Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sultan Kudarat : En Route to General Santos City via Tacurong City

Part 1 - A prelude (Series 1).
Series 1,2,3
Spotted fishermen's boats at dawn in Gumasa Beach, Glan, Sarangani.

The Ridge to Edge blog series has just began.

Why Ridge to Edge? Its because I live in a mountainous province in Bukidnon of Central Mindanao,  and this is our journey to the edge of Mindanao---journey to the beaches (edge).

The series one will highlight on the decision making process, health condition, work schedule, and the availability of the bus on planned time slot en route to Tacurong City, alternative plan just in case the in-availability of the transportation for the Gensan bound bus and what to expect on an aircon bus plying to this route.  Another consideration and it is the mainstream of this travel series to the Southern Tip of Mindanao, the Gumasa of the Municipality of Glan, in the Province of Sarangani--- is the budget.
Bus Terminal at Kabacan, North Cotabato (stop-over)
Time Element and Health Condition:

It was not a coincidence but I guess, the postponement of our (with my family) trip to the Southern Tip of Mindanao which we initially scheduled on the first week of April was just a real sign that we need to consider. Why? Because of the health condition of my two kids, Bea and James.

Last March 26 was the graduation of my son James (grade 6). Two days prior to that very special event of the life of my son, he was inflicted with a chicken pox, but he still managed to attend with that "pox" on his body. 

So we again have a second thought to push through with our plan on the 1st week and instead postponed it on the 2nd week of April. Since April 9 was a holiday, I decided to schedule my leave on the 8th of April up to April 10. So, I filed another leave on the second time around. After James' chicken pox was finally healed, my wife, suspected that my little girl Bea, was infected with that pox virus. We have no option(s) but to postpone again on the third time. We estimated the healing time for two weeks and made it sure that Bea is ok for our trip to the Southern Tip. 

I reported back for work and finished at least reasonable number of outputs. We need to wait and stretched my patience for full healing of the chicken pox, until finally time permitted us to continue with our long journey to the Southern Tip of Mindanao---the Sarangani Province.
Blissful Guro described this one as a corned beef bus, not a sardines bus.

Decision Making Process:
Decision making is the most critical part especially when we travel together with our family. A travel with your 2 kids is really a hard decision to make. We never ignored on what had happened to the two kids about their health condition---inflicted with chicken pox. The health condition might or may be a some sort of getting us away on what would be the possible things to happen along our way if their "pox" came out during the course of our travel. 

Another hardest thing to decide is the time of departure from our place, may either be at midnight or at dawn on the eve of our journey to the Southern Tip of Mindanao-the Gumasa Beach. We still asked the bus authorities on the schedule of their bus bound to Gensan via Tacurong City. 

Their schedule was not strictly followed. 

Options made and still lucky:

We opted to take the Gensan bound bus. As alternative to our plan, if the Gensan bound or a Tacurong City bound bus will come first, we will take this route instead of via Davao Route that will take us another 2-3 hours of travel. 

We woke up early at 3:00 a.m. and went off to the bus terminal at around 4:45 am and waited for almost 3 hours for the bus to come. The first one who came bound to Gensan Route was the Tacurong bound bus. At 7:30 a.m. the bus left the terminal and luckily we still have seats available for us.

What to Expect on an Aircon Bus bound to Tacurong City :

As your guide, you might expect a full comfort en route to Tacurong City. If only if, there are other bus companies, it will only have a seating capacity and not an over capacity like what we had to this route. 

We thought of a comfort ride all the way to Tacurong City, but since there is no other bus company plying to this route, the aircon bus became a corned beef bus. Started at Maramag, Bukidnon, the bus driver and the conductor allowed more passengers to get inside the bus and let them on standing position at the center aisle. 

Some of the passengers who have kids along with them were on standing position from Maramag to M'lang, North Cotabato. Two of these kids seated with us. So you can now imagine how very "comfort" our bus ride was, plying to these route. 

It's not my first time in Kidapawan and Kabacan but its my first time to pass through Datu Paglas, Maguindanao and Tacurong City and other places in going to General Santos and it's first time with my family to travel outside Bukidnon via to this route.

A glimpse of some landmarks while en route to Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.
M'Lang or Matalam Rotunda. Landmark(s) in going to General Santos City via Tacurong City.
The Matalam Bus Terminal. Short stop-over
Datu Paglas, Maguindanao Rotunda 

We arrived at Tacurong City at 2:00 p.m. more or less, or roughly 6 1/2 hours travel from Malaybalay City or 9 1/2 hours from Cagayan de Oro City and had our Late lunch at VE-JR Aqua farm, with Dr. Remo Aguilar of Tacurong City Dot Net, a fellow Pinoy Travel Blogger, who graced us to a sumptuous lunch.

Summary of Initial Expenses en Route from Cagayan de Oro City or Malaybalay City to Tacurong City:
Fare Rate in going to Tacurong City from Cagayan de Oro City or Malaybalay City :

Malaybalay City to Tacurong City :

2 kids           -      P  310 pesos/kid    -     P 620.00    - discounted rate (Student Privelege)  
2 adults       -           395 pesos/adult -        790.00    -  Full
Total Fare Expenses :-----------------    P1,410.00    

Cagayan de Oro City to Tacurong City

2 kids    -      P  310 pesos/kid + 110/kid   -    P   840.00  - discount rate (Student Privelege)
2 adults-           395 pesos/adult + 135/adult - 1,060.00  - Full
Total Fare Expenses :-----------------              P1,900.00    
Itinerary :

7:30 a.m. -  Bus Terminal (Malaybalay City)
2:00 p.m.-  Tacurong City Bus Terminal

Related stories of our Ridge to Edge Blog Series :

1. En Route to General Santos City via Tacurong City
2. Late Lunch in Tacurong City at VE-JR Ihaw-ihaw
3. Why Choose Gumasa White Sand Beach as your Summer Getaway Vacation?
4.  One Sublime Morning Gumasa White Beach

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