"Ro Ro Row Yer Boat" Jamindan by backpacker24
Jamindan Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 2 photos
My mom had to go back to her hometown in Jamindan, Capiz to fix her birth certificates (you know how their old folks care less much about those stuff before-- and when read on a late registration birth cert form, it says: reason: ignorance (just my two cents!). And so there I was again, scrambling all over the net, hoping to find the best deals and make the best out of this short, and 'lonesome' last kick of summer.
I first figured out how to get to Roxas City, and eventually get to my mom's hometown. We're on a tight budget (as we knew Boracay would slice a biggie up on our pockets), and as it is still high season, air fares were not considered. We decided to took the Strong Republic Nautical Highway, aka Ro-Ro (Roll-On/Roll-Off), which will take us from Cubao, Quezon City to Jamindan, Capiz (detailed itinerary below ), although it'll take (the most) 14 hrs (including delays of buses and ferries, road construction, and heavy traffic), Ro-Ro nonetheless is the cheapest means of getting to your destination down south, the Visayas and Mindanao Region, as far as Zamboanga (Dipolog and Dapitan(Dakak).
The most frequent Ro-Ro destination is Caticlan, a motorized banca away from the island of Boracay. It is more convenient to get a bus from the bus stations at the back of Ali Mall, Cubao. Most of these buses, particularly, Ceres (aka Bachelor Express), Philtranco (632.851.8079), Silver Star, Gasat, and Dimple Star (63.2.862.3075), among others, are going on the Ro-Ro. Prices to Caticlan ranges from P950-P1100, including the Ro-Ro fare. Most of these bus companies do not have a telephone number as they are just boothed around the area. You might as well get tickets a day before your planned departure as schedules may vary (depending on the weather or the PPA announcement). As I have read (all over the net, Bachelor Express, as widely termed on the net, is most commonly known as Ceres (confusing, I know), and departs from Cubao daily at 11pm. When I got there in the morning to buy the tix, surprisingly, they are now doing day trips, aircon and non aircon, alternately, from 8am to 11.30 am. Sucks . But I didn't wanna try Philtranco either because of the many bad reviews I've read. But overall, these are big, tourist buses, so anyone can find the seating comfortable. I don't know much about others, but Ceres Lines (Bachelor Express) is so far the most appealing. 2 seaters on each side, good drivers, big, spacious buses, and your belongings are safe once you board the ship and leave everything inside the bus. (Of course granted that you bring your valuables with you. Duhh.)
I would rather give out the ideal travel hours rather than estimated time of departure and arrival (ETD/ETA) as it would depend on which liner and on which schedule you're going.
Since the South Super Highway is currently under construction, travel time from Cubao Bus Depot (at the back of Ali Mall) to Batangas Port (passing through Alabang and Laguna) is 3 hours. Buses will also stop at their stations along the way to pick up more passengers. The ferry (Maharlika/Starlite/Montenegro) would also depend on the liner. Most of the liners are already booked with one of the ferries. The ferry ride from Batangas Port to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro is 2 hours. Note: Make sure you have enough coins to throw at these kids swimming at the port waiting to dive for your 1 peso or 5 peso coins. It was a bit strange but admirable how these kids can keep those coins inside their mouths and dive for more. Oh, and for sure, they accept bills too hehe.
From Calapan, a 4-5 hour bus on a rough road to Roxas Port. As much as I tried to sleep during the ride, the zigzaggy road just threw me to the left and right, literally, and grabbing my backpack from time to time to keep it from slipping under the benches.
From there a grueling 4 hour ferry ride to Caticlan port. From Caticlan port, you may either drop off and head your way (by foot) to Caticlan jetty port and enjoy Boracay. Or get on your bus again and travel farther.
On the way back, from Boracay, again, as I have read over the Internet, the buses on Ro-Ro leaves at 3pm. Luckily, we got to Caticlan port from Boracay by 1pm and caught the Dimple Star (not our choice but somebody just ushered us to a ticketing desk and voila! Dimple Star it is!). And since we got the bus from Caticlan port, we needed to pay the terminal fee of P20 each by ourselves (usually it is included in the bus and boat fare already).
The ride with DimpleStar was truly one hell of a ride. Yeah, in a blink of an eye, you could be in hell. The driver was inconsiderate and reckless. Okay, we were sitting at the forefront and we get to see the road ahead. And that was killing me the whole time. The driver almost hit a parked truck, a barricade, high gear on humps, and swerving and overtaking the whole time! And he needed to be told by his colleagues when to steer, when to stop, what's ahead. fcukin' ahole! He was speeding up big time to catch up with the early ferry (the 9pm, we were scheduled for the 11pm), along with other Dimple Star buses, and no pulling over for dinner! Again, fcukin' A!
Thank God we arrived at the bus depot safely. And I would definitely go on Ro-Ro, once again, taking in the scenic route on my way down south. But never in that Dimple Star bus again. I swear.3
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