This is the 11th of a series I was already set to sail for Puerto Princesa: my ticket has already been paid, I already boarded the ship bound for the Palawan capital and my things were already at my assigned cot. On 10 June 07, 8 months after my Cuyo trip, M/V Catalyn D sunk off Mindoro As it was still in the afternoon, a few hours before the night trip schedule, I ventured out. Directly infront of the ship was M/V Catalyn D. Walking along the street just outside of the pier, I saw the smaller ship’s ticket office and out of curiosity, I asked about their schedule.
To my surprise, they were also sailing that night direct to Coron, my destination. I was in a bind. If I will travel via Puerto Princesa, it would be an additional expense as I still have to book a ticket for Coron and probably stay for a day or two. It would also be a waste of time for me if I’ll do that. With this, I purchased the ticket and transferred.
M/V Catalyn D is a small cargo ship plying the waters of Palawan and Manila. It provides a cheaper alternative to the bigger and more commercial ships plying the same routes. Unlike, say Superferry, which has a shorter route, the ship covers Cuyo, Coron, Roxas, Mindoro and Manila.
The bottom and lower decks are for light cargoes while the upper deck are for passengers. They only provide two types of accommodation: a narrow cot which is placed side by side near the window and a double deck located at the center of the deck. The price difference is just P100 and beddings are separate costs.
On 10 June 07, 8 months after my Cuyo trip, M/V Catalyn D sunk off the waters of Mindoro Occidental while on its way to Coron. Five people died and around 20 missing after a fire gutted the cargo hold of the ship.
This ship is just one of the many smaller passenger and cargo boats that sail the waters around the country. Yes, its cheap and sometimes, a more convenient vessel to take to a much more remote destination however, because of the vessel conditions, these are more prone to accidents when the weather goes awry.
After I rode Catalyn D, I planned to do a photo documentary on a typical round trip as well as about the crew members but unfortunately, with the incident, plan is postponed.