Yesterday, a very bad news welcomed me when I arrived at the office. A former colleague/friend who's also a w@wie informed me that a w@wie bride-to-be posted that all flights of ZestAir going to Marinduque were cancelled, starting October 28 onwards. We chose Bellarocca as our honeymoon destination and it is located in Marinduque. We booked ZestAir tickets going to Bellarocca for our honeymoon on December,obviously and unfortunately we are affected with ZestAir's flight cancellation. ZestAir is the only airline who has flights going to Marinduque, but now I don't know what will Marinduque do with their airport without any airlines in it ( Chartered planes are still available but it's super expensive). I've heard before that SeaAir has flights going to Marinduque, but they also stopped operations late last year.
Upon hearing the news, I immediately called ZestAir and it was confirmed, all flights are cancelled due to lack of operational requirements. The ZestAir staff also assured us that we can reroute, re-book, and refund our tickets anytime.After that, I called my travel agency, and informed them of what happened. Actually, they were not aware of it, so they called Bellarocca to know if we could refund our down payment to them or not, but until now they are still waiting for their response.
After those calls, I just sat on my office chair,stared on nothing and wondered what's the next step to do. I am worried since we already paid a reservation fee to Bellarocca and I don't know if we could still refund our money from them. Several minutes later of being in a shock stage, I realize I need to research alternative ways on how to get there. Below are the few things I gathered about Marinduque.
- Marinduque is a part of the MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) region in Luzon
- It is located at the South and West part of Quezon, East part of Mindoro and North of Romblon. That's why it is called Heart Of The Philippines.
I checked flights going to Mindoro and Romblon, but when I looked at the map, it looks like there will be more boat travel time going to Marinduque from this provinces. Based on the map, it is nearer if you take the Quezon route going to Marinduque. I researched further online for instructions on how to get to Marinduque from Romblon and Mindoro but I haven't found a complete one.So after hours of contemplating, I decided to check the RORO route option.
I called Bellarocca and asked them the possible alternative routes, and of course as expected, they said the only alternative way aside from flying through ZestAir is to take the RORO. RORO means (Roll-On and Roll-Off) it is a combination of Land and Sea travel. On the first half, you will travel by riding a bus then the second half you will ride a ship, but wait there's more! :D the bus you rode earlier will be transferred inside the ship, so technically the bus is inside the ship (inside the cargo area of the boat) . All passengers will get out of the bus and will stay inside the ship until it reaches its destination. When the ship finally docks at its destination, the bus will be released from its cargo area and you will continue travelling by bus. It really sounds a lot of travelling time, but for people who likes adventure it'll be a fun experience.
Below are the instructions from the Bellarocca staff on how to get to Marinduque by RORO:
- From Manila, ride a bus going to Lucena, Quezon. The famous bus line going to Lucena is the JAC Liner.Their buses has a CR and Wi-Fi, which is a plus for techy persons like me. If you are from the Southern part of Manila, go to JAC Liner Buendia terminal,but if you are from the Northern part of Manila go to JAC Liner Kamuning/Kamias Terminal ( Near GMA/Cubao area). The travel time from Manila to Lucena is around 4 hours. When you reach Lucena, proceed to Talao-Talao port.
Check JAC Liner website for their shipping schedules.
Note: Call and ask them if you need reservations before riding their bus. I know JAC liner arranges buses going directly to Marinduque, but since December is still months away I haven't called them yet to inquire.
- Next, From Lucena, Talao-Talao pier/port ride a RORO ship going to Marinduque, Cawit Port. There are several shipping lines going to Marinduque but the famous shipping line is the Montenegro Shipping Lines. The Bellarocca staff told me to be in Lucena port before 12:00 a.m. so that we could get the 12:00 a.m. ship ride goint to Cawit Port. Bellarocca only fetch visitors from Cawit port and the travel time from Lucena to Marinduque is around 3 hours.
Check Montenegro shipping line website for their shipping schedules.
- When you reach Cawit Port, a Bellarocca van is waiting for you outside. The travel time from Cawit port to Bellaroca port is around 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- From Bellarocca port, you will ride again a rubber boat going to Bellaroca Island. This boat ride is free c/o Bellarocca.The travel time for this one is around 5-10 minutes only.
Wheww!! I already got tired of travelling while writing this blog hehe. To sum it all, it's approximately 8 hours and 10 minutes RORO travel time to Bellarocca. Supposedly, our flight schedule going to Bellarocca is Sunday morning, but since the flight was cancelled, we need start travelling to Marinduque by bus on Saturday afternoon around 5:00 p.m. so that we could get the Cawit port ship ride by 12:00 a.m. and reach Marinduque around 2:30 a.m, Sunday.
Haysss, I'll just pray for a safe and smooth travel going to Bellarocca and I hope Bellarocca will talk to several airlines so that there will flights again going to Marinduque.