For the longest time, a photographer friend from Occidental Mindoro has been inviting us to visit her hometown in Abra de Ilog for days of shooting, exploring and swimming. On a whim, I started e-mailing some friends for us to finally go and convinced five of them to come. With no idea as to what Mindoro’s Abra de Ilog held, we packed our bags and headed of to one of the most enjoyable summer tour of the year for us.
Abra de Ilog is a 4th class municipality located on the northern part of Occidental Mindoro. The municipality got its name from the Spanish missionaries that founded it from the many waterways traversing the area; translated it means Embracing the River.
To get there, we hopped on a JAM Liner bus at Kamuning heading to Batangas Pier (Php175.00). We departed by 3:30PM hoping to catch the 6:00PM RORO (Roll On Roll Off) ship to Abra de Ilog. We were caught by heavy traffic at Laguna and we arrived at the port with the 6:00PM ship already taking off for Mindoro. We settled for the 7:30PM Baleno ferry (Php208.00) instead and had our dinner by the port.
7:30PM came and it was finally boarding time. It was a first for us to ride in a ferry and a few were a bit nervous. But the crossing to Occidental Mindoro turned out to be one smooth enjoyable ride.
We were on an open decked type of ferry, vehicles on the lower deck and people on the upper one. The decks were filled with double-decker beds for sleepyheads and some benches for those wanting to catch some primetime soap operas.
It was wonderful traveling the seas at night. We cruised at a relaxed paced, not too fast but not too slow either. There wasn’t much to see except some passing boats, a few solitary islands, and the deep dark sea. Look up at the heavens however and your eyes will feast upon a profusion of stars, stare long enough and you just might get lucky and chance upon a shooting star. And yes, I did see one!
It was a perfect place to have a cup of hot coffee, the night dark, and the wind soothing. I checked out the right side of the boat while waiting for my coffee and the view was even more amazing. The almost full moon was casting its somber light against the waves of the sea, it almost looks like a sunrise on a film negative.
We carefully bought our instant coffee up the ship’s front and positioned ourselves on the seat of the boat’s prow. We snapped a few pictures, exchanged some old stories and enjoyed the soothing sounds of the parting waves as our journey to our summer took its sweet slow time.