Tablas – Philippines – GRANDPAcking Costs

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MARCH 2016:


My costs start in San Jose, Mindoro (after arriving on the ferry from Coron) and include:

  • Transport from San Jose, Mindoro to Roxas, Mindoro
  • 1 night in a VERY BELOW GRANDPAcking Standard Room in Roxas
  • Transport from Roxas to the Aglicay Beach Resort, Alcantara, Tablas Island
  • 8 nights in a GRANDPAcking Standard Room in the Aglicay Beach Resort
  • 2 days of scooter rental plus petrol
  • Food & Drink
  • Mobile Data / Communications
  • Visa cost apportionment
  • Transport from the Aglicay Beach Resort to Santa Fe, Tablas Island (to catch the ferry to Carabao)


For more detail, read about Tablas – Philippines – Information.

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.



Cost Of Existence (COE):

Accommodation: Ignoring the ‘disaster’ in Roxas, my accommodation was 4 nights in a ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’ Double Fan Room with Hot Water Ensuite (breakfast excluded) followed by another 4 nights in exactly the same room with aircon (that I did not use).

Transport: I rented a scooter from the resort for 2 days at a cost of PHP600 / day. Petrol cost an additional PHP335 – but I did travel 350 kms around the island. Otherwise, transport was related to the ferry from Roxas to Tablas Island, getting from the Odiongan Ferry Terminal to Aglicay, and getting from the Aglicay to Santa Fe (to catch the ferry to Carabao).

Communications & Fees: In Manila Airport, I purchased a 1 month Globe SIMcard with ‘unlimited’ data and no texts nor calls; I had to top this up for another month whilst in Coron. It was still ‘active’ during my stay in Tablas.

Food: I averaged PHP399 / day. I ate, mainly, in the Aglicay (there weren’t many other options). Hot & cold water was free at the Aglicay – which kept the daily cost of water down.

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was PHP1316 / NZ$44 / US$29 / €26 / £20.

This put a good roof over my head, gave me necessary transport & other basic necessities, fed me 3 times each day, and paid for my refreshments.


My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were PHP1092 / NZ$36 / US$24 / €22 / £17.

Visa: The Philippines Visa isn’t cheap, so I have apportioned the Visa costs against my nights in Tablas Island. It comes out at just over US$1 / day.

Getting There: It cost me PHP1110 to get from San Jose, Mindoro to the Aglicay and from the Aglicay to Santa Fe (for the ferry to Carabao)

Drink / Partying: A small San Miguel at the Aglicay costs PHP50 (which isn’t bad) but I am becoming a bit partial to the local rum and coke (which I bought whilst out and about on my rented scooter). I averaged PHP84 / night on drinks.

Personal: I bought a BIC razor for PHP20.

Trips: None.

Shopping: I bought a replacement battery for my smartphone for PHP300 (which was crap – next time, I’ll buy it from a more reputable shop!).

Other: None.

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at PHP1597 / NZ$53 / US$35 / €32 / £24 per day. This was 66% of my total budget… I still had 34% left to play with.


Cost Of Existence (COE):

Accommodation: The Aglicay is your only choice on Tablas Island if you want to stay at a nice beach resort within your GRANDPAcking Budget. Get online early and search for Aglicay deals before you arrive. It is very unlikely that you will get an online deal for your target price of PHP1000 / night, so just wait for an online ‘special’ and book the first 1 or 2 nights. The Aglicay is, usually, not full (well, that depends on how many people read this post!); once there, you should be able to negotiate the long term rate of PHP1000 / night for a Deluxe Beachview Double room. The worst case scenario is that you cannot and you will need to take a Hillview room at that price.

Transport: You can hire a scooter at Aglicay for PHP600 / day. The roads are good enough for you to share one scooter. To break the monotony, I have budgeted for you to do a day tour of Tablas Island once each week. I have also included the budget that you will need to get from Odiongan Town to the Aglicay (and back).

Communications: I have included a prepaid 1 Month Globe ‘unlimited’ data package with no texts and no talk time.

Food: I have budgeted for you to have breakfast (Two Eggs & Toast for PHP90); coffee is included free – so is water from the water dispenser. For Lunch I have budgeted a vegetarian dish or something from their all-day menu (average PHP150) and a small fruit drink for PHP60. For Dinner I have budgeted for you to alternate between items from their PHP150 menu and their PHP250 menu with a fruit juice (PHP75).

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about PHP2236 / NZ$74 / US$49 / €44 / £34 per day. But, please, remember that you are in an idyllic beachfront resort (not in the middle of Hanoi).


This is about PHP172 per day to LIVE on (i.e. 7% of your GRANDPAcking budget).

With that amount of LIVING funds available you can’t do much – just relax and soak up the beach lifestyle. If you like your evening drinks, it is enough for a 750ml bottle rum and 1.5L bottle of coke every night.


If you like ‘chilling out’, Tablas Island is worth a visit… but, again (like Coron), it is more of a ‘GRANDPAcker holiday’ location than a GRANDPAcker ‘destination’. But, what a location!

Personally, I think that after 1 month you will have had enough of the place and will want to move on. I would go ‘stir crazy’ in 2 weeks. You can only sunbathe and read books for so long…

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