While I was researching for our Sagada trip, my biggest concern was how we would get there. Almost all the blogs I found about Sagada mentioned going to Banaue or Baguio first, then transferring to another mode of transportation going to Sagada. There had to be a more convenient way to get there without renting a van.
Good thing I found Coda Lines on Facebook. They offer direct trips from Quezon City to Sagada daily and the fare is almost the same as other means of getting to Sagada. So convenient!
My next concern was how to reserve seats in Coda Lines. From their Facebook page, I realized that it was best to reserve a few weeks in advance for our trip because the seats can fill up fast. But I was too lazy to go to their office in Cubao. LOL. My laziness led me to discover PinoyTravel ❤
PinoyTravel is an online bus booking reservation system here in the Philippines. They have partnered with several transport companies to enable passengers to book their trips in advance.
They have a pretty good reach as they offer bus routes to Visayas and Mindanao as well. You may click here to view the complete list of routes.
Booking a trip through PinoyTravel is very easy. Here are the steps I went through:
- I chose the origin, destination and date of my trip from the homepage.
- The site returns a list of all trips available, clicked “Book Seats” on my preferred schedule, and indicated the number of seats I will be purchasing.
- Next, I indicated my email address and mobile number so I can receive my reservation confirmation and any updates about my trip.
- Payment is the last step and I was happy to discover that I had a variety of options regarding the payment channel. PinoyTravel adds a service charge to the base fares. These service fees vary according to the payment mode. From my experience, online banking as a payment option incurs the lowest service charge while paying through Paypal/credit card has the highest charge.
- After payment, a voucher was sent to my email. I had to print this voucher and present it to Coda Lines office so they can give me the actual ticket. A printed version is required. Bus companies do not honor screenshots of the voucher.
- My travel details also appeared under the “My Reservation” tab in PinoyTravel’s website. This was possible because I created an account on the site.
Overall, I am satisfied with PinoyTravel’s service. The convenience of not having to go to the booking office or taking a chance on the day of travel is worth the additional service charge in my opinion. 🙂 One tiny thing I wish on their service is that they add an option for passengers to select their preferred seats on the bus. We only found out our assigned seats when Coda Lines gave us the actual tickets for the trip.
Coda Lines is (I think) the only bus company that offers direct trips from Quezon City to Sagada. I am so thankful for this fact, especially during our trip to Sagada, because we were able to sleep 90% of the time. The seats are so comfy and featured a head support which meant there were no stiff necks when we wake up. I didn’t have to use my neck pillow because of this 🙂 The buses were either new or well maintained which was a plus.
Coda Lines is located in Monte de Piedad cor. Maryland Street in Cubao. If you are on the southbound side of EDSA, they can be found after Solid North and behind Mang Inasal. They are co-lated with HM Transport.
Their daily trips to Sagada are scheduled to leave at 9:00 PM. We arrived at the terminal 30 minutes before departure so we can exchange the voucher from PinoyTravel for actual tickets. Good thing I booked early on because there was a long line of chance passengers for Sagada. There were two buses leaving for Sagada. The staff brilliantly thought of lumping all passengers headed for Sagada in one bus and other passengers who would alight in other places in another. This meant that our bus can take an alternate route and get to Sagada faster. Yay! 🙂
Our bus left at 9:30 PM because of some late passengers. In my opinion, they should have given the seats to chance passengers as penalty for the latecomers. I was awake until our first stopover just before TPLEX for a midnight snack. After that I and the boyfriend were off in dreamland until we arrived in Sagada. We almost missed our stop if the conductor didn’t repeat the name of our lodge. LOL. We arrived in Sagada after 10 hours of travel.
For our trip back to Manila, we also left late. It turns out that Coda Lines picked up passengers from Sagada via jeep to take them to Bontoc. From there, we would transfer to the buses headed to Manila. We were late to leave Sagada because us passengers couldn’t fit in only one jeep. The staff had to call for another one and we had to wait. It was a miss on Coda Lines’ part not to count the passengers and plan our transport to Bontoc accordingly. They seemed surprised that we couldn’t fit and tried to tell us to find enough room. There were 6 of us who couldn’t fit in the first jeep (even with all the baggage in topload) and there were 3 other passengers they had to pick up along the way. Instead of departing at 2 PM, we left just before 3 PM. In Bontoc, we found the buses waiting for us and it was another 30 minutes before we left the terminal.
For those curious, the stopovers are:
- Mt. Polis – we were able to buy lots for fresh vegetables here
- Banaue Rice Terraces View Deck – if the weather is clear. However, it was so foggy when we passed by so the driver didn’t stop
- Nueva Vizcaya – I am not sure which town though.
I would definitely recommend getting on Coda Lines to take you to Sagada. The seats are so comfy and the driver is very careful. Though it would be best to reserve your seats way ahead, especially for weekend and holiday travels. And just have patience with the delays. 🙂
For a complete list of routes by Coda Lines, you may check their Facebook page.