ILIGAN CITY – MINDANAO
My 4-day trip to Bantayan Island last August 2011 was another instant invitation from my close friends and mountaineers, Monabelle and Beth. This was the trip that opened me up to traveling.
Right after my Bantayan experience came another set of trips and traveling became my huge addiction. Never there was a day that I missed visiting Cebu Pacific and Air Phil websites and I started to lose control on my bank withdrawals . *Ano ba tong pinasukan ko?
Bantayan Island, I would say is one the best islands I’ve visited. It’s the seclusion and privacy of the place that makes you feel that you’re in a different world. Add up to the tranquility is the long-stretch of white-sand beach with water and sand glitters. Not far from our spot are the breathtaking sights of small islands to stir your curiosity. This untouched place is so soothing to the soul, made even more special by silent yet very approachable locals.
Bantayan Island, Philippines
It was our first day to the island and everything was perfect from the sunny weather, to sumptuous foods to native-styled accommodation. Prior to getting to the island, we stayed at main Cebu for a night. It was Gen (Monabelle’s good friend) who willingly kept us for the night. Right the following morning, it was an early call from Ma’am Kate that prompted us to prepare. At around 8am, we walked our way to the bus station, Bantayan na!
Here’s how to get to the place:
1. Go to the North Bus terminal in Cebu City near SM Mall.
2. From the North Terminal, you may take the Ceres Coach buses or Cebu AutoBus Corporation. Scheduled trips to Bantayan usually starts at 5am for a fare of P70 to P80. These 2 buses will drop all passengers bound to the island at Hagnaya, situated Northen part of Cebu. Estimated bus travel time is approximately 2 – 3 hours depending on the weather.
3. From Hagnaya port, you will need to take a 75-minute ferry boat to Santa Fe. Boats normally start their operations around 5am and last trips around 5:30pm. Boat fee is P120.
Walay mahay pag maka-abot mo sa Island, nice jud kaaU xa!
You will love the simplicity and serenity of Bantayan. Hay, eto ang kelangan ko, pang-tanggal sa lahat ng esstreesss!!!
We spent our second day with the island hopping tour. It was for P2,000 all-in: food, boat and tour.
First on the list? Virgin Island.
It was an awesome beauty that welcomed us. Virgin Island is a mix of water and rock paradise.
I thought there’s more white sands to visit but we ended up returning to Bantayan to explore its hidden caves. Bantayan isn’t just blessed with beaches but also old-aged caves where some can be enjoyed for swimming.
This 8 hectare land is owned by a pilot and stewardess couple. We learned from the caretaker that every time they return to the place, they always have cactus with them from the countries they’ve been. Inside this private land are 8 caves and one huge cactus garden! Interesting!
One can truly enjoy the relaxation through spending a couple of hours inside this traditional yet stunning gazebo.
Due to the unfavorable weather, all of us decided to extend the trip for a day! Never thought it would end so beautiful.
There’s nothing more interesting and exciting than to explore the island through these powerful bikes that we rented for P200 per 8 hours. We went to the central part of the island for some treats to bring home. It took us almost 2 hours to reach the town where establishments and products are found.
Another highlight of Bantayan is this 432 year old church. *Luma na xa pero ang ganda parin, very historic!
Bantayan is among my best choices of clean, simple and peaceful living. Everything in the place is laid-back that it could almost put you to sleep. No wonder why tourists flock in the place! And if I were to go back, I would probably never leave.
Thank you Juris for joining us, it was fun having you! Mona, Beth ane Eunice and Ma’am Kate, you all rock!
Stayed at: Beach Placid Resort Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Transportation: Bus and Ferry
Enjoyed most: biking around the island
Missed: snorkeling along with Mona and Beth
Overall Impression: 9 stars
Photo credits: Kate Baol