First of all you need to get to Batangas. The easiest way from NAIA is to take a taxi to the JAR bus terminal. Just tell the taxi driver that you want to get to the Batangas bus terminal……. this will cost around 150 piso. Buses leave regularly for the 2 1/2 hour trip from Manila to Batangas.
There are a couple of ways to travel by sea to Boracay that I have tried. First there is a 2gotravel ferry which leaves every evening at 21.00 except Mondays and arrives in Caticlan at 07.00 where you can have breakfast at Andoks before taking the pumpboat across the narrow strait to Cagban Port in Boracay.
I arrived at 19.00 and made my way to the ticket office, where you just queue to buy your ticket and then proceed to the waiting area. When we went to board we were told to place our bags on the ground, take one step back and wait for the sniffer dogs to do their work searching for any illegal drugs that may be hidden away.
The overnight accommodation on board is in several massive dorm type rooms with bunk beds. I had been allocated a top bunk which was directly in line with the aircon unit and so really had a battle to keep warm all night, but i did manage to sleep in the end. Next time i will make sure that I request a bottom bunk or bring extra clothes to keep warm.
You can hire sheets for 30 piso with a 100 piso deposit, and this needs to be booked before you sail. Also there is a complimentary meal which consisted of rice and pork adobo when i travelled. On the top deck there was also a bar and disco/kareoke for amusement.
The 2gotravel ferry made one call at Odiongan, Tablas about 04.00 which it does twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays and leaves an hour later at 05.00.
If you miss the 21.00 2Go sailing, don’t panic, as there is another way, but more tiring, to travel through the night to Boracay. There are several ferries that make the trip from Batangas to Calapan in Mindoro.
We had to make one such journey returning from Legaspi to Boracay. We arrived in Batangas too late to catch the 2Go ferry and instead took the midnight sailing to Calapan. I noticed that there were a couple of RORO buses on board so when we docked in Calapan I asked one of the drivers if there was room for extra passengers to Roxas, and we joined the other bus passengers for the 3 hour ride to Roxas. Failing that there are Shuttle vans which operate between the two ports and leave once full.
Just outside Roxas Port gates are some Sari Sari stores. Make sure you stock up with some nibbles for the journey as prices on board the ferry at quite high. You can catch up with a couple of hours sleep on board too so you don’t arrive totally washed out from the nights travel.
Once in Roxas there are sailings by Montenegro and Starlite ferries to Caticlan. We took the 06.00 sailing and arrived 4 hours later in Caticlan.
If you like island watching the morning sailing from Roxas is better as you will be able to see Tablas Island, Carabao Island and finally Boracay. You know that you have nearly arrived when Puka Beach and Shangri-la Resort come into view.
So there you have it………. alternative and more fun ways to travel to Boracay from Manila.