not the only victim of this greediness modus operandi of Jam Liners bus conductors. Same scenario happened to this group going to Mt. Batulao in this page last 2010. Read the whole story here.