I was never a fan of long-haul travels, which is quite ironic for someone who loves to explore, right? So just imagine my hesitation when I got invited by a friend to visit Bataan again (check the 1st trip and 2nd trip here) - a Philippine destination that usually takes 3-4 hours to reach by bus. Fortunately, we discovered a better and more convenient way to reach the progressive province, all without the butt-numbing experience - 1Bataan Integrated Transport System (ITS) – a ferry service that brings Manila closer to Bataan.
1Bataan Integrated Transport System, Inc., which is a result of a public-private-partnership between Magic Leaf and the Provincial Government of Bataan, was intended “to support and promote further the industrial growth and sustainability of the province of Bataan by providing better access for commerce, as well as elevating the lifestyle of its residents and promoting tourism in the province by adding mobility and giving a more progressive travel option to the commuting public.”
BUS FARE VS BOAT FARE
When it comes to planning our trips, my friends and I would always talk about our logistics (e.g. budget, transport options, scheduling); and a lot of our discussions revolved around the costing and timings. While taking the bus from Manila to Bataan would be the cheaper option (PHP280-290 per person from Cubao or Pasay via Bataan Transit Co.), availing of the ferry service would help us save time on travel. So we chose the latter. Imagine cutting the usual 3-4 hours on the road to just an hour? 1Bataan Integrated Transport System made this possible for us for just PHP450 per pax, per way.
ON-BOARD THE MV XGC EXPRESS!
We all know that when you book early, you get the chance to snag better seats (or get first dibs on anything!). This holds true for 1Bataan ITS, as we were given the best seating accommodation on the ferry.
🛳 Ride in style, on board @its1bataan - a comfortable and stylish vessel that brings Manila closer to Bataan. ⛴ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #ttot #travelphotography #travels #travelers #travelpic #traveling #travelblog #traveldiary #travel #travelgrams #godscreation #fivefingers #fivefingersmarivelesbataan #beholdbataan #dm #discoverbataan #ferry #boat #sony #sonyalpha #sonya6000 #sonyimages #windowseat
Noting how world-class the staff was (very courteous and accommodating), the interiors of the boat was just as impressive and commendable. We felt like VIPs all throughout our trip. I just loved how the ferry was clean, and how dirt-free the couches were. Even the AC units were on full blast. I immediately found myself dosing off until it was time for us to disembark.
If that wasn’t enough, Wi-Fi was present on board (though the connection was intermittent), as well as electrical outlets for our charging needs. There were also flat screen TVs that played movies, and most importantly, safety videos. They were all about safeguarding their guests, that safety measures were also done before boarding the boat (a K9 unit was dispatched to sniff on all the passenger bags).
I would also like to commend 1Bataan ITS for providing a PWD-friendly toilet; and for appointing the area at the back for easy wheelchair access.
I actually loved the entire experience while on board 1Bataan ITS. I had a restful sleep. Even my friends enjoyed the quiet time that our cruise provided.
COMPLIMENTARY SHUTTLE DROP-OFF IN BATAAN
1Bataan ITS also offers complimentary shuttle drop-offs from the Port of Capinpin to various towns in the province. You can check the following areas below:
While both Manila and Bataan terminals had clean facilities and commendable safety measures, I was a little disappointed with the former in terms of location. The Manila terminal is situated by Manila Bay, so the water smells really bad during the morning. If you decide to take the earliest and first trip out from this port, make sure to bring a mask and some bug spray to protect you from mosquito bites.
1Bataan ITS has 4 trips on weekdays and 2 trips on weekends. You can also check their website and Facebook page for their updated schedules.
TIPS FOR YOUR FUTURE TRIP WITH 1BATAAN ITS!
· Book your tickets online (at its.1bataan.com) to get their PHP450 online booking rate. You can also pay PHP599 via the 1Bataan ITS Reservations Team. Take note that starting April 1, 2018, their Walk-in rate will be PHP799. Children below 3 years old ride for free, provided that they sit on the accompanying passenger.
o Fare includes only the ferry trip from Manila to Bataan or vice-versa.
o Shuttle service from Port of Capinpin to various bus stations is free.
o Senior Citizen & PWD discounts are applicable for regular-priced tickets.
· If you booked online, you can secure your ticket at the terminal. Just show a valid ID and your proof of payment.
· Be on-time, as the ferry leaves on the dot. The whole trip only takes an hour or less. Passengers can check-in 1.5 hours before the ferry departure. Boarding Gates will close 30 minutes prior to departure.
· Seats are on a first come, first serve basis.
· Passengers are given a sticker each that contains their designated seat number. With this, you’ll be assured that no one else will get your place.
· Only one (1) hand carry luggage with a maximum weight of 7kg with a size of 56cm (22in) x 36cm (14in) x 23cm (10in) is allowed per passenger.
· Take note that bringing of pets and smoking cigarettes or e-cigs are prohibited. For safety reasons, pregnant women are also not allowed to board the ferry.
Going to Bataan will now be faster and hassle-free, now that 1Bataan ITS is around.
Explore & Be Free!
Explore & Be Free!