Cubao in Quezon City has always been a point of convergence for a lot of people and, like Pasay City, is a gateway for people coming from all over the country. Cubao is one of the larger commercial districts in Metro Manila and its Araneta Center is host to a large bus terminal catering mainly to southbound bus companies. The terminal is larger than any of the individual, private terminals around Cubao and nearby along EDSA or Aurora Boulevard. Most of these private terminals are for northbound buses. Southbound refers to buses connecting Metro Manila with Southern Tagalog and the Bicol Region in Luzon Island and those taking the western nautical highway and the Roll-On, Roll-Off (RORO) system to the Visayas and Mindanao provinces via the Port of Batangas and Mindoro. In fact, it is possible to take the bus to Caticlan, the jump off point for the immensely popular Boracay Island.
The Araneta Bus Terminal is located a block away from the Araneta Coliseum, housed in a building that was formerly the Rustan’s Department Store (to those who remember the old store) just across from the Ali Mall. It used to be located at an open lot across to the east of Ali Mall but had to be moved to its present (and perhaps better location) after the lot was committed to a new condominium development. Bus companies have their ticketing services inside the building and one can reserve tickets for future trips or, if seats are still available, can purchase tickets outright for buses scheduled to leave around that time.
Another look at the ticket booths and waiting area at the terminal. There are also stores selling food, snacks, drinks and even souvenir items. Popular pasalubong are assorted biscuits and other food stuffs. Located at the second level are terminal offices and a BPO, which shares tenancy with the terminal.
The terminal is usually very crowded during Christmas, Holy Week, and All Saints’ Day when people flock to the provinces (i.e., their hometowns). Many bus companies sell seats ahead of these holidays and people are encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of their trips to make sure they do get seats.