RORO to Boracay
Traveling to Boracay Island can be done with more adventure and with less amount of money.
As opposed to the common notion that going to the country’s powdery white island from Metro Manila cost a lot of money, especially when taking the plane, there is also that option of the RORO.
Roll-of-Roll-on, as its complete term, offers Boracay travelers a diverse and more scenic journey through combined land and boat trips, encompassing a wealth of panorama, instant interpersonal connections with co-travelers and memorable experiences along the way.
This adventure-filled journey, which lasts from 12 to 17 hours, takes off from central bus stations in Metro Manila, such as Cubao in Quezon City, Pasay, Buendia in Makati/Manila, and Alabang in Muntinlupa.
At the bus terminal, travelers can choose between the Bus-Direct RORO, which gets on a bus that will drive and load on the ships, directly to Caticlan, like Ceres bus. The other option is to travel independently by taking the trips at their most convenient times.
For budget-constrained travelers, it is wiser to take the bus-direct RORO trips, where the fares range from 1,100 to 1,300 per person with unlimited baggage weight, plus small extra fees for children-on-lap. However, as applied to all, bus passengers also have to get off the bus upon arriving at the piers and go through the terminal for standard clearance procedures.
Passengers taking the bus-direct RORO trips get to enjoy the ease of carrying only their carry-on bags throughout the trip, while their big luggage or boxes are stored safely inside the bus’ storage trunk.
Whereas the “independent” option, which usually takes shorter time, requires travelers to carry all of their stuff on their own, while boarding and unloading from the participating land and sea transports all the way to Caticlan.
After the couple of hours long land ride from the Metro Manila bus terminals to Batangas Pier, the shorter of which takes off from Alabang, passengers get on the ship that crosses to Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro, where they have the chance to return to their seats in the bus and enjoy a smooth ride to Roxas City, which lasts at least two hours.
“Independent” travelers have the freedom to take the next available trip to Calapan, which can also be followed by faster Supercat ships that cross the channel for about an hour and a half. Thus, upon reaching Calapan, they can take their time to buy snacks from the market stalls before taking the van to Roxas City.
From Roxas City, the Bus-Direct passengers have to get off the bus again and wait for the clearance to get on the ship that will cross to Caticlan City.
Ships leaving from Roxas take around three and a half to six hours, depending on environmental and vessel conditions, where travelers can chance upon a Starlight shipping line, which usually travel faster.
Once in Caticlan, travelers unload the boat and go through the Caticlan Jetty Port in order to pay for necessary fees like the Terminal Fee, Environmental Fee and Boat Ticket before getting on the final trip, a short pump boat ride to Cagban Port in Boracay Island.
For travelers returning to Metro Manila, there are ships leaving every thirty minutes from Caticlan to Roxas City, which Bus-Direct trips to Metro Manila also take. Tickets for the Bus-Direct trips are available through authorized bus operators that are found in the vicinity of the Caticlan Jetty Port.
With such inexpensive fares, returning to paradise becomes very much doable and more adventure-filled.