I was really glad when FastCat RORO launched its Bacolod-Iloilo route. Traveling via RORO is cheaper and safer especially in rough sea conditions. As a resident of both Iloilo and Bacolod, I frequently travel from Bacolod to Iloilo and vice versa. I’ve traveled in different vessels and varying sea conditions. So when it comes to inter-island sea travel, you can say I have a lot of experience.
About FastCat RORO
FastCat is operated by Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corporation, who partnered with Sea Transport Solution of Australia to build vessels specifically designed for Philippine water conditions. These are brand new custom-made RORO vessels built for vehicle transport along with passenger accommodation. FastCat is the first and only shipping company in the Philippines using catamaran RORO vessels with world class amenities and fully compliant with international standards for lifesaving, fire-fighting and damage stability.
FastCat RORO started servicing Bacolod to Iloilo and vice versa in 2015 using the Banago Port in Bacolod and Iloilo Port in La Puz, Iloilo City. FastCat offered an alternative route for those traveling to Iloilo City since the other RORO vessels use the BREDCO Port in Bacolod and dock at Dumangas Port in Iloilo which is 28 km away from Iloilo City proper. This means another 45 minutes of travel from Dumangas to Iloilo City.
Top Reasons to take FastCat RORO
With several modes of sea travel between Negros and Panay islands, why would one take FastCat? Well, here are my top reasons.
- Shorter Travel Time. Travel time with FastCat RORO is only one hour and 45 minutes while the other RORO vessels docking at Dumangas will take two hours sea travel from BREDCO. And if your destination is in Ilolo City proper, it will take you another 45 minutes from Dumangas to Iloilo.
- Bigger and Safer Vessels. No marine vessel is allowed to travel when Public Strom Warning Signal (PSWS) Number 1 or higher is hoisted within its point of origin, the intended route, and point of destination. However, for Tropical Depression (TD) or Tropical Storm (TS), it is the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) which has the authority over the movement of marine vessels. Basing on experience, during TD and TS, depending on the sea conditions, sometimes smaller fastcraft are not allowed to travel but bigger vessels such as FastCat are still allowed to travel by the PCG.
- Trip After 5:00 PM. With FastCat’s schedule, you can spend and enjoy one day in Iloilo and be back in Bacolod within the day without having to worry about catching the last boat trip. FastCat has a trip from Bacolod as early as 5:00am and has a trip back from Iloilo at 8:00pm. You can the whole day in Iloilo and visit their famous tourist spots without having to stay overnight.
- Newer and Cleaner Vessels. What I also like about FastCat is that their restrooms are clean, always with water and toilet paper. The aisles are also free from baggage since there is a dedicate baggage area.
- Online Booking. Avoid the rush and book your trips online through their website. You can book your seats with FastCat at least four days prior to your scheduled trip.
FastCat has three seat classifications – Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy – and I’ve tried all of them. If you have the budget, take the Business Class and Premium because they’re air-conditioned and with more comfortable seats. The air-conditioned passenger accommodations have large LED TV for your entertainment. There’s also a canteen which sells sandwiches and rice toppings at reasonable price. The Economy is open-air at the uppermost deck which is not too comfortable especially when it rains. However, it is here where you can enjoy the view and feel the wind on your hair. For those taking their vehicles, FastCat is big enouth to fit 30 cars and 6-7 trucks/buses. And here’s one thing unique with this vessel, it has built-in elevator to service PWDs.
FastCat Bacolod-Iloilo-Bacolod Schedule
Below is the schedule of trips of FastCat RORO from Bacolod to Iloilo and vice versa.
FastCat Bacolod-Iloilo-Bacolod Rates
|SEAT CLASSIFICATION||FULL FARE||STUDENTS||SENIOR CITIZENS / PWDS||CHILDREN (3-7 YEARS OLD)||CHILDREN (BELOW 3 YEARS OLD)|
|(WITH VALID ID’S)|
|BUSINESS CLASS||P 335||P 268||P 240||P 168||FREE|
|PREMIUM ECONOMY||P 290||P 232||P 207||P 145||FREE|
|ECONOMY||P 240||P 192||P 171||P 120||FREE|
|BICYCLE WITH SIDECAR||P 430|
|LIGHT CARS||P 1,730|
|4W ELF PASSENGER||P 2,590|
|6W ELF||P 3,020|
|MINI BUS||P 3,455|
|FORWARD LONG CHASIS||P 4,320|
|20 FOOTER (22M)||P 13,500|
|40 FOOTER (38M)||P 16,415|
|HEAVY EQUIP (SMALL 10-15 TONS)||P 12,600|
|HEAVY EQUIP (15-20 TONS)||P 17,100|
|HEAVY EQUIP (20-30 TONS)||P 22,600|
So what are we waiting for… Byahe Na!