Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2Go Travel: Batangas-Boracay (Via Caticlan) Route

Late afternoon on a Sunday, mid-March, Batangas Port Terminal 2 looked glum and abandoned from the outside. Our van circled the lonely two-story structure until we got to its main entrance. Summer was just about to start in the Philippines, and the crew of GMA News TV's Pop Talk were off to an early sun worship. That, and a shoot in Boracay for their third anniversary special episode.

I was to be a guest on the show. And truth be told, that's the only reason why I was going back to the island. I'm not a big fan of what the place has become, so I certainly wasn't thrilled to learn (The night before the trip!) that we'll be traveling for nine hours by vessel to get there.

"The journey is the destination." These words rung in my ears. I had been cooped in a cozy shell too long, I turned into a whiner. I opted to suck it up. To, you know, practice what I preach.

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A behemoth. With a cute color scheme.

We hopped off the vehicle as soon as the other van arrived, and followed the lead of 2Go Marketing and Events Manager Ervin Andaya. Our group was there two hours before boarding time so we didn't battle our way in. The cameramen took their time placing their precious equipment on the conveyor belt for the x-ray machine while the rest of us proceeded to the check-in counter.

One by one, our photos were taken with a webcam for documentation. Tickets were distributed and we all dispersed.

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 Pop Talk cameraman Kuya Obet, checking in and having his photo taken for documentation.

Batangas Port Terminal 2 ain't flashy, but well kept. It's air-conditioned, and could get darn cold when uncrowded. There's a 7-11, a cafeteria, even a massage stall. Smokers may go out for a drag, just ask the guard where. The place did a pretty job in entertaining us those two hours. And because I was in good company, I hardly noticed the time.

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 The reception.

We were allowed to board half an hour earlier so that the crew can do a quick shoot. Before setting foot on the vessel, luggage are further inspected by a sniffer dog. May take only a few seconds per person but could cause a build up on human traffic.

Up the steps, on the first landing, is the reception/lobby and a snack bar. The cabin and state rooms, in which we were assigned, are on this level as well. I checked in a cabin good for four, and shared it with Ervin who quickly became my bestie in the group.

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Cabin good for four, shared by only two.

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State room. Upgraded to this on the ride back. Each cabin/state room has a flat screen telly and an en suite bathroom with hot and cold shower.

Keen on hitting the sack early, we headed to Horizon for dinner before the rest of the passengers started pouring in. The restaurant's on the next level above the lobby, same floor as the Super Value Class hall. Horizon's meals are far from fancy, but still a good feed. Reasonably priced too. The group ordered every kind of dish available. We finished our feast well before the 9:00 PM departure time.

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Pop Talk's host, Kuya Tonipet, chooses a meal at 2Go's resto Horizon.

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The lounge.

Once all the passengers were settled in, a safety demo was conducted by the crew (was also shown on telly screens at the lobby and in Horizon). During which time, we heard the engine rumble to life. We finally began our journey to the island of Boracay.

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Pre-departure safety demo.

My roommate and I decided to take a peek at the bar before calling it a night. We found the whole Pop Talk crew there and they sure weren't ready to retire. A tower of weng weng was sitting on their table and yes, we joined in the fun. We watched the cover band, requested for songs — even danced to a couple of 'em.

I sang the last song (I drunkenly volunteered to do Shakira). Everyone was on their feet at that point. Dancing, or leaving the bar cause of my singing, I wasn't sure. I didn't care. 

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The bar at daytime.

The band bade goodnight. We bade each other goodnight too. But instead of going back to our respective rooms, celebrity Mico Aytona and I stayed behind to chug all unfinished drinks and babble about random stuff. He and I were up until four-ish in the morning and the vessel was to arrive at Caticlan Jetty Port in less than two hours.

Nine-hour journey. Just like that.

"The journey is the destination."  

2Go Travel knows so.

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Definitely doing this again.

For more information and for bookings, visit:
http://travel.2go.com.ph

Schedule of trips here: http://travel.2go.com.ph/Schedules/schedules.asp

Batangas-Boracay tickets prices (as of writing):

Super Value Class - 1,163.99 pesos inclusive of taxes and fees (about $26)
Tourist Class - 1,264 pesos inclusive of taxes and fees (about $28.50)
Cabin for 6 - 1,465.40 pesos inclusive of taxes and fees (about $33)

eTicket Itinerary Receipt

eTicket Itinerary Receipt is non-transferable. It is valid within one (1) year from the original date of issuance. In case wherein the passenger was not able to board their ticket, the ticket may still be refunded or revalidated within its validity date subject to surcharges and that it is not under the NON-REFUNDABLE promotion.

Traveling With Children

Children two (2) years old and below and children one (1) meter and below in height are considered infants. A fixed rate of Php205.00 plus 12% VAT will be charged per infant regardless of destination or accommodation. All surcharges are waived.

A separate ticket will be issued for the infant, however, he/she will be sharing his/her parent or guardian's bunk or room.

No more than two (2) infants will be allowed per adult passenger. The succeeding infants will be charged full promo fare or 75% off on base rates plus all the surcharges.

Infants will not be boarded unless accompanied by an adult (parent or guardian).

IMPORTANT: Read the Terms And Conditions before entering credit card/ATM card details.

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10 comments:

Keagan Shamar said...
May 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

I am really like to see this post this is wonderful idea to spend holiday vacations, Useful tops on traveling, best tips if you are traveling with your children thanks for the wonderful information.......

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Mustachio said...
May 6, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Nice ride! I wonder if all their ships are like this... I want to go somewhere via 2Go if only to see what I see in your photos :D

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
May 6, 2014 at 11:53 PM

I've heard good reviews of the Manila-Coron one :)

Filipina Explorer said...
May 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Karaoke (and Shakira at that!). Still so Pinoy, after all :)

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
May 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Oh very very Pinoy, teh :)

Arlyne/arlynemeetsworld.com said...
May 9, 2014 at 12:10 PM

I'm glad to know that there are other comfortable ways to get to Boracay other than airplanes! thanks for the info!

muhammad asad said...
May 10, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Different people have been
visiting Dubai for exploring the beauty of the Desert Safari Dubaiwith their friends
and families.

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
May 12, 2014 at 5:46 PM

This is one great alternative :)

BoracayStories said...
May 30, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Thank you for posting the schedule from Batangas to Caticlan. It sure helps us plan our travel via 2Go.

Glendolene Wright said...
August 1, 2014 at 7:33 PM

This is convenient, thank you for sharing this. Now I can go to Caticlan from Batangas hassle-free. Thanks for posting the expenses. :D www.boracaytv.com

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