Out of Luzon

Trip Start Dec 03, 2012
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15
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Trip End Jan 09, 2013


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Where I stayed
Riceland 2 Inn

Flag of Philippines  , Mimaropa,
Monday, December 17, 2012

People's Park in the Sky
Headed out without breakfast to People's Park in the Sky - some 10 km to the east. A tricycle driver offered 80 php for the ride but I went with 10 php on a public jeepney. This is the highest viewpoint along the ridge, looking to the volcano island and also towards Manila in the low lying area. No doubt, it was fabulous for views but bad luck had some looming dark clouds casting shadows over this region. It is nevertheless a popular destination for both locals and foreigners. It was back to Java Jazz for a brunch of a superb spanish style sardines in garlicky sauce with garlic rice, no less.
 
Batangas Ferry Terminal
Back to Tagaytay town for my bus to Batangas shortly after. Turned out I had to bus to Balayan and switch to a Batangas bound bus. All in all, the two buses chewed up 4 hours including 1 hour stuck in a traffic jam at the outskirts of Batangas! It was a scene of chaos at Batangas bus terminal under this impossible heat. Tricycle touts insisted (lied) to me that no bus goes to the pier. I kept asking locals until one pointed to a departing bus and I managed to get on board for 30 php. The touts wanted 100 php! Slimy. 

Further chaos continued at the pier with human traffic moving in both directions. A souvenir stall tout led the way to the ticketing booth. His assistance helped in the confusing ticketing system. After buying my 2GO fastcraft ticket, I had to purchase my ferry terminal separately. Obviously he knew travellers get confused, that's where he steps in. In return, I visited his snack stall but chose to tip him instead buying his products.
 
Baggage Checks
My ticket was for a 5 pm departure to Calapan, Mindoros. Time at this point was 4 pm - lunch time! The departure hall is huge but functional - with food stalls and amenities including a massage booth. Second round of baggage inspection before I board the fastcraft. The security in Philippines is top notch. I had gotten so used to bag inspections at shopping malls, LRT stations that it was no longer a hassle. They were largely after hidden explosives. Both the communist guerilla army and fundamental islamic militants are known for their non-discriminatory bombing of public places in the Philippines. As recent as 25th Jan 2011, an improvised explosion killed 5 people and injured 11 on the streets of Makati, Manila.
 
Calapan
Leaving Batangas, it felt really slow for a fastcraft when I was inside. Stepping out on the deck however, I realised that it was aptly named fast craft as we roared away from the port while Mt Magulot grew smaller in the background until the evening sky took over. Checked in at Riceland 2 Inn an hour later. The function hall next door was hosting a christmas party dinner with games and performances. It was brilliant to watch.
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