To get from Cebu City to Dalaguete, we had to take a 3 hour bus from the Cebu South Bus Station. We weren’t given too much information, except that the buses leave all the time and the internet didn’t give us any useful details either. Luckily, our taxi driver pointed us in the right direction.
We got there just as a bus to Dalaguete was boarding. The seats of the old, not air-conditioned bus were already full but people kept getting on. Once the bus was stuffed to the brim, it departed. The line we were in was already long enough to fill another two buses. After half an hour of waiting, sweating and waving away people selling bottled water and snacks, we decided to see if there was a different bus.
I stayed in the constantly growing line while my friend walked around the bus station looking for some nicer air-conditioned buses. We had watched several drive by, teasing us by slowing down right in front of us giving us just enough time to peek in at all the comfortable people relaxing in large seats, some watching a movie on large HD screens.
My friend returned with exciting news of a different line that will guarantee a set on a nice bus to Dalaguete! We grabbed our luggage and shuffled out of the sweaty line to get to a waiting area with a row of seats zigzagging towards the entrance of the building. Every few seconds people got up and shuffled down a few seats – a sitting line was already an improvement!
We spent about an hour in the sitting line that seemed to lead to three different buses. When Dalaguete was called, we followed other people and got onto a bus. With three seats squeezed into what should have been two, no TV, no air con and hundreds of people piling on, we sadly realized that we spent an extra hour waiting for exactly the same bus we would have been on if we had stayed in the previous line.
The next four hours, that should have been three, were spent squished among locals with the window cranked open to let in pollution which was still better than suffocating if the windows were closed. The bus spent ages in traffic, while the driver let on sellers who shook their products in our faces to try to get us to buy something.
The moment we left the traffic of Cebu City the driver drove at ridiculous speeds down dangerous roads dodging motorcycles and stray dogs! Once again, we laughed through the continuous fails that seemed to haunt us on the trip. It’ll get better once we’re in Dalaguete, we said to each other naively. There will be no fails in paradise…
To be continued…
For info about the buses at Cebu South Bus Station, check out their official website. If you don’t find what you need, ask your hostel or Airbnb hosts for tips. Otherwise, the people at the bus station do speak English and will be more than happy to help you!