Around the beginning of 2013, rumours started circulating on Samal about a new vehicular ferry service starting up between Samal and Davao. The rumours were full of exciting details such as 1/2 price fares, different routes, many ferries and an Easter commencement. Easter came and went and the rumours persisted, but of the ferries there was no sign. Then one day closer to the middle of the year, as I crossed on the existing ferry service, a small landing-craft-type ferry sailed up the straits and docked at Panacan, just a kilometre or so north of the Sasa 11 ferry terminal. Rumours rose and fell and changed form. Another month or so passed and on the return journey from Davao I saw the LCT undergoing sea trials between Panacan and Babak.
So far, no other ferries have joined the fleet, but the rumours suggest that at least two more will soon join the crossing.
The new ferry service was launched without any fanfare or publicity, presenting would-be passengers with something of a problem. If the service has only one boat, not knowing the timetable (and it isn’t published anywhere obvious), how do they turn up at either terminal on time to sail to the other side.
Eventually, when I had no pressing engagements to rush to in Davao, I managed to get to the Babak terminal at the appropriate time for a 0830hrs departure.