Thursday, August 20, 2015

Road Trip: Manila to Bacolod

Last May 12, 2015, Val and I relocated  to Bacolod to say goodbye to the crazy pollution, endless traffic and fast-paced Metro Manila life. It was a big decision to let go of our jobs as well as the great opportunities that we have. Not to mention that we'll be missing our friends and loved ones. But hey, we are so ready to take our married life to the next level and get ready for a new adventure! 

Our whole new adventure starts with our "epic" journey. It is the longest land trip I have ever taken. Normally, it should take you 18-20 hours however, we had a lot of stops thus, ours was a bit longer. 

We left around 12:30am bound for Batangas via SLEX and Star Tollways. We wanted to leave a bit late to avoid the traffic in EDSA since we're from way up North. We arrived at the Batangas port around 4:00am but we were late for the RORO trip and waited for the next one at 5am. While waiting, we just decided to have some breakfast. 

We left Batangas port around 5:30am bound for Calapan, Mindoro. It was actually the best time to travel since we are in the middle of sea during sunrise, Watching the sun rise was a liberating experience as it marked the beginning of our new adventure. 


Even Crumpy enjoyed the trip since you can feel the wind brushing against your skin.


We arrived at Calapan Port around 8:30am and we are up for another 3-hour drive going to Roxas City port. This is our first time in this place and honestly, do not have any idea where to go. Our game plan was just follow the signs (which was sufficient and very helpful) plus our handy google maps. The road condition is good. Kudos for the nautical highway project! 

We passed several small towns and stopped for drinks and gas along the way. 


We reached Roxas City port around 11:30am but unfortunately, the next RORO bound for Caticlan will leave by 3:30pm. I guess that means we have ample time to rest and eat before the next trip. Since we barely know the place, we opted to have lunch at Andok's (a known company in Metro Manila) and we had a simple rice and bbq meal. Andok's is just very near the port. The sun was scorching hot that we felt uneasy. So, Val and I decided to use the port's shower room for Php 20.00/head. 

Our trip from Roxas to Caticlan was quite long (approximately 5 hours) via Montenegro Shipping Lines. We were already tired and sleepy but had no place to really rest. Val and I decided to stay on the upper most part of the ship.


We are were also very lucky to see the beautiful sunset on the later part of the trip.


We arrived in Caticlan around 8:30pm and we decided to stay overnight there. Unfortunately, all hotels and inn are fully booked because of the APEC Summit and we did not have any reservations. We tried to ask a few locals for suggestions and they recommended that we travel all the way to Kalibo proper to get a room.

It took as approximately 2 hours to get to Kalibo. The roads are too dark and no light posts available. There wasn't any signage on the road (unlike the ones in Mindoro.) On the brighter side, there were checkpoints and PNP outposts every 1 km because of the APEC Summit. So, at least we were able to ask directions every now and then.

You would know that you've reach Kalibo once you pass by the famous Kalibo bridge. Unfortunately, I was so tired and it was dark that we weren't able to take pictures. We were lucky enough to find a pet friendly inn immediately during the night. I made a separate review of the inn, here.

Around 10pm the next day, we decided to continue the drive going to Dumangas port. It is best to travel during the day because the roads are quite confusing with all the turns and no signages. You'll be able pass by Capiz before you reach Iloilo. We actually had lunch in Capiz since there's a Mang Inasal and Deco's in Mambusao proper.

We reached Dumangas port around 3PM and did not expect the problem getting into the RORO. Apparently, one of the ships of Montenegro broke down and Tristar would need a reservation a day before. Our only chance is a no-show of passengers with reservation.

We spent the afternoon chatting with other travelers and I can say we had made friends along the way. We learned that some of them have been there for a week but can't get their trucks on board because it's fully booked. Just like us, they are on the wait list. Being on the wait list, not only means "first come first served" but they are also considering the size of your vehicle. We got lucky and got on board around 8:00pm and then finally, arrived in Bacolod around 11:30pm.

About the fees and expenses, here's what we actually paid.

Toll Fee ( SLEX)  - Php 164.00 + 96.00
Toll Fee ( Star Tollways) - Php 67.00

Batangas Roro Terminal Fee - Php 129.00
Additional Passenger (Terminal) - Php 30.00
RORO Fee via Asian Marine (Batangas - Calapan) - Php 1,440.00

Roxas Roro Terminal Fee - Php 129.00
Toll Fee (Roxas City) - Php 50.00
Coast Guard Fee - Php 20.00
Entrance Fee - Php 30.00
RORO Fee via Montenegro (Roxas - Caticlan) - Php 3,840.00
Additional Passenger (RORO) - Php 408.00

Dumangas Port Roro Terminal Fee - Php 129.00
RORO Fee via Tristar - Php 800.00

Bacolod/BREDCO Terminal Fee - Php 375.50

Well, it was costly and tiring but the experience is all worth it. Indeed, it was "our adventure of a lifetime." 

If you would like to get a copy of the screenshots of the map we used, then send us a message
Planning your next road trip or have any questions, just leave a comment below.  

UPDATE: I lost my hard drive and no longer have access to the screenshots of the maps. However, if you have questions, just send me a message. So sorry! 


31 comments:

  1. That was a long trip. I remember Calapan and Roxas. I once took two weeks to drive around the whole Mindoro island (Oriental and Occidental). In Roxas, I slept in a resort that is not far from the pier, where the about the only decent food was Andoks.

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    1. Yes, until now its still Andoks. :)

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    2. It occurred to me too, that you were already in Caticlan, you could have just parked your vehicle there and spent a night at Boracay. Going from Caticlan to Kalibo must have taken an hour, at the least. And then you have to drive back again.

      By now, you should have been settled in Bacolod. So all is well and good.

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  2. Excellent...i admire the risk you took of quittingvyour jobs etc to experience this adventure..kudos!! Here's to many more such adventure!

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    1. Thank you! We are having a blast to this slower paced life.

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  3. Hi, Clarice! That was an exhausting trip. Good thing, Val is with you. :) That's what made it a romantic adventure. Naks! ;) My mom's family is from Aklan. We have a lot of relatives in Kalibo. I'm excited to work with you again now that you have more stable internet. :)

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    1. Thank you Ms. Teresa. Happy to work with you again.

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  4. I have to say I love road trips and I enjoyed reading about your adventure. It must have been exhausting driving so long and then also waiting for a spot on the boat, but I bet the views were stunning. And also the fact that you were with your loved one. :)

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    1. Yes, it was really a long and tiring trip. I just realized that we still have a lot of places to explore here in the Philippines.

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  5. Thanks for sharing place I don't know I'll ever see. The banana is too funny

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    1. It is a bit sad that I was not able to take a lot of pictures. There are lot of unique signs and welcome arks along the way.

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  6. I have never been to Bacolod but it has been part of my bucket list as I want to witness their Masskara festival!
    Thank you for giving us the idea of the expenses.. it is really useful!

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    1. We hope to see you here in October for the Masskara festival.

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  7. This place is so beautiful. I can see it was a long ride, I love it! Long rides are the best don't you agree? :)

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    1. I totally agree. We are planning to take another trip down south. :)

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  8. Must be an amazing memory. The trip looks great. I like the pictures, the one with the guy with his mouth open made me laugh. And the doggy looks cute. Just as white as Pascha is (today on my blog). http://bit.ly/sofarsosabine

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    1. Thank you! Sending Pascha some love. From Crumpy and Cheesecake.

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  9. Hey, I used to go home a lot to Bacolod and we have tried riding the ferry, plane and more. We also did a road trip down iloilo-dumaguete- cebu and back to Bacolod but I have never tried this route. Maybe next time.

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    1. Let us know if you are here in Bacolod. :)

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  10. First of all you're living my dream of travelling and blogging about it. Congratulations on that. The trip looks like one hell of a trip

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    1. Yes, indeed. We are looking forward to your travel post. :)

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  11. Wow what an awesome adventure. I plan to do the same soon. Leave this city for another place. Still thinking where. But Panay Island OE Baguio looks promising.

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    1. We wish you good luck in your future endeavors. We have so much beautiful places in the Philippines.

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  12. Thank you ! seems I really need to break the monotonous routine and step out for a road trip too. :)

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    1. Let us know if you were able to take a break already, Sheetal. :)

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  13. Just the 2 of you + your pet - what was the vehicle used? Tnanks

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    1. Hi Eric! We have a Nissan Sentra. :)

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  14. Can I pm you for a few questions? We will go on the same trip in 3 days...thanks!

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    1. Hi Kelvin! Please feel free to PM us on your facebook page. :)

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  15. What type of car you have and how much fuel cost you spent from Manila to Bacolod? I am traveling this weekend using this route with my car. Please advise. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Ray! We have a Nissan Sentra and we spent around Php 1500 for fuel.

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