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Preparing for a Christmas bus trip to Cebu

A bus waiting for passengers at the Roxas wharf in Oriental Mindoro

A bus waiting for passengers at the Roxas wharf in Oriental Mindoro

It’s been ages that I haven’t embarked on an honest to goodness trip that takes about a day to travel! That’s why, for my New Year holidays back home in Cebu from Makati, I’ve decided that I will hop on a bus on Christmas Day for a trip via Mindoro, Panay and Negros. The die is cast!

Say, why this leg? While I’ve done the masochistic Luzon – Visayas – Luzon Loop before, a brutal trip that brought me to this islands and provinces, I really just want to sit it out and experience again that long journey that just seems to take forever. Of course there’s the easiest: book a flight, but journeying on land and sea, experiencing inconveniences, strange smells and sleeplessness is just too inviting for me that I just have to grab this opportunity. The tradoffs are, however, well worth it:

  • beautiful sceneries
  • those stunning Iloilo churches
  • delectable food
  • and perhaps, a brief sidetrip to Guimaras that I haven’t really visited, even once

Besides, its not your usual trip from Manila to Cebu!

Passengers that just arrived in Roxas, Mindoro Oriental from Caticlan

Passengers that just arrived in Roxas, Mindoro Oriental from Caticlan

Initially, I was mulling on two other routes that I have gone to before: the Samar-Leyte leg via Bicol and the Masbate route via Pilar, Sorsogon. These, especially that Mt. Mayon is nearing eruption, expected to be bigger than what I have experienced a few years ago, is too appealing but on the other hand, the delays and other possible negative impacts of such a cataclysm might derail this trip.

My plan is really to arrive in Cebu during the day as one of the critical points of this travel is catching up with the RORO or boat schedule. I was particularly concerned that if I will arrive in San Carlos, Negros Oriental on the evening, I might get stuck for the night due to unavailability of fastcraft or ferries that will take me to Toledo, Cebu.

Passengers bound for Caticlan on their way to board the RORO in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro

Passengers bound for Caticlan on their way to board the RORO in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro

To avoid that, I have to know the Roxas (Oriental Mindoro) – Caticlan (Aklan) RORO schedule. The earliest (or latest), the better. A check with several websites indicated that it is 0830H but, unfortunately, the ones posted seemed to come only from one source and was reposted. I also can’t travel on this time because it will already be too late for me.

With a few more searches, I finally got the contact number of Montenegro Shipping (036 2887373) at their Caticlan office and inquired about the schedule. To make it to the midnight trip to Caticlan, I decided that I should leave Makati at 0900H, hop on a bus bound for Batangas pier, take the RORO to Calapan and then another bus or vhire going to Roxas.

Three days more and I’ll be off to my journey to Cebu by land and sea. And no, Boracay is not part of my itinerary.

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Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

8 Comments

  1. bugITs
    December 22, 2009 @ 15:59

    yaha! pagkalingaw..welcome to cebu bai…ya ha!

  2. flip
    December 23, 2009 @ 15:14

    merry christmas and a happy new year fellow blogger/traveler

    wishing you more travels sa 2010

    -flip

  3. Traveler on Foot
    December 23, 2009 @ 22:34

    Merry Christmas Estan!

  4. Lawstude
    December 24, 2009 @ 10:56

    Fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving gifts are all the buzzwords in a Christmas setting. Make your Christmas a one to cherish for years!

  5. estan
    December 24, 2009 @ 12:23

    maayong pasko kaninyong tanan!

  6. Nomadic Pinoy
    December 24, 2009 @ 19:26

    A great road trip I see. Merry Christmas to you!

  7. estan
    December 26, 2009 @ 20:05

    nomadic pinoy. yep, great but very tiring road trip. happy holidays 🙂

  8. marco
    October 7, 2010 @ 20:53

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