I got three weekend outings since the easing of the pandemic restrictions — a day tour in Caliraya, Laguna; a two-day swim and camp in Talisayen Cove, Zambales; and just recently, another three-day charity outreach slash vacation in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro. Wow! And so I got really tanned!
Door-To-Door Van (Manila—Batangas—Paluan, Occidental Mindoro). While my friend, who heads the charity outreach program — Educate and Support Paluan Mangyans — has contacts in Occidental Mindoro, she arranged a door-to-door transport for our small team from Cainta, Rizal to Paluan, Occidental Mindoro.
It was supposedly on Wednesday after work, April 13, but the van wasn’t available so it was moved to the next day. We, alongside two sacks of donated goods, were picked up at STI College Ortigas-Cainta at noon of Thursday, but we reached Batangas Port around 10:00PM as other passengers — one in BGC, three in Bicutan, another in Las Piñas, and more in General Trias, Cavite — had to be fetched. It was a long road trip across the metro!
At the port of Batangas, we still had to wait for a few hours. It was around 1:00AM when we finally boarded a RoRo (roll-on, roll-off) ship and docked in Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro at around 4:00AM. It was another long ride from the port until we finally reached our destination, Paluan, Occidental Mindoro at around 7:00AM, Friday.
Total Travel Expense: PHP1,800.00.
Commute (Paluan — Mamburao — Abra De Ilog — Batangas — Manila). After our conduct of the charity outreach in the Mangyan mountains of Occidental Mindoro, thankfully we had the whole afternoon to have lunch at the middle of a rice field, swim in the cold waters of Calawagan Mountain Resort and finally spend overnight at La Virginia Beach Resort in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro.
We just had to shell out a few hundreds for the food, quick transpo, and resort accommodation. The locals, also the relatives of our friend, were very accommodating that we were welcomed in their homes for some food and shower in between our travels around the community.
On the next day, Saturday noon, we decided to travel back to Manila, however by commute. We took a tricycle from Paluan to Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro and contributed PHP200.00 for the driver (it was a family tricycle though). It was almost two hours. From Mamburao, we took a van to Abra de Ilog for PHP250.00 fare.
We reached the port at around 3:00PM and purchased tickets for another RoRo trip for PHP360.00 each. We left Occidental Mindoro at around 5:00PM and reached Batangas at 9:00PM. We were able to take a bus bound for Cubao for PHP250.00 right after the ship docked. It was more or less three hours of travel.
Total Travel Expense: PHP1,060.00
I couldn’t believe that in three days within the Holy Week that I would be back home after a charity outreach program and a short vacation. It was kinda tiring, but it was all worth it.