A test of patience
I was expecting that going to Mindoro Island via Batangas City-Calapan was easy because the Batangas City port is very accessible if you are living in Metro Manila.
But it wasn’t.
The port was very busy. It took us almost 3 hours before we onboarded the RoRo.
I am not sure if this is normal in the port on ordinary days or if this was caused by the long weekend (June 12 holiday). I told myself to just chill and get some food to eat. Hahaha!
We were lucky that we boarded a large RoRo with bunkbeds as we got a chance to lay back and get some sleep.
Hello Mindoro Island!
We were welcomed by a cool sea breeze and beautiful sunrise at the Calaport Port. Right after offboarding the RoRo, we immediately went for breakfast and picked up one of the joiners, Shane who lived in Oriental Mindoro, to join us in our Mindoro loop adventure.
Oriental Mindoro Adventure
Pocanil Beach Resort
Going to Pocanil Beach Resort in the town of Bulalacao took almost a 2.5-hour drive from Calapan City. It was gloomy that day. We felt that the rain would pour anytime.
We did not stay at Pocanil Beach Resort. Our destination was Buyayao Island where our group camped and stayed overnight. Buyayao Island is a 15-minute boat ride only from Pocanil (if your boat is fast enough). Allen and I took the small boat but the other joiners took the bigger and slower boat. Hahaha!
Buyayao is a paradise. When we went there, the sand was golden, the water was clear and place was quiet (before the other guests grabbed the microphone of the karaoke machine).
Buyayao Island is perfect for short vacation – to relax and bond with your friends or officemates.
The rain poured while we were resting inside our cottage, drinking booze and telling funny stories.
It was a good thing that the rain stopped before the sunset so I was able to fly my drone and quickly get some aerial shots of the island.
I wanted to get more photos and videos however, I felt the rain might start again anytime hence, I needed to ground my drone quickly.
We were supposed to go Suguicay Island however, due to inclement weather, we decided to stay overnight in Buyayao and continue our drinking session.
Manage your expectations if you are planning to stay in Buyayao Island. The comfort room is open to public. If you want to use it to bath or if nature calls, you need to get water from the water well pump (poso) and the electricity is either from solar panel or generator so power outage is normal in the island.
Pitching a tent or setting up a hammock (if you want to experience camping life) is also an option if you do not want to sleep in cottages.
After getting enough rest and eating breakfast, we went for a boat ride going to Suguicay Island.
It was a long and sleepy boat ride going to Suguicay Island because, again, our boat was slow. I fell asleep in the 1-hour boat ride. Never mind that I was getting sunburnt, I just wanted to sleep. It was really a boring boat ride.
When we arrived, we were surprised because we thought the island was remote and nobody was staying there.
We were wrong. A lot of people flocked the island. Some have stayed overnight and some have arrived early in the morning.
So what else to do in the island? Enjoy the water and get some photos!
We did not stay long at the island. We felt an hour was enough to explore and enjoy the island, and at the same time, we needed to back to the main island for our next destination, Bukal Spring in Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro.
Occidental Mindoro Adventure
Bukal Spring is a privately owned hence, each of us needed to pay Php 10.00 for the entrance fee. Everyone was excited because finally, we will have fresh water after soaking in salt water. We did not get a chance to rinse when we left Buyayao because we were a bit behind in our itinerary so we immediately rode the boat and van, and drove going to Bukal Spring.
It was funny because we thought Bukal spring was located in a different place when we passed by the small steel bridge and some houses nearby. When ‘lola’ told us that we just missed Bukal spring, we walked back laughing and blaming Paulo and Shane for not knowing the place considering that she is from Mindoro. Hahaha!
Devil’s Mountain is located in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. It was 30-minute drive from Bukal spring. We did not go to Devil’s Mountain to hike and camp. We just went at the view deck at the main road for a quick photo ops since the rain was about to fall.
Due to the angular shape and sharp edges, the mountain was called Devil’s Mountain. The mountain’s sharp ridges was more visible during summer.
We were lucky to see a young lovely couple doing prenup photos at the deck and Allen was able to capture the beautiful lady in white dress (gorgeous indeed!).
The rain had started when we left the view deck which made us not to push through to our next destination – Inasakan Beach.
We were supposed to camp and stay overnight at Inasakan Beach but due to the inclement weather and the big waves in the afternoon, the group had no choice but to look for an alternative.
We went to the 3-headed Tamaraw Park near Aroma Beach to look for an overnight accommodation and we were lucky enough to get rooms for our group.
Tamaraw Park is a nice place for family and lovers as the sea breeze will serenade you at the baywalk, and the food stalls nearby are very accessible if you are already hungry.
Our group enjoyed the street food like tukneneng (egg waffle), calamares (squid), isaw ng manok (chicken intestine) and many more. I missed eating street foods that’s why I did not hesitate to buy everything that I wanted to eat at that time.
To cap off our night after our dinner, the group decided to drink (a little) as we need to get up at 5:00 AM to visit Inasakan Beach.
The topic for the night – the devil’s funny smell.
Sablayan Zipline Adventure
We could not go to Inasakan Beach as the rain continued to pour in the morning. The good news was that we were able to go try the zipline.
Sablayan’s zipline is the world’s longest island to island zipline with a total point-to-point distance of 1.4 kilometers but the total length of the cable is 1.7 kilometers.
My heart was pounding when I was standing at the top of deck waiting for our turn. The zipline is long. I was already thinking of the worst scenario like what if the cable got cut off, what if I lost the handle of my Insta360 camera and what if I got stuck in the middle!
I was overthinking and scaring myself at the same time. When my name was called, I was smiling and I said to myself “Bahala na si Batman!”
It was scary at the beginning because of the height but when I shouted to hide my fear, all of a sudden it turned into excitement. The view was beautiful and I said “Ang ganda talaga ng Pilipinas!”
After the 3-minute zipline ride, we went to Pandan Island for a short stay. We rode a boat for 15 minutes from the island where the end point of the zipline is.
The waves were a bit strong when we docked at the island that’s why it was a bit challenging to get off the boat.
We were lucky as the island was not crowded at that time, only our group and some foreign guests who stayed overnight. We were able to freely roam and explore the beauty of the island even in the middle of the afternoon.
It was a perfect opportunity as well to take a lot of videos and photos. The friendly dog joined us in the photo ops too!
We ate our lunch and rested for a while before we concluded our Mindoro loop adventure.
The end of the Mindoro loop adventure
The adventure was fun even though there were missed itinerary which was understandable because the weather was not favorable. I was still grateful that I met these wonderful people in my adventure.
I will definitely come back to Mindoro!