It’s been years since I last went to Mindoro. I think it was about 3 or 4 years ago. So when I was invited to go on a quick one-day tour to Calapan, I said yes!. I really wanna go back and explore the place. I haven’t toured around Calapan Mindoro yet and to see what the city has in store for its visitors like me, made me really really excited for this trip.
From food exploration, to meeting people, learning culture and visiting eco-tourism spots really made this trip worthwhile even though it was a quick one.
In fairness, compared to other provincial bus stations, JAM Liner is decent looking. It has a very spacious waiting area. There are also ATM machines(near the main entrance) just in case you need to withdraw some cash. Just a little downside, I just hope that they will fix their toilet area because the cubicle doors are broken.
So we rode this JAM Liner bus going to Batangas port which is about 3 hours ride from Manila(Fare:PHP168). JAM Liner Inc. also has other direct routes from Manila to other provinces such as Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon. Please visit JAM Liner website for the updated schedules and fares.
Did you know? JAM Liner buses are equipped with nuBus technology which is a a passenger information technology with Global Positioning System(GPS) that provides passengers with helpful information on their travel. That’s so cool right?
It was a smooth ride going to Batangas port. Thank God that we did not get stuck in traffic and arrived at the Batangas port an hour before we board. For your information, If you are going to Calapan, only Philtranco Buses(also owned by JAM Liner Inc.) can ride the FastCat roll-on roll-off(RORO) vessels. The JAM bus that we rode during our trip to Calapan was only used just for our familiarity tour.
This Partnership of JAM Liner Inc. and Philtranco with FastCat provides a seamless connection of land and sea from Buendia/Cubao to Batangas and Calapan Mindoro so passengers like me will get to enjoy the land travel experience but also a safe and memorable journey by sea.
FastCat is run by Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corporation(APFC), a company that was founded to provie a vital maritime link between the Philippines’ 7, 107 islands. It has become a trusted shipping company that owns and operates the Philippines’ first and only Catamaran roll-on roll-off(RORO) ferries, as well as modernized ports and terminals in the eastern and western Philippine sea route.
FastCat carries a design which suits the weather and sea condition in the country(Philippines). The vessels are deigned with a unique two-hall system that sets it apart from the typical RORO vessels in the country. It is also classified by the American Bureau of Shipping(ABS), indicating compliance with the international safety rules and regulations.
This is my 2nd time to ride the FastCat vessel. Yipeee! So excited! For passenger rates click here. We were seated at the FastCat Business Class section. The seats here were very limited, not as much as their Premium economy and economy sections. The other side does not have a window, so if you want to see some sea scenery, better choose the seats near the window.
There area also other passenger sections that you can avail such as Premium Economy and Economy. I prefer the Premium economy because it is much closer to the Food and Beverage area hahaha! But if you really don’t want to be disturbed by people walking to and from the FastCat Food and Beverage Area, better choose the Business Class ticket.
We were granted special access to tour around the vessel including the restricted areas such as the Captains deck and engine room. Cool!
After about 1 hour and 45 minutes, our group reached Calapan Port in Mindoro. It was a very smooth ride. The water was calm(less sea sickness for me, thank God) and the weather was really sunny and nice.
No time wasted, our group headed to our very first destination in Calapan… the Silonay Mangrove Conservation and Eco-Park. This 42-hectare mangrove forest was opened November 13, 2013 in celebration of the founding anniversary of Oriental Mindoro. The park houses about 14 species of mangrove and about 29 different kind of Bird species including bats.
Our group transverse the 350 meters boardwalk with the amazing view of different mangroves and Silonay River . You can actually rent a kayak for Php100 if you want to tour the eco-park through Silonay River.
Silonay residents- Php10
Just a reminder, don’t forget to put on sunblock or bring an umbrella when you tour the Eco-park. It was really blazing hot to walk there under the sun. Plus always be careful because some parts of the boardwalk are almost dilapidated and really scary to step on. Will post more of my Silonay Mangrove Conservation and Eco-Park on a separate blog post soon. 🙂
SANAKA means “Samahang Nagtataguyod ng Kabuhayan” built by a group of women in Calapan in order to give livelihood, making them more sustainable and productive member of the society. Plus this gives added income for their family as well.
Their product is not just a typical banana chips that we are seeing in pasalubong shops that were covered with glazed sugar. You might think that it is to plain and bland-looking, wait till you get to taste it. It’s really good.
For our 3rd stop, we spend our lunch time at Auntie Lola. This restaurant’s specialty are Bulalo, Bbq and Ribs. I have tasted their Bulalo hmmm… for me the taste is quite bland and the meat needs a little more cooking(hard to slice and chew). Their sisig is kinda a letdown as well, more on fat and not crunchy(who doesn’t want crunchy sisig right?). We also had Pinakbet, Lumpiang Shanghai, and Pancit Canton which tastes satisfactory. Their fried chicken on the other hand is really good! It tasted similar to Max’s.
Would I go back? Yes! I would still give this resto a chance. I would love to try their other specialties as well.
Our 2nd to the last stop and a quick detour, INFINITY FARM in Baco, Oriental Mindoro. I did not make any research before going to this place because I want everything to be a surprise. When I saw Infinity farm in our itinerary, I was expecting it to be a farm with crops, animals and everything. But this is a different farm. Even though it is quite far from the main city, It was really worth the trip.
I was wearing rubber shoes that time, and I really can’t resist removing them and dip because the water stream was really inviting and the sound of the water flowing was really relaxing. It was really cold by the way. I just wish we could have stayed longer. 🙁 Will just go back there again.And for our final and another quick stop-over, Isel Ian’s Halo-Halo. Just perfect for the hot weather that day. Since we were catching our Calapan-Manila FastCat schedule, we just took away the halo-halo and eat it inside the bus on our way back to the port. Super love the halo-halo. The ice was really fine. Finer than Razons i think. It’s like eating a sherbet. Tastes really good. One serving isn’t enough and you would want some more. I believe, what we had is priced at Php50(8 ingredients).
Thank you so much JAM Liner Inc., FastCat, Philtranco, PIAA, and City Tourism of Calapan for a wonderful, memorable, and jam-packed day in Calapan Oriental Mindoro. Looking forward to more Calapan Experience!
To learn more about their services, routes, terminals and booking schedules, you may visit their perspective websites and social media accounts:
To know more about the City of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, you may visit: