As part of my homeschooling supervisor duties, I am required by DepEd to attend the Educators’ Conference organized by the School of Tomorrow. We picked the event held in Iloilo City because it’s nearer to Bacolod City. In order to get there, we took the FastCat Ferry Bacolod-Iloilo trip.
Taking the FastCat Ferry Bacolod-Iloilo Trip
And vice-versa, of course.
The EDCON 2019 was scheduled on September 2 and 3 at the Diversion 21 Hotel. The weeks leading to these dates were peppered with typhoons in the Philippines. With some rain and wind, a small catamaran would easily sway in the one-hour trip to our neighboring island. My stomach couldn’t handle that. And I don’t want to resort to motion sickness pills because I need to be awake and alert to take care of the kids.
Instead, we opted to take the FastCat Ferry Bacolod-Iloilo trip. Although the whole voyage takes two hours, I feel secure because the ship is huge and wide. It does not sway so much, even that open part of the sea near Iloilo where the current is pretty strong.
Taking the FastCat Business Class
We got on the business class of the FastCat Ferry Bacolod-Iloilo. We had some of the best seats in the boat–seats that weren’t prone to the sways of the current. It costs a bit higher than the economy class but is more comfortable. Additionally, since there are fewer passengers here, the kids have more space to move around or to transfer seats if they want to.
Shane opted to sit by the window so she could see the ocean. Every now and then, she would comment on the things she spotted in the water. She said that she saw a jellyfish, an eel, a squid, and a shark’s tooth. Hahaha Who am I to contest? That’s still part of creative play, which is an important part of a child’s development.
Traveling opens their minds and makes them realize that the world is such a big classroom. There is so much to learn.
A Learning Opportunity on Board
Thanks to Ms. Christine Guevarra, Fast Ferry Corporation VP for Marketing, we were allowed to go up to the bridge and meet the captain. The kids were allowed to ask questions and check out the modern navigational equipment used in al FastCast ferries.
They were surprised that such a big vessel is only steered by a very small wheel the size of a palm!
The girls were also able to use binoculars and see what’s beyond the ship. Shawna was happy to handle a real pair of binoculars. She got to see the land that was just in the horizon.
Meanwhile, Shane pointed the binoculars to the ceiling and asked, “Where did the land go?” She’s really our comic relief everywhere. By the way, she just recently turned six years old with a unicorn-themed birthday pictorial.
Since we are homeschooling the kids, every opportunity is a learning opportunity.
Special thanks to Captain Roseller Labanes of the FastFerry named M3 Batangas who accommodated our tour and pictorial. <3
Bring A Vehicle
If you would rather drive around Iloilo City or the Panay island, it is best to bring your own vehicle from Bacolod. And the best way to do it is to go via FastCat. While your car or van is safe on board, you as a passenger are also comfortably seated.
But we didn’t bring our own car. Hubby doesn’t know how to navigate around Iloilo City so while we were there, we either walked or took the jeepney or cab to take us places.
FastCat Ferry Seating Accommodations
Following are the seat classes that you can choose from in any of the FastCat Ferries.
- Business Class. A fully air conditioned area with comfortable seats. It has an LCD TV and can accommodate up to 63 passengers. The section has a curtain that separates the premium economy.
- Premium Economy. The premium economy is also air conditioned and is located just behind the business class. It is equipped with two (2) LCD TVs, and can accommodate up to 105 passengers. The snack bar is also located in this section. Passengers from all areas will have to go here to buy their food.
- Economy. This is an open-air area and can accommodate up to 107 passengers. If the weather is good, it is nice to sit here and enjoy the view and the sea breeze. Just slather some sunblock though. Though it’s a covered area, the sea breeze can still easily burn your skin.
FastCat Ferry Bacolod-Iloilo Schedules
Below are the trip schedules of the FastCat Ferry, plying the Iloilo-Bacolod (RT) route. It is advised that passengers and vehicles should be at the pier at least an hour before the trip. The entire trip takes at most two (2) hours, depending on sea conditions.
Please note that in Bacolod City, FastCat docks at the Banago Port.
FastCat Ferry Rates Bacolod-Iloilo Trip
Here are the FastCat Ferry rates for the Iloilo-Bacolod route (one way), as of September 2019. Children below 3 years old are FREE. I like FastCat Ferry for our family travel because I feel secure.
Full Fare Student Senior/PWD Children (3-7)
Business Class P335 P268 P239 P168
Premium Economy P290 P232 P207 P145
Economy P240 P192 P171 P120