Romblown away bits and pieces f gas regulations

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This is one of those destinations that I never thought I’d be visiting soon. That is, until I saw its breath taking pictures all over the net! I am glad that I visited the Marble Capital of the Country with my med school travel buddies Mowty, Marilyn, and Taro. Originally, only me and Mowty planned to visit Romblon before the start of the semester. Due to the unpredictable schedule though, we were only able to do so after the semester finished. And with so much hullabaloo going on in med school, I did not even have the time to study this trip (something that i NEVER do). Luckily I was with Mowty, and I am so thankful of her for arranging our Itinerary beforehand. It is also worth mentioning that this is my first time riding a ship again since I was 6 years old 🙂

-We maximized our limited travel dates to 1 island per day (Sunday – Transpo; Monday – Sibuyan; Tues – Romblon; Wed – Tablas; Thurs AM-Manila ). We didn’t jampack our daily itineraries. After reaching a few of our destinations, we realized that the distance from one spot to another is rather remote (like on the minimum, 1 to 2 hrs travel time). It is also worth mentioning that there’s a uniform and limited schedule of public transportation within the three main islands, so if you did not make it on time to the pick-up point, you would have to wait for the next scheduled pick-up which may be a few hours to even a day later. You may also opt to rent your own private vehicle (pump boats for sea travels, and tricycles for land travels), but of course it comes with a higher fee. Romblon is best visited with a group, for this reason alone. So as a tip, allot time for transportation, and negotiate and haggle with the tricycle drivers.

The tricycle drivers in Romblon were very accommodating and kind. We did not haggle that much even if we were on a tight budget. I think I need to emphasize that in renting private tricycles, we should be considerate of some factors, like the driver’s trade-off income for the day, the extra income that they need to earn, and the price of Gasoline (which is quite expensive in the three islands). As mentioned, it is best if you bring more friends so you can share the fees of a private vehicle. A typical romblon tricycle can fit 6 to 7 passengers. But there’s a lot of traveling, and not all the roads are cemented so naturally I felt bad for the driver and his tricycle every time we passed these roads. Since it is an island, the gasoline is probably expensive.

All four of us started the journey from Quezon City, so we first had to ride a Jam Liner bus in Kamias headed to Batangas Pier. We arrived at the pier at 4pm. The queues were disarrayed and we really had to be vigilante in order to get our tickets. It was humid and vastly crowded as well, and this may be attributed to the upcoming elections. We were able to write on the enlistment form for the 5pm RoRo. Unfortunately, we only managed the “chance on board” passenger type and we didn’t have a bed to rest on. We nested on the side of the ship, seated on the floor, facing the ocean. It doesn’t seem as bad as it sounds, because we were probably breathing the freshest air in the ship. (I think there is also Batangas to Sibuyan via Navios but that was at 4pm, we came later than that.)

When we arrived at Odiongan, we didn’t know the importance of “unahan basis”, so we just gradually walked out of the the RoRo and therefore missed the only 2 topload jeeps headed to San Agustin port. (Because we are heading to sibuyan)This resulted in us renting kuya _________’s tricycle for P1,000 (haggled from the original P1,200).

3. At San Agustin Port, porters immediate come to assist you, and it’s in your discretion if you will want a porter (they will ask for a small tip). The Starhorse RoRo going to Sibuyan isnt that far of a walk, but you will of course need to secure a ticket first before getting a chance to board it. In our case, we opted for the porters so that we would be secured seats in the RoRo (our bottoms were still numb from the nearly 10-hour boat travel, plus 1 hour tricycle travel) . The porters did deliver, and all four of us were given seats in the air-conditioned section of the RoRo.

4. When we reached Sibuyan, we hired another tricycle (P1,500) going to Azagra Port. This is where you hire a boat going to the famous Cresta De Gallo. BTW, we chose to travel from the farthest then to the nearer islands, so it would be easier for us for the succeeding days to go back to Batangas.

We had a hard time looking for a driver who would agree with our itinerary and our price offer. Good thing, there was one who agreed, kuya Noel. We were running out of sunblock, and apparently only 2 stores(pharmacy) sold them. Unfortunately they were both out of stock. So I just used the minute amount that was left.

From the highway, you still have to drive for about 15-30mins(?) depending on your vehicle. Ours was a trike so it was really bumpy for us. It almost overheated that it needed to rest. Good thing, another trike driver came by and offered to drop us off on a flatter ground. We arrived 30mins before the lunch time. We just ordered our food from their restaurant. With their P70 entrance fee, who would not want to stay at Aglicay beach for a daytour. It also has a good deal for visitors who are BUDGETarian. I think their tent accomodation cost around P150 per night(?). They don’ have a corkage for any food and drinks that you would like to bring. The place is so cozy and wonderful. I would’ve wanted to stay more

We noticed that the waves were continuous and strong (but not so strong for surfing or so. haha)so we asked kuya if there was any news about people taken away by the waves, he said there was none. He also mentioned a “story from words of mouth” saying that some of the white sand here are from Boracay. I still had to use my aquashoes here.

The other drivers suggested that the price was P2,000, but we haggled. Good thing, there is one who agreed.We were able to haggle but as we go on with our trip, we realized that the places to visit are far plus he is “mabait” so we just paid 2k. He said that the gas was really expensive. and the locals really have time for the things that they do(like going to the market).

It was actually challenging to change the iti if you do not rent a trike.(Just like us, if we go for a jeep to odiongan, we have to leave at 2pm. In that case, we won’t be able to maximize this day.) He just dropped us on the port.We boarded Starlight going to Calapan at 10. This one is also good and very orderly.

Our Recent Romblon trip include a lot of travel time by trike, or boat because we tried to travel its 3 islands. (There is one airport in Tablas Island.)We tried to lessen our expenses but this was what we have tried given the situation. It was such a breather especially after our final exams. I used to be very vigilant against treacherous sellers or drivers by the way they rate but people here are very honest and you can see their pure intentions. For me, it is still worth the experience. You should go here too.:)