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Ultimate Visayan Food Trip: Manila to Cebu on a Subaru!

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Subaru Club - Iloilo to Cebu Day 2-27.jpg
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

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From Manila, you take the SLEX connecting via STAR Tollway all the way to Batangas Port. 

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On the way, you have to make a foodie stop for Batangas famous Bulalo!

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The Subarus were literally flying, we left Manila at 9.30am and we were eating Bulalo at around 11.00am :)

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Al Goto King Special Bulalo is conveniently located right after the Star Tollway Batangas Exit before reaching Batangas Port :)

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This is where the other members of Subaru Club of the Philippines bid us a foodie farewell :) 

From Manila to Kalibo on a RORO

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From Manila, you take off from the port of Batangas at 3 p.m.,

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going to Odiongan, Romblon at around 12 midnight for a short stopover,

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and finally arriving at 8 a.m. the next day in Dumaguit Port in Kalibo.

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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.

Subaru Club - Manila to Iloilo Day 1-45.jpg
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)

Subaru Club - Manila to Iloilo Day 1-53.jpg
The overnight trip is not that bad, as long as you can tolerate narrow communal restrooms and ...

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... double decker beds with thin bed cushions (al fresco or in an air-conditioned room).

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It is recommended to bring your own beddings and blankets (other people actually bring their sleeping bags).

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The best part of this long-haul RORO trip is the chance to bond on the wide deck of the boat.

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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.

Subaru Club - Manila to Iloilo Day 1-91.jpg Subaru Club - Manila to Iloilo Day 1-84.jpg
Bring your favorite liquor, wine or single malts,

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... and the overnight trip will be over before you know it.

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Moments like this would be forever etched in your memory.

Sampaguita Gardens, Aklan

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Once you arrive in Dumaguit Port, 

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... you can look forward to breakfast at Sampaguita Gardens, which is 30 minutes away.

 

Subaru Club - Iloilo to Cebu Day 2-39.jpgThis Precious Moments-themed resort is where you can make a clean restroom stop, eat a decent P120 Filipino buffet breakfast and ...

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... shop for Precious Moments dolls at a good price.

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The Precious Moments museum/shop and ...

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... the mini chapel make this stopover worth it.

Dumangas Port to Bacolod

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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.

Balay na Bato in Arevalo-30.jpg
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,

anton  signature 
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Contact me: a
nton@diaz.ph iphone

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.

 

 

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Us as a family are sold over Subarus even way before. One Gen 1 Forester, then a Gen 3 Forester that Motor Image brought in here, and a 2004 Imprezza.

Bulletproof engines, sharp handling, and that distinct boxer engine rumble sound (especially when you change to a freeflow muffler). Just not the best in fuel consumption, though. But it is the spirit of the drive when you get behind the wheel of a Subaru :D

Yes, I am a fan and always will be :D

Thanks for this trip. My family's been doing road trips from Mindanao to Luzon since the 1990's via the Sorsogon-Leyte-Surigao route, and it's always breathtaking to see the country from one major island group to another. We haven't been to the west side via a land trip, and I was always wondering if it was possible. This post shows it is. Thank you very much and we hope to do this someday :)

Hi. With yesterday's earthquake, would you know if any of the roads/bridges you passed through have been severely affected? We wanted to do this for so long, but yesterday's earthquake may have rendered your path impassable. Thanks!

Sir how much did the ferry from Batangas to Aklan costs?

Yuck, how cheapazze the transportation.

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)

Yup, you have to be an adventurous person if you want to try the Manila to Kalibo RORO :)

Most of it are via RORO and land trip (without bridges). Yeah, we need to assess the damage of the earthquake.

Thanks for this comment. On our end we want to try the Sorsogon-Leyte-Surigao route! Is it safe, Any advice or tips?

Anton

One of these days I'll own a Subaru :)

Sampaguta Gardens is located in the province of Aklan, not Iloilo. Just wanted to clarify because you wrote "Sampaguita Gardens, Iloilo". It's actually a short drive from Kalibo town center. This resort/theme park was built by the owner of Precious Moments, but I heard that he's selling, or has already sold, the place. Locals bring guests there to see the "dollhouse".

Thanks for the correction. You are right.

I've heard stories of the "Dollhouse" after I visited this place. How true are the rumors?

Please continue the road trip na Anton... :)

Yes, it is. The Samar Highway is so much better now. You have to watch out for Sorsogon, the roads near Liloan and the Mindanao roads though, as they were damaged as of December 2010. I really wish they fixed those now. :) I still haven't created a post for it because there was way too much to say. Hehe. Will try to get on it soon :)

Looks like you had a pretty fun trip. Used to own a couple of Foresters as well and enjoyed a lot of out of town excursions. They're okay apart from the really sparse interior, and cheap plastic feel of pretty much everything. The nice thing about them is that you don't really have to worry about them since parts are cheap and easy to come by. I used to join those guys as well before, but wow they weren't kidding when they said that they're very few now, since most have left to join a better club.

Hi Anton,

Thank you for joining us during this trip. It was definitely an awesome experience!

Mark Madrid
SCP President

Hi just want to know what shipping line did you take from batangas that bypassed mindoro?

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