Passengers bear waiting at terminal for chance to be home for Christmas
MANILA, Philippines — Noise from cars, trucks, and buses mix with the discordant clatters at the terminal while people rushing to go home for Christmas come and go.
Amid the chaos, Gaspar Peña sits on a chair, patiently waiting for his turn to finally board the bus going to Sorsogon. He’s been wishing for luck to arrive since 3 a.m. Sunday. But he doesn’t mind. After all, what are hours of waiting compared to spending the last decade not being able to visit his brothers in their province?
Peña, who now lives in Valenzuela City, arrived at the Araneta Center Bus Terminal in Cubao, Quezon City in the wee hours hoping to get a ticket home. He said he was not able to reserve a ticket ahead because of his busy work schedule. He would travel to Sorsogon with his wife.
“[Pagod at byahe] okay lang, sanay naman po kami sa pagbyahe… Okay lang, wala namang problema sa pagod,” he told INQUIRER.net.
(I’m fine with being tired and traveling, I am used to it. It’s okay, there’s no problem with being tired.)
If things turn for the worse that he could not make it, Peña said he would have to face the sad reality of waiting for another year before he could hopefully finally visit his older brothers.
But Peña was not alone. Like him, many passengers were taking chances Sunday to clinch a seat or two on the bus to spend the holidays with loved ones in the province.
After traveling all the way from Taytay in Rizal on Saturday night, Evelyn Alindugan was still at the bus station Sunday morning. Alindugan was also hoping to get on the bus that would bring her to Irosin, Sorsogon in time for Christmas Day. She arrived at the terminal midnight Sunday.
“‘Di pa kasi wala kaming makuhang ticket. Galing pa kaming Taytay, ‘di pa kami nakatulog pa. Maraming tao, mahirap ngayon, tuwing December uwian ng mga tao,” she admitted.
(We cannot get a ticket. We came all the way from Taytay, we have not slept yet. There are so many people, it is so hard right now, people return to provinces every December.)
Similarly, Alindugan does not mind the waiting at the bus terminal. She knew her priorities well: “Nandun ang pamilya namin, gusto kong makasama sa Bagong Taon, Pasko, para masaya.”
(Our family is there. I want to spend the New Year and Christmas with them so that we will be happy.)
Araneta Center Bus Terminal General Manager Ramon Legazpi on Saturday said that some bus arrivals and departures were delayed due to heavy traffic in some areas.
Legazpi even advised passengers to book their rides ahead of their travel date to avoid the long queues at the bus station.
Still, Rosalia Rosalis said she was willing to endure the long wait because this trip was extra special for her: She would be staying in Catbalogan, Samar, for good.
Rosalis and eight of her relatives came from Montalban, also in Rizal province, and arrived in Cubao around 4 a.m.
“‘Di kami nakapagpa-reserve ng ticket kasi akala namin ‘di kami matutuloy umuwi, eh natuloy pala, mahirap pala,” Rosalis said as she sat on her baggage. She said she knows the risks of being a chance passenger.
(We were not able to reserve a ticket because we thought our trip would not push through, but it did. It’s hard apparently.)
“Willing maghintay hanggang makakuha ng ticket… Maghihintay pa rin kami para kasi sa mga anak ko nasa probinsya,” she said.
(I am willing to wait until I get a ticket. We will still wait because this is for my children in the province.)
Edited by KGA
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