I left Cebu City on a bus at around 2:00 PM hoping and praying that I will get to Bato, Samboan before 6:00PM. I didn’t want to miss the 6:00 PM roro ferry bound for Dapitan City. Now, this is not the usual route if you want to get to Zamboanga del Norte. I was low on cash and short in time, so I had to take this route. This is the newest of the many routes for Dapitan City.
THE USUAL. There are two major shipping lines traversing the Cebu-Dapitan nautical highway. The trips usually take around 12 to 16 hours because they have to stop over Dumaguete City for a couple of hours to load and unload cargo and passengers.
Cokaliong Shipping Schedule
- Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat – 7:00 PM via Dumaguete
George & Peter Lines
- Mon/Thu/Sat/Sun – 10:00 PM via Dumaguete
THE SPEEDY. If you prefer a shorter travel time, you can travel by air with Cebu Pacific with only one direct flight daily to Dipolog City, which is 15 to 20 minutes away from Dapitan City. This trip takes only 45 minutes. You can also travel by sea with Oceanjet with one trip daily to Dapitan City. You depart at 6:00 AM and you’ll be in Dapitan at around 12:00 PM. Six hours in an air-conditioned fast craft with popcorn and a movie is not bad. However, if the weather is bad, the waves can be very taxing.
THE ALTERNATIVE. If you are like me, who craves adventure but travels on a shoestring, then you should try traveling via Roro. Lite Shipping started the Bato, Samboan – Dapitan route in Nov 2009. From Cebu City, you take the bus to Bato, Samboan, a town south of Cebu. There are several bus lines that you can choose from. Bus rates start at Php 140 for the regular buses and Php 170 for the air-conditioned buses. You’ll be passing by quaint towns and cliffs overlooking azure and turquoise seas for about three and a half to four hours, so make sure you don’t miss any of these. The buses usually stop by the Lite Shipping dock in Bato. Just inform the conductor beforehand.
LITE SHIPPING RATES
- Economy (sitting) – Php 300
- Economy (with cot) – Php 350
- Tourist (air-conditioned sitting) – Php 400
- Business (air-conditioned with cot) – Php 450
The vessel will dock at around 10:30 PM in Pulauan, Dapitan City. There are usually vans waiting on the docks to take you to Dapitan City.
It was my first time to take this route to Dapitan, and I didn’t regret taking it. I got to enjoy the views of the beaches and cliffs I passed by and was able to catch the sunset as we were leaving Cebu.