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Fly United Airlines via Hawaii!

If you are coming from the Philippines (or Asia) to the United States; you might want to consider traveling through Guam and Hawaii. It is a route that people forget about but one that could save you having a seriously long flight across the Pacific Ocean.

If you are like me, you are not a big fan of flights that put you on an airplane for half a day or more. My idea of a day well spend does not include sitting in an economy seat on China Airlines eating bad food and having a dead battery on my Amazon Kindle (with no way to charge it). Sorry, just not ideal to me. Read more

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The Jeepney is the way of life in Manila

If you are traveling across the Metro Manila, there is a good chance that you will end up in a jeepney at some point. People love them and people hate them but everyone end up using one before they leave. Filipinos have no choice: it is the only affordable way to travel.

After World War II and having alot of military from the United States in the Philippines; there was a surplus of Willys Jeeps that was offloaded to the local Filipinos very cheaply. Read more


Ferry from Bantagas to Abra de Ilog, Mindoro

If you are going to Mindoro and not Puerta Galara, you heading to one of the cities. You will probably need a ferry from Batangas to Abra de Ilog. It is the only way to Mindoro to date unless they build a bridge. Probably not happening.

The facts about the Ferry from Batangas to Abra de Ilog.

There is two companies that go there. A big company named Montegros and Besta, old boats and less professional. I have used both. For me, it is just who is leaving next, not the name of the side of it. They all have to pass Coast Guard inspection that is close to US standard.

They leave both ports about every 3-4 hours or so.

The fare is P260 and the curroption, err terminal fee is P10 in Abra de Ilog and P30 in Batangas City. Part of this is because the one in Batangas is a legit terminal with a 7/11 and free wifi.

The ferry from Batangas to Abra de Ilog is roughly 2.5 to three hours.

Bus and other info

There is buses running from Manila to Batangas around the clock and there is buses running from Abra de Ilog to San Joe, Mindoro from about 3am to to 8pm. They basically keep their schedule according to the ferries. Also, Roro bus is owned and operated by one of the ferry companies.

Be aware that companies that have a ferry from Batangas to Abra de Ilog do not always restock their canteens. This means you might not have a soda to drink or snack if you get hungry. Make sure you grab something from 7/11 at the Batangas terminal or something from the Sari Sari by the pier in Mindoro.

I find the best time to make the trip is the midnight one from Batangas and the 4am one from Abra de Ilog. It is mostly just trucks moving stuff and that means you have the benches wide open for a nap if you can handle acting like you are homeless for the night.

Here is some pictures from the trip. Comment if you have questions. : )



Ferry from San Jose, Mindoro to Coron, Palawan

Montenegro Shipping Lines has started the ferry up again from San Jose, Mindoro on the east side of the island to Coron town, Palawan. When I heard it was going to happen, I knew I wanted to try and see if it was worth telling our readers about. I did it. It was worth talking about, too.

Before this, the only way to get to Coron from San Jose was to take a small pump boat that is not fun to be in at all. It takes forever to get across and those boats have a history of breaking down. Being in a bigger boat is better, at least if you do lose an engine; there is another one to keep the boat moving.

Montenegro Shipping Lines is a major shipping company for the Philippines. It is probably behind 2Go Travel in size and they serve most of the ports around the country. In the end, that is good because there is a lot of “johnny come lately” operations in the Philippines that start and stop in a week.

Getting to San Jose, Mindoro from Manila

If you are thinking of taking this boat and you are coming from Manila as many are. Some would come to Puerta Galara then come down as well. Either way, you have to get to San Jose somehow. It is on the southwest tip of Mindoro Island.

If coming from the Metro, you would need to get on a bus (Jam Liner seems to be the best) and tell the driver Bantagas Pier. Once the bus is full, they will leave and two hours later and 169 pesos poorer, you will be at the pier. There is two ways they can go so make sure you are on the one for the SLEX. (Freeway in the Philippines)

Once you are there, you will look for Abra de ilog and you will get a ticket for P240. This is a ferry ride that will take you a few hours but it is nice and relaxing. I enjoy making this trip across. In most cases, there is more room than there is people so you can relax on the trip.

Once you are in Abra de Ilog, you will get a bus right next to the port area and it will take you on the long six hour bus journey to San Joe. I do not remember the cost. They all meet up at the road at the top of the hill.

The process for the ferry from Mindoro to Coron

I went out to the pier around 4am. I did not know the process and it had only been operating about a week so I didn’t know what to expect. Before going there is a Bakery on the main road. I would suggest getting some food there on your way.

Also, as with everywhere in the Philippines, you have to be careful with Tricycle drivers. The fare should be P9 but I was told to give them P20 by the locals since it is late and it is five kilometers out of town. On arrival, the driver said, “20 pesos is all, sir” I just walked away.

After that, just walk up to the boat, pay the guy from the company P590 and get your ticket and sign on the list of passengers for the Philippine Coast Guard. It is normally just them as less US Coast Guard is there but normally not the case.

You just get on the boat and relax for the next five hours. They do have some snacks onboard and they will let you charge up your laptop or phone if you do to do that.

Note: I do not know if this information is current. If it is not, please update me.

Update Please?

I have not been able to make the trip since 2015 and I have heard rumors that there no longer a trip from Montenegro Shipping Lines. I can not confirm this as email does not seem to work for a lot of businesses in the Philippines. If you have tried to make this trip and have been to San Jose, please confirm this for me.

If this is true, ferry from Mindoro to Coron will be limited to the small pumpboats again. As I said, I can not confirm this as of right now.