Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shooting A Star?

I just came from a three-day vacation the other day. And it is my first time to have a bus ride from Cubao, Quezon City to San Jose. The bus-riding public,- the usual travelers and commuters from Occidental Mindoro to Metro-Manila, told me to try this bus because it is so convenient and we really deserve this kind of transport service. But operationally and legally, there are glitches that are still need to be patched up by the proprietors. The bus company is being protested by some competitors who are allegedly backed-up by a certain influential local politician.

Dimple Star Bus Corporation is owned by Hilbert S. Napat of Muntinlupa City. According to my source, the owner is financially capable to operate such public utility vehicle in our province. In fact, it has been his business for a very considerable period of time. Napat allegedly has a good track record in the business for,- under a different franchises, his previous companies had been authorized by the LTFRB or the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. There are ten (10) units plying to said route. A Dimple Star bus instantly became the “superstar” of our rocky and hell-like roads!

On March 26, 2009, Dimple Star had its maiden voyage in Occidental Mindoro and my townspeople are so happy and glad about this development. But that was just momentarily. Its operation was stopped early this month only to resume after three days or so. I was informed by our driver and his crew last Friday that,- again, they are facing the same problem so it’s going to be their last trip. The Dimple Star Bus Corporation was given a Certificate of Public Conveniences to Operate PUB (RORO) Service by virtue of the LTFRB’s (Board) Resolution to Case No. 2008-2206. The Resolution is valid for a period of five (5) years. In short, as I see it, the company is operating legally. Not to mention how the riding public appreciate very much its presence. Cheap (only PhP 950.00), convenient and DIRECT travel, what more can you ask for?

But why are we so nuts about a big air-conditioned bus when we travel to Metro-Manila? I do not want to elaborate on this. But to satisfy your curiousity, ask a friend from (or anybody who tried to travel by bus in) Occidental Mindoro and ask him/her how hard it is to commute via “transfers” from our province to Metro Manila and vice versa. Or why not try it your self? I’m giving you a free accommodation if you are lucky enough to get to San Jose…. in one piece and your spirit intact in your body!

The direct boat (RORO) trip from Batangas to San Jose and vice versa had been part of history for so long. The Caminawit Port, specially its docking area had been unserviceable for almost a year now. Why? Ask our politicians, the tree cutters and loggers,- both illegal and legal, anybody from Montenegro Shipping Lines, the riding public, the stevedores, the truckers, our local businessmen,- big and small; and you will get different answers and alibis from each one of them. You will be confused even more. Heck.

The creation of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway is one of the few projects of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that I admire. The presence of bus companies like the Dimple Star allows transportation alternatives, convenience to the riding public, enhance accessibility to tourism areas and improve inter-regional trade including commodity exchange, and, based on my recent experience last Friday, it significantly decreased travel time. But I am not promoting here the Dimple Star Bus Company per se. It doesn’t matter to us, commuters, the name of the bus or the owner of the company as long as they are legal. And if I may add, not owned by politicians who tries to manipulate all of the major businesses in Occidental Mindoro. Remember what Deng Xiao Peng once said?, “It doesn’t matter what is the color of the cat, as long as it catches mice..” But here in my province, the greedy bus operators catches not mice but a lot of money and the politicians want to catch many votes and power, and influence as possible.

For all of them, instead of threatening your competitors, why not make their presence an opportunity to grind your ax? Improve your service and the people will surely support you. Be it in business, be it in politics. Let us make this issue,- the transport service, a concern in 2010...


  1. Some Dimple Star insiders say it's just temporary as they will resume their operation by August. Also to give the local operators to re-fleet (daw) their tetanus-laden vehicles. Too bad, the cessation of direct trips to the mainland Luzon coincides with the opening of classes. So, sorry na lang sa mga taga-Dimple at mga estudyanteng nag-aaral sa Maynila.

    The certain influential local politician (i.e., the former congressman, ex-governor, the Bubog barangay captain, and soon to be mayor of San Jose), I think, wants the bigger slice in the pie as they own (the deputy speaker in particular) RRCG -- one of the rising bus companies in the country. Being a power-that-be and always a lapbitch of the hobbit in Malacanang, the bus company was able to corner the pilot project of compressed-natural gas (CNG)-fed buses in the Philippines. So they re-fleet 70% of their diesel-fed bus units to CNG-fed ones without anticipating (perhaps) of the entry of other bus lines in our dirt-road province. Eh saan nga ba naman sila magpapa-fill ng CNG dito sa Mindoro he he...

    There's nothing wrong with competition because the riding public will reap the rewards in the end. Pero kung sa puntong ito ay gaguhan pa rin eh tingin ko talo na ang kapitan ng dati mong pinakamamahal na barangay kung eleksyon na bukas... There's no doubt that it's going to be an election issue but he has still one year to prepare for that and renege his present position.


  2. Dear Jojo:

    Thank you for the additional info, except your, "... ng DATI mong pinakamamahal na barangay..." Pinakamamahal ko pa rin ang Bubog, kahapon, ngayon at bukas. Diyan 'ata ako ipinanganak. He, he, he.

    Salamat uli...

  3. kakaasar na ang mga pulitiko dito sa atin kaya pala nawala na naman ang dimple star kung kelan pa naman pasukan, masyado nang gaguhan ang nangyayaring ito kelan kaya matatauhan mga taga occidental bukod sa sira sirang highway at sa mga bulok na bus, maige nga at medyo makakrelax na tayo sa biyahe pa maynila na hindi pawisan at nangigitata at may free pang pulbos ng alikabok pag sa mga lokal na bus tayo sumakay, talagang gusto nilang pahirapan mga mindoreno kaibigang norman magpasimuno ka ng ng online petisyon para maibalik ulit mga aircon bus na bumibiyahe dito at nang matauhan mga lokal na politician pag nalaman nilang maraming galit sa mga pinaggagwa nila lalo at malapit na ang election

  4. Dear Boy:

    May news ako sa sidebar ng blog na ito na bumalik na Dimple Star last week, kaya lang limitado na ang biyahe. Marahil ay dahil sa sama ng panahon na resulta ng pagsama din ng kalsada.

    Siyanga pala, may isang bagong bus company na ngayon na ang terminal ay nasa Bonifacio St. Pacaul Express yata ang pangalan. Kaya lang Abra-San Jose-Abra lang ang ruta nito. Airconditioned din ito.

    Salamat sa pagbisita....

  5. Good to hear developmental news about transportation industry in our province. Sad to say issues on politics is no news and there's nothing new about it. Hopefully with the computerized elections in 2010 those corrupt, irresponsible officials will become history. Hindi na gagana ang mga pandarayang pinaggagawa nila!!!

    Keep it up Norman.

  6. thank you dimple star for the direct route of manila to san jose occidental mindoro. i've tried to travel RORO from batangas to Caminawit port and by air. this is my first time to travel by land. I hope this is the start of new and growing economy of san jose to be come one of the tourist spot in occidental mindoro. i'm not born and raised in mindoro, my wife lives in mindoro. san jose is a nice place to develop. May the local officials and locals give their helping hands for the future development of San Jose... God bless... ---R.A.D.S.

  7. good news bumiyahe na ulit ang dimple star cubao to san jose at balita ko dadagdagan pa ang biyahe may 7 bus silang nakalaan para sa biyaheng san jose, hilo na naman mga lokal operator nito akalain mo pagsakay mo ng bus may nakalagay na abra ibababa ka lang ng mamburao tapos sasabihin lipat sa mga van at di na sila tutuloy anak ng putsa pag marami ang bagahe ang laking abala, pag sa abra naman walang bus sabi gabi pa aalis mga van at dyip lang pa mamburao doon ang bus, magkakutsaba ang mga anak ng lintik, kaya maganda pagbalik ng dimple at honoris diretso ulit abra biyahe ng mga buwaya by the way meron na ring aircon ang cbg liner.

  8. lots of things improved in this town, in this province and even people... ang hindi na lang nagbabago ang pulitiko ng occidental mindoro, lalo na ang san jose bulok na masahol pa sa bugok na itlog. Di magkaisa, kanya kanya, nagpapabango eh bulok naman sa loob!