Because I wanted to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in a special place, my loving wife agreed to return to Boracay. We had been to this top-rated white beach destination on two previous occasions. Today’s post mainly deals with one topic “Quickest Land Travel from Iloilo City to Boracay.”
Vacation Time in Stunning Boracay
Furthermore, I wanted a vacation to recover from my recent gall bladder surgery. Finally, I also threw in a reference to my birthday that was last month to cinch the deal. Hence, I was able to talk my asawa into a mini-three day stop in Boracay. She deserves a vacation. I’m on a perpetual one.
Another incentive to visit Boracay was the fact that there would be less tourists. Chinese and some South Korean visitors have been banned from the Philippines due to the COVID-19 hysteria.
After booking a room at the Station 2 White Beach section of Boracay the week before we left, we had everything in order for our trip. Our room was only 2,000 pesos a night, 40 US dollars. I felt that was a reasonable rate for a weekend stay of three nights. We booked our rooms at Jejsellends, a place we had stayed at during our first two visits to Boracay.
Make sure you have a copy of the reservation confirmation; however, you’ll need it when you get to Caticlan, the gateway to Boracay.
Rainy Ride on the Pump Boat
Our journey began early Friday morning. Because of a steady rain, I believed that the Yohan Express at the Jordan Wharf in Guimaras would be operating. I was wrong. Only the pump boats were in operation. We arrived at the Jordan Wharf around 5:45 am. The boat crew was getting ready, distributing life jackets throughout the boat. The rain had stopped temporarily.
However, around 5:55 am, the rain began again and even though we were under a partial tarp, most of the passengers were still getting wet. The motorized banca boat was still not taking off, despite some extremely loud protests from the passengers.
Finally, a lone crewmember, whom the rest of the crew was evidently waiting for, finally ran over and hopped on the boat. We took off in the rain. My asawa had forgotten her umbrella and covered her head with a scarf. I didn’t care about getting wet as my ever-present bandana always covers my baldhead.
Unbearable FX Van Wait
We arrived at the Ortiz Dock in Iloilo City and promptly caught a taxicab. On our previous trips to Caticlan’s Jetty Port in Malay, Aklan, we had used a passenger van service located not far from the Ceres bus terminal at the Tagbak Terminal in Jaro, Iloilo City.
On our earlier excursions, there were loads of passengers filling the vans and we didn’t have to wait long for our journey to Boracay to begin.
However, once we arrived at the passenger van stop, no one else was waiting to board a van to Caticlan. My wife signed a passenger list and we were the only ones on the list. This was around 6:40 am. My wife spoke to a worker nearby. He hinted that the van might leave with only eight passengers.
Ditching the Van
Thirty minutes passed. Still no other passengers. After 45 minutes, around 7:15 pm, we still were the only people waiting to go to Caticlan.
“Let’s catch the Ceres bus,” I said to my wife. “We could be here all morning waiting for this van to fill up.”
My wife agreed. We took our luggage and promptly caught a taxi to the nearby Ceres bus terminal.
Stopping the Ceres Bus to Caticlan
As we approached the bus station, a bus heading to Caticlan was just coming out of the terminal. Our cab driver honked his horn and attempted to get the bus driver to stop. The bus driver, however, made his turn, and headed down the road! Our cabbie chased after him, navigating his way through the heavy Iloilo City morning traffic, blasting his horn, and flashing his bright lights on and off.
All to no avail, as we were having difficulty trying to keep up with the bus.
Finally, after a few kilometers down the road, our persistent cab driver caught up with the bus and the driver pulled alongside the road. We thanked our taxi driver and my wife gave him a generous tip. It was like a scene out of a television action show.
We boarded the Ceres bus, thanked the driver, and were on our way to Caticlan. It was a rainy journey most of the way. Finally, the rain stopped by the time we reached our destination in Caticlan.
Quickest Land Travel from Iloilo City to Boracay
So what is the quickest land travel from Iloilo City to Boracay? Well, I’ll be posting about our Boracay adventure in future articles. However, the Ceres bus took almost six hours (it made three stops) and the transport van from Caticlan on the way home only took four hours. (In Caticlan, we waited about 20 minutes for one more passenger to fill the van until I finally told the driver we would pay for the remaining seat so we could return home.)
The approximate distance from Iloilo to Caticlan is 218 kilometers, 136 miles.
Furthermore, there wasn’t much a difference in price. Ceres charged 391 pesos per passenger, $7.82 (USD.) The van service charged 350 pesos per person, $7.00 (USD.)
If you want a more comfortable ride with more room and a good air con along with an onboard CR, Comfort Room, take the Ceres bus. In contrast, the van service shaved two hours off the trip.
More on the Boracay adventure coming up. Stay tuned!