A Christmas weekend solo backpacking special
December 23-26, 2011 Friday to Monday
Since booking via airplane is very expensive even though advisable especially for a must holiday get-away that unfortunately dropped-off on weekend which made it more complicated, budget consideration is still a must. I have decided why not experience the land travel from bus in center of National Capital Region of Luzon all the way on ferry ride to Aklan province in Visayas. Travel time is indeed an expected suffering but the expense and adventure to be encountered is really amazing.
Route for a land trip coming from Cubao (NCR) to Caticlan (Aklan):
Cubao Terminal - Batangas Pier - Oriental Mindoro - Caticlan Port
1. bus from Cubao Terminal to Batangas Pier - approx. 3 hours
2. ferry from Batangas Pier to Calapan Port - approx. 3 hours
3. bus from Calapan Port to Roxas Port - approx. 5 hours
4. ferry from Roxas Port to Caticlan Port - approx. 5 hours
ESTIMATED TOTAL TRAVEL TIME: 16 hours
|araneta center bus terminal in cubao, quezon city|
|stop-over in batangas city|
|waiting for the RO-RO ferry in batangas pier|
Based on my research last December 20, 2011, there are three bus companies that offer bus trip to Iloilo and then they will passed-by / drop-off to Caticlan port. All of the fare prices includes the terminal fee and other external payments during travel. I booked via walk-in inquiry and during this time, all ideal skeds were fully booked. I'm very fortunate there was 1 seat slot that requested to be transferred to other sked.
daily departure in cubao, ETD 10am and ETA 4am @ php1,367
ticketing office is 7am to 8pm only.
daily departure in alimall cubao, ETD 4pm and ETA 9am @ approx php1,100
ticketing office is 7am to 4pm only.
daily departure in alimall cubao with 4 types of bus accommodation.
2 ordinary bus, ETD of 8am, 9am and ETA of 3am @ php1,000
2 aircon bus, ETD 11am, 12pm and ETA of 6am @ php1,100
ticketing office is 7am to 6pm only.
I availed the Alps bus service considering the Php300 difference to Philtranco line. Ceres bus ticketing office (opens up to 530pm) is already closed at the time of my arrival in Ali Mall.
|calapan port in oriental mindoro|
|inside the ferry going to caticlan port|
Now, look at the actual event on my trip ..
Route for a land and ferry trip coming from cubao to caticlan (Dec.23-24, 2011):
Cubao - Batangas port - Oriental Mindoro - Aklan
1. aircon bus from cubao terminal to batangas pier - 1200H - 1630H (4.5 hrs)
2. ferry from batangas pier to calapan port (RO-RO) - 1630H - 2100H (4.5 hrs)
3. aircon bus from calapan port to roxas port - 2100H - 0200H (5 hrs)
4. ferry from roxas port to caticlan jetty port (RO-RO) - 0200H - 0900H (7 hours)
ESTIMATED TOTAL TRAVEL TIME: 21 HOURS for php1,100
(obviously holiday effect and weekend affected the bus and ferry's slow service due to massive crowd)
|on caticlan port waiting to dock|
|caticlan jetty port going to boracay island|
1. Book as early as possible
2. Don't leave ALL of your things unattended especially your seat. There are lots of chance passengers hanging around including in every stop-overs.
3. Expect heavy crowd, stampede boarding and massive baggage
4. When bus is crossing the roads from Calapan pier to Roxas pier (Oriental Mindoro), kindly ensure that you lower/close the window pane and curtain completely due there are some delinquents stoning the bus. Thus, somehow advantage on air con-type compared to ordinary. This is a habitual activity of some bad locals at night, passengers get used to it.
By the way, bus conductor will be the one in charge of paying all the fees on the way including terminal fee and RO-RO fare (included in bus fare).