Bicol Isarog Transport Systems Inc. has really stepped up their game ahead of the other bus companies in delivering style and comfort here in the south. The newest bus in addition to the business class buses of Bicol Isarog is the SkyBus Premiere (Peñafrancia Bus) with a "massage seat" available for the first 4 passengers in the first 2 rows of the bus using a 1x1 arrangement.
*Updated March 2017
There are two Skybus Premieres available at the moment, SkyBus 600 and SkyBus 700
First 4 seats (with massage) is
P1,800.00 now priced at P2,000 as of March 2017 1x1 seating. Third row onwards are at P1,100.00
Departs for Naga from Araneta Center Bus Terminal (Cubao) at 8:30pm
Departs for Manila from Bicol Central Station (Naga City) at 8:30pm
One stopover at McDo Tiaong
Now I finally got to try the Premiere Seat which boasts the massage feature during the first week of October. I was in Manila for a paper presentation plus conference for two days and had to go back to Naga the next day for another speaking engagement. I was cramming on my PowerPoint presentation and I booked the P1,800.00 Premiere seat with the idea in mind that I have to work on my presentation. That was my primary reason as to why I forced myself to spend a little more than the usual. Here are my personal favorite features about the Skybus Premiere that might be in contrast to many. For me, it's not just about the massage feature. I'm not willing to pay for the massage, I'm willing to pay for something else. Read on.
First, THE SPACE. A whole lot of it. Gives you the exclusivity of your own personal space since the next one beside you is a bit far from you. Even if you fully recline the chair, you will never disturb the person seated at your back which is actually annoying (somehow) in the 2x1 type of bus. The chair only reclines and adjusts within the hard casing enclosure.
Second, it's AUTOMATIC. Everything is just a push button away. Well, except for the folding table. The massage is just an added bonus for me. Why? Even if you don't turn it on, you'll have a longer and natural massage because of the road condition along the way. The road to Bicol has always been bumpy since childhood. Trust me, it's still the same with that of the regular 2x1 / de luxe bus only that you have a wider space. The massage area is only for your back. I'm pretty sure no one would dare use it for the whole 8 to 9 hour bus trip. I could just imagine the energy it can consume if all 4 seats have the massage on the whole time of the trip.
It would have been perfect if there's an outlet for gadgets. That's the only one missing in the picture.
Just be careful when the bus is on the move already as it would be difficult to still have your laptop on the folding table. For me, it was more comfortable o have it placed on my lap instead and use the table as a barrier so that it won't topple down.
This was the purpose of the table for me. If this bus had a personal charging station per seat? This will be for the win! Bun until then, always bring your power banks with you.
The WiFi of the bus is telecom signal-dependent. During that night the WiFi was not actually working, that's why I had to use my own data connection. You could just ask the attendant to reset the router just in case you're unable to connect to their WiFi service. They too serve a bottle of water and a snack, usually a cupcake or brownie.
Top of my list in Bicol Isarog Buses would be the Regular Skybus worth P1,100 (Skybus 100 and 200) or any 2 x 1 seat configuration of the three bus lines and of course the Sleeper Bus S1. The Skybus Premiere would just be on a "depending on the need" basis. But yeah, I'm not paying for the massage, I'm paying for the space and exclusivity.
A Naga City Deck follower shared his experience regarding the Skybus Premiere around 2 weeks ago. The following are his photos and review about the new bus with permission for posting.
Back rest is clean and no folding tables or cup holders as its beyond your reach due to long legroom space.
Skybus premiere uses "2 class designs". After the toilet you'll see a 2 x 1 arrangement [front view] which is similar to that of Skybus 200.
Storage, cup holders located at one of the armrest [an airline fleece blanket, bottled water, coffee travel mug will fit nicely]
The good: Excellent leg room [not for my legs but rather if you want to bring reasonable size luggage beside you rather than stow it at the baggage compartment], personal storage, very good width kinda like business class seat on long haul flights, electronic controlled backrest/ leg support swivel, your own personal table.
The bad: No usb/ ac outlet socket, flexible gooseneck lamp attached to the side of your head rest [for reading].
The in between: You can't make use of the leg rest as I felt my feet are "hanging" unless I'm 3 foot eleven. So rather, for all the duration of the journey, both feet are resting on the floor. As for the electronic massager, it does work, but its anyone's preference if they find the need for it.
It's worth the experience...though for the money, privacy, flat bed experience, bigger storage space inside the bus, I'll go for the Sleeper Bus S1.
Below are the Skybus 100 / 200's interior which are RSL buses which are still under Bicol Isarog TSI. All Skybuses have a stewardess on board to introduce the the bus' features, the driver and other customer service related concerns. And oh, they also serve a simple snack and water for the passengers.
CLICK HERE for my review of Isarog Line's Sleeper Bus S1. They also have a speed limiter, which beeps if the driver exceeds 80 kph.
For contact details visit http://bicolisarog.com/contact-us/