Travel Philippines: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 1)

The holidays inarguably gives most of us more free time not to mention a little more funds at hand; and so encouraging us to do something a little more adventurous as well. And perhaps that’s exactly what happened this Christmas season of 2017 to many of us..

With a business trip to the north, Luzon that is, I felt that it was time for a different kind of experience — at least after my purpose has been done, of course. And so, a two-week adventure!

MY ROUTE: Cebu City to Manila to Batangas City to Calapan City to Roxas, Oriental Mindoro to Caticlan to Iloilo City to Bacolod City to San Carlos City to Toledo City and back to Cebu City!

Luzon to Visayas travelogue: 5 land and 4 sea travels. Actual travel routes are not straight paths

Wow, I could have just flown back again to Cebu! But yeah, this time it was a mix of air, rough seas and long hours of land travel that even included night and dawn trips, most of which you could not imagine how exhausting they actually were — but in the end, just all worth it.

For your reference and in case you plan to do such an adventurous trip, oh connecting trips, as well — guess there’s no real need to tell you the exact days of my travel (since you may want to cut it short or prolong your stay in one or several places depending on your time, interest and budget) but just the costs (as of December 2017), the time it took and some comments. Take note that these are basically my travel expenses and not counting the hotel stay, laundry, meals, snacks, supplies, souvenirs, in-city fares, tourist spot fees and some emergency money. And so, without further adieu..

Air Travel: Cebu City to Manila

Cebu City to Manila. AirAsia. 1h 20m. P2,300. The plane trip left as scheduled but was actually 20 minutes ahead of its ETA (estimated time of arrival) which has sort of become a signature for AirAsia as this has always been the case whenever I fly the airline. Hmm, that’s good. The airfare, on the other hand, varies depending on when and where you booked and when you wish to fly. Frequent flyers know this. The nearer your flight date, the more expensive it becomes. On the contrary, the farther your flight date, the lower the airfare would be, of course with consideration to the airline’s price threshold.

Manila to Batangas City. Bus at Taft Ave. cor. Buendia. 1h 40m. P168. When in Manila, be mindful of the traffic so watch your sked. Anyhow, considering the distance (103 km) and traffic, my long-time friend informed me that the trip could take 3-4 hours. But to my pleasant surprise, it only took less than two hours. So yes, great!

Port of Batangas

Batangas City to Calapan City (Mindoro Oriental). Roro ship. 2h 30m. P200 fare + P30 terminal fee. I actually got to the pier at about mid-morning in hope that I could leave by lunchtime at least — but the rains just had so many passengers caught in disarray that even with several shipping lines open for booking, I was only able to secure mine for the 3PM trip that only left at around 3:30PM.

Calapan City to Roxas (Mindoro Oriental). Van. P200. While both places are in the same province, the distance was really quite far (119.3 km) so it took the van 2h 30m to reach Roxas in this north to south trip. What’s tough in riding a van though is the placement of your luggages. With most everybody having at least a backpack or two and no real compartment in the van, you would be forced to just let your baggages sit on your lap for the trip. At least, initially.

Port of Calapan

Mindoro’s basic disadvantage: No buses. So, consider your itinerary.

Watch out for our second part, The Boracay Enigma!

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