Updated: Aug 15, 2021
We recently tried to go to the Visayas using the Philippines' inter-island means of transportation, aka RORO.
We originally planned to take the RORO since I called ahead of time and everybody keeps saying that there is no fast craft operating in Matnog Port. But 10-15 minutes away from the port, trucks suddenly stopped in front of us and I saw a signage where a 'FastCat' company is advertising to buy tickets here. I asked my dad to make a U-turn so that I can inquire.
So, this is what I learned: FastCat is not a fast craft vessel but a company that is using a RORO type of vessel but only lighter which makes her faster, hence the name. Check out their website to know more about their technology.
I was a bit hesitant to buy tickets outside the port and was asking them repeatedly if they are legit and why they are outside the port. They answered me that they moved out of the port because 'MAGULO dun".
We finally decided to get our tickets here since they said that it's 1 hour faster than the ordinary RORO.
Here's the breakdown of our expenses based on a passenger of 3 (1 adult, 2 senior citizens) and a vehicle of Isuzu TROOPER:
Isuzu Trooper (driver is free) - P1260
Passenger Rates - P100/person
Parking Fee - P50
LGU MAtnog User's Fee - P25
Vehicle Terminal Fee - P129
Passenger Terminal Fee - P30/person
You can double-check the rates of FastCat on their website because rates may change without notice. The parking fee is required since we have to wait for the next available vessel and we were parked in front of a 'karinderia'. We also paid the LGU Fee on the FastCat's counter. Also, any RORO company that you will use requires you to have a photocopy of the OR and CR of your vehicle.
When they gave us a sign that we have to go to the port, it was already dark and we kept asking the 'kuya' of FasCat on what to do and where should we go. I guess he really saw that we needed help and volunteered to guide us up to the port. This I recommend especially if you are traveling by night and it is your first time. You might line up on the wrong lane if you don't know where you are going because I tell you there are a LOT of HUGE trucks and you cannot see what line you are on. Since he cannot come inside the port, he instructed us detailedly on what to do.
Upon entering the port, we were directed by a guard to park and go to Window 1 for the PPA. My goodness, there were no signages and we have to ask where in the world is Window 1.
In Window 1, they checked our tickets and instructed us to go to Window 2 which is the cashier.
Thankfully, in this area, there are a few signages on what we are paying and what we are doing.
We paid the vehicle Terminal Fee on Window 2 and were instructed to go to Window 3.
Before we reached Window 3, a guard told us to go to a guardhouse where they checked our papers. After that, we were cleared to go to Window 3 where we paid the Passenger Terminal fee which is P30 and free for Senior Citizens.
The last stop is the Coast Guard where they checked our papers and asked us where we are going and where we are from. When we were cleared, we head on to our RORO. Now, this part is the most chaotic one.
There were no signages on where our ship is. The place is so dark that we just have to guess where we are going and every 5 meters is some random guy who will stop you and ask for 'pangkape lang po', aka TIP. If it is your first time, it is so easy to get scammed by these guys. Mind you, Port of Matnog is known to be "Mukhang Pera na Port".
I'm telling you this, guys, for you not to get scammed like us. There are people who deserved to get tips, like the 'kuya' from the FastCat (mind you, he never asked for money from us), but there are people, who are just standing around doing nothing, who does not deserve to be tipped.
And lastly, yes, FastCat did travel for only 1 hour but we waited for so long to dock in Port of Dapdap that when we were allowed to dock, the other RORO's from Matnog is also docking, too. So, it is your own choice if it's worth getting tickets from FastCat or just get the plain old type of RORO.
Here's my vlog documenting our travel from Port of Matnog in Luzon to Port of Dapdap in the Visayas:
As always, keep safe and travel responsibly!