JB Line Bicol Express

While driving in Tambo, Paranaque, I encountered a jeepney Bicol Express painted in blue. I found it strange. I grew up riding the Bicol Express – JB Line and its livery is yellow, green and red.

Found this jeep in Tambo and reminded me of the original JB Line Bicol Express. Contrary to the color of this jeep, the original Bicol Express is painted on yellow, green and red. I assume that the owner of this jeepney is a Bicolano.

Found this jeep in Tambo and reminded me of the original JB Line Bicol Express. Contrary to the color of this jeep, the original Bicol Express is painted on yellow, green and red. I assume that the owner of this jeepney is a Bicolano.

I grew up listening to both exciting and scary stories how the drivers would make a roller coaster ride from these buses. Somewhat, it was also infamous for its vehicular accidents and one would quip, paspasero pano; or if it’s a near miss, one would say, maurag talaga an Bicol Express!

I could still remember that it introduced the first bus in Sorsogon with a press button engine start and air suspension. If you rode the buses with stiff suspension, riding the ones with air suspension would give you a noticeable experience. I think it was either a Mercedes or a Hino brand back then.

For airconditioned bus lines, it was competing with Sarkies Tours and Pantranco/Philtranco.

Luckily, I didn’t have any accidents riding the Bicol Express. I did have some share of delayed trips due to flat tires, but that was it.

Found this image in the net. I can't remember any Bicol Express bus only having a JB logo on its side - it normally has the Bicol Express tag line after it. Note: The photo was downloaded from the net but couldn't find the original owner.

Found this image in the net. I can’t remember any Bicol Express bus only having a JB logo on its side – it normally has the Bicol Express tag line after it. Note: The photo was downloaded from the net but couldn’t find the original owner.

I remember its biggest bus station in Pasay; by the time we started taking the bus from the said terminal to Sorsogon, it was recently renovated. It had TV for waiting passengers and you could smell the stench of the oil and the smoke from the idle buses. I know Gubat was the main depot for the bus line (isn’t family of Oga came from Gubat?).

JB Line (Bicol Express) busses parked on its Pasay terminal, along Tramo going to Sales Road. This is where I would take my ride back to Sorsogon during my college days.

JB Line (Bicol Express) busses parked on its Pasay terminal, along Tramo going to Sales Road. This is where I would take my ride back to Sorsogon during my college days.

The original JB Line terminal in the former town of Sorsogon was now the 2nd branch of Mercury Drug along Magsaysay Street, beside the Hatol establishment. They also had trips to Bulan, but didn’t have a chance to try it.

In the late 90s, its service started to deteriorate. By year 2000, I can’t remember if it was still operating its bus. I know that its service dwindled to jeepneys and just faded away.

I can still remember being handed out with this ticket. Normally, you get a piece of paper from the ticketing booth after paying for it. Then in the bus, they will issue a ticket like this. Punched out tiny pieces of paper can be seen littering floor, especially for buses between nearby towns.

I can still remember being handed out with this ticket. Normally, you get a piece of paper from the ticketing booth after paying for it. Then in the bus, they will issue a ticket like this. Punched out tiny pieces of paper can be seen littering floor, especially for buses between nearby towns.

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Wow! Ovaltinees!

image

After more than 25 years, it’s only that I got to taste Ovaltinees. When I was still a kid, you could find this on any sari-sari store. There was no energy drink back then – but we believed it can make you strong.

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Sorsogon’s List of Governors – 1894 to 1967

This list is from 1894, when Sorsogon separated[1] from Albay, ‘til 1967.

1894-95[2]

Jose de la Guardia

1895-96

Guillermo Montes Salienda Salazar, Marquez de la Vastida

1897-98

Leandro[3] Villamil

1898-99

Celestino Mercarder[4]

1900[5]-01

This was the start of American occupation. The male citizens of age were instructed how to vote. The municipal officials were elected first.  On 1901, Dr. Bernardino Monreal M.D., was the first elected provincial governor of Sorsogon. He served for only a year’s term.

1902-08

Dr. Bernardino Monreal M.D.[6]

Picture of Governo Mario Guarina. Image is via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Picture of Governo Mario Guarina. Image is via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Jose Cervantes. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Jose Zurbito. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

1908-09

Mario Guariña

1910-12

Mario Guariña[7]

1913-16

Victor Eco[8]

1917-19[9]

Jose Zurbito

Governor Jose Figueroa. Image is via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Jose Figueroa. Image is via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Juan Reyes. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Juan Reyes. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

1920-22

Jose Figueroa[10]

1923-25

Bernabe Flores Palma 

1926-28

Pelagio Guamil

1929-31

Juan S. Reyes

Governor Bernabe Flores Palma. Image is via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Bernabe Flores Palma. Image is via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

1931-34

Governor Silverio Garcia. Image is via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Silverio Garcia. Image is via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Silverio Garcia M.D.

1935-37

Teodisio R. Diño

1938-40

Teodisio R. Diño

1941-

Teodoro De Vera[11]

 1942-44

Governor Pelagio Guamil. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Pelagio Guamil. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Silverio Garcia M.D.[12]

1945[13]

Vicente L. Peralta

The late Cong. Vicente Peralta.

The late Cong. Vicente Peralta. Source – Tina Peralta.

1946-47

Salvador Escudero Sr.[14]

1948-1951

Salvador Escudero Sr.

1952-55

Salvador Escudero Sr.

1956-59

Governor Salvador Escudero. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Governor Salvador Escudero. Image via Facts About Sorsogon, Sorsogon Provincial Library.

Juan G. Frivaldo[15]

1960-63[16]

Juan G. Frivaldo

1964-67

Juan G. Frivaldo

———————————-

Footnotes:

[1] On October 17, 1894, Sorsogon separated from the province of Albay. Between Sorsogon and Casiguran, the latter was selected. All governors during the Spanish occupation were Spaniards.

[2] Page 7, Facts About Sorsogon, Province of Sorsogon; the said publication (which can be found on the Sorsogon Provincial Library) doesn’t contain the date it was published. But there’s a letter from the late Gov. Frivaldo and the list of governors stop at 1967.

[3] In some publications, his name is spelled as Alejandro. It was during his time that the Spanish occupation ceased. Forced to leave, he left his administration to the then Vicar Forane of Sorsogon, Rev. Fr. Jorge Barlin. Col. Amado Airan was appointed Gobernador Politico Militar for the province during the revolutionary period. His appointment as Sargento Mayor de la Plaza de Malolos para Sorsogon.

[4] A Doctor of Pharmacy.

[5] The Americans took over and appointed a certain Leviste as a military governor.

[6] Served 3, 2-year terms.

[7] Served a 3-year term.

[8] Served a 4-year term.

[9] Starting this period until the breakout of the war, the elected officials only served 3 years.

[10] Originally the 1st Board Member on 1913-16, under Gov. Eco. He was born in Bacon. He was well-known for his Spanish essays, but spent more time in writing in Bicol language.

[11] Gov. De Vera didn’t finish his term. While the provincial governor, he was elected as Congressman for the 2nd district of Sorsogon. Salvador Escudero, the ranking board member, replaced him as the provincial governor.

[12] An appointed governor by the Japanese Imperial Army. Meanwhile,  Gov. Escudero carried on with his post and at the same time led the resistance movement against the Japanese.

[13] All provincial officials were appointed during on 1945-47 period.

[14] Also known as Gurang.

[15] Also known as Tata Juan.

[16] From this term, a Vice-Governor has been included among the elective provincial officials. Three (3) board members – Restituta Rebueno, Arcadio De Vera, and Fernando Gerona – were also elected for the first time, instead of 2. The first Vice-Governor is Leopoldo Figueroa. The term of the elective officials after the war was 4 years.

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Who is Bernardino Monreal?

Is Bernardino Monreal in the picture? The author suspects that one of the persons in the picture is the late Governor Monreal. The picture is from http://opac.filipinaslibrary.org.ph/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=22004.

Is Bernardino Monreal in the picture? The author suspects that one of the persons in the picture is the late Governor Monreal. The picture is from http://opac.filipinaslibrary.org.ph/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=22004.

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Profile of Sorsogon on 1902

This is a screengrab of the Report of the Philippine Commission on 1902.

This is a screengrab of the Report of the Philippine Commission on 1902.

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Tips for Travelers Going to Sorsogon – Semana Santa 2015

It’s summer time again and the most popular search for this site is about driving towards Sorsogon.

For everyone’s reference, these are the articles coming from Metro Manila via SLEX:

  1. Part 1 – Driving Along Laguna Quezon Area
  2. Part 2 – Driving Along Andaya (aka Quirino) Highway
  3. Part 3 – Driving Along Bicol Area
  4. Part 4 – Driving Along Sorsogon Area 

Or one can take the route via Tanay Rizal. The author advises the drivers to consider this route especially if you are going to be in Lucena area (on your way to Manila) around 4pm when the traffic starts to build up. Based on the author’s experience of driving, the traffic starts mid- or late afternoon ’til late evening during peak season.

Caltex Station in Gumaca offers a hotel, City Coast Hotel, a small store, and a wi-fi service. December 2014

Caltex Station in Gumaca offers a hotel, City Coast Hotel, a small store, and a wi-fi service. December 2014

For the techies, the author identified gas stations (outside Laguna area, of course) – Total in Lucena City and Caltex in Gumaca.

Or enjoy a hearty lunch at Lolo Ompo along the Maharlika Highway after Plaridel’s town

Lolo Ompo Restaurant along Maharlika HIghway, a couple of minutes away from Plaridel towards south.

Lolo Ompo Restaurant along Maharlika HIghway, a couple of minutes away from Plaridel towards south.

proper. It offers the usual lutong bahay and brown rice goes along with it. And if you get served with a cold viand, just put it under a steaming brown rice for a few minutes. Be careful during peak hours, it’s very difficult to park and getting off the parking slot; and vehicles coming thru are going very fast. In some cases, vehicles would park on the opposite side of the restos; not exactly a good idea during windy day and it’s high tide.

If one wants to make the best of the 12-hour trip, consider driving along the mountain road towards Quezon National Park in Atimonan. It has a government-owned stop that has a resto, restroom, cottages, and videoke. Try the resto for its bulalo. For those who are also dying to drink a freshly brewed coffee, one of the stores offer one.

Liempo being grilled for a waiting customer. It goes great with the brown rice. Inset: Choices of lutong bahay. Unfortunately, they don't heat it up when they serve it.

Liempo being grilled for a waiting customer. It goes great with the brown rice. Inset: Choices of lutong bahay. Unfortunately, they don’t heat it up when they serve it.

Looking for parking space when eating at Lolo Ompo is quite difficult during lunch time. Or one ends up along the sea wall.

Looking for parking space when eating at Lolo Ompo is quite difficult during lunch time. Or one ends up along the sea wall.

In Bicol area, we normally stop by at Bigg’s Pili. But I don’t suggest the Daraga branch. I was so disappointed last Dec’14, the taste was just horrible, as if I went to another fastfood.

Ingat tabi sa pagmaneho niyan na Semana Santa!!

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Looking for Baluko Suppliers

I got this messages from the site looking for suppliers:

  • Purchasing Wet (Yakimix) is looking for 100kg per day of baluko. His contact info: 851-0199
  • Sonny Sarte is looking for baluko supplies for his canteen as well

For Sonny Sarte, just email me, sorsogon@live.com, and I will course the message to him. Or just reply to the comments on the article about baluko.

Disclaimer: The website is not related to any of these entities and neither it will profit from this particular article.

Ginataang baluko, with some assistance from my mother-in-law, is now served.

Ginataang baluko, with some assistance from my mother-in-law, is now served.

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