Is Bulan Really That Expensive?











 A  quick visit to the Bulan Integrated Bus Terminal

by jun asuncion


 The morning after the typhoon Dante, we drove quick to Fabrica to have a look at the  Bus Terminal.

That’s the entrance to the terminal for passengers. The ground was still muddy and the town filled with debris. We also checked on the buses traveling to 

 Legazpi but we were told that the office was still closed and probably there was none traveling because

of the washed out bridge in Sorsogon.











The view of the Terminal from the Maharlika Highway. Incoming Buses to Bulan

have to turn left to enter the Terminal.











We went in to have a look . It’s all in a one hectare piece of land with this pavilion-like structure

as the centerpiece  of it.  The  rest are parking spaces for  the buses.












 There is a canteen, a kiosk, toilets, ticketing corner and dozens of chairs.

It is gated and fenced .

 Cheap materials and poor quality construction do not last long. This Terminal

 was opened  only last December 2007. But it seems that it has taken the biggest blow of the controversies

 that went with its construction from the very beginning. You see the falling off ceiling panels?

Almost dilapidated.












 Some waiting passengers. It looks calm and peaceful just a day after the typhoon and the flood.











 Empty chairs and holes above.











 The comfort rooms. Paints peeling off the metal works already.












 Parking space perhaps for visitors and tricycles…

That’s it, the P4o million Bulan Integrated Bus Terminal. As everybody knows,

this one hectare land was donated by the De Castro family, not bought.

We left the site after we have shot some photos.

My photographer was not happy with it and so was I. I just comforted myself with the idea that

after a devastating typhoon I cannot expect to see anything beautiful in Bulan. I was more happy with the Eco-Park

and the Sabang Park when I went there before the typhoon. In Sabang Park a nice multi-purpose Pavilion is being built to completion-

a project of Mayor Helen De Castro.

At this point in time, the terminal is quite far from the center of the town. In the future maybe not anymore when

 connecting transportation (mini shuttle buses, taxis, etc..) to the town center are provided.

For this time you need P30.00 for your tricycle fare and sacrifice some of your remaining comfort zones when after hours of traveling from Manila,

dizzy and tired, you still have to travel a considerable distance in such a noisy tricycle as the wind and dust continue to bombard your

face and nose till you reach the town proper. And if your traveling as a group then you’ll be needing more than one tricycle and extra tricycles for

your baggage. How about if you live somewhere in Polot and farther?

I went to the market for a few times and observed everything.

For a poor family it is impossible to buy fish everyday for they are just expensive.

And so are the vegetables and fruits and meat. We compared the prices in Bulan and in Tarlac and we’re just so surprised

that many commodities are far more cheaper in Tarlac than in Bulan.


We left  for Manila the next day with  mixed feelings about everything we have experienced in Bulan.

Home is sweet  in any case.

But if you care for it and see things behind appearances, sour thoughts  start to disturb this sweetness….

Back to Tarlac we dropped by a relative for a cup of coffee. We exchanged pleasantries,

small talks and things began to clear up in my mind for things that I saw were in right proportions.

I felt good and relaxed this time for the place was  not only spacious and nice but complete with things like:

 HPIM0923A mango orchard  also within a 0ne hectare property.  














A solid steel gate and fence, cobblestones all over.

Several guestrooms, air-conditioned, luxurious toilets and first class materials.













Not to be seen is the mini golf course on the far left side. With several of such spotlights it is well illuminated at night.












The main house with a fountain in front. The fountain is turned off at the moment for cleaning.








A roofed swimming pool in front of the guest houses.












There are the guest quarters, fully furnished, with marble floors.












And three of such fishponds. They were just harvesting hundreds of kilos of tilapia for delivery to Tarlac market.














This is the second fishpond and the roof of the dirty kitchen on the left.












A roofed garage, beside it a pavilion-like screened spacious dirty kitchen which can also be used for welcoming guests or for conference.












View of the living room of the the center house. The building at the background are the guest quarters and the

landscaped garden with flowering plants sprawled all over as well as gorgeous beetle nut trees.

Coffee drank and about to leave when the owner asked me:

” Are you interested in this property, Jun? It’s only P42million, including this one hectare land”.

“You must be joking! For only P42 million??”, I replied, somewhat perplexed. “It’s not a joke”, she said.

“That’s cheap!” I exclaimed, as my thoughts traveled back to Fabrica and the high prices of things in the market.

“Is Bulan really that expensive?”, I asked myself, shaking my head as we left and continued our journey.


jun asuncion

Bulan Observer



Filed under Bulan Developments, Over a Cup of Coffee, Views and Concern

6 responses to “Is Bulan Really That Expensive?

  1. Dora the Mouse

    To Jun

    “Is Bulan Really that Expensive?” Yes! I went to the market when I was there to see the prices of commodities in comparison to prices in Manila. It was surprising to know that prices of vegetable s and fish were cheaper in Manila than in Bulan. But why? Well, I found that out when I went back to the barrio. I went out to the far end of the barrio where there were a lot of vacant grass land with nothing planted. I was thinking if grass will grow, anything will grow including vegetables.
    I had a meeting with the rest of the people in the barrio about planting vegetables, fruit trees, root crops all year round. Why buy 3 small tomatoes for 5.00 pesos when you can plant the tomatoes? Why buy kangkong when the ” cali or lagoon is just there in your backyard waiting for anyone to plant the kangkong? Plant root crops like camote, kamoting kahoy etc. three-four months later, it will be ready to harvest. Sell some and save some for family consumption. Plant variety of vegetables for local consumption and sell some and buy their rice. One can actually live off the land and there will be no hunger. Plant fruit trees like avocados, mango, even coconuts. I started project ” Planting Vegetables and Fruit Trees “while I was in Bulan that was two years ago. The latest news, the vacant land was full of vegetables and they were even boasting that they harvested a good crop of ampalaya, string beans and patola and they were selling it in the market. I was there during this time and I was eating patola everyday too and I love it. It was freshly harvested from the vine.The whole neighborhood ate patola almost everyday. The people were very happy that they are now competing with each other who can raise the biggest upo or calabasa. They planted avocado trees, mango trees and banana plant all around the perimeter. If everybody in Bulan who owns a vacant land start this kind of project, the vegetables in the market will not be that expensive.

    These were the things I heard from the people why there was no incentive to plant vegetables and I quote ” wara po kami pangbakal sin mga pisog. Mahalon po an pisog san ampalaya, nan an mga iba na pisog” ” an pangpa- arado mahalon man.” ” Kon wara kuarta, wara sin pang suhol sa pag-arado”. ” Pagnagtanom kami sin mga frutas na kahoy, an karabaw san iba na tawo sa ingit, ipasabsab an tinanom sa karabaw nira o kaya ipaparaot sa mga bata dahil diri ka makihiran kay bata an nagraot.” Kaya kaipohan nakabantay ka palagi sa mga tinanom mo”. I heard this story before. I have a property at the back of the present airport. I let my nephew use the land to plant vegetables and variety of fruit trees and put bamboo fence around it. There is a family that live adjacent to the property. When my nephew planted the vegetables and were almost a foot tall, these people had their little children (ages 8-12) went over the fence and trampled on all the growing vegetables. When my nephew went there to see his plants, almost all were damaged from being trampled. This is the kind of mentality I find it hard to understand. The thing that bothered me most is the fact that the children are learning this kind of mentality and then, it will be pass along to the next generation. I told my nephew, regardless of what happened, don’t let it discourage you from planting and doing what you have to do. It is the character that counts.

    Dora the Mouse

  2. Dora the Mouse

    Hello Jun

    The topic “Is Bulan Really That Expensive?” There is a great difference between the Bulan transit terminal building and the beautiful resort-like building in Tarlac. The building was built by the government with one focus in mind. Build the Bulan Transit terminal period. The people involved like the contractors, engineers, draftmen, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons were there to do just that. They made use of what is available materials that was provided. The finished product speaks for itself. On the other hand, the beautiful building in tarlac was built by private party with well-planned, well- thought structures and designs in mind. It was built with loving care and even the landscaping is marvelous.

    It is a common knowledge and I don’t even have to say this, but any infrastructures that the government was assigned to do most of the times or sometimes involved some anomalies. It doesn’t have to come from the very top. Lets face it, for a big projects that involves millions of pesos, several business contractors would like very much to be part of the projects. I am not saying that there were some anomalies involved. As I said, let the finished product speaks for itself.

    Corruption happened in the administration of the late Pres. Marcos all the way down to his hencemen until todays present President. The Philippines is one of the top corrupt government second only to Indonesia. With this history of the Philippines in mind, let the people express their own opinions.

    Dora the Mouse

  3. PIO-Bulan


    Good morning Jun, and a pleasant day to Dora too.
    I read about Dora’s article today, and indeed her sentiments about a kind of mentality prevailing among many of us is shared not only by me but by the Local government leaders as well.

    However, there are still many farmers in Bulan who have chosen to go the other way by tilling the lands and it is from here that they get their income everyday. These are our producers who provide fruits and vegetables in the local market. Why others cannot do it is difficult to understand indeed.

    We have been giving vegetable seeds for free. The LGU buys these seeds and distributes them free to vegetable growers. Corn, tree seedlings, coconut seedlings, and we even subsidize palay seedlings for our farmers. Some of our strategies include IECs over mass media outlets to announce our agri programs. We conduct farmer field schools in many barangays, etc. Everytime the mayor makes reports, she encourages people to get seeds from our agriculture office.

    The one real big program indeed that can make us self-reliant is going back to our agriculture base. Once we have achieved this, we can not go hungry. Vietnam and Thailand have all demonstrated this.
    Food is the most basic of commodities. This should be our main thrust. When we have food, and nutritious food, good health follows. We all know that.

    Only that we really have a sorry state of politics in our midst.

    Thanks Dora for the impressions. We do share yours. Horefully, people will realize that in the end, we go back to what we most basically need. But leaders must also show the way.

  4. bulaneno

    The special audit report on LGU Bulan, Sorsogon particularly on the Bulan Integrated Bus Terminal and the Bulan Municipal Slaughterhouses is already released.

    Kindly visit

  5. dennis

    Nice Shot Pics Jun inside the Bulan Integrated Bus Terminal during the Typhoon Dante. Some buses are missing. (may mga kulang, nasaan na sila).

  6. Thanks for visiting dennis. The missing buses may have been stranded somewhere in Sorsogon because of the broken bridge…

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