Monday, December 12, 2011

RORO Roaming: M/V Filipinas Dinagat

The economy section you would already know from my descriptions in previous stories. Remember, if you are one who must watch the tube before sleeping, there is only one such small thing and it is located at the frontmost left corner (middle of ship) near the door that leads to business and tourist classes. No comfort room. You have to go down a staircase to a lower level for that. But that lower level seem to be not (yet) the cargo/vehicle area. All sides are open on this class of service so you have the cool wind blowing on most parts. Most parts? Why? Because there are two portions that are uncomfortably hot (for me) and those are the big chimneys (whatever they are called in ship parlance) that go all the way up the top of this boat. Yes yes, tambutso of humongous proportions. Mind you, some people I saw slept on beds near them. I asked one oldie and he told me its better for him there as he wont need a blanket. Gosh!

Then there are the business classes and the tourist classes. Plural? Yes plural. Entering the door, there are the Mabini and Rizal Business Classes of 20 passengers each. Those are actually the two rooms (one on each side of the hallway) that you pass by going towards the Valencia tourist class and the canteen. This Valencia tourist class (the hallway is part of it) is damn too cold. Just as I suspected – airconditioning in public conveyances are either uncomfortably cold (normal) or uncomfortably warm (defective). I just went straight for the door at the end of this hallway passing by the double decks (made of wood) where the lower beds are literally at floor level. This one has a chilly ‘climate’ (very cold), lower ceiling (almost just my height) and totally enclosed. Claustrophobic! Same type of mattress as mine, but passengers were given green blankets. There is also just 1 small TV set at a corner ceiling on the left.

Hey, I was sure no one would mind if I later ‘illegally’ opted to sleep in this place which only had something like 10 or less passengers. Everyone from economy pass here (the only way) going to or coming from the canteen! Now at either side of the canteen are the passage ways to Arellano Tourist Class. Careful with finding those little narrow hallways as you might enter the comfort rooms instead hehehe. On the left side using the same hallway is their Melgar Cabin good for only 2 people and I just wondered how cramped that would be. Am sure it is! That is the only cabin in the entire ship, mind you!

Aw, there is something weirdly cute… there are economy beds in this area/hallway near the canteen. Two double decks on the left and two on the right. That means 4 passengers on each side. But no one was stupid enough to stay there – its enclosed and non-airconditioned and near the toilets! So one such double deck becomes a 'tambayan' of the canteen intern and his colleagues. I noticed there are stairs going down from this area and wondering what might be there, I slowly went down. Nobody reprimanded me, so I thought that was still a passenger area. Well what do you know, down there is another tourist class – which I am almost sure is their Osmena Tourist Class. Hmm, there are just a few and those are not double deck beds. But duu, I don’t like it there. its already at the innards of the ship, I think hehe!

By the way, the walls in this area (and near the canteen) have decorative hangings. Two are the ship’s layout and a bigger frame has some pictures and historical facts about the ship. This thing came off the shipyards of Hokkaido in 1972 as “M/V Soya Maru 2”. So as of the time I rode the ship, it was already 39 years old. It became M/V Filiinas Dinagat when it was 22 years old. It has a total length of 60.52 metres, breadth of 13 metres and a call sign (whatever that is) of DUH2181. I smiled at one other detail I read, and it says “Hull Material; Steel”. My atrevida pea of a brain was saying “why, are there ROROs with hulls made of wood, paper, plastic or rubber?” Whahehehe, maybe there are! When this thing get full with passengers, their total fare collections could be a few pesos less than 400 thousand – one way. Less the discounts and plus about 10 tons of cargoes, not bad eh?! Here is one more I noticed: upper deck beds have odd numbers and those below are even numbered! Not sure if that's true to all ships. But on M/V Filipinas Dinagat, I sure know now how to find my bed!

But I have got to hear, or at least see a writing how fast (or how slow) this thing runs. As for this trip, looking at the water as we cruised along, I imagined it is just about as fast as a tricycle! The views from up the roofdeck was fantastic though, even if it was dark under the moonlight. Would be lovelier if it were daytime, right?! Yeah yeah, but that would be hard to catch since this boat also leaves Calbayog in the evening and arrives back in Cebu also at dawn. Ah this beautiful picture below, I got from their website hehe!

Lets arrive in Calbayog at the next story, k?!


  1. thanks for the info. good post.
    your post serves as my guide on my first ride of M/V Dinagat :)

  2. hello MizJude, howrya! thanks for the compliment. and good luck on your "cruise"! the canteen closes at 11PM btw hehe