After spending a great week in Bohol, we got ready for our next destination — Palawan. I was there in 2013, and I wanted to show Carl what the place has to offer. Tagbilaran Airport in Bohol, as I’ve mentioned, was one of the smallest airports in PH. It’s a Class 1 principal airport with a one plane policy. There was no flight direct to Puerto Princesa, so we had to go by boat, have a one-night stopover in Cebu, and fly from Mactan-Cebu International Airport the following day.
There was a number of available ferry lines from Bohol to Cebu — SuperCat, Weesam, OceanJet, among others. For your fast ferrry options, check out this site: https://www.bohol.ph/article107.html. I scoured the internet to read reviews of the ferry lines, and decided that it was going to be either SuperCat or OceanJet. If you ask the locals which one to take, most of them would say OceanJet, because 1) It’s cheap, and 2) They have more scheduled trips, so if you miss your schedule, you can easily book the next one. But then again, since it’s pretty popular, I guess it’s safe to say that it would also be crowdy.
After island-hopping in Bohol, our boatman Kuya Tony led us to a ticketing office in Alona Beach. I suggest buying your tickets this way. When you buy physically from a ticketing office, there is the possibility of getting the cheapest prices. We paid 750 php each for a business class. However, since there was only three scheduled trips each day, we had to make sure to catch our ferry. We booked an overnight stay in Cebu to make sure we would not miss our flight to Palawan.
When we get to Tagbilaran Port, we had to pay extra for the terminal fee (25PHP each, if I remember correctly), and then 100PHP for each luggage. The waiting area was very crowded, and as expected, we left late. There was a small sari-sari kiosk inside where you can buy (a little more expensive) munchies. There was also a cafe on the second floor, but we opted not to leave our seats.
The condition of the waiting area can very much be improved. It was noisy, and you have local entertainment + microphone announcements. You gotta bring lots of positive attitude! 😉
After we got past through waiting, we boarded the old pink ferry boat, hoping for a safe and smooth sail. Business class was located on the upper deck, so we had pass by the luggage area and the open-air seats.
The room was clean, although there was a slight unpleasant smell when you first enter. There was a tv where they play pirated movies. The staff gave us a cupcake and a bottled water, and that’s about it for business class.
We were literally the only passengers in that room, except for one odd-looking guy who slept all the way with his feet up. The staff greeted him, and we assumed they were friends and he got in for free. We had no problem with that though, it happens all the time in the Philippines.
After two hours onboard, we finally reached the Queen City of the South. I thought I was looking at Manila when I saw Cebu from afar! It was very urban now, very industrialized. The poverty line was also very visible.
I guess that the most important benefit of availing business class was comfortability. There was lesser movement, the room was airconditioned and quiet! However, I would not mind staying in economy class. Since SuperCat was no longer a popular choice, I think it’s safe to assume that there would be enough space in economy class to move around. But of course, if the difference between the fares is not that high, then, I see no problem splurging once in a while. 😉
Read more about SuperCat here.
This is all for now. Up next, our little escapade in the Queen City of the South – Cebu! Cheers! ❤