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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Benit Port, Southern Leyte

It has become a sort of tradition for us to go home to Mindanao by way of a land trip starting from our home here in Luzon, then through Visayas and then finally Mindanao.  So yeah, we pretty much get to use the Maharlika or the Nautical Highway started by then President Erap and then later on improved by GMA.  Whatever GMA may have done, she really did a good job in connecting our islands through ports and ferries with improved services.  And i digress..

Anyway, we left makati around 11 pm December 22, 2011 and reached the Port of Matnog, Sorsogon just enough to catch the 12 noon ferry bound for Samar.  The ferry boat took us just below 2 hours and as with time well spent, we barely even mind that we were on a boat.  One thing that could be said about Montenegro ferries is that they have faster boats and cleaner too. We dallied a little when we reached Catbalogan because we had to freshen up, washed or take a bath.  Somehow, me and the kids have adjusted to life on the road finding out those roadstops that have abundant water and clean restrooms.  We also make it a point to call ahead , friends and acquaintances on our way so that we could visit them and get invited for a meal ha ha ha.

Update: Boat fare is P 140.00 per adult + P 17.00 Terminal Fee = P157.00
                                       70.00 per child +    17.00 terminal fee  =     87.00
Kidding aside, it's a good way to renew friendships especially those whom we barely see because of the distance.  Anyway, we had dinner at the home of such friend when we arrived at Tacloban, Leyte. And on our way to Liloan, we were also met by the lovely Maritess Bactindon, wife of the husband's good friend Capt. Allan Bactindon of Bato, Leyte who gave us lots and lots of Suman, and other goodies to enjoy along the way. Really, there is no shortage of good and generous people along the way.

The ride to Liloan was as usual in the dark of night and ashamed to say only the husband was awake since he was the only one driving and it was raining too.  When we reached Liloan Port, we were told by the guard that the next sched will be at 4am yet but along the way, the husband saw a new ad about a new port at San Ricardo, Barangay Benit and decided to try it.  It's good thing because, the ferry ride took us only less than two hours which is way better than being in a ferry for about 4 hours at Liloan Port.  And the terminal is way much cleaner and the ferry boat also. Thumbs up for Montenegro Shipping Lines!

I have to say though that the road going to San Ricardo although well cemented has lots of sharp descending and ascending turns. Not for the faint-hearted driver.  Infact going back to Manila, we saw a fuel tank vehicle being hauled up.  It must have miscalculated and fall off the ravine.  As with all dangerous undertakings, the view makes up for it. Well not exactly makes up but somehow it takes the edges off the danger because really the trip is shortened and you pass through really interesting quaint places that seemed untouched by modernization.

This time, our trip was less tiring and more fulfilling. Although, the husband will probably disagree on account of much needed road repair along Surigao-Butuan stretch and a little bit in Misamis Oriental-Iligan road. Anyway, this time I was able to drive long stretches. So would I recommend San Ricardo Port? Definitely Yes! But always be careful!

Montenegro Shipping Lines
Batanga City Tel #723-8989

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