CALAPAN TO BATANGAS FAST FERRIES & RORO GUIDE


Entrance Gate to the Port of Calapan. Copyright: mcgutib

The Port of Calapan is the main gateway to the Province of Oriental Mindoro. Located at Brgy. San Antonio, this port is developed and maintained by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). The Port of Calapan is best known as part of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway, as it is the Port linking the Visayas islands to the mainland of Luzon. The Port is actually 104.3 nautical miles from Manila, and about 22 nautical miles southward from the Batangas sea.[1]

Although the port is located far away from the southern towns of Oriental Mindoro, the port itself is indeed accessible. Public Utility Vehicles are available for passengers whose destination are outside the town of Calapan…(no taxis available though)

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Calapan Port Terminal Building. Copyright: mcgutib

As of the moment, the Port of Calapan is only serving routes in and out of the Port of Batangas (which is the main hub of shipping lines).

The port has just nearly completed its expansion process, bringing its total area to some 30,932.00 sq.m. [2] The newly built two-story passenger terminal has just been opened early this year. And a terminal fee of P20.00 is now being required upon entrance.

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Calapan Port Terminal Information Desk. Copyright: mcgutib

The newly constructed terminal is equipped with several LCD TVs in order to keep the passengers entertained. Wi-fi internet access is also available. The use of an electronic billboard is being utilized in order to show the boarding status, and some other few announcements. Four boarding gates are being used in this terminal. Two gates are dedicated for fastcraft passengers while the other two are for RORO passengers. The said terminal has also a dedicated VIP lounge for VIP personalities (i.e. politicians).

Additional Ramps has been constructed in order to accommodate more Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) vessels. Officially, there are 7 ramps being utilized in the Port. They are numbered accordingly (ramp 1, ramp 2…etc.). Aside from this, additional 4 ramps are used alternatively, in order to continuously accommodate ships whether the tides are low or high. These alternative ramps are labeled as 4a, 5a, 6a and 7a, and are located just beside their corresponding ramps.

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Calapan Port Ro-Ro berthing/docking area. Copyright: mcgutib

These ramps are really capable of handling huge RORO vessels up-to-date. Here are its specs:

1. RoRo ramp nos. 1, 2 and 3 – 9.0m x 9.0m fixed ramp and constructed flush with the wharf’s faceline. Berthing depth is -5.0m from MLLW.
2. RoRo ramp No. 4 – 9.0m x 11.0m fixed ramp but independent of the wharf’s faceline (protruding). Berthing dept is -5.0m from MLLW.
3. RoRo ramp Nos. 5, 6 and 7 – 11.0m x 9.0m fixed ramp and constructed flush with wharf’s faceline. Berthing depth is -4.5m from MLLW.
1. RoRo ramp nos. 1, 2 and 3 – 9.0m x 9.0m fixed ramp and constructed flush with the wharf’s faceline. Berthing depth is -5.0m from MLLW.
2. RoRo ramp No. 4 – 9.0m x 11.0m fixed ramp but independent of the wharf’s faceline (protruding). Berthing dept is -5.0m from MLLW.
3. RoRo ramp Nos. 5, 6 and 7 – 11.0m x 9.0m fixed ramp and constructed flush with wharf’s faceline. Berthing depth is -4.5m from MLLW.   [3]

A 75 meter finger port has also been constructed perpendicular to the passenger terminal, in order to accommodate fastcraft vessels. Now, not only passengers of Supercat will have an air-con terminal!

There are many notable changes in the Port this year. One of this is of course the newly constructed terminal. The old exclusive terminal of Supercat has already been demolished. Ticketing booths are now more presentable. And parking spaces has already been relocated.

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Ticketing Booth. Copyright: mcgutib

Rumors are expecting for a future plan of making the seaport more accessible though a construction of dedicated coastal road….

Here is the typical path you’ll take if you plan to depart from the Port of Calapan:

First, choose your preferred shipping company…

Here are the shipping companies serving the Port of Calapan:

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SUPER SHUTTLE FERRY

Daily Trip  starts at 1:45 AM and 1:45 PM

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Copyright: mcgutib

BESTA SHIPPING LINES INC.

Daily Departures-  starts at 1:30 AM next is 3:30 AM, 6:30 AM, 9:30 AM, until 11:30 PM.

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Copyright: mcgutib  

MONTENEGRO SHIPPING/MARINA FERRIES

Daily departure schedules: Every hour starting 2 AM until 12 MN. Fare per Person is at 240 Pesos- Regular

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Copyright: mcgutib

STARLITE FERRIES INC.

              Daily schedules: Starts daily at 1 AM until 12:30 PM

               Private vehicle fees /rate at   Php 1,500  (one-way)                                                                   

Copyright: mcgutib

2GO TRAVEL’s  SUPERCAT

Daily departures starts at 4:45 AM, then 6:30 AM, 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:45 PM & 5 PM. Fare per Pax is at 350 Pesos each.

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Copyright: mcgutib

OCEAN FERRIES INC.

Daily schedule of departure: Starts at 4:50 AM until 7:50 PM with 10 round trips to and from Calapan. Fare per Pax is at 290 Pesos-Regular ticket.

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Copyright: mcgutib

ARCHIPELAGO PHILIPPINE FERRIES CORP.

Daily schedules: 6:30 AM, next is 8:30 AM, 12 PM, 5 PM, 7:30 PM & 11 PM.

If you’re in a hurry, then choose one of the three fast crafts available. I suggest Supercat as their safety has been tested through the years.

All you need to do is to buy your tickets from their ticketing outlet, pass through secruity check, pay the terminal fee, wait for your boarding call and off you go. You’ll arrive at the Port of Batangas in approximately 1 hour.

On the other hand, opting to ride a RORO is a wise option…(more affordable and more time to admire the beautiful islands of Mindoro and Batangas).

Walk in passengers will have the path as riding a fastcraft (except for your boarding gates…lol).

If you wish to bring your cars, then you’ll have to secure a booking slip before hand. RORO trips are available every hour. “Odd-numbered-hours” (1am, 2am…) are served by a Starlite vessel, while the “even-numbered-hours” (12am, 2am…) are served by a Montenegro Lines vessel. On the other hand, Besta ships serves “30-min-slots” in between some of the hours (ie 12:30pm, 3:30pm).

Upon entering the port, you will still be required to pay the P20.00 terminal fee (Even though you’re not entering the passenger terminal!). Present your booking slip, then they’ll let you proceed to the queue of vehicles. While waiting for your boarding call, pay for the PPA fee (amount depends on your vehicle type).

Upon the boarding call, the shipping crew will now collect your total fare and give you your tickets. They’ll assist you upon entering the ship, then off you go. Travel time is about 2 hours. By the way, I recommend Montenegro Shipping Lines. They have the best ships and accommodations on board.

Here’s what you’ll see on your trip:

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Copyright: mcgutib

The beautiful coastline of Mindoro

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Copyright: mcgutib

Approaching Mag-asawang Pulo

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Copyright: mcgutib

Ship racing one after another as it passes near the coastline of Verde Island

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Copyright: mcgutib

 Verde Island

Batangas VTMS Radar Station 2

Batangas VTMS Radar Station 2. Copyright: mcgutib

Glimpse of Batangas 

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Familiar sight when approaching Batangas Port. Copyright: mcgutib

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Copyright: mcgutib

Reference:

[1],[2],[3] http://www.ppa.com.ph/Calapan/cal_about.htm


Ferry schedules and fares posted above are sourced from the ticketing booth found in Port of Batangas and/or Port of Calapan. The information provided herein is accurate for the time being but subject to change as per shipping operator’s policyOther pertinent information regarding shipping operator and port terminal policies can be found at their own respective websites/or Facebook pages, and at their designated ticketing offices found in the port of destination stated above.

The aforementioned shipping information  are painstakingly gathered from different sources and updated every now and then- without being paid in return or getting any monetary commission from any of the shipping companies mentioned. Your continued patronage (please share it to your Facebook account) and generous contribution -any kind- will be highly appreciated.

Disclaimer: The author, in any way, shall not be held liable for any damages -personal and/or business related losses- caused by factual errors, omission and/or any unforeseen mistakes (I strive to make it accurate as much as possible, but being human it does happen), nor it expresses any warranties for the information it provided here. ANY USE OF INFORMATION  ON THIS SITE IS  AT YOUR SOLE RISK. Furthermore, any comments/or statements raised by yours truly are of personal opinion only and does not in anyway reflects the opinion of any authoritative bodies unless stated.

Islandhopping 101: Best Guide In and Out of Roxas City


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La Playa de Roxas, People’s Park Brgy. Baybay Roxas City

“I really love this city, It is beautiful and It’s so multidimensional. People say it has a darkness and a decadence, which it tries to hide; they say it’s full of the pretentious and opulent trying to strangle the dark reality. But that’s true for most of the other great cities too. . . .
There is a soul here . . . and that soul is as pure as the heat of the sun that shines down on it and the rain that falls to purify it.”

Umair Naeem, Drowning Shadows

The first time I set my foot here,  first thing comes on my mind is the scent of its air, like a perfume that goes inside my head and send me to a euphoria that brought me back to my good memories of the beautiful Obando in Bulacan. The familiar scent of a fishpond, rivers and muddy sea; it smells fish, crab and oysters- and most of all it smells MONEY. However,  Roxas City is much better version. The city, dubbed as the”Seafoods Capital of the Philippines” looks classy and yet simple on my first impression, and so does my second. It has a well maintained city street  with flourishing businesses on each and every corner, at the other side of the river is the century old structure and a museum which I believe a welcome treat for every first timer here; their “Baybay” or beach front – facing the Sibuyan Sea, known to be a rich fishing ground – it has plenty of reasons to fell in love with, for one is their restaurants (along Baybay) which offers variety of mouth watering seafood; two, is the many places to explore and get a change to grab some photos- almost filling the entire 8Gb of memory of my dslr camera. Pueblo de Panay on the other hand, is quite unique to my eyes because of the vast landscape of greenery with establishments (worthy of a visit) sprouting all over the rolling hills- it made me wish to stay for few more days and maybe, just maybe I might be coming here every now and then. And finally,  the most promising tourist attraction is the majestic shrine of Sacred Heart of Jesus standing over the hilltop comparable to that of the Christ the Redeemer of Brazil which can be seen far off-shore. How about that for Roxas City!

I have been here twice before, the last one was just three weeks ago- exactly five days after New Year’s celebration. Coming here together with a friend was a welcome treat for us. As planned months earlier, we embarked on a 36 hours long Island hopping adventure coming from Dumaguete on our way to Batangas/Manila. Actually, traveling here  was like a mere familiarization to the once Off-the-beaten-path, but for my companion being his first time it was an adventure of a lifetime. Our trip here (as my traveling companion have said “rather unusual because we were traveling on foot at the not so quite familiar road heading to our destination”) was rather not easy as we took every transportation available- slow boat, bus, jeep and tricycle ride; our trip took us on a route from Dumaguete heading to Bacolod City then on Dumangas-Zarraga up to the City of Roxas. And after few hours of strolling and gazing on a landscape of the city within late afternoon we were sailing on a calm sea towards the island of Romblon, Romblon, and then further more to Port of Batangas before heading to Manila. After a two days of rest, I myself, on my homeward bound took the same road again, the Manila to Batangas (2 hours bus) then took a 19 hours boat trip for Roxas City, then another two hours bus ride to Iloilo City before heading to Bacolod via fast craft,  and culminating my trip is a six hour drive down south to Dumaguete City, indeed a  back-breaking and mind boggling travel. So eager to know how to do it? Well, follow this easy tips:

Coming from the Backdoor

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Going to Bacolod via Dumaguete is not really a big problem as big buses of Ceres Tours plies on this route every now and then,  it goes directly to Mabinay then to the City of Kabankalan before heading to the City of Smiles- after several more stop. The trip  last for six hours and cost 270 Pesos for ordinary buses and 359 Pesos for air-con buses.

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If you’re coming from Cebu City just head to Port of Toledo in Toledo City,  from there board a fast craft for San Carlos City in Negros Occidental. Once arrive you have to take a short tricycle ride to the bus terminal going for Bacolod City.

Click on the link to see ferry schedule: Toledo to San Carlos ferry 

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Once in Bacolod City take a public transport vehicle to BREDCO Port and then hop on-board on one of these RO-RO vessel forDumangas Port. Fare charges for each person cost less than a hundred pesos, travel time usually last about two hours.

Click on the link to view Ferry schedule:  Bacolod-Dumangas vv.  RORO Guide (2016 update) 

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Note: You may also board a Fast craft such as this heading to Iloilo City or vice versa. The lowest fare for this fast craft per person usually at 200 Pesos plus terminal fee of 30 Pesos, and travel time last about an hour or more.

Dumangas Port

Upon arrival in Dumangas Port you only need to take a little walk heading to the exit, a barker will approached every passenger and points to the numerous tricycles queuing one after another awaiting for passengers, I took one of these public transport to reach the town of Dumangas. Travel time usually last for about 10-15 minutes and cost about 15 Pesos per head.

Side note: Photo above shows the Fast craft terminal in Iloilo City. Just in case you opted this destination upon arrival to this Port you need to board a Jeep heading to SM Delgado and then from there another Jeep going to Tagbak Terminal. Bus terminal (the newly constructed building along the highway) going to the northern destination such Caticlan or Roxas City is located in Tagbak, Jaro.  Cost for the two Jeepney ride would be at least 30 Pesos per person. If you’re not in the mood for a Jeepney ride then you may opt for a Taxi ride, flag down rates cost about 40 Pesos and if you’re lucky your fare would reach to about 100 Pesos less.

To view latest ferry schedule, please click your mouse on the link: Roro & Ferry Schedules

On the other side of the town away from Iloilo City is the sleepy town of Dumangas – 24 kilometers away from the capital- about a hundred meters away from its town hall is the public transport terminal for passenger Jeepney’s and Vans which usually all in queues to take  passengers. Their service usually last from sun up to sun down. Jeepney route usually goes to Iloilo City via Zarraga and vice versa, whereas Van for hire take the Coastal Road in route to Iloilo City (Baldoza Terminal, La Paz).

Side Note: Back in Iloilo City the biggest bus lines in Panay Island (perhaps in the whole country) that often preferred by almost every tourist and local passengers because of their reliability, convenience and availability even at night. Buses often leaves every hour (from sun-up to sun-down) to Roxas City and vice versa. Travel time takes about three hours (traffic and road repair works means it may take more than that), cost per person depending on bus line or van for hire but usually it never goes beyond 200 Pesos.

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Again if your coming from Dumangas there is no need for you to go to Iloilo City to have a decent bus ride to Caticlan or Roxas City, just ask the Jeepney driver to drop  you at the town of Zarraga (at the National Highway), and from there a handful of bus lines goes to and from Caticlan or Roxas City. Length of travel  usually last for two hours and fare cost per person is about 170 or a little less.

See the video showing the Highway:   Zarraga Iloilo

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The Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral located in the old Pueblo de Capiz (Capitol area), from here it only takes a tricycle ride from a much better public transportation hub in Roxas City ( Buses normally stops here and it will never venture near the city street- I wish Dumaguete can emulate their willingness to make their city organized to lessen the problem on traffic) located in Pueblo de Panay.

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Remember: Traveling here is pretty easy just follow the few road tips above and you’ll be in Roxas City in no time.

From Manila 

Unfortunately there are no passenger ship that connects this two cities, one must travel on a bus (plying LRT-Buendia to Batangas Port) for at least two hours via SLEX. Almost every bus companies serving this route offers air-conditioned with entertainment on-board of course, and fare cost is somewhere between 150- 200 Pesos.

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2GO Travel’s M/V St. Anthony de Padua sails from Batangas to Roxas City via Romblon, Romblon every Tuesday and Friday at 10 PM. Sea travel usually last to 15 hours and fare cost start at 1,100 Pesos for economy accommodation. Trying it myself last three weeks ago, I think the experience I have on-board was over-all pleasant although the food served to economy passenger wasn’t that good at all. I know first class accommodation was way better, but sorry to say I am no fan of first class accommodation and so does majority of sea-going public.

The cheapest fares around at 950 Pesos (Air-conditioned room) per head. This RoRo plies three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday), it is highly recommended if your bringing along with you your SUV, pick-up and/or sedan- they do have cheaper charges on each vehicles as compared to the rival- but honestly I won’t recommend it to any tourist as facilities were not acceptable by my standard- such as toilet facilities, I am disappointed really about such neglect, it was simple necessities that should have been looked at carefully.  Decent dining table coupled with fresh cook foods (if any) must be accorded to paying passengers, I’m fed-up with on-board canteen whose expertise is to serve instant noodle. I think the management should address this simple passenger necessities to  garner better feedback and perhaps win more patron- just my humble opinion.

Click on the link to see ferry schedule:  Batangas RoRo/Ferry schedule 

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Caticlan Jetty Port in Malay – a transportation hub for RORO vessels coming from Port of Roxas in Mindoro Oriental, Odiongan Port in Tablas Island as well as Port of Batangas-  a  jump off to the island of Boracay Island is another alternative point of entry, although the drawback is that of the punishing land trip that is quite stressful. From here it takes only 2 to 3 hours scenic drive to Roxas City via Capiz-Aklan road network, Van for-hire as well as Ceres Tours have a daily trip here; Fares  between Roxas City to Caticlan  cost around 200 Pesos more or less per head.

Click on the link to see ferry schedule:  Caticlan-Mindoro ferry

 Images along  City of Roxas

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That seemingly arms length away island known as Mantalinga, as viewed on my camera. This miniature like island was known as  perfect diving spot for scuba practitioners and a perfect roundabout for sailboat (dilayag) and kayak during contest.

The old Passenger Terminal Building of Culasi Port

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The statue of St. Michael the Archangel, it can be seen on one of the Rotonda in Pueblo de Panay estate.

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The statue of Sacred Heart of Jesus standing tall on the hills over-looking Roxas City, Sibuyan Sea and Jintotolo Channel. This statue is said to have dwarfed the statue of the Christ the Redeemer in Brazil.

Islandhopping 101: Five Questions to Ask for People Who Wish to Do Island Hopping


Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City- a fine place to start your Island hopping adventure.

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Almost everyone of us for once in our life would want to be a tourist and at the same time a traveler-exploring island after islands, roaming around valleys, hills and seascape; meeting people from far away places, taking selfies of oneself behind famous landmark. Spending quality time with friends and families while basking the summer heat along the sandy beach of Coron, Panglao, Sumilon or Apo Island. But how?

There are several ways to do it, and one is the familiar tour package. I think every tourists are well accustomed with these kind of set-up, all you have to do is choose the package you preferred and settle the necessary payment then voila! you’re good to go. One thing I don’t like about packages tour (no offense to my lady friend, just my personal opinion) is the fact that you will pay the cost for the actual tour plus their service fees, commission, sales tax etc. ouch! Not only that, it limits your freedom to go anywhere you want- after all you’re just a tourist and not the explorer that should have been.

Then there’s this what they called the self-guided “Do It Yourself”  (DIY) tour, a tried and tested way mostly done by young and independent generation of adventure seekers. Basically doing your own planning and researching before going on a trip cut the need for the costly tour middleman! If you plan your own itinerary yourself, you get the freedom to choose your own adventure- whether on a bumpy ride of a Jeepney, at the comfort of an inter-modal bus or at the roller coaster like ride of a ferry boat, you’ll surely discover every town and cities in this country even when you’re on a tight budget. But exactly how?

One way I know is through Island hopping!

And here are five questions frequently ask about Island hopping.

1. What is Island hopping?

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It is simply going to island after islands on a slow boat. If your fast paced, jet-setter type of person,  I am not really sure you will loved my idea simply because ferry travel in a Philippine setting is unlike American or European type of cruising. Traveling via Philippine ferry boat can be a little disappointing, and chaotic sometimes especially to first timer. But for those who tried it once, you would surely feel the need to try it again and again simply because its a lot cheaper and  it is the most convenient mode of transporting people and cargoes to far flung island  destination;  plus the fact that it is said to be more fun and exciting than the usual and boring air travel.

Island hopping is all about going to as many islands as you can without over-spending (making you broke upon returning home is a non-sense). Compared to packaged tour wherein you fly to your destination, and then visit famous landmark during daylight, stay in a  hotel at night for a couple of days and that’s what it is… no! no! island hopping is far more better than that, believe me.

2. Why Island hopping?

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It is an old and tested, fun and exciting way of reaching your dream destination. I mean it’s like going back to about a hundred or less  years ago  wherein air travel is virtually unheard of, and the only means of reaching another island is by way of sailing. My Spanish-Moorish ancestors have done it centuries ago where they too went on island hopping coming from their homeland Spain  looking, searching, and finally discovered an island here where beauty and mystery were then explored. I’m pretty sure you have it too.

Island hopping adventures are tailor-made for young generations of thrill-seekers whom are in a look out of something new and something different. Young professionals now adays have these type of drive because they’re typically more creative, inventive, idealistic, pro-active and successful. Island hopping will surely improved once concentration, broadened its own perspective, and will test its own limits as you will leave from your comfort zone.

3. What can I achieved doing Island hopping?

Honestly, it depends on each individual. I remember I was wandering from Manila down to Bicol on a bumpy, back-aching bus ride; then went on island hopping to Samar and Ormoc in Leyte Province for two non-stop days. Feeling not satisfied after, despite lack of sleep and rest, I embarked on a slow ferry boat to Cebu and Negros Island (Dumaguete to be exact); and a few days thereafter I went back to Manila again via Bacolod all the way to Iloilo City on a slow boat, t’was my first Island hopping trip way back 2008. What did I achieved on that trip? a lot, I got answer to my prayers… short of a miracle.

And it was followed on year after year since then, island hopping trip all over Visayas and Mindanao. On last January of this year alone I took a week-long trip from Dumaguete City (my hometown), took a six hour bus ride to City of “smiles” Bacolod then hopped to Iloilo, then took a ferry-boat crossing the choppy and stormy weather of Sulu Sea heading to the remote island of Cuyo. Several hours after we went sailing again heading to Port of Puerto Princesa, and all the way to the capital City of Manila (after a few hours strolling around the beautiful City of Puerto Princesa) by way of Coron Island in Palawan, and then back again here in Dumaguete through the Queen City of Cebu, all of which by means of a slow boat.

Another successful island hopping trip were just concluded few days ago this time covering the island of  Panay, Mindoro, Batangas, Romblon (my first time here), Masbate, Leyte, Cebu and Negros via bus and slow moving ferry boat.

What did I got out of these grueling, back-breaking and butt-burning trip?  It made me realized the need for more adventure, contemplating the chances to do the ultimate island hopping to the island of Cagayancillo or Tawi-tawi for change.

It’s tricky to find the right reason on activities such as I mentioned. Maybe you should ask yourself first, is it worth? I’m sure you will find a convincing reason for yourself.

4. How to stage a successful Island hopping?

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Accomplishment for your week to month-long island hopping trip will be measured upon your return to the comfort of your own home. That’s the way it is, no one for sure can foretell the hurdle you will encounter during your journey to discovery- remember you choose the Do it Yourself  vacation trip it means you’re in for the adventure of a lifetime. It’s not a guided tour wherein you pay someone to take you safely and without any inconveniences, and let you take a snapshot of landmark just for the sake of you being there. Instead you’re going on an island hopping on your own or with your friends because you knew better how to become a traveler and not just as a plain tourist.

Looking for a successful island hopping adventure trip would depend on careful planning of course.You should consider as many things you can imagine, you need to do a lot of research. And sometimes it will involve your family and friends for an advice, consultation to people with experienced doing such kind of activities so as to make your trip easy and safely. Always remember that each plan of action may work or not work along the way, most of the time your travel plan may fail (that is why God created tour guides)  but its normal. What I did when my plan didn’t work? I got some back-up plan instead.

Here are few things to consider while you’re in a planning stage. Do you prefer luggage or backpack? island hopping is all about mobility, you will be in constant motion doing a lot of walking , transferring from one mode of transportation into another. Luggage will surely keep you uncomfortable throughout the journey.

Do you prefer staying at cozy hotel or at the comfort of a bus or ferry terminal’s benches and floors? Island hopping is not about being a tourist who goes for a sight-seeing and shopping spree, it’s all about being a traveler who knows how to be simple and adapted to ones environment, and have a slightest discipline on spending. Island hopping is for people who are in search for the elusive “something new and something different ” for their life.

5. When is the best time to do Island hopping?

Yes tanaw ko na ang Negros Island

You may do it anytime of the year whenever and wherever, there are no rule as to when will be the best time. But a good island hopping traveler must knew when will be the best time to travel, they usually knows the perfect weather, the less crowded and cheap fares around. He or she knows how to get in and out of the island with ease, and as much as possible prevent him/her from being stranded for a long time.

A good traveler knows to how plan well and expect that a plan may not perfect after all. The ideal island hoppers are usually those that are mobile, flexible, tough, free wheeling, determined and got a good timing. And of course just like a tourist, one must have enough money reserve inside the pocket just to make sure.

Where is the best destination to start on island hopping adventure?

We’ll see about that in the coming months. Have a pleasant day everyone!

 

Islandhopping 101: Guides and tips on your trip in a ferry boat


A fun and inexpensive way to do Island hopping in this country.

“The trail is the thing, not the thrill of the trail. Travel too fast and you’ll miss what you’re travelling for”. -Louise le’ Amour

Are you one of those people who dream of going on a holiday trip to far away land, but worries over the cost of getting there… at your dream destination? Do you often wonder what was it like cruising on-board a ship? – and feel the gentle summer breeze, while smothering the salty warmth air at sundeck as you anxiously scanning the horizon, waiting for the right moment before pressing the shutter button of your camera. I say wonder no more! traveling on a ferry boat is a lot cheaper and more exciting than flying a commercial aircraft. Imagine cruising for an hour to a day or two, then after inspiring evening spending on the loneliness of the turbulent sea you woke up and saw your dream destination slowly coming at you almost within arms length; isn’t it a melo-dramatic like epic of some sort? Whatever.

Island hopping is a trend nowadays for young and not so young generation of adventure seekers who’s not really on a tight schedule and doesn’t mind being in a slow boat while it cruises the sea heading to the summer get-away islands of Cebu, Bohol,  Boracay, Siquijor, Palawan and many more.

Below are list of my own tips, guide, and suggestion on how to Do It Yourself  (DIY) island hopping adventure via ferry boat on this beautiful country called the “Philippines”. These information are based on my experiences while on-board a ferry on a countless years of traveling, covering wide sort of passenger ships/boats plying on different ports in this country. You as first time ferry traveler will gained insight and ideas on what to expect on buying a ticket, to getting around the ferry terminal, on boarding and dis-embarking a boat, and most importantly getting your way in and out of the pier safely.

First three tips

  1. Ferry travel on a Philippine setting is far more different from that of American or European standard on sea travel . Why so? head further to learn more about it.
  2. Be prepared. Do some research about Philippine culture, tradition, the settings, its people, and most importantly the weather (click it here).
  3. Island hopping via ferry boat is generally safe by standard, so need not to worry. It can be tiring and boring especially during long voyage, but rest assured that upon arrival on each and every destination you will be awed with what every Island can offer.

Eager for more? here it goes.

One of the many outrigger boats found in Boracay .

On choosing a ferry, delays, and cancellation of trip

  1. There are ferry-boats that carries passengers and cargoes, and connects to one or more islands on a single trip.
  2. There are long distance passenger ferries that regularly sails from either Manila or Batangas with destination to major ports in the Visayas, and Mindanao. Over-night ferries on the other hand sails to and from Port of Cebu via Dumaguete, Ormoc, or Cagayan de Oro and other ports along Vis-Min area for example falls to this category. Whereas short-distance ferries usually travels less than hour, to an hour or more, and from one island to another island.
  3. Large sized ferry boats are typically the RO-RO (Roll on-Roll off) type of vessel that carries passengers and rolling cargoes. These types of boats are commonly used in a long or short distance haul.
  4. Medium sized ferries can be a converted barge, or a freighter like ferry-boats that has a forward crane mast generally used to haul cargoes. These boats by the way accommodates passengers on a short trip, some on an overnight trip.
  5. Small ferry boats normally are those single hulled or catamaran fast craft that you may often see in Port of Batangas or in Cebu Port. These type of boats are the most convenient among the last two mentioned type of boats as it is fast, on-time and comfortable, although the drawback is its not so cheap fare tickets. There are also motorized outrigger boats that plies on a regular short distance route and can take passengers on a daily basis, they are normally cheap, often slow and uncomfortable especially when crossing a rough sea.
  6. When buying a ticket, there is one or more accommodation to choose from. The more expensive are the one that offers first class amenities (a Filipino standard amenities), the least expensive are mostly preferred by locals but it usually has minor inconveniences for passengers.
  7. Most ferry companies doesn’t have website, but many of them does have Facebook page wherein you may inquire or view their posted schedule.
  8. Most ferry companies doesn’t have online booking arrangement either.
  9. Foreign tourist planning their travel itinerary and would want to try a ferry trip, may book in advanced through travel agencies which are often found over the net.
  10. For locals, buying a ticket is usually done on a ticketing office or booth found on every port, and even inside a shopping malls located on a major thoroughfare of a city.
  11. Tickets are commonly issued hours before departure, sometimes a few minutes before the vessel departs.
  12. Buying a ticket at least a day or week ahead will save you from long queue of people, and usually tickets are priced lower.
  13. Ticketing offices/booth does not accept credit or debit cards.
  14. If you’re traveling on holiday season (particularly Christmas and Lenten vacation , long-weekend, etc), I recommend you to secure your ticket as early as you can. Tickets during this time are often hard to find or none at all, sometimes tickets double its price-why am I not surprised! And more often the inexpensive economy accommodations are fully book, and you will likely opted to buy the first class tickets instead.  FYI: Port of Cebu, Port of Batangas, and Port of Matnog in Sorsogon are among the busiest port in the country with heavy concentration of passengers during holidays- expect some delays, long queuing lines and crowded terminals during this time.
  15. Tickets by the way are refundable and re-bookable, but seldom re-routable. Normally refunds are subject to fees, and honored only in a ticketing office where you actually bought it.
  16. Tickets does not include terminal fees.
  17. A purchased ticket may include charges for insurance fee, government tax, fuel surcharge and other fees. It may also include Filipino meal for long distance route. You may chose not to pay the fees for the meal should you prefer, just tell the ticket issuing officer.
  18. Normally toddlers, elderly person, and person with disabilities are subject to discounted tickets. Foreign tourist/travelers unfortunately are not covered on these privileges.
  19. You can transport your motorized vehicle from one island to another island with ease, just bring those necessary papers and have it all photocopied.
  20. Ferry schedules are posted here in Islandhopping Geek’s Travel Guide, they’re updated every now and then.
  21. Bringing pets is possible, just secure a permit to carry from the Bureau of Plants and Animal Industry’s office found near every port. Reminders: office hour’s is until 5 PM,  and to my surprise there were no fees for my pet when I requested for a clearance.
  22. Some ferry company charges you a minimal fee for every pet or animals brought on-board.
  23. If you’ve been notified ahead that your planned trip were cancelled due to non availability of a ship… don’t get surprised! most likely the ship undergoes for a repair.  You see almost all ferry boats plying between every port in this country are old, and acquired second-hand from Japan.
  24. More often, areas affected by weather disturbances would likely caused shipping delays on departures and arrivals. Expect trips will likely be cancelled for a day to a week should the government’s weather agency PAGASA, declares storm strength as it is approaching a land mass- can be heard all over radio and television station nationwide. Better have Plan B set aside.
  25. Delays on departure or arrival can also be attributed to cargo loading and unloading process. Cargoes by the way are the lifeline for every RO-RO boats plying on every route, more often these ferry boats carries a full load of vehicles on its cargo bay to compensate for their expenses- indeed a long waiting time for passengers.

    CPA's Passenger Terminal Building

    CPA’s Passenger Terminal Building

    On getting your way to these seaports

  26. The convenient way going to a major port like the one in Manila, Cebu, or Davao is through taxicab. Normally the cost of flagging down a taxi depends on what was on the taxi meter’s display, other taxi driver may charged you for a  fix price which is normally expensive especially if you’re a foreigner-don’t bite it if I were you, try to find a taxicab that would rather charge you based on what was on the taxi meter’s rate.
  27. Ordinary metered taxi (white) from NAIA terminals to North Harbor Port Terminal would normally run in between 300 to 500 pesos, that’s if it never encounters heavy traffic, it may also cost you a little more during late at night. Whereas airport taxi (yellow) will cost you double than the normal but you can be assured by their well mannered and professional service. You may check the link here to learn more about taxicab fare rate.
  28. However port access on a smaller cities are conveniently reached through public transport such as jeepney, multi-cabs, tricycles and commuter buses. Fares for this vehicle are per person or per trip basis.
  29. There are uniformed porters inside the terminal area ready to assist every passengers.  Manila North Harbor Terminal by the way regulates the collection of fees to passengers for every baggage checked-in, so no need to haggle for the price for each of the porter’s services. Other port does not have such arrangement like in Manila so the rule is you need to find amicable deals.
  30. If you happen to take the services of these porters make sure you have his name, or the number of his uniform, or at least remember his face, after all you are entrusting your belonging in his hands…don’t get too confident.
  31. Before entering into a passenger terminal, you will be required to present your boarding ticket together with the terminal fee (ticket).
  32. Terminal fee will cost from fifteen pesos to a hundred pesos more depending on a port terminal.
  33. Terminal tickets are issued only to passengers.
  34. Major ports have spacious passenger terminal building, with modern facilities to handle and accommodate large numbers of passengers on a given time.
  35. However during holiday rush, weather disturbances, ship departure delays and cancellation, passenger terminal building are mostly crowded with hundreds of passengers. These passengers often littered on a terminal’s benches, floors, and corners together with their baggages, luggages, and boxes they brought in; and most likely a hundred more passengers are waiting outside eager to get inside the building .
  36. Arrived three hours ahead of scheduled departure. When I was island hopping in Palawan a month ago, I was actually at the terminal six hours ahead of the scheduled departure. Later on after spending five hours in the terminal waiting for a boat, a ferry company representative went to announced that the boat’s arrival would be delayed for another more hours (what a poor Press Released). It turned out that the announced “more hours” of delay means it would reach to agonizing 12 hours of waiting until the boat departed from the port in Palawan.
  37. Is these are the normal settings? I remember I was once asked by a confused foreign couple the same question, I honestly told them that in such circumstance wherein weather is the main caused? I’m looking at it as a normal. The best thing to do when your in such unbelievable circumstance, is to ready your option A or B, which is to either wait or ask for refund. 
  38. Most of the ports implements port security; expect your bags, luggage and other things you brought in with you are gonna be checked and subjected to thermal scanners. Passengers will be required to undergo metal detector checked and body frisking as well.
  39. Filipinos loved to travel that’s the fact. If you find them around jolly and very friendly, sometimes noisy to the point it would distract other passengers, some are walking back and forth endlessly, while others are laughing to the point it would annoy somebody…. Just relax they’re just  too eager to board a ship, you see almost all of us Pinoy are first time ferry boat travelers. 

    Expect long queuing lines during peak season

    Boarding a ferry boat

  40. During boarding calls almost all Pinoy travelers would want to board a ship as quickest as possible… too eager as I noticed. Some would resort to pushing and hustling with one another, others will create their own lines instead of following what was the normal queuing lines… while foreigners calls it “Chaotic”, I call it culture. You have to understand that these Filipino travelers do not have the luxury to travel more often, so they have this tendency to get too excited on a feeling of what was like traveling on a ship. Why join the euphoria? relax and wait till the situation calms down.     
  41. Don’t lose your ticket.
  42. Always carry your ticket with you.
  43. Your seat or bunk assignment will be based on what was indicated on your ticket. If someone other than you occupies your assigned seat or bed, tell the boat crew.
  44. If you’re on economy accommodation then expect that you will be staying for the rest of your journey together with the other passengers on a non-air-conditioned, crowded, noisy, and a bit of chaotic surrounding.
  45. Why chaotic? Most of foreign travelers on a first time ferry trip didn’t expect what was it like being on a budget accommodation. Actually for us locals what was in there were pretty normal…you would be sleeping with fellow passengers on an inch apart, sometimes snores aloud and cough like a German guard dog, some toddler running here and there; annoying passengers keep on talking, laughing, and singing on a videoke machine in the middle of the night; ferry’s engine is quite noisy especially if your near rear section. Others are eating in front of you and not on a dining or mess hall; luggage’s, boxes, pets, electronic appliances and other household stuff are blocking your way almost like occupying the entire ship.
  46. And oh, wonder why do most Filipinos carries almost every stuff inside their house when they travel? That was a question asked by a puzzled foreign guy…a question were only Filipino travelers knows the exact answer.
  47. Never leave your bag open or display any valuables – laptop, smartphone, jewelry, money- to anyone especially if your on a crowded room or public places(a disaster waiting to happen).
  48. Person with disability will find it a little difficult while on-board a ferry as most do not have facilities that would address their needs.

    Sometimes you have to deal with reality…toilets are closed and under repair.

    Sanitation & Hygiene

  49. Here’s more…you wish to use a toilet (“loo”, “john”, or “room 100” as what foreigners call it) and you’ll be stunned with what you see when opening the door. If you’re traveling on a ferry carrying a hundred to a thousands of passengers, then expect that most of the hundreds of passengers before you will be using the same toilet room on a given time. Most ferry does not have dedicated crew whose task is to clean the toilet every now and then.
  50. If you are traveling on an overnight ferry, the best time to visit the toilet is during late at night wherein almost all people are asleep, and more likely toilets are cleaned and sanitized.
  51. If you’re traveling on a short distance trip and you can’t live with the toilet, try to hold on it for a while. Or visit a comfortable toilet before boarding a ferry boat.
  52. Almost all toilet found on every ferry do not have hand soap in a soap dispenser, neither do have any toilet paper on its tissue paper holder.
  53. Expect that toilet flush isn’t working, more likely you will be using a bucket!
  54. Toilet exhaust fan maybe working maybe not.
  55. Neither have any hand washing facilities near mess area, more often you need to visit toilet room to wash your hand.
  56. The general practice is you bring your own toiletries or buy it in a store on-board.
  57. Let me reiterate that what you pay is what you get. You choose for a budget accommodation then expect those mentioned above inconveniences.
  58. But if you venture for more comfortable and relaxing trip on board you may upgrade to cabin or suite accommodation. Sure you have the luxury and the privacy on your entire trip.
  59. Meals are not free unless stated on your ticket. Meals serve are often local dish of various taste and style, first class dining offers better meal experience suitable for tourist and well to do passengers . On-board stores offers snacks, sodas, instant coffee, and more choices of instant noodles.                                                                                                                                                                               

     “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”– James Michener

    Got a good camera? moments such as this are worthy of a snapshot.

    What to bring on-board

  60. Bring ear plugs or earphones. This may help you sleep soundly even on a noisy environment.
  61. Buy pack meals, snacks, bottled water, motion sickness tablets, and toiletries while your in the city. On-board store sell this stuff but often at higher price.
  62. Smartphone or your ordinary phone. Smartphone will help your kids ease their boredom on a long distance trip, especially if they can play their favorite games.
  63. You can bring your cellphone charger and have it hook-up on a wall socket on-board. Just ask the crew where you can safely plug it.
  64. Telephones services by the way(i.e. Calls, SMS, and 3G mobile internet) can also be access even far shore- usually your phone may pick a not too strong signal but good enough to send or receive a text message if the ship is in the middle of the sea. Often a 3G signal will only be picked-up by your smartphone only if there is an island nearby.
  65. Identification papers in case you need it.                         
    Zaragoza Gate Pier 4 Manila North Harbor.

    Zaragoza Gate Pier 4 Manila North Harbor.

    Upon arrival

  66. Check your belongings especially when dis-embarking a boat, make sure that all things are within your reach.
  67. Arrival on a daylight posed no difficulty when finding a public vehicle going to a city. During late at night things maybe difficult especially when few public transport vehicles are found, most if not all will charge you high. The best thing to do (if you think fare is too stiff and not safe to travel at night) is to stay for a while at the port’s passenger terminal until daylight.
  68. Arrival at night in Manila is a bit of a test for those first timer especially for foreign tourist coming from Palawan or Cebu. Once outside Zaragoza Gate of the Manila North Harbor you will find  hundreds of passengers looking for a transportation just like you do; public transport like jeepneys are common here and most have different route with different fare, some will charge you minimum while others will charge double. Just ask the driver how much would be the cost before boarding any of these jeepneys. Be alert of snatchers and crooks lurking around.
  69. If you’re heading to the NAIA terminal’s 1 & 2 or at any of those hotels in Makati, Pasay or Manila, it’s better to take a taxicab as public transport like jeepney or buses are not available for this route. Again if you can find a taxi that is willing to charge you based on what was on the taxi meter’s reading the better, if not try to haggle for a better deal.
  70. If your boarding a vessel from Caticlan (Aklan), Romblon, Puerto Galera or Calapan in Oriental Mindoro and you wish to travel to Manila, the easiest way is through the numerous ferry boats that connects these provinces to the Port of Batangas. Upon arrival on this modern port located in Batangas City, several bus companies (almost all of them offers air-conditioned buses) are waiting outside the terminal round the clock, some bus will take you to Alabang in Muntinlupa, others will go to Cubao in Quezon City, but most buses will end up to Buendia in Pasay City. There is a good bus competition around here so expect each bus company offers nice and well air-conditioned bus, a well mannered driver and conductor, and a cheap fare.

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.”

 ― Clifton Fadiman

That’s it for now. If you have questions feel free to comment here, if you think this blog help,  please do share it!  Thanks.

Featured Philippine Ports: SIQUIJOR’S PORT


Sun rises over the mountains of Siquijor.

Sun rises over the mountains of Siquijor.

 SIQUIJOR ISLAND

“Down under Siquijor” got its first foreign attention and curiosity in 1565, courtesy of Spanish conquistadores who got mystified by the eerie glow of lights visible at night emitted by colonies of sylvan fireflies that sheltered on Tugas (Molave) trees, thus referring this place as “Isla del Fuego” or Island of Fire. It was first sighted by Spaniards during the Legazpi expedition led by a certain Capitan Esteban Rodriguez.

These attention and curiosity continued during American occupation led by James Fugate,  a U.S. Infantry Scout later on became the Governor of Siquijor. Americans planted their own influence to inhabitants settled here by building school houses and introduced their learning system; they also built two large water reservoirs to solved the water problems of the many residents here. There were also massive recruitment of farm laborers to work in the pineapple fields of Hawaii, and the orange orchards of California.

The manganese deposits discovered by a German national on 1937 in the town of Enrique Villanueva, Larena,  and Maria spurred mining activities in the province- it was fully operational the following years after discovery, and were managed by American personnel. Japan on the other hand, shared the same interest on this island during World War II. In fact they too spread their sphere of influence by occupying it, and introduced their own militaristic rule. During those times, Japanese conquerors were also operating  manganese mining in the northern part of Siquijor.

Until this day that same curiosity and attention still prevailed on this “Mystical Island”, the same way during early foreign exploration and colonization centuries ago. With the help of modern technology foreign tourists mostly originated from either Europe, North America, Australia, Korea and Japan arrives here almost  on a daily basis; and most of these visitors took advantage of abundant gift of nature in an inexpensive and favorable way. The beauty, serenity, and tranquility of the many white sand beach; the richness of its treasures beneath its blue waters (Siquijor was declared a Marine reserve in 1978); and most especially the peaceful and simple way of life here make it their top vacation destination- and some of these foreigners permanently settled and do business here.

Affluent and middle class Pinoys spent their weekend/holidays here too, just to see and experienced the richness of its historical and cultural heritage. The province’s “Solili” festivities, and Lenten Festival of Herbal Preparation are few of the many attractions only found on this Island. Furthermore, people from all walks of life comes here to seek alternative healing medicine to relieved them of their ailments. It is widely said that some “Sikihudnon” by tradition have been practicing magic and sorcery (as a way of treating sickness and injuries) for generation- and for many, supernatural phenomena are way of life for people living here. In fact most of their town’s festivities focuses on primordial healing rituals where conjurations are sung while indigents created potions “haplas”, and amulets “anting-anting” which are made of either rare stones,  insects, herbs, roots,  and tree bark- thought to be very  unique and admired because of the contribution it had to the diverse Philippine culture and tradition.

Founded in 1783, the town of Siquijor became the citadel of Christianity on this island, under administration of the diocese of Cebu. As for Civil Administration, it was under the political jurisdiction of Bohol from 1854 to 1892, before administered and politically attached to Negros Oriental as a sub-province in 1901. But on 17th of September 1971 by virtue of Republic Act No. 6398, it formally became politically independent province. Larena was used to be the “Cabezera” of the province during Spanish era, but was transferred to the municipality of Siquijor in 1972 with the Presidential Proclamation nos. 1075.

Ports of Entry: Ports in Siquijor

Siquijor Province considered one of the smallest province in the country,  is part of the booming region in central Visayas wherein Cebuano dialect is widely spoken. It is by the way separated from the neighboring island of Cebu in the north, and Negros Oriental in the northwest via Bohol Sea; Bohol province on the other hand is in the northeast section, while Camiguin Island is in the eastern section; whereas on its south corner across the sea is the Port City of Dapitan in the island of Mindanao. It’s capital by the way is named after the island itself, and is fronting the protected sea of Tañon Strait.

Several ferry vessel bound for Siquijor tied to the piers of Dumaguete Port.

Several ferry vessel bound for Siquijor tied to the piers of Dumaguete Port.

Province of Siquijor has ports and wharves that served all types of vessels, three of these ports -Siquijor, Larena, and Lazi are purposely built to accommodate roll on- roll off/load on-load off (RO-RO/LO-LO) type of vessels, fastcrafts, and other marine craft coming from different ports across the region. The other municipal/and or private wharves caters mostly motorized outrigger boats known locally as pumpboats, cargo vessel, and small fishing boats; they are mostly found in Barangay Tambisan in San Juan, Barangay Tambisan in Solong-on, and in Barangay Poblacion in the town of Maria.

The province can be reached by a ferry vessel on a seven hours trip coming from Cebu, no less than five to nine hours from Plaridel or Iligan (Mindanao), three to four hours from Tagbilaran City, and two hours from Dumaguete City. Major ports in the Province of Siquijor are strategically located in the following Municipalities:

Municipality of Siquijor

View of Siquijor Port

View of Siquijor Port

Siquijor (pronouncedas “Si-kēē-hor”) Port is located in the town proper, and connects to Port of Dumaguete- approximately 14 nautical miles away via ferry boat. There are many trips to choose coming from Port of Dumaguete, in fact three shipping operators have been servicing on these route-so if you missed a ship/boat on your planned trip, you can easily hop-in to the next departing boat.

Dumaguete to Siquijor ferry connection is the most convenient, the shortest travel time, and had few pesos less fare as compared to Larena Port destination- most of incoming and outgoing passengers preferred this route.

Geographical coordinates: 9.2000° N, 123.5000° E.

FERRY GUIDE IN/OUT OF SIQUIJOR PORT

Name of Operator: GL SHIPPING LINES  
     
Arrival from Dumaguete Departure to Dumaguete Vessel
     
5:45 am 5:30 am M/V Jaylann 2/M/bca Jaziel
10: 00 am 8:00 am M/bca Jaylann/ GL Express
12 noon 9:30 am M/BCA Jaziel
2:15 pm 12 noon M/V Jaylann 2
4:00 pm 3:45 pm M/bca Jaylann/GL Express
     
Reminder: No Trip on Saturday  
Fare: Php 130.00  

Siquijor Island 1

Name of Operator

Orlines Sea-Land Transport Inc.

 Contact nos. 09357742678

Dumaguete to Siquijor

Siquijor to Dumaguete

Vessel:  M/V Siquijor Island 1
Every Saturday at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM Every Saturday at 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM Fare: Php 120-Economy Php 150- Tourist
Every Tuesday at 4:30 PM

Siquijor to Cebu City

Cebu City to Siquijor

Fare: Php 400
Every Sunday and Tuesday at 10 PM Every Monday at 10 PM  Same vessel
Name of Operator: Aleson Shipping Lines  
     
Arrival from Dumaguete Departure to Dumaguete Vessel
 8:30 AM  6:00 AM  Ciara Joie 1 or 3
10:30 AM 11:30 AM  Ciara Joie 1 or 3
3:30 PM 1:30 PM Ciara Joie 1 or 3
 6:00 PM  6: 00 PM Ciara Joie 1 or 3 
Fare: Php 100-Regular  
  Php 120- Aircon  
Name of Operator: Ocean Fast Ferries  
     
Arrival from Dumaguete Departure to Dumaguete Vessel
     
12:50 pm 1:50 pm OceanJet 5/ or OceanJet 6
     
Fare: Php 360- Bussiness  
  Php 210- Tourist  

Notable incident at sea in the past: On October 1971, the ill-fated pumpboat “Saranel” capsized at mid-sea due to bad weather. Among 30 passengers on-board, only four people survived.

Siquijor Wharf

Siquijor Wharf

On the 11th of July 1987, ferry boat St.Christopher departed from Port of Dumaguete only to be sunk by big waves (due to stormy weather) as it approaches Port of Siquijor. Among 200 passengers on-board, 122 survived.

Municipality of Larena

Larena Port located in Barangay Helen (Datag), is the main entry to the center of business activities in the Province of Siquijor. This town was once named Can-oan, but opted to renamed it instead to a gentleman named Demetrio Larena, best remembered as the first Filipino Governor of the Province of Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

Port of Larena (built during 1930’s) is under the management of Philippine Ports Authority’s baseport of Dumaguete, and form part of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway.  It boosted a much better facilities (as compared to Siquijor Port), such as the eight million pesos passenger terminal building inaugurated on 11th of March 2005 which aimed to attract tourist arrival and increased economic activities within the region. Together with the expanded and reclaimed areas of the port for its container yard, and berthing facilities, it was designed to accommodate much bigger ships of no less than 500 tons. But in reality Larena Port even though it has all the necessities of the modern seaport, still lags behind Siquijor Port in terms of annual ships and passenger traffic; and for many visitors, tourist, as well as Ship Spotter like  me, the reasons are obvious.

In 2013, Siquijor Port’s management have concluded that the repair of damages to its port facilities brought about by typhoon “Pablo”, has been completed. The said repairs includes port lighting system, mooring, and fendering system among others costing nine million pesos more or less. A five-year deal was agreed by the Port Authority and Prudential Customs Brokerage Services Inc. to handle the port’s Stevedoring and Cargo handling needs. This port by the way connects to the following neighboring ports of:

1. Tagbilaran City approximately 32 nautical miles.

2. Plaridel in Misamis Occidental approximately 51 nautical miles.

3. Port of Cebu approximately 66 nautical miles.

4. Port of Dumaguete approximately 18 nautical miles.

Siquijor Port  is  just 10 kilometers away from here via public transport.

Geographical coordinates:  9.2500° N, 123.6000°E

FERRY GUIDE IN/OUT OF PORT OF LARENA

Name of Operator: Montenegro Shipping Lines  
     
Arrival from Dumaguete Departure to Dumaguete Vessel
     
10:00 am 6:00 am M/V Reina Magdalena or
6:00 pm 2:00 pm M/V Reina Veronica
     
Fare: Php 136- Regular  
  Php 68- minors  
     
Name of Operator: Lite Shipping Corp.  
     
Route Day/Time of Departure Vessel
     
Cebu to Larena viaTagbilaran City Tuesday/ Thursday /Saturday at 12 noon M/V Lite Ferry 15
     
Fare: Php 290 Economy  
  Php 370 Tourist  
     
Larena – Cebu via Wednesday/Friday at 7pm M/V Lite Ferry 15
Tagbilaran City Sunday at 6 pm  
 Larena to Plaridel  Tue/Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sun at 1am  
copyright: mcgutib

copyright: mcgutib

Notable incident at sea in the past:  On the 4th of December 2012, typhoon Pablo brought havoc to Visayan region leaving behind millions of pesos in damages. At the height of the storm, the fastcraft named Delta 1 (former name: OMISHIMA 8, built in Japan 1988) owned by Delta Fast Ferries capsized, due to big waves as it tried to rescue another vessel along the coastline of Larena. Six crew members were rescued, and luckily no life were wasted except for the boat itself.

Municipality of Lazi

Formerly called “Tigbawan” (name of a plant that grew along the bay) before but were renamed Lazi during American period. The town of Lazi is located in the southern part of the province, approximately 32 Kilometers away from the capitol (via Siquijor-San Juan-Campalanas circumferential road), this agricultural town was founded in 1857.

On March of 2005, the provincial government of Siquijor announced the completion of 17.7 million pesos Lazi Port Project. The said project accomplished the full rehabilitation of the 49-meters pier deck; upgrading the 132-meters causeway, installation of Roll on-Roll of ramp, and the construction of Lazi Port Terminal. Upon operation, the municipal port of Lazi can now accommodate much bigger ship; and planned to serve as link between Port of Plaridel in Misamis Oriental (Approximately 32 nautical miles), Tagbilaran (Bohol), and the City of Cebu.

Geographical coordinates: 09°08′ North  123°38′ East

FERRY GUIDE IN/OUT OF LAZI PORT

Name of Operator

Orlines Sea-Land Transport Inc.

Vessel:  M/V Siquijor Island 1

Route:

Plaridel to Lazi  

Lazi to Plaridel

Fare: Php 600-Economy

Php 700- Tourist

ETD: Every Thurs at 10pm  Fare: Php 400
 Every Friday at 3pm
Every Wed at 10 PM

Cebu City to Lazi

Fare: Php 400

Siquijor Island For updated schedule, you may contact: ORLINES SEA-LAND TRANSPORT, INC. Suite 2H, 2nd Floor Gemini Building 719 MJ Cuenco Avenue, Cebu City Tel. No.: 238-0296

One of the oldest ferry in service...M/V Georich.

One of the oldest ferry in service…M/V Georich.

Notable development on shipping in the past: On October 31, 1962 George & Peter Lines Inc. launched its first two vessels into their maiden voyage to Dumaguete, Larena, Lazi, Plaridel, and  Iligan.


References:

1.  Siquijor.gov.ph

2.  news info.inquirer.net

3.  Coastal Environment Profile: Siquijor Province, Rey G. Bendijo et.al (2004)

4.  http://www.cebutravelguide.net/tools/mvsiquijorisland.shtml

5.  Negros Oriental from American rule to the Present: A History (vol. II) Part III: The Republic Period, by Caridad Aldecoa-Rodriguez. 1989

6.  Philippine Port Authority, Baseport Dumaguete

7.  Five Lesson Learned at M/V Siquijor


TERMS OF USE

The schedules and fares posted above are sourced from the ticketing booth found at Port of Dumaguete and/or Ports in Siquijor.  The information provided herein is accurate for the time being, but subject to change as per shipping operator’s policy– please be guided.  Other pertinent information regarding Shipping operator, Port terminal policies, and its corresponding fees can be found at their own website or at designated ticketing office found at said above Port. 

The Shipping schedules provided above were painstakingly gathered from different sources and updated every now and then- without being paid or getting any commission from any of the shipping companies mentioned below. Your continued patronage (please share it to your Facebook account) and generous contribution -any kind- to make this website fully operational will be highly appreciated.

Photos and images provided herein are property of its author, and any use outside of this website without written consent constitutes a violation of copyrights.

Disclaimer: The author shall not be held liable for any harm -personal or business related- caused by factual errors, omission and/or any unforeseen mistakes (I strive to make it accurate as much as possible, but being human, it does happen). Furthermore, any comments/or statements raised by yours truly are of personal opinion only and does not in any way reflects the opinion of any authoritative bodies unless stated.

Featured Philippine Ports: Batangas Port


Batangas Port

copyright: mcgutib

BATANGAS

Better known as the “Industrial Port City”,  Batangas is one of the fastest growing economy in CALABARZON province-an export driven industrial development region that stimulated the growth of shipping activities in Batangas Port. Bordered by the Province of Cavite and Laguna to the north; Quezon Province to the east, crossing Verde Island Passage to the south is Mindoro, and to the west is the West Philippine Sea. It’s capital is Batangas City.

Long before the arrival of the Spaniards in the country, large communities are already settled along the Pansipit River- a navigable channel (it used to be- that is before Taal volcano’s eruption in 18th century) connecting Taal Lake to Balayan Bay. These community have been engaging trades with Japanese during Muromachi period, and Chinese traders since the Ming Dynasty in the 13th and 15th century.

The first Spanish missionaries arrived in 1572, later on in 1581 a settlement was established and named it “Batangan”  because of the numerous big logs that were seen at Calumpang river. The logs by the way were named “batang” by people settled near the river, and later on the word batang were replaced and it became Batangas in 1601.

On 21st of June 1969, the late President Ferdinand Marcos signed a law (Republic Act No. 5495) creating Batangas a City. On 23rd of July 1969, Batangas City government was formally established.

Batangas City is approximately 112 kilometers southwest of Manila. Batangas Port (declared as a national port in 1956) on the other hand, is located in Barangay Sta. Clara, about two kilometers from the city proper; and situated in the northeastern part of Batangas bay, a strategic site for the development of port facilities. The bay area has a 180 square kilometers of body of sea while the mouth of the bay is approximately 16 kilometers across, and is well-protected by Mindoro, Maricaban Island, and Calumpan Peninsula. Batangas Bay has a steep underwater slope, thus for the most part the bay is calm and deep perfect for large ocean going vessel to anchor near the shoreline.

PORT OF ENTRY:  Port of Batangas

This ISO 9001:2008 certified port was first constructed in the middle of 1930’s, its facilities were utilized as the entry/exit for people and products going to and from the Province of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan (MIMAROPA). More importantly, Port of Batangas served as the strategic shipping venue for all industries in the areas of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (CALABARZON-as it was popularly known).

The port facilitates the transport link by land and sea routes using inter-modal buses, ro-ro/lo-lo vessels, motorized out-rigger boats, and mono-hauled/trimaran fastcraft (introduced in 1995) within the Ports of Calapan, Puerto Galera, and Abra de Ilog in Oriental Mindoro. It also links the west coast ports of San Jose and Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro, Ports in Sta. Cruz and Balanacan in the province of Mariduque, Port of Romblon and Odiongan; so does the Port of Coron in Busuanga Island, and major Ports in Cebu, Iloilo, and Cagayan de Oro as well.

Batangas Port form part of Port Authority’s Strong Republic’s Nautical Highway (SRNH) project bridging the island of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in an extensive network of highways and ro-ro inter-connectivity. Western Nautical Highway is composed of RORO Ports linking between:

– Batangas City and Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro;

Roxas, Oriental Mindoro and Caticlan, Aklan;

Dumangas Port, Iloilo  and BREDCO Port, Bacolod City ;

Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental and Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.

Batangas Port ferry schedules and fare, click here: RORO/FERRY 2015 Schedule

How to get here?

Ceres Bus at Batangas Port

Ceres Bus at Batangas Port

Port of Batangas is strategically located on the northeastern section of Batangas Bay along the southwestern part of Luzon. The port is about three to four hours away from Manila’s business and commercial district via South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) which then connects to Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (Star Tollway), and its extension  Alabang -Calamba-Sto. Tomas Toll Expressway (ACTEX).  Bus lines like the RRCG, Ceres Transport, Alps Express, JAM Trans, Supreme Transit Liner Inc., DLTB Co., N. de la Rosa Transit, and Batangas Star Express are amongst competing on this route. You may be familiar with their dashboard signage:

  1. Buendia/Taft-Batangas Pier
  2. Cubao-Batangas Pier
  3. Taft/Pasay-Batangas Pier
  4. Lawton-Batangas Pier
  5. Ortigas-Batangas Pier
  6. Alabang-Batangas Pier

Pre -Development Stage

Batangas Port started its roll on-roll off operation to Mindoro Province in 1981. And by 1994, the volume of  sea-going passengers heading to Calapan, Puerto Galera, and Abra de ilog steadily increased due to influx of vacationers and local tourist during holidays and weekends to take advantage of beautiful sand beach, and breathtaking sceneries that offer leisure and relaxation. Passenger traffic among  various shipping liner with connections to Mindoro’s west coast ports of San Jose and Sablayan, Romblon’s Odiongan and Tablas Port, so does Coron Port in Busuanga Island, have all been picking up its pace in succeeding years thus competing to giant inter-island shipping companies which offers  Manila direct route.

Due to the congestion and over-capacity of Port of Manila in the early years, government agency planners seek alternative ports to address these issues. A major opportunity for development of Batangas Port were then foreseen because of the fact that it sits on a strategic location-which is near proximity to the thriving economic zone of CALABARZON region, the Agri-Marine products of  MIMAROPA, and the growing economies of the provinces in Vis-Min region. It has been established that vessels sailing from major ports of origin around the Visayas and Mindanao area, would likely save fuel and time if it chooses  Batangas Port rather than the usual North or South Harbor as their port of destination, the reason behind it is because sailing to North harbor for example add six hours more; sailing in both the northward and southward direction will cost more fuel and precious time (approximately 12 hours turn around).

Batangas Port then was once considered one of the two most underdeveloped ports in the country (the other is port of Cebu), and  already struggling to accommodate rolling cargo traffic and large number of domestic vessels. Existing port facilities then are “cramped and dilapidated making orderly and efficient operation impossible” (5). The Port itself cannot meet the necessities needed for tourist/passenger’s convenience especially during peak season, thus contributed to the inefficiency in shipping services.

The Port neither had any berth specifically built for ro-ro vessel, thus limiting ferry operators to three companies. It was customary then for a ferry vessel to remain at berth even past their scheduled departure time just waiting to fill all the vacant spaces with vehicles and passengers, forcing the next vessel in-line to wait for more hours for their turn.

In 1981, a preliminary study were made by Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), instituting a plan to relieved Manila’s premier ports of portions of the international and domestic liner shipping trade. A major development project was formed together with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and is considered to be one of the anchor projects for the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon regional development program. It aimed to:

i). Improved the function as the access point to Mindoro Island: To promote the supplies and distribution of agricultural products from Mindoro to Southern Tagalog Region, thereby contributing to the development of Mindoro Island.

ii). Function as a hub port contributing to the economic development of its hinterlands: To stimulate the regional economic development of the Southern Tagalog Region, the industrial heartland of the Philippines.

(iii). Functions relating to the National Capital Region: As a second port to supplement Manila Port’s North and South harbor where traffic congestion is worsening.

In 1984, the Batangas Port Expansion Program were formulated by the Philippine Government and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

On December of 1985, a feasibility study were conducted for the Development Project of Batangas Port (known as Batangas Port Study). It was initiated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), upon the request from Philippine government and it became the basis for a loan from Japan’s Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF)  for the construction of Phases 1 and Phase 2 project. Within the feasibility study, the development plans were divided between short-term and long-term elements.

Executive Order No. 385, issued by then former President Corazon Aquino on the 19th of December 1989 delineated the territorial jurisdiction of the Port of Batangas, an important moved to increased its land use for future expansion. But it also raises future tensions, problems, issues, resulting to court battles between affected land owners/settlers on the affected community, and government implementing agencies. Issues such as land ownership, forced-eviction, compensation, re-settlement, so on and so forth.

Department of Transportation and Communication likewise were given a task to prepare a National Port Transport Plan to address regional development needs, and comply with the privatization program integrating an inter-modal transport network that would link road, rail, sea, and air transport systems efficiently. Executive Order Nos. 212, paves the way for the deregulation of all government ports in the country.

Batangas Port Development Project (BPDP) of the Philippine Ports Authority was one of the major flagship programs of Philippines 2000, the development plan of then President Fidel Ramos Administration in its bid for a globally competitive economy.

Facilities of Batangas Port before the implementation BPDP

Facilities Size

Size

Use

Status

Construction Date

Pier I Length 135mtrs.Width 15mtrs.Water Depth 6mtrs. Shared between Ro-Ro and general cargo vessel

Under repair

(from typhoon damage)

1940’s

Pier II Length 48mtrs.Width 12mtrs.Depth 4mtrs.

Shared between Ro-Ro and general cargo vessel

Extremely dilapidated

1971

Pier III Length 85mtrs.Width 15mtrs.Depth 2.67mtrs.

Inner side for ship repair, outer side for barge mooring

Extremely dilapidated

1971

Parallel wharves  Length 93mtr.Width 15mtrs.Depth 7.5mtrs.

General cargo vessels (domestic and foreign)

Wharf entrance

congested with cargo vehicles

1972

Land for Portfacilities

2.6 ha

Offices, customs house, passenger terminal, parking space

Cramped and crowded with vehicles,passengers and cargo.

N.A

Vessels serving Batangas Port  in 1994 (MARINA franchised)

OPERATOR/NAME OF VESSEL

TYPE OF VESSEL

ROUTE

AC SHIPPING LINES. CO.

 

M/VPRINCESS AC – IV

PAX-FERRY

PGalera -BTGS-PGalera

MB QUEEN AC -II

PAX-FERRY

PGalera -BTGS-TGLY-BTGS – PGalera

MB PRINCESS AC-VI

PAX-FERRY

PGAL -PISA-TGLY-BTGS- TGLY-PISA-PGAL

 

BERNARDO ATIENZA

 

MB AC-1

PAX-FERRY

PGAL-BTGS-PGAL

 

MONTENEGRO SHIPPING LINES

 

MB DON VICENTE

PAX-FERRY

BTGS-ABRA DE ILOG-BTGS

MB DONA MATILDE

PAX-FERRY

BTGS- ABRA DE ILOG -BTGS

MB DON FRANCISCO

PAX-FERRY

BTGS- ABRA DE ILOG -BTGS

 

SI-KAT FERRIES INC.

 

MB SI-KAT II

PAX-FERRY

PGALERA-BTGS-PGALERA

 

VIVA SHIPPING LINES

 

M/V VIVA PENAFRANCIA II

PAX-FERRY

BTGS-BUAN-GSAN-ODIO-LOOC-SAGU-ROMBON-SAGU-LOOC-ODIO-GSAN-BUAN-BTGS

M/V LADY OF LOURDES

PAX-FERRY

BTGS-CLPN-BTGS

M/V VIVA PENAFRANCIA IV

PAX-FERRY

BTGS-CLPN-BTGS

M/V VIVA PENAFRANCIA VI

PAX-FERRY

BTGS-CLPN-BTGS

M/V VIVA PENAFRANCIA IX

PAX-FERRY

BTGS-CLPN-BTGS

M/V VIVA STA ANA

PAX-FERRY

BTGS–SANJOSE-BTGS

Post-Development Stage

Batangas Domestic Cargo Berth

Batangas Domestic Cargo Berth

Phase 1 Project

Domestic area project correspond to the short term portion of Batangas Port Development Plan’s overall plan, and aimed on improving, and expanding the cramped and inadequate facilities of the Port- so that movement of passengers, vehicles, cargoes, and roll-0n-and roll-off vessels become more efficient. It was constructed at a cost of P1.60 billion under the 17th Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF). Completed on march of 1999, three years and seven months behind scheduled completion date of august of 1995. Their new and modern facility includes:

A total berthing capacity of 16 berths with controlling water depth of between 5 to 10 meters, ready to serve at at any given time;

It has a modest capacity to accommodate 11 RORO vessels (six roll-on/roll-off ramp at 680 meters in total length);

It has seven berths for high speed ferries of 540 meters in total length;

and two berthing facilities for cargo vessels of 200 meters in length.

Three fully Air-conditioned Passenger Terminal Buildings (PTB’s) capable of handling three million embarking passengers annually.

A range of modern cargo handling equipment including quay cranes and forklifts are available. A computerized cargo tracking system is also being used.

Storage warehouses, reefer vans, maintenance shop, power and pump houses;

A 25,000 sq. meters of marshalling yard;

It has a total land area of 206,349 square meters.

Batangas VTMS Radar Station 2

Batangas VTMS Radar Station 2

For passenger safety, vessel security, and traffic monitoring along the harbor, baseport Batangas installed a total port security system; this includes vessel traffic management system or VTMS (manned by coast guard personnel). Crowd monitoring system, Gate management system, Mobile x-ray scanning machine, and Harbor patrol craft.

Changes in fastcraft  operation between Batangas and Calapan

 

1997

(Before completion of the project)

1998

 (After completion of the project)

Number of specialized berths

0

7

Number of ferry operators

2

3

Round trips for ferry/day

3-6

4-7

Number of vessels

7

7

Crossing time (Batangas ~ Calapan)

45 mins.

45 mins.

Number of departures per day

32

35

First and last departures from Batangas

5:00 am/6:30 pm

4:45 am/6:30 pm

Changes in Ro-Ro vessel operation between Batangas  and Calapan

 

1997

 (Before completion of the project)

1998

 (After completion of the project)

Number of specialized berths

0

6

Number of ferry operators

3

8

Round trips for ferry/day

2

3

Number of vessels

10

18

Average vessel GT

480GT

590GT

Crossing time (Batangas ~ Calapan)

2-3 H

2-3H

Number of departures per day from

24

52

First and last departures from Batangas Port

1 am-9 pm

12:30 am/11:30 pm

Phase II Project

Batangas Port Development Plan Phase II project represent the long-term plan for Batangas Port. Costing three billion pesos,  it sits on 128 hectare expanded area specifically built for large-scale cargo handling, with capacity to handle foreign/domestic cargoes at 4.34 million tons per year (in 2005); to which it could promote its functions as a supplementary port for Manila. It was planned to serve not only the Visayas-Mindanao region, but design to meet the demands of growing trade, and commerce between the countries in the ASEAN region. The Phase II loan agreement was signed on March 1997; assisted by five and a half billion pesos loan grant from Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC). It was inaugurated on January 19, 2008, two months ahead of the scheduled completion.

Phase II Project is subdivided into Packages 1, 2 and 3 namely:

Package 1 are civil and marine works; it includes container terminal and handling equipment instillation (estimated cost of P1.06 billion), general cargo berth, dredging, and reclamation works, building construction and support facilities.

Boarding bridge

One of five boarding bridges installed in Batangas Port.

 Package 2 on the other hand, are construction of five boarding bridges and elevated walkways were completed.

 Package 3, better known as Arterial Road Links Development Project is a port access and flyover construction. These includes the P1.5-billion Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) projects, and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) road widening and expansion project.

Batangas Port Management

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is a government-owned corporation attached to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC). It was created by virtue of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 505 dated 11 July 1974, its functions are to coordinate, streamline, improve and optimize the planning, development, financing, construction, maintenance and operations of ports or port system in the country.

The Port District of South Luzon (PDO-SOLUZ) is one of the five (5) port district offices created in 1988, to promote the de-centralization of authority and pursue local and regional development programs and strategies. The District Office supervises the Port Management Offices (PMO) and likewise serves as their linkage with the Philippine Ports Authority’s head office. PDO Southern Luzon has four (4) management offices in its wing, namely;

  1. PMO Batangas (Baseport)
  2. PMO Calapan
  3. PMO Legazpi
  4. PMO Puerto Princesa

On the other hand, Baseport Batangas has the jurisdiction of the six (6) Terminal offices, namely;

  1. TMO BAUAN   Brgy. Aplaya Bauan, Batangas,
  2. TMO LUCENA  Brgy. Talao-Talao, Lucena City
  3. TMO BALANACAN  San Andres Point, Balanacan Marinduque
  4. TMO STA CRUZ  Marinduque
  5. TMO ODIONGAN  Brgy. Batiano, Odiongan Romblon
  6. TMO ROMBLON  Municipality of Romblon,  Romblon Island

Batangas Port is exclusively operated by Aries Arrastre Services Inc. (subsidiary of Asian Terminals Inc.) with the charges set by PPA,  and a prescribed portion of the profits are paid to the PMO Batangas.

Batangas Port Characteristics

LATITUDE: 13° 45.2′ N
LONGITUDE: 121° 06.6″ E

Navigational Approach From the south, between Motoco Point and Malajibo manok  Islands with an opening of 3 ½ miles, white flashing beacon on Malajibomanok Island Center, duration 0.3 seconds every 10 seconds visible within 8 miles in clear weather. Islands and point can be approached within ½ miles.

Anchorage: The anchorage area is 0.37 km. from shoreline, southwest of the piers with depth of 27.4 to 32.9 meters mud bottom. During southwest monsoon, vessels may anchor off Mabini, Batangas. Good holding grounds off 0.46 km. from the shoreline, with depths of 21.9 to 25.6m. Foreign vessels find good anchorage area southwest of the piers.

Sea Distance:

Batangas to Calapan- approximately 25.65 nautical miles

Batangas to Puerto Galera- approximately 15.47 nautical miles

Batangas to Manila- approximately 92.23 nautical miles (via North of Maricaban Island)

Batangas to Cebu- approximately 303 nautical miles.


 REFERENCES:

1. Batangas Port Development Project

2. http://bulatlat.com/main/2007/02/10/12-years-of-privatization-of-the-port-of-batangas/

3. batangascity.gov.ph
4. Nathan Associates Inc. 1994. Liner Shipping Route Study, Final Report, vols. 1 and 14. Manila: United States Agency for International Development.

5. Dr. Emma Porio, Demolition and Resettlement of Sta. Clara Residents: Policy, Politics, and Personalities in the Batangas Port Development Project. Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

6. Myrna S. Austria, 2003. Liberalization and Deregulation in the Domestic Shipping Industry: Effects on Competition and Market Structure.

7. philippines.wikia.com/wiki/Batangas

8. Introduction & summary of Batangas Port presentation by JICA-JCCIPI

9. pdosoluz.com.ph

Featured Philippine Ports: The Manila North Harbor


Manila North Harbor Sunset view

Manila North Harbor’s sunset view.

PORT OF MANILA

The flow of local products in the market  are primarily done through water, air, and land transport-amongst the three, water transport are the most utilized. Considering the archipelagic setting of the country, domestic shipping industry are the most important  structural support for the nation’s economy. Shipping industry provides the means for inter-island transport, be that of transporting goods from one port to another, or transporting people to various islands far beyond the reach of air travel. Sea transport are viewed by many ordinary Filipinos as cost efficient as compared to air and land vehicles.

Port of Manila facilitates the flow of people and products in between the center of industries in the country, and various strategic ports in the southern region thru its modern port facilities. Finish product made by various manufacturing companies in the National Capital Region, and imported products coming from different parts of the world comes and goes here everyday-with projected annual container traffic of about three million TEU’s. Moreover, sea-going public  uses the port’s newest passenger terminal facility to get to their destination in the province south from here.  Port of Manila also served as major entry for people, and Agri-marine products coming from Visayas and Mindanao region.

PORT OF ENTRY: Manila North Harbor

Manila North Harbor by the way belong to the Port of Manila, the country’s link to major cities of the world, and the junction of domestic and international trade. Metro Manila’s domestic shipping is centered entirely in North Harbor facilities, located in the shores of  Tondo- northeast of the Manila International Container Port along the eastern part of Manila bay. Entrance to Manila Bay on the other hand is between the south approach of  El FraileCorregidor Island, and the north approach of Caballo Island. These sea-channel approach is about two miles (3.2 km) towards the north, and six and a half miles (10.5 km) wide on the south side. Its Geographical coordinates consist of the ff:

22° 17′ 46″ North, and 114° 11′ 25″ East

North Harbor-being smaller than that of  the South Harbor in terms of annual cargo/container traffic, has a total quay length of around 52 hundred meters, and a total of 41 berths along its various Piers, and Slips. These Port connects every major, and minor ports/wharves located in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao region. Accessible via the Radial road (R-10) from Navotas City, and Roxas Boulevard via Delpan (Roxas) Bridge. 

Manila North Harbor’s facilities are created with the sole purpose of serving the growing domestic passenger, and cargo shipping activities within the country. It form part of Manila Port’s backbone, which includes  Manila South Harbor,  Manila International Container Terminal , Harbor Centre Port Terminal, and the Port facilities located along the banks of Pasig River extending to Jones bridge in Binondo Manila.

The Operation and Administration of the Manila North Harbor were transferred to the Philippine Ports Authority from the Bureau of Customs on December 23, 1975 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 857, signed by then former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Vitas Port in Tondo on the other hand, were declared  part of the North Harbor Custom Zone by virtue of Executive Order nos.297 dated March 4, 1971.

Vitas Port

Cargo vessel bound for Basco Batanes as seen here at Vitas Port.

On November 26, 1981 the whole of Vitas area  bounded by Pier 18 in the north, Radial road 10 in the east, the Marine Slipway area in the south, and Vitas rock bulkhead in the west have been transferred and placed under the administration of the Philippine Ports Authority by virtue of Executive Order nos. 749, also signed by President Marcos.

PORT HISTORY

Construction of North Harbor begins in 1937, and during this time all domestic inter-island ships/boats of small tonnage anchors along the Pasig river banks. In 1941 Piers 2, 4, 6, and 8 have been all completed thereby shipping activities gradually shifted in the  North Harbor. Before the outbreak of hostilities in World War II,  Manila Port’s North Harbor has the following port improvements namely;

Pier 2, 4, 6, and 8, both of which had 80.43 meters wide x 220.25 meters long pier platform.

To render the docks safe for ships while at berth or during anchorage, a 1300 meters long x 3 meters wide North Harbor breakwater have been constructed, and a 179.71 meters wide dock or slipway in between these piers.

On the other hand, the completion of three other piers namely Piers 10, 12, and 14 were interrupted by the war.

 WORLD WAR II

During the escalation of war,  these harbor installation were subjected to extensive bombings, and air-raids by Japanese Invasion Forces and later by US Liberation Forces. Although compared to the nearby South Harbor, the piers along North Harbor suffered less damages due to perhaps less penetration or concentration of bombs and other explosive ordinance directed to this area. North Harbor and the rest of Manila Port were not usable for shipping until April 1945, due to harbor obstructions and port facility damages.

Immediately after the liberation of Manila,  US Corps of Engineers known as “MANED” under the consultation with the Philippine Port Commission undertook repairs to the existing piers. Damaged portions of the piers were replaced with timber deck on timber piles, some piers were lengthened by providing additional berthing spaces at both end. Obstruction to navigation along the channel leading to this piers where removed while dredging of the channels are conducted by the elements of US Army, and the Navy.

On September of 1947, US Army then turned over the North Harbor facilities to the Philippine Government. The Division of Ports and Harbors of the Bureau of Public Works took charge of the construction, repair, and maintenance of this pier.

 PMO  NORTH HARBOR

The Port Management Office-North Harbor (PMO – NH) were created on July 1988, as one of the port management offices under the administrative and operational jurisdiction of the Port District Office of Manila. PDO Manila as it was known, on the other hand, is one of the five (5) major port district offices under the Philippine Ports Authority, a government–owned corporation created under Presidential Decree No. 505 dated 11th of July 1974, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 857 and further amended by Executive Order Nos. 513, 546 and 159.

PMO-North Harbor is headed by a Port Manager and has full jurisdiction over the following:

Piers 2 (Negros Navigation) and Isla Puting Bato.

MV Asuncion docked here at Isla Puting Bato Port

Pier 4 (Gothong Southern, and North Harbor Tugs Corp.).

Pier 6 (MORETA Shipping Lines, Romblon Shipping Lines).

M/V 7107 Island Cruise at Pier 6.

M/V 7107 Island Cruise at Pier 6.

 Pier 8 (Solid Shipping Lines).

 Pier 10 (Lorenzo Shipping Lines and Gothong Lines).

 Pier 12 PSACC (former Sulpicio Lines).

 Pier 14 (Oceanic Lines, Loadstar Shipping Lines).

 Pier 16 (Escano Shipping Lines).

 Pier 18 Vitas Port.

Marine Slip Way (MSW).

Harbour Centre Port Terminal

Harbour Centre Port Terminal

The Harbour Centre Port Terminal (HCPTI) on the other hand, is a  private commercial  port  located North of Pier 18 in Vitas Tondo, several meters from the former dumpsite of the metro known and  identified as Smokey mountain (dumpsite of the Metro in the 80’s and 90’s). HCPTI has a spacious 79 hectares  facilities that complements the government owned ports particularly North and South  Harbor. The Harbour Centre Port  facilities handles cold/ hot rolled coils, wire rod coils, H-beams, Steel pipes and billets, grains and non-grains, rice, fertilizers, and raw sugar shipped from foreign or domestic sources.  Its Geographical coordinates consist of the following:

   14°37’55″N   120°57’1″E.

PPA Board Resolution Nos. 1976 issued on November 13, 2003 allows Harbour Port (formerly R-II Builders, Inc.) to operate only as foreign non-containerized cargoes, and non-containerized vessels. In addition to that,  it also granted to operate as a commercial private port and accommodate all types of domestic vessels and cargoes. Prior to the entry of Harbour Centre Port Terminal in 1996, PPA were the only operator of the Ports of Manila.

Meanwhile, there are two significant events brought about major changes in the operations of PMO-North Harbor. First on June 19, 2000,  jurisdiction over the Terminal Ports of Lamao and Mariveles in the Province of Bataan were transferred from PMO North Harbor to PMO – Bataan. Second major changes was on the 16th of April 2000, wherein Port Authority- precipitated by a threat of strike, issued PPA Memorandum Order No. 07-2000 creating the North Harbor Port Services (NHPS) that took over the operations of four private cargo handling operators, namely:

  1. United Dockhandlers, Inc. formerly servicing Piers 6, 12, 14 and 16;
  2. Pier 8 Arrastre and Stevedoring formerly servicing Pier 8;
  3. Veterans Shipyard Corporation, formerly servicing Marine Slipway (MSW);
  4. Interport Stevedoring and Arrastre Services, formerly servicing Isla Puting Bato (IPB).

The government’s National Port Plan were conceptualized during early years of North Harbor’s existence were it said it will developed its capability to handle large domestic vessels, construction of sufficient back-up/storage facilities  to accomodate  large  volume of container vans, and other cargoes. Passenger terminals and container facilities along Pier 2 (Negros Navigation), Pier 4 (Aboitiz), Pier 6 and 8 (Gothong, Sweet Lines, and Moreta Shipping Lines), Pier 12 (Sulpicio Lines), and Pier 14  (William Lines) were then constructed and/or improved to meet the needs of port users and sea-going customers.

In 1999, as a result of the increased cargo and vessel traffic, PMO North Harbor generated gross revenues of P468.3 million or P20 million more than the 1998 revenues.

NORTH HARBOR STATISTICS

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

SHIPCALLS

7,650

4,967

5,284

5,329

PASSENGER TRAFFIC

1,116,662

821,983

728,662

766,942

CARGO THROUGHPUT in m.t (Domestic & Foreign)

17,406,085

16,146,329

18,442,473

19,174,424

CONTAINERS (teu)

638,263

553,548

771,603

865,726

Source: PPA /Port Statistics 

VESSEL TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

On June of 2006 marks the completion and official turn-over to Port District Office- Manila, of the Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS). The said project aims  to establish a system of identifying, tracking, monitoring of all marine vessel activities, and to promote safer, more efficient navigation. The VTMS Project began in May of 2004 immediately with the award of the contract to F.F. Cruz/Japan Radio Co. The completed facilities in three locations-  the MICT, Manila North Harbor, and Corregidor Island. It consist of a six-story building with 42 meters structural steel tower, 18-meter cylindrical concrete structure with electronic and generator room, and a 35-meter cylindrical concrete structure with three-story building at the highest.

 PRIVATIZATION PROJECT

Philippine Ports Authority awarded the P14.5-billion, 25-years modernization project (renewable for another 25 years) to the sole bidder Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. (MNHPI)- a joint venture between  Harbour Centre Port Holdings Inc. (HCPHI) and a diversified conglomerate of San Miguel Corporation, on the 19th of November 2009. Took over commenced on the 12th of April 2010, or five months after the contract were signed between the parties involved.

The said project will modernize the Manila North Harbor through the operation and management of its various facilities serviced by MNHPI as port operator, in a build-operate-transfer (BOT) term arrangement with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). The project aims include among others:

  1. The development (Construction) of world class terminal facilities, including the provision of the state-of-the-art equipment, and guarantee the repair and maintenance of the said equipment and facilities without any cost to the government.

  2. To achieve the maximum level of port efficiency at the most reasonable and competitive price in the provision of port services to the port users and the general public.

  3. To allocate funds for the amortization of existing loans for North Harbor and attain/sustain reasonable return on the PPA investment in all facilities.

Scenic view of Pier 4 before its improvement

Scenic view of Pier 4 before its improvement (Year: 2011).

On June of 2012, a groundbreaking ceremony were held for the construction of the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB)- it aimed to consolidate passenger operations within the confines of Pier 2 and 4. The said project would also replaced the old passenger terminal building found in Pier 4, which used to be the based of operation of former shipping giant the William Gothong, and Aboitiz Inc. (W G & A) during their merger in 1995.

Upon completion, the sprawling North Port Passenger Terminal Complex is considered the country’s most modern facility of its kind, built solely by Manila North Harbour Port Inc. (MNHPI); it aimed to promote safety and security, convenience and efficiency, and most especially comforts for its passengers and other port users. Designed to conform International Standards, the said terminal complex (cost around P200 million to build) is located in a 12,000-square meters complex  were a  two-story fully air-conditioned main building that houses  a 1,900 seating capacity expandable to 3,800 seating capacity.

Passenger amenities also includes a prayer room; a play room; nursing and diaper-change rooms; a clinic, and food kiosk while awaiting for boarding calls. Security equipment in the form of x-ray baggage scanners matching the norms in the airline sector are among other features. Outside the building are ticketing area/concessions,  spacious drop-offs, and parking area for motor vehicles.

Scenic view of Pier 4 after its improvement. (Year:2013)

Scenic view of Pier 4 after its improvement. (Year:2013)

After a year of construction, it held an initial soft opening on May of 2013. Six months after, on November of the same year the said passenger terminal was inaugurated by officers of MNHPI, and government officials led by Department of Transportation Secretary Emilio Abaya.

On related upgrading of the North Harbor facilities,  MNHPI’s  P7.8-billion investments on port infrastructure, equipment and information technology is ongoing. A 480 million pesos worth of cargo handling equipment have been recently  delivered at the port- this were two units of container cranes to complement the port’s existing two units, whereas the 12 rubber-tired gantry cranes are set to arrive early next year.

North Harbor’s 53-hectare facility can accommodate over 300 vessels a month or almost 4000 ships yearly, with zero queuing time as it offers a total of 46 berths and 660 meters of which is a continuous quay lane, served by container cranes with state of the art computerized operations including the latest Navis SPARCS-N4 or Synchronous Planning and Real Time Control System, a globally recognized terminal operating system developed by Navis Corporation of Oakland, California.


Refferrences:

  1. MANILA NORTH HARBOUR PORT, INC.
  2. http://www.ip3.org/pub/publication014.htm
  3. Competition Policy and Regulation in Ports and Shipping by Gilberto M. Llanto, Enrico L.  Basilio and Leilanie Basilio
  4. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPHILIPPINES/Resources/Basilio.pdf 
  5. Philippine Ports Authority/Port Statistics 
  6. http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNews.htm?f=//2009/november/20/news7.isx&d=/2009/november/20
  7.  http://www.coa.gov.ph/2000_AAR/GOCCs/PPA/PPA-PMO-NH_es00.htm
  8. http://reklamo.ph/ppa/
  9. Port of Manila and other Philippine Ports, Yearbook 1949.
  10. Philippine Ports Authority

Further reading:

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPHILIPPINES/Resources/DB12-Portsandshippingpolicybrief-June29.pdf

Featured Philippine Ports: The Manila South Harbor


Manila bay sunset

Manila bay sunset as viewed here at South Harbor.

PORT OF MANILA

Being a maritime nation sea transports are the major means of moving various goods, and people from one island province to another. Majority of these products, and materials are either exported or imported to/from this country thru maritime exchanges. During early existence of Port of Manila, its transformation  from being the important trading center during galleon trade, to the “Trade center of the Pacific” during American colonialism, has been very significant in the eyes of experts.

Manila Port or Port of Manila as it was called today, is presently the country’s foremost gateway to foreign commerce, and is considered one of important maritime hub in Asia-Pacific region; and was envisioned by experts to be the alternative maritime center to Hongkong and Singapore.

Port Distance in Nautical Miles.

Iloilo City 340
Cebu City 392
Surigao City 459
Cagayan de Oro City 504
Davao City 821
Hong Kong SAR 637
Singapore 1,310
Japan 1,783

The Port of Manila is divided by the following sectors, namely:

  1. South Harbor (Baseport)
  2. North Harbor (Baseport)
  3. Manila International Container Terminal (MICT)
  4. Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) 

The above listed Port Terminals are the core of Ports of Manila, and both administered by Philippine Ports Authority; a government owned and controlled corporation duly authorized by the law to develop and manage public ports, regulate port services, selection of port operators, and determination of collection levies for port related services. [1]

PORT OF ENTRY:  The Manila South Harbor 

Manila South Harbor facility is one of 123 government owned ports administered by the Philippine Ports Authority. It is a multi-cargo port with modern five-finger type pier, which handles all types of cargo, including containers, bulk cargo, break-bulk, general cargo, and vehicles. Bulk cargoes are handled at berth and at designated anchorages. South Harbor handles large chunks of international shipping traffic in the country, with annual capacity of 820,000 more or less container vans.

Former Manila Port Terminal now the office of PMO-South Harbor.

Former Manila Port Terminal now the office of PMO-South Harbor.

Port Management of South Harbor (PMO-South Harbor) is under the direct management of the Port District of Manila(PDO-Manila/North Luzon). Whereas Terminal Management Office of Pasig (TMO-Pasig) located along the Pasig river falls under the jurisdiction of PMO South Harbor.

 Port’s vehicular/pedestrian access

Main approach is through Bonifacio drive, a six lane highway of  which has accessed to the North harbor and Manila International Container Port in Tondo via Delpan bridge. The said highway also link major cities in the south like Pasay, Paranaque, and Cavite thru Roxas boulevard (formerly Dewey boulevard). Entrance to the harbor is through the four gates found at 25th street (Eva Macapagal Super Terminal, Gate 1), 16th street,13th street(Roberto S. Oca Sr. Gate), and 8th street.

Port  Characteristics

Territorial AreaSouth Harbor has been extended eastward up to Bonifacio drive, by virtue of Executive Order No. 321 issued last March 17, 1988. [2] The expansion resulted in an increased of jurisdictional area by about 26.9 hectares from 58 hectares for a total of 85 hectares excluding wharf zone. Its shoreline is protected by some 10,000 feet of rock barriers enclosing about 600 hectares of anchorage.

Geographical Coordinates:

Latitude – 14° 36.2″ N

Longitude – 120° 58.0″ E

Harbor Type:  Coastal Breakwater

Harbor Sized:  Large

Water Depth:

CHANNEL 31 – 35 feet
9.4 – 10 meters
ANCHORAGE 16 – 20 feet
4.9 – 6.1 meters
CARGO PIER 36 – 40 feet
11 – 12.2 meters
OIL TERMINAL 26 – 30 feet
7.1 – 9.1 meters

Source: World Port Source. [3]

 Port Topography

South Harbor directly faces Manila Bay, a semi-enclosed estuary facing the West Philippine Sea, and regarded as one of the best natural harbors in the pacific. Manila bay serves as the major navigational lane that accommodates all type of maritime vessels, large or small type. Container/Bulk ships coming from domestic and international port mostly dominates the sea-lanes of Manila bay; bringing with them raw materials, and/or finish goods to support the entire populace of the metro, and the entire country as well.  The bay, can be approached through an 18 kilometers wide channel  in which Corregidor, El Fraile Island, and Caballo Islands are situated. Manila bay is surrounded by Bataan Peninsula to the west, and Cavite to the south.

 Entrance Channel

South Harbor's south breakwater

South Harbor’s south breakwater

South Harbor's west breakwater

South Harbor’s west breakwater

The fairway (navigational channel) of South Harbor is about 200 meters wide and 3,000 meters long. It runs through an opening about 300 meters wide between the South and West breakwaters. The depth of the channel is approximately 11.6 meters below mean low water (MLW) or deeper along its full length. [4]

Port Facilities

Pier 3: For container vessels only, with five (5)  berths;

Pier 5: For general cargo vessel with seven (7) berths, and  18.2 hectares of container yard space; it is the primary area for container operations.

Between Pier 3, and Pier 5 is a beaching point where amphibious vessel docks. Across Pier 3 is a barge pool capable of accommodating 30 barges/lighters at any given time. [5]

Barge used to haul liquid cargo to and from Pasig River.

Barge used to haul liquid cargo to and from Pasig River.

Barging operations are regularly conducted along Pasig river. Tugs usually pulls one or two barges containing  liquid bulk like fuel, oil, chemicals, molasses, as well as wheat, and other agricultural raw products. These products coming  from either vessels moored/or anchored along South Harbor, and then transported to several manufacturing establishment found along the banks of Pasig river. [6]

Pier 9: For general cargo vessel with one (1) berth, with a total lenght of 320 meters and 10.5 meters draft.

Pier 13 South Harbor

Pier 13 South Harbor

Pier 13  formerly owned and operated by United States government for the exclusive used of its Army, and Navy vessel during post war era, are now assigned as special anchorage area for Philippine Coast Guard’s search and rescue (SAR) vessels; so does the vessel namedAng Pangulo, a then former presidential yacht (now assigned as BRP Pag-asa, and turned to a naval auxiliary vessel). A roll-on roll-off ramp can also be found in between Pier 13 and Pier 9.

Ferry service terminal on the other hand is located at slip between Pier 13 and Pier 15. It serve as landing point for small craft for ship crew, quarantine and custom officer, ship agents, and other passenger going to and from vessel at anchorage. A pilot boarding station is also located in this area. [6]

South Harbor's Pier 15

South Harbor’s Pier 15

Pier 15   has five berths suited for containerized roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) and load-on, load-off (lo-lo) operations. In this pier is the location of Eva Macapagal Super Terminal or EMST, it used to be the domestic passenger terminal when North Harbor is under going improvements. EMST by the way is popularly known as the home, and base of operation for Aboitiz Superferry- before it was acquired by Negros Navigation. Pier 15 also provides berthing facilities for cruise ships and visiting warships.

China Clipper landing marker found in Luneta Park, just a few meters from Manila Hotel.

China Clipper landing marker found in Luneta Park, just a few meters from Manila Hotel.

The headquarters of Philippine Coast Guard, can also be found here, whilst the towering Manila Hotel a stone throw away from  Muelle de San Francisco can be seen and access through a few minutes of walk . Further ahead,  maybe a hundreds of a meters from the wharf of Manila hotel-where MS Philippines  (sold as scrap two years ago)- is the location of a marker of a China Clipper seaplane landing on 29th of February 1935, see above photos.

The Eva Macapagal Super Terminal   started its operation in 2003, and  is named after the late first lady of  former President Diosdado Macapagal. These passenger terminal building is one of the country’s biggest, and most expensive passenger terminal with modern and high-tech facility, with first class amenities that caters Cruise Ship passengers to date. These 2,878 square meters facility have a 1,700 seating capacity, with fully air-conditioned lounge complete with food and beverage kiosk for hungry passengers awaiting for boarding calls; TV sets, public address system, public telephone booths, clean rest rooms, ticketing booths and a clinic with qualified medical personnel are also provided for the convenience of travelers. [7]

A view of Manila South Harbor Anchorage

A view of Manila South Harbor Anchorage

Anchorages  There are four  anchorage basins in South Harbor and are assigned as A, B, C, and Q anchorage.  A anchorage  can be found  within the confines of the South and West breakwaters;  anchorage B and C are both outside the breakwaters. Anchorage Q on the other hand can be located far off-shore, and is exclusively used for Port’s Quarantine requirements.

Port Operator

ATI Office Building located at Bonifacio Drive, South Harbor Manila.

ATI Office Building located at Bonifacio Drive, South Harbor Manila.

Asian Terminals Inc. (controlled by Dubai’s DP World) a premier seaport and logistic investor, developer, and operator in the country is the sole container terminal and multi-cargo operator of South Harbor.

Contracted by Philippine Ports Authority to render container/cargo handling services since 1992,  ATI has been awarded a new 25 year extension to its contract to “manage, develop, maintain, operate, and render container terminal handling, stevedoring, arrastre, storage, porterage, passenger terminal management, and other related services” at South Harbor until May 18, 2038.[8]

The company utilizes seven Quay Cranes (35.5 to 55 tons capacity), 19 Rubber tired Gantry Cranes (40 to 40.6 tons capacity), three Reachstackers (42 to 45 tons capacity), side-loaders, and floating crane among others.

Facilities includes six (6) international container berth (Pier 3 and 5) with total area of 5,000 sq. meters. Nine (9) general cargo berths (Pier 5 and 9), and one (1) domestic cargo/passenger terminal (Pier 15).

Manila South Harbor Statistics

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

CARGO in m.t.

(Foreign&Domestic)

12,094,491

11,235,172

10,734,949

12,958,525

12,612,780

11,130,626

Passenger Traffic

(Embark/Dis-embark)

1,401,648

1,270,950

1,116,662

1,004,780

816,839

161,500

Shipcalls

(Domestic/Foreign)

8,177

7,889

7,650

7,810

7,496

5,671

Containers handled

(Domestic/Foreign)

880,789

846,478

838,950

988,268

976,843

1,014,500

Source: @ppa.com.ph/port statistics [9].

 Port History

Pre-World War II

The development of Philippine trade by Spanish regime ended upon the American occupations. In succeeding years of Commonwealth government, Manila was then open to foreign trade with freer and more liberal economic system-thereby increasing the domestic and foreign trade traffic.

Trade under the American administration were prosperous,  Manila then enjoyed one of the most flourishing trades in the Orient; overseas commerce steadily increased with United States represent as major trading country. With its port facilities in Pasig river which are too small, a plan to create port facilities along Manila Bay was envisioned by Americans; and in 1937, renovation of the South Harbor begins. Port construction includes installation of warehouses to accommodate large volume of cargoes, construction of  berthing space for ocean going vessel, and construction of new Custom house replacing the old Aduana building located in Pasig river; but the said construction was cut short due to the outbreak of World War two.

Prior to the war, South harbor had four finger piers and a marginal wharf for  ocean going vessels  of deep drafts. One of these piers were considered during that time as “One of the finest in the world and the longest in the far east”. [10]

Shipping facilities of South Harbor during Pre-war period

Manila harbor comprises an anchorage area of about 1,250 acres of the Manila bay partially enclosed and well protected by a rock-breakwater wall.

Pier 1;  is exclusively owned, and operated by the United States Government for the exclusive use of its Army and Navy vessels. Whereas the harbors, piers, wharves, and equipment installed at ports are owned, administered, and controlled by the commonwealth government thru Manila Harbor board.

Piers 3, 5, and 7; complete with modern cargo-handling equipment consisting of electric heavy lift crane, interior electric hoist, electric tractor,  piped provision for fresh water, and bunker fuel oil among others are both available for Cargo/Passenger carrying vessels. [11]

 The aftermath of World War II

During early stage of the war, these harbor installations particularly the South Harbor are subject to intense bombing raids by Japanese invasion forces, and later by the U.S Liberation forces.

At the end of the war sunken vessels littered the entire harbor. Many of the port facilities suffered extensive damages rendering them not useable to shipping activities.

Immediately after the liberation of the entire country, the commonwealth government started the repair and clearing works for Manila harbor particularly the South harbor facilities. Under Rehabilitation Act of 1946 (Public Law 370, passed by US Congress), funds were allocated for the rehabilitation for Port of Manila under supervision of a branch of the U.S. Corps of Engineer who undertakes all phases of the works in consultation with the Philippine Port Commission.

Obstructions to navigation along Manila bay leading to this pier were removed, and dredge works along the channel particularly near the mouth of Pasig River were conducted by the U.S. Army, and U.S Navy Engineers. [12]


References:

1. Philippine Ports Authority

2.  Executive Order No. 321

3. http://www.worldportsource.com/ports/portCall/PHL_Port_of_Manila_1947.php

4.   http://www.ppa.com.ph/South%20Harbor/south_aboutUs_southHarbor.htm

5.  http://www.supermanning.com/Manila.htm

6.  Philippine Ports: Gateway to Maritime Trade 2004

7. Eva Macapagal Super Terminal

8. ATI extend cargo handling… Manila Bulletin (10/20/07)

9. Philippine Port Authority/Port Statistics

10. Port of Manila and other Philippine Ports. Yearbook 1949.

11.  Port of Manila: Trade Center of the Pacific, Yearbook 1939.

12. Port of Manila and other Philippine Ports, Yearbook 1949.

Further reading: Competition Policy and Regulation in Ports and Shipping, Philippine Institute of Development Studies by Gilberto M. Llanto et. al

CEBU- LEYTE-CEBU RORO & FERRY GUIDE


IMG_0345

Port of Ormoc, Ormoc City Leyte.  Copyright: mcgutib

These ferry schedules and fares are sourced from the ticketing booth found in the Port of Cebu and/or Port of Ormoc. The information provided herein is accurate for the time being but subject to change as per shipping operator’s policyOther pertinent information regarding Shipping operator and Port terminal policies can be found at their own respective websites/or Facebook pages, and on their designated ticketing offices found in the port of destination mentioned below.

Shipping schedules posted herein are painstakingly gathered from different sources and updated every now and then- without being paid in return or getting any monetary commission from any of the mentioned shipping companies below. Your continued patronage (please share it to your Facebook account) and generous contribution -any kind- will be highly appreciated.

Disclaimer: The author, in any way, shall not be held liable for any damages -personal and/or business related losses- caused by factual errors, omission and/or any unforeseen mistakes (I strive to make it accurate as much as possible, but being human it does happen), nor it expresses any warranties for the information it provided herein. THE USE OF ALL INFORMATION  ON THIS SITE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. Furthermore, any comments/or statements raised by yours truly are of personal opinion only and does not in anyway reflects the opinion of any authoritative bodies unless stated.

F/C St. Jhudiel  Copyright: mcgutib

2GO TRAVEL’s SUPERCAT

Route: Cebu to Ormoc City vice versa

From Cebu- three trips daily at 5:15 AM, 11 AM & 5 PM

From Ormoc City- three trips daily at 8:45 AM, 1:45 PM & 7:50 PM

Fare per Pax starts at Php 740 (Regular)

DSC04395

Weesam 7. Copyright: mcgutib

WEESAM EXPRESS

Route: Cebu to Ormoc City vice versa

From Cebu- 10:30 AM

From Ormoc City- 1:30 PM

Fare per Pax starts at Php 650

OceanJet 8 in Port of Ormoc. Copyright: mcgutb

OCEANJET

Route: Cebu to Ormoc City vice versa

From Cebu- 6:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM & 5 PM

From Ormoc- 7:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 1:30 PM & 5:30 PM

Fare per Pax starts at Php 600 (Promo)

Lite Ferries 11 & 15. Copyright: mcgutib

LITE SHIPPING

Route: Cebu to Ormoc City 

Departs daily at 11 PM

Fare per Pax at 420 Pesos- Regular/Economy

Route: Ouano, Mandaue to Ormoc City vice versa

Daily departure: Ouano, Mandaue to Ormoc 11 PM (ETD)
Ormoc City to Ouano, Mandaue 8AM (ETD)

Fare per Pax 250 Pesos

DSC05481

Docking maneuver in pier 8 Port of Cebu. Copyright: mcgutib

SUPER SHUTTLE FERRY

 Route: Cebu City to Ormoc City vice versa

Departures every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 PM.

M/V Sacred Stars. Copyright: mcgutib

Fare rate per Pax is at 300 Pesos

ROBLE SHIPPING LINES

Route: Cebu to Ormoc City vice versa

Daily departure at 10 PM (from Cebu) & 11 AM (from Ormoc)

Fare per Pax 400 Pesos- Regular fare

Route: Cebu to Hilongos vice versa

Departs every 12 Noon & 9 PM daily from Cebu 

Departs every 11 AM & 10 PM daily from Hilongos

Fare per Pax 275 Pesos- Economy

DSCN3097

M/V Filipinas Dapitan  Copyright: mcgutib

COKALIONG SHIPPING LINES

Route: Cebu to Maasin Southern Leyte vice versa

Departs every Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7 PM, & Sunday ( 12 NN)- from Cebu

Departs every Tuesday (8 AM), Thursday (12 MN), Sunday 10 PM- from Maasin

Fare per Pax 350 Pesos- Regular/Economy

Route: Cebu to Palompon, Leyte vice versa

Departs every Monday & Thursday at 8 PM, Sunday at 12 Noon- from Cebu

Departs every Tuesday & Friday at 8 AM, Sunday at 10 PM- from Palompon

Fare per Pax 395 Pesos- Regular/Economy

DSC04613

M/V LAPULAPU FERRY 8 & M/V GLORIA TWO . Copyright: mcgutib

LAPULAPU SHIPPING LINES & GABISAN SHIPPING  LINES

Route: Cebu to Baybay, Leyte vice versa (for Lapu-Lapu Shipping)

Daily departure at 8 PM- from Cebu

Daily departure at 8 PM- from Baybay

Fare per Pax 250 Pesos- Regular/Economy

Route: Cebu to Hilongos, Leyte vice versa (for Gabisan Shipping)

Departs daily except Sunday at 9 PM- from Cebu

Departs daily except Saturday at 9 PM- from Hilongos

Fare per Pax 280 Pesos- Economy

DSC04520

M/V Fiji II   Copyright: mcgutib

SOUTHERN PACIFIC TRANSPORT

Route: Cebu to Bato, Leyte vice versa

Departs daily every 8 PM for Bato

Departs daily every 9 PM for Cebu

DSC03926

M/V Lady of all Nations & M/V Lady of Love.   Copyright: mcgutib

MEDALLION TRANSPORT

Route: Cebu to Bato, Leyte vice versa

Departs daily every 8:30 PM & on Saturday at 10 AM- from Cebu

Departs daily every 9 PM & on Saturday at 9 AM- from Bato

Route: Cebu to Palompon, Leyte vice versa

Departs daily every 9 PM ( from Cebu)

Departs daily every 9 AM (from Palompon)

Fare per Pax 350 Pesos- Economy

DSC05789

M/V GP 2    Copyright: mcgutib

GEORGE & PETER LINES

Route: Cebu to Maasin, Southern Leyte vice versa

Departs every Tuesday at 10 PM- from Cebu

Departs every Wednesday at 11 AM- from Maasin