If you’re going to travel from Manila to Mindoro, most of the time, you will take your journey via Calapan as it serves as the gateway to Mindoro. Most of the time the place serves as jumping point for locals and tourists. Like when I visited Najuan, a town in Oriental Mindoro, I wasn’t able to go around Calapan to get to know it.
Good thing Fast Cat, Jam Liner Inc. and Philtranco had a day-tour for bloggers and I was able to appreciate Calapan a little better, more than just a jumping point for Mindoro travelers.
Calapan is the main entry and exit point to and from Oriental Mindoro – making it one of the busiest ports in the region.
As for tourists, there are number of reasons why going to Calapan is an adventure worth your while.
SILONAY MANGROVE CONSERVATION AREA AND ECOTOURISM
If you’re a nature lover, you’d appreciate the minutes of walking through the 350 meters of bamboo-made boardwalk showcasing parts of the 42 hectare protected area of the Silonay Mangrove Conservation Area.
Silonay Mangrove is home to 30 bird and 2 bat species endemic in the area.
A 360-degree view of the Silonay Mangrove awaits you at the end of the trail.
Entrance fee to the boardwalk costs:
|Senior / PWD||Php 40|
|Silonay Residents||Php 10|
You can also do kayaking for just Php 100. But in our case, we weren’t able to do so, since we have very limited time to stay.
INFINITY FARM RESORT (Baco, Oriental Mindoro)
If water dipping is your thing, then the cold spring water in Baco, Oriental Mindoro should suit you perfectly – the Infinity Farm Resort.
Infinity Farm Resort is about 40 minutes drive from Calapan. Public transport is not available going to the area, but, it is definitely worth it, especially if you’re to stay there for the at least half-a-day.
Entrance fee of Php 100 per head is charged.
During the short stay in Calapan, I was able to try some of the city’s famous offerings.
Sanaka Banana Chips
The Sanaka Banana Chips are crisp, thin, banana slices that are not too sweet and just right for snacks. Compared to common banana chips around that tend to be thick. The Sanaka Banana Chips are thin cut and rightfully sweetened for anyone’s tastebuds.
Isel Ian’s Halo-halo
he Isel Ian’s Halo-Halo is one of the best halo-halos I tasted. Similar to what of Razon’s for its finely shaved ice. The Isel Ian’s Halo Halo has a variety of 8 to 12 ingredients per serving.
Too bad, I wasn’t able to get into their store due to time constraint, but what the heck, important thing is I tried it. Though, how I wish I could have more.
Auntie Lola’s Bulalo
Honestly, I didn’t find the food from Auntie Lola’s restaurant to be interesting, even its bulalo. I still prefer the bulalo in Tagaytay. 🙂
HOW TO GO TO CALAPAN
Calapan is about 4 hours away from Manila. You can ride Jam Liner either from Cubao or Buendia terminal. In my case, I came from their Buendia Terminal.
Buendia to Batangas Pier – 2 to 2 1/2 hours (depending on the traffic in Manila)
Batangas Pier to Calapan – 1 hour 45 minutes via Fast Cat
The seamless connection of Jam Liner with Fast Cat makes it more convenient and faster for travelers to coast from Manila to Calapan. As for me, I find this option very practical and time-saver.
JAM LINER FARE
Cubao to Batangas Pier – Php 175 (12am to 10:30pm)
Buendia to Batangas Pier – Php 168 (12:30am to 11pm)
Batangas Pier to Cubao – Php 175 (6am to 11pm)
Batangas Pier to Buendia – Php 168 (6am to 11pm)
FAST CAT FERRY FARE (Batangas to Calapan / Calapan to Batangas)
PWD (with valid IDs)
(3 to 7 yo)
(Below 3 yo)
|Business Class||Php 300||Php 240||Php 150||Free|
|Premium Economy||Php 250||Php 200||Php 125||Free|
|Economy||Php 190||Php 152||Php 95′||Free|
As for other destinations in the Philippines, Philtranco and Fast Cat have seamless connection in Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Mindanao regions.
SAFETY & SECURITY
If you’re a bit of a paranoid, especially for those first time sea travelers, Fast Cat boasts of its two-hall system suited for fast travel while staying safe. The Fast Cat vessels are designed for the weather and sea condition in the the Philippines. Fast Cat is run by Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corporation.
Philtranco is pioneer in the land transportation system in the country. Noting of its legacy and experience in the industry for more than 100 years transporting cargo and passengers in different areas across the country. Its name is synonymous to traveling in the Philippines.
Jam Liner is a key player in the transport system in the Southern Tagalog provinces. Both bus lines have GPS technology, wifi and on-board TV for entertainment.
With the synergy of the three, traveling to different provinces via land and sea may be seen seamless.