ImageBecause of an inquiry on the website about the ferry service from the Port of Orion to Manila, and my desire to use the service,  I went to the Port.  Here is what I saw.  From the provincial road, I entered a narrow barangay road, with road humps almost every twenty feet, open storm drain canal. downhill slope toward the  Port’s double-gated sentry house.  There is  one gate open for entry/exit for vehicular traffic and another gate for pedestrian.  From the pedestrian gate, there is a covered pathway toward the terminal.  I have not seen any tricycle or tram to assist people with baggage inside or outside toward the provincial road bus stop.  Motor vehicle is not allowed inside;  I persuaded the guard to let my car in to see for myself the terminal and the ferry service set up.  In front of the terminal a security guard was sitting down, taking a nap.  Woke him up and asked permission to see inside. I walked passed a huge dog at the doorway, asleep.  The firsts floor was covered with beautiful colored granite tiles, plenty of seats for passengers.  There were empty rooms, separate women and men toilet facilities.  Stairways going up the second deck, granite tiled, huge doorways to wide open porch overlooking the port area.  The interior was huge, high ceiling, hot like an oven because of no ventilation; I felt it was overbuilt for the intended use?  Downstairs, the guard pointed to me the SuperCat ticketing counter.  I didn’t ask their business hours but I understand it is not open 24/7.  Nearby is the waiting area for ferry passengers: I didn’t ask when passengers are allowed to enter.  I have not seen any concessionaires similar the stores you find at the highway rest stops for coffee, personal needs and newspapers.  The loading and unloading dock is on the other side of the terminal.   The ferry occupies a small portion  outside the terminal.

I have not seen the ferry myself.  From the picture is looks like a huge catamaran.  It was described in the flyer as clean vessel, comfortable seats, fully air-conditioned, with canteen and minimart for passengers. It takes an hour one way between the Port of Orion and the dock behind the SM Mall of Asia.  I was told that there is a free shuttle to and from the Mall of Asia. The schedule and cost is listed on the front page.

To improve the ferry service,  I urge the webmaster, the ADMIN or anyone to pass these recommendations to the proper authority for the benefit of the riding public.
1.  Allow privately owned vehicle to park and ride the SuperCat ferry during the day and on week end, using security parking tickets similar to SM  SuperMalls for free.
2.  Study the possibility that the exiting road, being wide enough, as the entrance/exit road and build pedestrian sidewalks.
3.  Allow tram (porter) to assist passenger with baggage from the gate to the terminal and from the terminal to the gate and bus stop.
4.  Provide street lights from the bus stop to the port gate to deter any would be robber or solicitor.
5.  Authorize concessionaires similar to small stores you find at the highway rest stops for coffee, donut, fruit, drink and newspaper.  Do not authorize cheap looking indigenous shacks to cater to passengers.

By: Fel Barcarse

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