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How to go to Manila from Kalibo via Roro (Roll - on - roll - off) Bus

How to go to Manila from Kalibo via Roro (Roll - on - roll - off) Bus

Just finished 3 nights exploring my 41st Philippine province. Actually, I couldn't wait to share to you guys my DIY Travel Guide Itinerary to Antique particularly to Pandan and Tibiao towns but my backlogs for work is still piling up so I will need to do it soon. I flew via Philippine Airlines from Manila to Caticlan since there's no direct flight yet to Antique.  I used my Mabuhay miles so instead of paying Php 7,000+ for the fare I only gave Php 450. This trip was decided just 3 weeks before the travel date and booking another flight of Caticlan or Kalibo to Manila isn't an option for me. It is already expensive and I also want to experience what it's like to take a Roro bus. 

Manila to caticlan roll on roll off bus
Inside Ceres Bus 

On our last day, we briefly stopped over at Kalibo to see the Ati - Atihan Festival 2016 street dancing. The van that we took from Nabas, Antique brought us to directly to the terminal. In front of it is the Ceres bus terminal flying to Iloilo, Caticlan, Kalibo and Pasay / Cubao. We arrived around 11am which is just in time to walk around. My two friends are taking a van bound to Iloilo for their flight to Manila while I take a Roro bus.

Reina del Cielo Montenegro Shipping line
1st ferry - Reina del Cielo Montenegro Shipping line

Around 2pm, the Ati - Atihan grand parade hasn't started yet so we decided to start our journey back home. I did not do any prior booking. I paid mine right there after I get inside the bus. Here's my First timer's Guide to Taking a Roro Bus Iloilo - Manila.

First timer's Guide to Taking a Roro Bus Iloilo - Manila.
2nd ferry - Maria Oliva Montenegro Shipping line

Bus: Ceres Transport Aircon
Ferry / Roro: Montenegro Shipping Lines
Fare: Php 1, 184
Departure time in Kalibo: 3pm
Arrival time in Pasay/Cubao: 1 pm

Montenegro Shipping line
Inside Montenegro Shipping line

I felt extremely lucky for getting the last seat because I need to go back to Manila no matter what. The bus is also anout to leave so i couldnt ask for more that time than to be home soo .

Ceres Transport bus seems  popular and in - demand company around Antique, Kalibo and Caticlan so that's the one I chose. 2Go ferry is also another choice but I have used them in my Manila - Coron trip so I'm up to something I haven't done yet.

batangas port roll on roll off bus
A rival ferry docked at Batangas Port

3 pm - Bus departure in Kalibo

530 pm - Arrival in Caticlan Jetty Port. It is beside the ticketing office of those going to Boracay to pay for environmental fee, terminal fee et cetera.
Travel time from Kalibo to Caticlan is only 1 hour but due to the traffic brought by the  Ati - Atihan festival, we should be in our first ferry ride by 6pm. As a result, we had a delay of 2 hours.

845 pm - Caticlan to Roxas.
Roro ride via Montenegro Shipping lines.
The seats are on a first - come - first - serve basis. If you're lucky you can sleep at the ccouc or take the seats and sleep in a sitting position. The comfort room is dirty and the floor is slightly flooding. There's a big screen in the middle and smaller LCD's to view movies and announcements of the management.

It was a rough and bumpy ride because I knew there's a low pressure weather going on.

For non - residents of Aklan like me, we were given a piece of paper to fill up and pay Php 50 as terminal fee.

130 am - We took the same bus from Kalibo.  This big ferry can accommodate 3-4 buses inside.

430 am - Arrival in Calapan, Mindoro

We had to fall in line to sign our names at the manifesto logbook, get our terminal fee + shipping lines ticket. 

630 am - Departure for our second Roro ride via Montenegro Shipping lines. 

830 am - Arrival at Batangas Port.

930 am - DELAYED as always. Departed for Manila

1 pm - Arrival in Cubao

Tips to remember when riding a Roro bus

1. Know your bus number. There are 3-4 buses with same colors inside the ferry. The bus drivers give the receipt and booking ticket according to where you belong so make sure to remember that.

2. Please watch for your belongings. There's no drawer or cabinet you can put your belongings safely. 

3. If you are catching a celebration, a job starting early in the morning - please do not expect that you will arrive on time in Manila. Traffic, late arrival of the ferry or bad weather can happen anytime.

4. Bring jacket, sweater and / or wear pants because it is cold inside the ferry. If you run out of chairs inside, you'll most probably stay at the open area.

5. Buy your food outside. Stores located at ports, bus / van terminals and especially inside the ship sell products 2x or 3x the price. 

Please see below related reviews:

Iloilo Bus & Land Transport Terminals, Routes & Schedules via Explore Iloilo
Boracay via Roro Bus Ferry: Batangas-Mindoro-Caticlan: Motorcycle Car Rates/Fare/Fee  via Backpacking Philippines

Note:  This is not a comprehensive guide that shares a direction of travelling roro bus from Caticlan to Manila. My goal here is only to show you my experience of how I did it.

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