FastCat

FastCat roro, a comfortable ride from Mindoro to Caticlan

Fastcat roro is awesome! This is my firsthand account of my experience traveling with this company. I’m no stranger traveling by roro in the country but the best roro in the Philippines right now is no other than the new fleet of FastCat roll on roll offs. For the longest time, Montenegro lines has lorded it over the roro segment, connecting vital islands and giving an alternative way of traveling. For most of my traveling life, I’ve rode them countless number of times but usually between Allen and Matnog (Northern-Luzon) and Roxas-Caticlan (Mindoro-Panay). The latter is a long four-six hour ride, depending on the sea condition and often in substandard conditions. They just have aging ships that have seen better times.

Last year, I was traveling again the Mindoro-Panay route and instead of taking Montenegro roro in Roxas, I extended my van trip and opted to go further to Bulalacao, the southernmost municipality in the island where FastCat is based. Just to try this new competitor out. The Bulalacao port, unlike the one in Roxas is less developed but it’s just three hours to Caticlan. I arrived at seven in the morning and just waited for the 10 AM sailing time. By 0930H, we were ready to board.

FastCat roro is owned and operated by Archipelago Philippines Ferries Corporation which started operations in 2002. It was only in 2010 when they got more aggressive with fleeting. They’re the only company using catamaran style roll on/roll off ferries compared with the usual roros like those used by Montenegro. The design of these FastCat roros are sleek and modern. Spacious for vehicles with a passenger component at one side.

It’s clean and comfy

Although I paid for an economy seat, the open air accomodation was hot and noisy that I opted to upgrade to the business class. It was a good decision. You not only have a clean interior and you are well seated, the trip is also comfortable. The wide windows were great for viewing the seascape too although it can be hot at times if you’re directly in sunlight, you can always pull down the window screen.

I liked the FastCat experience. It was way better than riding the roros of Montenegro. Although there’s a better way of traveling via roro, they’re aggressively expanding their network across the country, I think they need to do something about their food. The sandwich I bought wasn’t enjoyable.

NOTE: Not a sponsored post. This is a firsthand experience with FastCat roro.

For schedules, rates and network, check their website: FastCat

Fastcat roro

It’s a different roro design from the usual

Fastcat roro

Vehicles loading at the FastCat roro

Fastcat roro

Wide windows to maximize the view

Fastcat roro

The business class seating arrangement with the canteen at the side

Fastcat roro

The airconditioned Premium Economy and Business Class is really good and recommended

best roro in the philippines

The open air passenger economy class

best roro in the philippines

It’s wonderfully designed, modern and fast

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.

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