Boracay – Philippines – To Roxas City

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APRIL 2016:


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Boracay - Beach - Station 2 Swimming I had been on Boracay Island living the ‘beach life’ for 5 weeks.

It was time to move on in search of some action.

I chose Roxas City as my next stop: Roxas is known as the ‘Seafood Capital of The Philippines’. I wanted to go there and find out what this was all about…

I said goodbye to by last Boracay sunset … and set off at 9:30am the following morning.


My hotel offered to book me a Tribike but I find that these always come at a premium price – so, I decided to walk the 100m to the main road and flag down my own.

My rule of thumb for a private Tribike in the Philippines is PHP10 per km plus PHP10 for each suitcase. The Ferry Port was 3kms away… my target price was, therefore, PHP40.

As I walked to the main road I was approached by 2 Tribike drivers: one wanted PHP250 and the other PHP200. I declined both.

At the main road I flagged down a Tribike and asked him for a price, he said ‘PHP400’; I smiled at him and said ‘you guys all think that we’re stupid’ … he said ‘how much do you want to pay’, I replied ‘PHP40’, he said ‘OK’ and I jumped in.

We were at the Ferry Port by about 10am. I gave the driver PHP50 (PHP10 as a tip).


As you enter the Ferry Port, the ticket office is on your right. You can usually spot which one it is because it has a queue.

You queue up for your PHP25 pump boat ticket; they also give you an ‘exit form’ to fill in. You then go to another counter and pay your PHP100 Terminal Fee.

You pass through into the departure terminal where you fill in your exit form. You can, then, board the pump boat.

Pump boats leave very frequently during the day – about every 30 minutes. I was straight onto my boat and we were at sea within 10 minutes. It only takes about 10 minutes to get across the water to Caticlan.

As we disembarked, we were told to walk up the plank to shore and that they would bring our luggage. This is actually normal in the Philippines. So I obeyed.

One of the boat boys brought me my bags. He put his hand out for a tip. I told him that I didn’t ask him to do it and that I didn’t need him to do it. I gave him PHP5, anyway. He looked down at it very unimpressed.


There were surprisingly few touts waiting for us in Caticlan; which made a pleasant change.

There are lots of minivans and tribikes waiting to take you to where you want to go.

I told a man that approached me that I was going to Roxas City. He said that I had to go via Kalibo (which I already knew). He said that it was PHP100 to Kalibo and another PHP120 from there to Roxas City.

We went to his minivan and he opened his boot. My suitcase would not fit under the seat (which he already knew – he’s not stupid). He said that my suitcase would have to sit on a back seat and it would be an extra PHP100; I’m not stupid. I declined and said that I will find another minivan.

You should never have to pay extra for your luggage. Most minivans have luggage space behind the back seat or a roof rack … in the worst case, the luggage goes in with the people and sits in the aisle.

I found another minivan driver. He wanted PHP150. I said PHP100. Deal done. My suitcase went behind the back seat and I jumped in.

This was a very new and comfortable minivan with lots of leg room for everyone. There was no need to target ‘seat 3’ like I usually do. I took seat 4 anyway. We were on our way by 10:40am. Sadly we hit and, probably, killed a dog on the way.


The driver knew that I was going on to Roxas City, so he dropped me off at the Minivan Terminal. We were there at 12:10pm.

The Minivans to Roxas leave every 30 minutes during the day. There was one there just about to leave but it was full. I was directed to the one behind.

This was a more ‘typical’ Philippines minivan. Small and cramped. After getting my luggage in the back, I claimed seat 3 (the one immediately behind the driver next to the window). Seat 3 is almost always the best seat to take.

By 12:30pm we were full. They crammed a few extra people in (as they usually do) – our bench seat of 2 had an extension seat to make it 3 and there were 4 of us sharing them. Off we went.

It was an uncomfortable ride for someone of my size with my long legs. Thank god that I was in seat 3.


As usual, the Bus Terminal is several kms from the centre of town. We were there by 2:20pm.

I negotiated a Tribike from there to my hotel at PHP50 – which matched my rule of thumb.


The Tribike dropped me off outside my hotel. It was after 2:00pm so I checked straight into my room.

I had done my usual thing and booked online in advance; I was only planning to stay for 3 nights, so I booked all 3 nights – there was no point in mucking around to find something cheaper for 1-2 nights.

I only paid a ‘discounted’ PHP678 / night – which is pretty good in The Philippines as PHP900 seems to be the ‘tide mark’ before you start getting reasonable rooms.

The room was small but had a wardrobe to hang my clothes, aircon, and cable TV. Some of these ‘budget’ rooms (for less than PHP1000 / night) don’t even have a wardrobe… you have to hang your clothes on the curtain rail!

I’ll tell you more when I write up Roxas City.


I was settled in and off to BayBay Beach by 4:30. The private Tribike to BayBay costs PHP30 (it is about 3kms).

Once there, I found the Seafood Hall and settled down to find out what all of the fuss was about.

I started with a bucket of (approx 15) Steamed Oysters for PHP40. They can do them ‘fancier’ if you like for PHP80 (with herbs and spices etc). I just did them steamed with Limes and fresh Chili. They didn’t have crab at their stall, so I had a second bucket of Steamed Oysters.

Then, I moved stalls and ordered Spicy Crab (PHP150) with Rice (PHP8) …

I ate my fill of tasty seafood for a total price of PHP238 (NZ$8.00 / US$5.30 / EU4.80 / GBP3.70).

Just after sunset a live band starting playing. They were very good. I seem to have landed in Roxas City as they are celebrating something over the whole weekend … I nice welcome to Roxas!

I think that I might be back tomorrow …


It took me about 5.5 hours door-to-door. My total cost was PHP445.

Paying the right rule of thumb price for a Tribike can save you enough money in just 1 journey to pay for a very nice meal in the evening. The money that I saved on this trip paid for all of my delicious seafood dinner.

The trip is very easy to do; just be prepared to suffer nearly 2 hours of discomfort on the Kalibo to Roxas City leg of the journey.


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