I recently had the chance to travel Calapan via Fast Cat and Jam Liner. This is for “A Gateway to Calapan Experience” tour arranged for bloggers and it was an awesome one. So if you’re looking at your next travel adventure in the islands of the Philippines, this tour should be part of your itinerary.
Most travelers find Puerto Galera as the go-to destination when traveling to Oriental Mindoro. The place is a popular weekend getaway for the working class Pinoys. But if you love adventure, travel Calapan Mindoro.
During our tour, we boarded a Jam Liner bus from Buendia going to Batangas Port which took about 3 hours. Upon arrival, we waited a bit for all vehicles to alight Fast Cat. This is my first time to see cars, bus, trucks, and other vehicles rolling off a ship. Fast Cat is a roll-on roll-off (RORO) vessel, and you can actually bring your car when exploring Calapan.
When all is clear, we got off the bus and boarded the ferry. Fast Cat offers different seat classifications – business class, premium economy, and economy. Because the trip takes only a few hours, you don’t need a cabin or sleeping accommodation. The seats are comfortable, and there’s ample space to move around.
I saw the other vessels boarding for Calapan and I find them rusty and old compared to Fast Cat. Inside the vessel, the place is clean, airy, and no foul odor. Travel to Calapan via Fast Cat is a comfortable ride which took about 2 hours.
Upon arrival, we immediately alighted and took the Jam Liner bus to our first Calapan destination – the Silonay Mangrove Conservation and Eco Park. The people behind this place did a great job in conserving the mangrove forest. It’s important to care for areas like these because they are home to fishes, crabs, shrimps, and mollusk species. They also protect the area from soil erosion, waves and storms.
The Silonay Mangrove Conservation and Eco Park is quite a big area. We had to walk through the bamboo walkway which can be tricky because some parts are almost dilapidated. At the end of the walkway is the tower. We all went up and saw how expansive the mangrove forest is. One local shared that in the early days, one can see the ocean of Batangas from atop. But that’s no longer the case because the mangrove grew really tall.
My first mangrove encounter was during the coastal clean up in Bataan. It’s good to see that other provinces such as Calapan are also making efforts to protect mangrove forests in their area. Should you decide to visit this eco park when you travel Calapan, make sure to wear something light and airy. The sun was up and about during our trip, I was sweating profusely because of the heat.
Thank goodness our Jam Liner Bus’ air-conditioning system was strong enough to break the heat while we proceed for next activities. We dropped by Sanaka Banana Chips Factory. Apparently, they make the best banana chips in Calapan. To be honest, I’m not fond of this treat, but when I got to taste it, I really liked it. Too bad the chips are still being cooked, so we didn’t get to buy a lot for take home.
Then it’s time for lunch, hooray!! We ate at Auntie Lola’s which is a popular foodie spot in Calapan. We were served a wide array of Filipino dishes such as Pinakbet, Pancit, Bulalo, Fried Chicken, and Sisig. It’s the perfect meal for famished travelers, haha!
Our lunch was just a quickie because we were very short of time. We then spent some 45 minutes on the bus going to Infinity Farm in Baco, Oriental Mindoro. I’ve been to this beautiful place last year and was looking forward to another visit.
You’re close to nature when you’re at Infinity Farm. There’s lush greeneries, trees and icy cascading waters. It’s such a beautiful place that makes me want to be back again and again. This is actually a very good alternative to beaches. I’m a beach person but when I was at Puerto Galera, I didn’t enjoy it that much. This place in Baco is a winner!
Too bad we only had 30 minutes to explore the place. We didn’t get to take a dip and that breaks my heart. Make sure to visit the Infinity Farm on your next trip because it’s absolutely worth it. The ride from Calapan is actually shorter compared to the 2 hour ride we took from Puerto Galera. That gives you more time to enjoy the place.
From Baco, we went back to Calapan and I looking forward to some Halo Halo. We were supposed to drop by Isel Ian’s Halo Halo which apparently is a popular dessert shop in the province. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time so we had our Halo Halo in the bus going to the Calapan Port.
I wasn’t expecting much when looking at my cup of Isel Ian’s Halo Halo. But I was surprised when I had my first spoon. The ice is so fine it feels like I was having a sherbet. I have to say, this icy treat is the best one I’ve had in years!
The travel Calapan experience was an awesome one. The province has a lot to offer for Filipino and foreign travelers. And it’s made better by Fast Cat, Jam Liner and Philtranco. With the help of the accessible routes of Jam Liner Inc or even Philtranco, traveling to Calapan via Fast Cat vessels is more convenient. We learned that these ferries were specifically designed by Sea Transport Solutions of Australia.
The Jam Liner bus used during the trip was just for the tour. When you travel Calapan, the bus to actually take is Philtranco which is also under the Jam Liner Inc management. There are terminals from different locations which is considered one of the most in demand routes that customers usually book from. The Buendia Bus Station is big, clean and comfortable to wait around in.
I will definitely travel Calapan via Fast Cat once again. The partnership of Jam Liner Inc and Philtranco with Fast Cat brings to the Philippines, is very convenient as it provides a seamless connection of land and sea from Buendia/Cubao- Batangas- Calapan, Mindoro. Aside from the ecotourism and foodie experiences, the province also has breath-taking beaches that I’d like to visit.
Aside from traveling to Calapan via Fast Cat, Jam Liner and Philtranco, there are other places in the Philippines that you can visit through the said transportation. For more information about Jam Liner services, routes, terminals and booking schedules, visit Jam Liner Inc. Website at www.phbus.com/jam-bus/, Philtranco’s at www.philtranco.net/reservation/ and Fast Cat’s fastcat.com.ph/index.html.