Boracay to Laguna with Php435?
I checked my wallet and coin purse and all I got is Php 435.00. I checked again, now including my backpack’s secret pocket, still all I got are:
4 one hundred-peso bills
1 twenty-peso bill
1 10-peso coin and
1 5-peso coin
How in the world would this bring me home? Or at least bring me to Batangas City.
This trip has no options, as I said in the previous posts, I left my credit cards and ATM card. I don’t want to borrow or ask for money. I need to finish the challenge. As Lao-Tzu said, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I have to say good-bye to Boracay island by starting to move my feet, and walk towards the port. Every peso counts now. I need to be in Laguna in one piece.
Crazy things I did (Don’t Tell the Authorities):
I took the multicab for P10 going to Jetty port, then I didn’t pay the terminal fee by pretending to be working at Boracay (Aklan residents and those who work at Boracay are not required to pay the P50 terminal fee). Ask what work? I said, “I work at travel and tours.”
When I reached Caticlan Port, I used my student ID to save on Ro-Ro (Roll on- Roll off) going to Roxas, Oriental Mindoro. Instead of paying P320, I only paid P294. Then I pretended to be working at Boracay so I will not be required to pay the P20 terminal fee.
How I survived (Food, Transportation, Hitchhiking?)
I arrived pass 2:00pm at Roxas port (Mindoro). With only Php 101 left, its impossible for me to reach Calapan (van costs P150). So I need to hitchhike. I tried asking the trucks the ship I boarded with but to no avail. Patience, patience and more PATIENCE.
At 4:30pm, another ship arrived and I approached every truck driver to let me hitchhike, again to no avail. I haven’t eaten lunch and was so tired already. I don’t want to give up and I want to enjoy every moment of this adventure.
I walked on the coast and saw some coconuts, I saw someone and ask if I can have a coconut. He gave me one. Thanks Manong Jo Dalahican. The buko juice kept me hydrated and the coconut meat was a temporary relief to my hunger.
7:30pm came and I talked to the truck drivers, again no one was willing to give me a hitch. By this time, some municipal workers helped me. Nanay Bel gave me her dinner and some rambutan. I have no problems with food and desert. Nanay Bel’s son, JR, also works for Montenegro Lines and he was the one who referred me trucks.
9:30pm and another ship came, this time I also talked with passenger buses. The worst reply I heard was, “Hindi kami, nagpapasabay, baka maiwan ka masyado kaming mabilis.” (The driver was obviously referring that I keep pace with the bus while running). I want to punch him, but I have to keep my cool. Too tired, I have no choice but to take a nap at Montenegro Lines ticketing office.
Day 15 (Bigtime Bonus)
At 2:30am (July 20, Tuesday), JR, woke me up and told me to ready
myself and stuff. Thank God a truck driver finally allowed me to hitchhike. A truck from Bacolod city full of cows and goats (36cows and 150goats to be exact). I boarded the ten-wheeler truck and was excited to see home. Don’t ask me about the smell, I think already smell alike as I haven’t took a bath since leaving Boracay. So, I spent the longest 12-hour of my happy life in that small town of Roxas, waiting for a driver who will give me a hitch.
By 8:30am I saw myself leaving Calapan City port to Batangas City. I was already celebrating (only Php69 left in my pocket) because it would be very easy for me to go home when I reached Lipa City. The ship we boarded was fully-automatic and I don’t have to pay for transportation because I’m considered part of the truck staff. Woohooo!
10:45am I wanted to kiss the land of Batangas. Success! Success! I said good-bye to the driver and co. I boarded the bus going Lipa City.
11:25am I’m at my second home, Lipa City, Batangas. Just in time for lunch. I came inside the house celebrating, Success! Success! My 14-day Solo Backpacking trip was a success! Tired, I ate lunch , took a bath and spent the rest of the day sleeping on the couch. What an experience!
Would I do it again? Definitely! Visit back for the conclusion, learnings and more on my next post.
I call to every backpacker out there. Any challengers? Hahaha (just kidding)
Day 14 Expenses (Boracay Island – Roxas, Oriental Mindoro)
P10 Multi-cab (Station 3-Port)
P25 Pumpboat to Caticlan
P5 Water refill (Beef steak and 2 cups rice from a small canteen)
P294 Transportation (Ro-Ro from Caticlan – Roxas, Oriental Mindoro)
P2 Styropor cup (for chocolate drink). I still have a chocolate drink sachet and that kept my hungry tummy okay for some hours.
Day 15 Expenses (Roxas, Oriental Mindoro – Batangas City)
P20 Terminal Fee (Calapan City – Batangas City). I paid the terminal fee for the truck, that’s all I can afford.
P10 Pancit for breakfast (at Calapan port)
P35 Bus (Batangas City – Lipa City)
Php 401.00 (US$ 9.11 or €6.57) for 2 days, Php401 from Boracay to Lipa City is definitely a NO JOKE. Looking back it was the most amazing adventure I ever had in my travel life. You should try it sometime.
I arrived at Lipa City with P34, aunt gave me P100 and the next day I went back home smiling.