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En route: Makati to Cebu via Mindoro, Part 1

Verde Island between Calapan, Oriental Mindoro and Batangas

Verde Island between Calapan, Oriental Mindoro and Batangas

Bus ticket from Makati to Batangas City wharf

Bus ticket from Makati to Batangas City wharf. CLICK to enlarge

Last 25 December 09, I traveled from Makati City to Cebu via land for the Holidays. 36 hours later and about P2,500 in expenses, I was finally back home. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

I was at it again! This time, not the full loop as what I did before. When I was going home for the holidays from Makati to Cebu last month, I decided to go via the torturous and draining western land route:

  • Makati City
  • Batangas City
  • Calapan (Oriental Mindoro)
  • Roxas (Oriental Mindoro)
  • Caticlan (Aklan)
  • Iloilo City
  • Bacolod City
  • San Carlos City (via Don Salvador Benedicto)
  • Toledo City (Cebu)
  • Talisay City (Cebu)

This is a little bit shorter than the punishing eastern route via Bicol but no less tiring. To avoid the rush and traffic, I picked to travel on Christmas Day, 25 December. Despite the inconveniences, the sleepless journey and often unforeseen events and circumstances, I still like to do this kind of travels. One just has to endure!

Batangas City terminal without the crowds.

Batangas City terminal without the crowds.

It’s an amazement that South Super Highway traffic was smooth considering that the previous day, as seen from TV, it was bumper to bumper and terminals were full of departing passengers. Except for an intersection in Lipa, the highway to the Batangas City pier was also unclogged. When I reached the terminal, it was less than 10% full, a relief as sometimes, I get agitated with long lines and boarding times.

Calapan is the gateway to Oriental Mindoro and a main transit point for passengers enroute to Boracay from Luzon

Calapan is the gateway to Oriental Mindoro and a main transit point for passengers enroute to Boracay from Luzon

Ubiquitous tricycles are the main transport vehicle within Calapan

Ubiquitous tricycles are the main transport vehicle within Calapan. CLICK to enlarge

It’s my third time to pass by Oriental Mindoro. The province is the main transit point between Luzon and the Visayas via two wharves: Calapan in the north and Roxas in the southeastern side. Really, for travels like this where reaching home is the goal, side trips are kept to a minimum and in the Mindoro leg of this trip, I had only one thing in mind, to arrive in Roxas in the evening in time for the 4 hour ferry ride to Caticlan which is the jump off point for Boracay.

Not much can be seen along the highway except for expansive rice fields that seem to stretch out into the foothills. Think of the extensive rice paddies in Central Luzon and you will get the idea. Mt. Halcon is also a sight to behold, looming in the distance, sometimes clear and sometimes cloud covered. Near the municipalities of Naujan and Pola, there are occasional glimpses of Lake Naujan. Other than that, the usual uninteresting town centers, endless roads and the blinding headlights of incoming vehicles at night.

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.

7 Comments

  1. Erik Lacson
    January 19, 2010 @ 21:11

    Nice pre! I should do this sometime!

  2. En route, part 2: Caticlan leg derailed my trip | langyaw
    February 1, 2010 @ 8:58

    […] via land for the Holidays. 36 hours later and about P2,500 in expenses, I was finally back home. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part […]

  3. En route, Part 3: Batchoy almost left me broke | langyaw
    February 3, 2010 @ 15:38

    […] via land for the Holidays. 36 hours later and about P2,500 in expenses, I was finally back home. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part […]

  4. En route, part 4: Negros’s highway of dreams | langyaw
    February 10, 2010 @ 13:48

    […] via land for the Holidays. 36 hours later and about P2,500 in expenses, I was finally back home. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part […]

  5. En route, part 5: I’ll take your 100 peso bed, Miss | langyaw
    February 12, 2010 @ 9:10

    […] via land for the Holidays. 36 hours later and about P2,500 in expenses, I was finally back home. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part […]

  6. Bonzenti | Con Tour Blog
    April 11, 2012 @ 1:42

    Reading your post in traveling this kind of route, seems like that I did it by my own, considering that I also like unclogged pier and no long queue. :-).

  7. estancabigas
    April 11, 2012 @ 14:40

    layo, kapoy pero lingaw jud bai 🙂

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