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About Cebu Boat Trips
My name is Paul Petrea. I am an American who visited the Philippines from 1992 to 2002. I moved to Cebu in 2002, after failing to convince a former (scamming) Filipina wife to return home to her country to live. After nine years of marriage to her, I finally decided to take the plunge and do what many will only dream of doing. At 35 years of age, I moved to the Philippines to live out the rest of my life. After all, I certainly wasn't going to wait until I was retirement age. Had I done that, I would be a rotting corpse in the grave, having never returned to the country I love so much. (My father only lived to the age of 63, so if I live to that age I figure I will have done well.)
This site, as many of the Living In Cebu family of sites are, is here to offer you, the visitor, information about the Philippines - more specifically Cebu and the shipping companies based out of Cebu City and Province.
On this site, I offer current ship and boating schedules (primarily) throughout the Visayas and Mindanao Regions of the Philippines. Additionally, I have added, and will continue to add, photos which I have taken during voyages throughout the Philippines.
During the time I have visited and lived in the Philippines, I have made it a point to learn everything I can regarding this country, its people and culture. One of many things I focus on, is learning what I can about traveling throughout the country. I can then offer advice and assistance to those who wish to come here and travel from province to province. I have determined, if you have the time during your visit anyway, that it is a much more relaxed and peaceful setting aboard a fast craft, slow ferry or Ro-Ro (Roll On-Roll Off ferry) than it is aboard a plane. You will arrive at your destination rested, relaxed and ready to take on the day.
After all, wouldn't you appreciate seeing a sunrise such as the one below, upon returning to your home province from a trip, having explored this wonderful country? You certainly can't appreciate the same experience aboard a plane, with the cool fresh morning air blowing in your face while you sail along on the peaceful morning waters of the Philippines.
Above: A beautiful Philippines sunrise, taken aboard Super Shuttle Ferry 7 prior to arriving at Pier 8 in Cebu. I was heading home after an enjoyable, as well as an adventurous trip, to Camiguin Island and Mindanao. I was visiting with friends over the holidays. This voyage was in January, 2008.
Philippines shipping lines, as you will notice in the photos on this site, typically only offer older vessels for their passengers to travel aboard. This is certainly unlike what you would see in many western countries. But, there are reasons for this, primarily profit.
For the most part, Philippines shipping lines choose to operate older boats is, it is much cheaper for them to purchase an older vessel, say from 15 to 25 years. A vessel that old will be considerably cheaper than a new one, thus they can get a faster return on their investment, while still providing a lower rate for those who can't afford much in order to travel from province to province.
Simply put, most Filipinos cannot afford to pay high fares in order to go home to their provinces. So, the fares are typically too low to truly support the costs of new vessels, allowing fast returns on investments for the shipping lines.
I recently met Paul Rodriquez, the owner of Asian Marine Transport Corporation. Asian Marine is the operator for Super Shuttle Ferry. He is the president of the company. After speaking to him for only a short time, I learned that he is a very down to earth, yet a hands on kind of guy regarding his company. He had arrived at Camiguin Island to take a "surprise" inspection trip aboard the boat. He also informed me that the company has "anonymous" auditors who go aboard the boats at times, to make similar observations.
Mr. Rodriquez, like other owners I have met over the years, Joy Roble (Roble Shipping), for example, are there to make sure your sailing experience goes as well as it possibly can. It doesn't matter if it is a ten hour voyage that takes you from Cebu to Camiguin Island (Super Shuttle Ferry), or a four hour voyage from Cebu to Leyte (Roble Shipping). It is men such as these who make shipping what it is in the Philippines, a more enjoyable experience.
Think about it for a moment. In the US, for example, how many company owners would be on the pier at 10pm, waiting for the vessel to get under weigh, to make sure everything goes off without a hitch? This simply wouldn't happen. The owner of a US based shipping line wouldn't be caught dead on the pier prior to a vessel sailing, certainly not at night. As a foreigner living in the Philippines, I'm quite impressed with this "hands on" approach by shipping company owners.
In conclusion, I would recommend sailing aboard most major shipping lines in the Philippines, definitely aboard those based in the Visayas. I have sailed aboard many, rarely having anything less than a great experience and a very comfortable night's sleep.
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