My trip to Bacolod was one of my unforgettable trip I had for this year. Others might thought that it was an adventure, but for me it was a notion of fun, excitement and stressing journey ever. I can still recall each episodes from the day we left Manila until the day we returned. These experiences thought me lessons that I could never forget for the rest of my life.
This trip was really planned three (3) months prior Masskara Festival, and our preparations for this trip is far from what is expected, because the original plan was to go to Boracay first, then to Bacolod via bus. Something came up so the plan didn’t push through.
Anyway, to catch up the most awaited festival in Bacolod City and the preparation we had won’t be wasted, we look around for a budget friendly fares. We compared rates between airfares versus seafares by checking on the Internet. Airfares were pricey in time of Masskara so, we chose Super Ferry as it will match our travel expenses. By the way, the journey will last around 20 to 22 hours.
We booked and paid our tickets thru Super Ferry’s customer service agent, he advised us to be at Pier 15, South Harbor at least four (4) hours before departure to avoid delays.
Departure from Manila
I received a text blast from SFTEXT that departure schedule set Manila to Bacolod October 14 at 2215 – SF05K-62 has been moved to October 15 at 0945 – SF05K-62. I verified the details by calling the Super Ferry’s customer service and they confirmed that the trip was delayed due to Typhoon Ramon.
This trip was my first long trip via sea and we wanted to be on time as per advised. We arrived at Pier 15, South Harbor, checked in between 0630 to 0640, and board at 0830 but the vessel ripped off the Pier at exactly 1300. The vessel were three (3) hours late and these were explained by few ship’s crew: (1) The delayed was due to Super Ferry’s turn over of Captain to Negros Navigation, (2) Coast Guard were inspecting the loaded cargo shipments and (3) waited for a top brass officer from Negros Navigation.
However, we are still thankful that the trip going to Bacolod BREDO Port was quite good. Arrived at 1030
Departure from Bacolod
When we arrived in Bacolod City, we are expecting the adjustment of the trip schedule going back to Manila. Then, a text blast sent to my phone from SFTEXT that Bacolod to Manila October 17 at 2015 – SF05K-62 has been moved to October 18 at 0215 – SF05K-62.
October 17, 2340, we asked help from hotel’s bell boy to pack up our things and take us to Bacolod BREDCO Seaport. Checked in at 1215 and while waiting for more than an hour, I asked around why are vessel has not yet arrived, a crew inside the port told me that the vessel is still in Iligan Port. I called Super Ferry Customer Service based in Bacolod – (034) 4354965, a named Johan answered the phone and this conversation freaked me out.
Johan: Good morning Super Ferry!
Biloggirl: Good morning, tanong ko lang po kung anong oras darating yung Super Ferry 5 bound to Manila
Johan: eto po ba yung 0215 ang alis sa Bacolod, sorry po. Hindi pa po kasi darating yung barko kasi nasa Iligan Port pa.
Biloggirl: Ganun ba. Anong oras po darating yung barko?
Johan: Naku, hindi ko po alam
Biloggirl: Hindi mo alam? Bakit hindi mo alam?
Johan: Hindi po talaga namin alam kasi may problema yung barko
Biloggirl: Kung ok na ba yung barko from Iligan Port, ilang oras bago yun makarating ng Bacolod Bredco?
Johan: 13 to 15 hours po
Biloggirl: yun ay kung aandar na diba? Kung hindi, ilang oras pa kami mag-iintay? 24 hours?
Johan: Hindi ko po alam talaga.
Biloggirl: So, sino manghuhula kung anong oras darating ang barko nyo? Ako ba or ikaw?
The conversation I had with the Customer Service Johan blew me up because she can’t tell when or will our vessel be expected in the morning. We have no other choice but returned to Bacolod Pavillion Hotel.
As we returned in the hotel, I asked the reception officer to call Super Ferry every 2 hours to check if our vessel has arrived and call me in my room once they got words from them.
We woke up around 0800 and call Super Ferry once more. They told us that the trip bound to Manila were cancelled and all tickets can be refunded not later than 0900. We rushed up and went separate ways, the two (2) of us went to BREDCO to refund the tickets while I am looking for ticketing agency.
Because of the Masskara Festival season, all air flights going to Manila from Bacolod City were booked and sold out. As an alternative plan and advised by a good friend mine, the fastest way to return to Manila is to go to Iloilo City.
I checked on the Internet that, the available air flight schedule that day were Airphil Express – Iloilo Airport to Manila at 19:25 only and luckily, I was able to booked and paid them all on the same day.
We went back to hotel after they were able to refund our tickets from Super Ferry. We checked-out and packed our things again, and went to Bacolod Port for inter-island cruise via Super Cat trip going to Iloilo City. The Super Cat departed Bacolod City at exactly 1215 and we arrived at Iloilo Port at 1335.
I feel relieved when we arrived in Iloilo City. We took a cab, load our things and bike and went to Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan. Arrived in Manila 2030