After the TV interview, I had an opportunity to meet the founder of the DIY Travel Philippines Michelle Enriquez. It was somehow a dream come true to finally meet the person behind a group composed of almost four hundred thousand members with the same passion and that is to travel. She invited me to join their summer gathering in Verde Island last May 20-21, 2017. A non- profit summer gathering aiming to meet and greet all members of the group. Of course, I did not miss the opportunity and was excited for the event.
How to get Verde Island, Batangas City
Verde Island is situated along the bodies of Verde Island Passage between the islands of South Luzon and Mindoro. It lies south of Brgy. Ilijan, Batangas City and is separated from Luzon by the North Pass. It takes 45 minutes by a boat or 25 minutes by a ferry boat from Batangas City. The island is known to be rich in marine life and has been noted of the Philippine Tourism as one of the best dive spots in the country.
From Manila, you will need to ride a bus going to Batangas Grand Terminal then a jeep from the terminal going to SM City Batangas. You will need to take another jeep going to Batangas City to Tabangao Docking Area passing by San Isidro, Shell Refinery.
From Batangas Grand Terminal, find a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Tabangao Aplaya or Tabangao Docking Area. Tricycle cost is about PHP 350 pesos and takes about 30-45 minutes. A tricycle can usually take up to 3 passengers.
According to the locals, there are only 2 boat rides going to Isla Verde. One from 9am going to the island and 3am going back to Brgy. Tabangao, Batangas City. It is very important to plan your trip ahead because there are only 2 boat transfer schedules daily.
There are several resorts in the island and all you need to do is to book your accommodation ahead of time because it going to be difficult if you walk in without any reservations.
- Verde Island Resort – http://batangasresorts.info/verde-island-resort-batangas/
- Isla Verde Tropical Friendly Resort – http://islaverderesort.com/
The island is also known for dive sites which have incredibly abundant in marine life. The locals are making sure that they are protecting these sites not only for tourism purposes but it is primarily their source of living. You may need to coordinate with the resort so they can let you join a group if you are solo traveler. Just make sure to plan everything ahead because the boat transfer back to Batangas City is at 3am daily.
- Bus Ride (Manila to Batangas Grand Terminal) – php157 ( Round trip php 314)
- Bus Ride (Alabang to Batangas Grand Terminal) – php127 (Round trip php 254
- Boat Transfer – php100 ( Round trip php 200)
- Boat Rental Island Hopping – depends on the boat capacity
- Resort Fee – depends on you resort choice