After about 10 hours on the Ohayami bus from Sampaloc, we finally disembarked at the tourist registration office along the highway (if you could call it that) in Banaue. It seems tourist companies or organizations have got everything down pat to steering tourists to their services. A few hundred meters before arriving at the main town of Banaue, a young man in a peeling Von Dutch black leather jacket got on the bus and asked to see our tickets. I assumed he was part of the bus company. Arriving at the registration office, a guy dressed in an official-looking green shirt directed the passengers to the registration and pointed everyone to a free shuttle that would bring us to a tourist information office. We needed a ride to the center of town so we boarded the green jeepney.
The tourist information office turned out to be the tour desk of a guide organization based in a lodging house. Inquiring with the guy in the Von Dutch jacket (who also boarded the shuttle) for bus tickets to the return trip to Manila, he took the dates we wanted and promised to go to People’s Lodge where were staying to deliver our tickets. So I guess, the desk wasn’t the Ohayami booking office at all as he had said it was when I asked him earlier at the registration office. Anyway, as long as he secures us the bus tickets, I’m fine. We could have skipped the whole hoopla if I had known that People’s Lodge sent someone to pick us up at the bus drop-off. I didn’t bother checking out the names at any of the signs being held up by some people as I didn’t think a cheap lodge such as People’s would have pick-up service. Von Dutch asked a young guy hanging around to walk us to the few meters up the road to People’s Lodge. The whole set-up was fine really—you get a free ride to the town center and you get some information. One thing though, someone was asking about transpo to Batad. Rather than pointing to the public jeeps, the guy with a green shirt answered that they were just waiting for the other bus to arrive and see if there are other Batad-bound passengers. Considering you’ll also need to wait for the public jeeps to fill-up, green shirt guy’s Batad arrangements would roughly turn-out the same, at least in terms of time.
However, if you really want to do your thing independently, the municipal tourism office is at the top of the road that leads down to the town center.
So anyway, here I am at our room typing this. It was too late for the buffet breakfast at Banaue Hotel so we just ordered breakfast at the lodge with a view like this.
As expected, like most lodging houses in Banaue, there are no electrical outlets in the room. Fortunately, there was a set of outlets just outside the door so I simply plugged-in the power strip Lilymae brought, let the cord pass through under the door and viola–we could charge our gadgets un our room!