With the Philippine Nautical Highway using the Roll-On Roll-Off (RORO) infrastructure, it is now possible to design a road trip that would bring you to the Ultimate Foodie Destinations in the Visayas.
One of my greatest road trips ever is joining the Subaru Club of the Philippines on a Road Food Trip from Manila to Iloilo to Bacolod and finally, to Cebu!
I would like to share with you this adventure of a lifetime on a Subaru...
The Foodie Farewell
From Manila, you take the SLEX connecting via STAR Tollway all the way to Batangas Port.
On the way, you have to make a foodie stop for Batangas famous Bulalo!
The Subarus were literally flying, we left Manila at 9.30am and we were eating Bulalo at around 11.00am :)
Al Goto King Special Bulalo is conveniently located right after the Star Tollway Batangas Exit before reaching Batangas Port :)
This is where the other members of Subaru Club of the Philippines bid us a foodie farewell :)
From Manila to Kalibo on a RORO
From Manila, you take off from the port of Batangas at 3 p.m.,
going to Odiongan, Romblon at around 12 midnight for a short stopover,
and finally arriving at 8 a.m. the next day in Dumaguit Port in Kalibo.
That's a total of 17 hours on a big RORO that transports buses, trucks, cars and passengers. It bypasses the island of Mindoro and connects Manila directly to the Visayas via Aklan.
Here's the cost of the RORO from Manila to Kalibo (as of February 2011)
- P6,100 for one car with one passenger and P800 per additional passenger.
- P30 Batangas Port Weighing Fee
- P130 Dumaguit Port Fee (Parking, Facilitation, Inspection Fee)
The overnight trip is not that bad, as long as you can tolerate narrow communal restrooms and ...
... double decker beds with thin bed cushions (al fresco or in an air-conditioned room).
It is recommended to bring your own beddings and blankets (other people actually bring their sleeping bags).
The best part of this long-haul RORO trip is the chance to bond on the wide deck of the boat.
Although there is a mini-canteen that offers chips, noodles, biscuits and soft drinks, it is best to bring your own sandwiches for snacks, lechon manok for dinner and pulutan-type of food.
Bring your favorite liquor, wine or single malts,
... and the overnight trip will be over before you know it.
Moments like this would be forever etched in your memory.
Sampaguita Gardens, Aklan
Once you arrive in Dumaguit Port,
... you can look forward to breakfast at Sampaguita Gardens, which is 30 minutes away.
This Precious Moments-themed resort is where you can make a clean restroom stop, eat a decent P120 Filipino buffet breakfast and ...
... shop for Precious Moments dolls at a good price.
The Precious Moments museum/shop and ...
... the mini chapel make this stopover worth it.
Dumangas Port to Bacolod
If you would like to go directly to Bacolod, you can travel to the Dumangas RORO Port in Iloilo, which is about four hours away via land trip, cutting across Panay Island.
However, your Ultimate Visayan Food Trip won't be complete without savoring the best of what Iloilo has to offer. You can drive for another hour to reach Iloilo City from Dumangas Port.
(to be continued...)
Live an Awesome Life,
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Full Disclosure: This is a personal trip hosted by my friends, Carol and Vic Lozano of the Subaru Club of the Philippines :)
P.S. You can find this MANILA to CEBU: The Ultimate Visayan Road Food Trip article in the January Road Trip feature in the Awesome Planner :)
Get the last few copies of the Awesome Planner 2012 which is still available in major National Book Store and Power Book outlets, Fully Book Bonifacio High Street, Mercato Centrale and Soderno on Weekends until end of February 2012.