CALAPAN TO BATANGAS FAST FERRIES & RORO GUIDE (2018 Update)


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:

Copyright: mcgutib

SUPER SHUTTLE FERRY

Daily Trip  starts at 5:15 AM and 5:15 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, 11:30 & 12:30 PM, 3:30 & 6:30PM, 9:30 & 11:30 PM.

SUV Fare: Php 1,500 plus Wharfage fee.

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Copyright: mcgutib  

MONTENEGRO SHIPPING/MARINA FERRIES

Daily departure schedules: Every hour starting 12 AM until 12 MN.

Fare is at 240 Pesos- Economy plus Terminal fee.

SUV Fare: Php 1, 536 plus Wharfage fee.

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Copyright: mcgutib

STARLITE FERRIES INC.

  Daily schedules: Starts at 1 AM until 11 PM. Fare per pax is at 200 Pesos + Terminal fee.

 Private vehicle fees (SUV) /rates at   Php 1,500- 1,700  (Driver included) plus wharfage fees.                            

Copyright: mcgutib

2GO TRAVEL’s  SUPERCAT

Daily departures starts at 4:45 AM, then 6:00 AM, 7:30 AM, 9 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 2 PM, 3:30 PM, 5 PM & 56:30 PM.

Fare per pax is at 192 Pesos (economy) +Terminal fee.

OceanJet

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 is at 290 Pesos (Economy) plus Terminal fee.

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Copyright: mcgutib

ARCHIPELAGO PHILIPPINE FERRIES CORP.

Daily schedules: 2:30 AM, 6:30 AM, 8:30 AM, 12 PM, 2 PM, 5 PM, 9 PM & 11 PM.

Fare rates per pax is at 240 Pesos + terminal fee

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: 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. 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 Important Tips

  1. Ferry travel in 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- the country’s Maritime Safety Standard have been improved over the years- 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  Island.

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 in 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. Overnight ferries, on the other hand, sails to and from Port of Cebu, Batangas, and other ports along Vis-Min area for example falls to this category. Whereas, short-distance ferries usually travels less than an hour or to more than hour,  from one island connecting another island.
  3. Meanwhile, medium to large sized ferry boats are typically the RORO (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 freighter like ferry-boats on the other hand, has a forward crane mast generally used to haul palatalized 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. As a general rule tickets are sold at first come first served basis.
  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, Caticlan Jetty Port are few of the many ports in the country with heavy concentration of passengers during holidays so 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 inform the ticket issuing officer ahead.
  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 are all 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 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- it 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 ports 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 cost 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. During holiday rush and weather disturbances, ship’s  schedules changes more often thereby resulting to delays and cancellation of trip; passenger terminal building- on this situation- are normally busy accommodating crowds of stranded 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.
  37. Is these are the normal settings? I remember I was once asked by a confused foreign couple the same question, honestly, in such circumstance wherein weather is the main caused I’m looking at it as a normal phenomena. The best thing to do when your in such unbelievable situation, is to ready your option A and C, 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 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 fellow passengers… 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 fellow human being on an inch apart- more often than, you will be sleeping side by side with people who snores and cough like a German guard dog. Families with kids often running here and there sometimes knocking out things; annoying passengers keep on talking, laughing, and singing on a videoke machine in the middle of the night; ship’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, you might wondering 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 wish to venture for more comfortable and relaxing trip on board you may upgrade to cabin or suite accommodation, rest assure you wil 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- hey, don’t ask me why first thing you would notice on an on-board stores is nothing but instant noodles, I, too, get puzzled.                                                                                                                                                                              

     “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. 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 are a good bus competition around here so expect each bus company will offers nice and well air-conditioned coach, 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: 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