It was the hot night of May 2012. Dazl and Jessica could not sleep as there was no wind that would lessen the summer heat. But I had a good night sleep as I was sleeping on the cold floor with only a blanket as my cushion in the humble backpackerish A & A Lodging House. It was our last night in Banton Island in the Province of Romblon and tomorrow we will be departing for another adventure on Tablas Island.
Morning came, we ate breakfast at the nearby karinderya/canteen around 6AM. The lady that was serving our food of dried fish and eggs told us that we could still relax as the boat still has not arrived. After an hour of eating, waiting and checking our stuff the boat came and we went out with our packs. We passed by the jolly Tita Osing who owned the lodge. She always puts a smile on our faces when we see her and this morning was the same. She was singing while dancing in the middle of the street. We said our goodbyes and thanked her but she told us to wait for a little while she went inside a bakery and handed us some bread. It was her on-the-ride food for us. We thanked her again and started walking to the port.
Ever since we arrived at Banton Island it was quiet in our standards but this time at the presence of the big boat of Kalayaan Shipping Inc. the town was busy. Cartons were moving in and out of the boat. We crossed the wooden plank to the boat, walked on its wooden floor and entered the door on the left side. We were then in a big space of the boat where there was flour that was stacked higher than me, boxes and cans of goods, plastic containers with butter or margarine on it, large plastic bags containing noodles and chips and styrofoam containers mummified by a brown colored adhesive tape. There were egg trays stacked up to my shoulder, which made me worry if the bottom eggs could really catch the weight above them. There were lots of people in the cargo bay, carrying and listing goods.
We climbed a blue painted stairs to the passenger bay. I was surprised that there was a wide space with no chairs. The people that went up before us went to what seems like a group of sticks with a sheet of yellow textile. They unfolded it and it turned out to be our chairs or a pseudo sun bathing chairs. You can place your chair anywhere you want so when all the passengers arrived and settled down we were now in the middle of a maze of chairs.
The boat started to move around 8AM and we was heading to San Agustin Port at Tablas Island before moving on to Romblon Island and Sibuyan Island. One of the crews approached us and asked where were we headed, we said to San Agustin and paid our 240 Pesos per person fare. He said that it would take around 3 hours for the boat to arrive at San Agustin. He went away and we now concentrated on the TV screen in front of us playing classic Filipino movies.
After a while I decided to take a walk around the boat to see the scenery and see the other parts of the boat. There are two real reasons why I did this. The first one was I needed to get to the comfort room and the second was I had a hard time with the seat as I’m used to 90 degrees angle of the butt board and the back board. Though I knew that the chairs was designed for them not to tumble when the sea gets rough due to its low center of gravity and the large floor area it has on its four legs. The comfort room was located at the back of the boat, the same floor as the cargo bay. The sea waters were friendly that day so I had an easy time going through the maze of chairs, going down the stairs, passing by the cargoes and locating the comfort room. The comfort room was pretty decent, well at least for my standards and at least for the male comfort room.
I went back up and decided to see the view. We were passing by the side of Tablas Island and there was an island with a lighthouse on it. I wish I knew the name of the island as I wanted to visit it but I’m sure not for this trip as 20 days of going around the province of Romblon is not enough.
After more than 3 hours (11:15 AM) on the calm sea we arrived at San Agustin Port. Went down the stairs, crossed the cargo bay and crossed the wooden plank. We walked on the port and located the jeep that will take us to Odiongan. When rode the jeep and it quickly became full. So we thought but it still waited for more passengers of the boat coming from Romblon Island and departed around 2PM.
Kalayaan Shipping Inc. Details
(042) 716-0734, (042) 660-8694
|Location||Time of Departure|
|Banton Island||7:00AM Saturday|
|San Agustin||1:00PM Saturday|
|Romblon Island||3:30PM Saturday|
|Cajidiocan||10:00AM Monday â€“ Arrival|
They depart going back on the same route from Cajidiocan at Tuesday 8AM.
Kalayaan 7 does the same route but leaves on Wednesday at 7:30PM at Lucena.
Fare from Banton Island to San Agustin, Tablas Island was 240 Pesos per person.
* This is according to the crew of Kalayaan 9 that we talked to.
Follow my Banton Island, Romblon Series
- Boat from Banton Island to San Agustin, Tablas Island
- Motorcycle Tour around Banton Island
- Banton Island Church
Follow my Romblon Province Series