Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bantayan Island, Cebu

getting aboard ferry in Hagnaya port to Sta Fe Port in Bantayan Island, Cebu

This trip have proven me to be a travel addict. One, today is the last day of enrollment and i have rather taken the trip than complete the procedure. I'd make an appeal on wednesday instead by the time i'm back in manila.

Two, the day before the trip, the school has called for being shortlisted for the scholarship grant and that i have to attend an interview the ff day, i.e. Day of my flight to cebu.

I was torn. 

Mangrove Forest in Sta Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu

My boss was acting wild that day too such that he'd go mad at every work i do. I was holding my horses the whole day. I would have almost yelled at him back, rather making me willfully push this trip.

Right after the call from the college, my mind went bezerq. Blah blah blah.. Slept for an hour, and Woke up 2am to prepare for commuting to clark airport, thru airphil express.

St Peter and Paul Church in Bantayan Town Proper

I got too early in the gate. 5am, i was ready to board a 7:20 flight. It was exactly 7:20 when we left and we arrived 20mins ahead, 8:20.

On the flight, i did not want to sleep since it's too short to even get my eyes to close. From up, i got an aerial view of mayon and the other islands i've been to, including alibijaban island.

Resto and Bar street in Sta Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu

Tristan's Pizza in Sta Fe, Bantayan island, Cebu

It was late in the afternoon when we got to bantayan. We didn't want to waste any time so we took the motorbike and went to st peter and paul's church and passing through the Mangrove forest. For some reason, there is this feeling of fulfillment when you get to go around unfamiliar town on your own transpo, free to stop whenever you feel like.

Upon reaching the church, from inside, the embellishments would tell you how conservative the people are. After some close look at the church, we went out and explored the Plaza. 

tried the Carlito's fried chicken with that specialty rice as i was starving. Didn't find much to fancy though as it was a regular fried chicken. What gave me the excitement was having to eat with my hands wrapped in plastic. From there, we were brought to the port, where there was a view of the smaller (seemingly populated) islands. 

We went back to sta fe afterwards. My travel mate was freaking to try Tristan's pizza and offered a treat. We dropped by, and in turn, I volunteered to scout some beer. After that utterly sweet pizza, We went back to beach placid, took a bath, and then we were brought to this so called Route 66 Comedy Bar.

Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

I was expecting it to be like those sawali videoke bars normally along bus stops. Then again, this makeshift comedy bar is not bad enough to think that i am well off the city. Quite an experience. So, without much crankiness, I stood up when asked to go up the stage, answered whatever intruding question they threw, and sang whatever they played on the karaoke.  

The morning after, we rented a scooter and drove towards bantayan and cross towards TAMI AO where Bantayan Nature's Park and pool cave (other than Ogtong is). We struggled in the directions, but the ride was well enjoyed. 

In my mind, i thought it was more like a plaza since it was bearing the 'Bantayan' tag. Apparently, it's a private resort.

billiards use included in the P100 daytour in  Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort 

Cave in  Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

Cave in  Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

Fish Spa in  Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

Then again, for a P100 daytour trip, you get to use their billiards, videoke, and swim in the cave. Not bad after all. I also tried the fish spa which costs an affordable 50/15mins.

It was already late when we left the Nature's park. We were told it's much quicker to take the Silion route. Indeed, in less than 30minutes I guess, we got past Beach Placid. The route was rough but quite scenic.

Hut accomodation in  Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort 

shore of  Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

Back in the resort, took my beach time.  I also ran out of cigarette so bought in the nearby store..and the only brand they have is WINSBORO.. And i bought it with a smile :-)

Took a bath, then off on my scooter again. Went to a local carinderia, then thought about looking for a tripod in the '168'-like 888 store in poblacion. I knew I was unlikely to get one, but it was more of that finding a reason to justify something you want - just to roam around. And, of course, there was no tripod.

The sun was still quite up so i thought about heading further to madridejos.
What I was thinking then was to have a talk with some locals. I make it a point that I get to hang around locals whenever I visit some place - see their behavior and know some more about the people and place. There was also the buko offer of someone we met in the ferry. So, there we go, I asked him that he take me around madridejos which he did. 

Silion, Bantayan Island, Cebu

the P350/day scooter; headed back to Beach Placid, Sta Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu 

We first head to their main resort where sunset was great. I couldn't quite see the blueness of the beach anymore as it was dusk. Bumming in the sunset though is enough reason to drive 30kms away. 

After that the sun was down, we went to the other beaches though it was dark and there were no lights.

Sta Fe Beach in Sta Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu

Sta Fe Beach in Sta Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu

Sta Fe Beach in Sta Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu

Sta Fe Beach in Sta Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu
I was asking him where we can hang out; again, some makeshift clubs or whatsoever, and he told me about this place where locals come - videoke. I thought I was going to see something I had in Sta Fe, but, this one is evern more simple. It was rather a sari sari store with a videoke machine on a hut next to it. But again, enjoy whatever there is. The singers weren't bad after all.

It was past 8pm, after a shared mucho gold eagle beer that i went back home to beach placid. It was quite dark, no transpo along the hiway, but hell I care. I would have been more scared if I were in the city. Through silion route, I passed by Nature's park again where my tour buddy was, watching the Bantayan Idol singing contest. Everyone's on awe looking at the performer who's even partly covered by a tree in front of the stage. I didn't really want to spend the rest of my time hearing some great voices, so I left. I was more excited seeing the sayawans on the basketball courts. From there, i've stopped and watch portions of 3 sayawans, and 1 teen pageant; Bought several mango shakes, popcorns, all the street food there were.

Hagnaya Port
full itinerary of my 5day cebu trip here

Added notes: 
-Bantayan nature park and resort requires proper swimming attire in the cave. No maong shorts whatsoever; hence, i had to be on underwear; thank goodness I was alone.
-Danggit price in Bantayan is 110/.25kl
-there is an allied bank atm around the  plaza.
-for those renting a scooter bike, plaza is one way. They're also not bothered whether u have a motorbike license or not, as long as there's only 3 passengers per bike all in all.
-commodity price is same as the city price.
-Bantayan town proper is about 22kms away from sta fe.

Looking to travelling to this destination? Talk to me and we'll let's talk about your accomodation, transpo, and tour options


  1. WOW! I've never been to Batayan! hope to visit it soon! :)

  2. you should...and get on the bike and tour the island.. nature tripping everywhere

  3. Nice description of Bantayan. I've been there a few times over the years and each trip was great. I remember the first trip many many years ago when my father brought me. It was purely a fishing town and most people had no electricity - only generators. It was so serene. At night, you could see all the fishermen in the sea with their petromax lanterns hanging on their boats, making the horizon look like there were swarms of fireflies in the distance. So beautiful and peaceful. The barangay road at that time was not paved, and Sta Fe Beach Club was the only real resort - but still it only had a few rooms. Now it's becoming like Boracay and there's more trash on the beach and more ferry's and... and... more crazy people during holy week and the beach is more polluted and more resorts and the fishermen and the petromax lanterns are gone... and there's loud videoke machines at every corner with terrible singers... and the foreigners own everything... and did I mention that there's no more fishing boats and no more petromax lanterns? But, I digress. I actually still love Bantayan. It is still difficult to reach the place from Cebu City - about 3 hrs (more or less) drive by bus or car and then 1 hr ferry ride from Hagnaya. But I suppose that's part of the appeal, because if it were easy to visit, then it wouldn't have that magical feel that you get of visiting a not-so-secret hideaway that you can call your "special place." And lest I forget, while in Bantayan, rent a small non-motorized pump-boat (no... no... not with a driver) but by yourself and just paddle around the shoreline and wave to the ferry boat people. (They like it when you wave to them.) Then, climb a coconut tree and carve your name at the most highest level (and don't forget to put the date!). Then high-five yourself and drink some tuba. Mmmm... tuba.

    1. well said.. I especially enjoyed being in a motorbike and roam around. The view in Silion next to the port was amazing..

    2. Hi there, you obviously haven't heard of Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort! Here, we promote eco-friendly and sustainable tourism. this is one of the few places in Bantayan where you can hear birds singing all day!

      Thanks to Ian for this nice blog, we hope to have you back here. Check out our facebook page for the latest happenings.

      Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort... nature at its best!

  4. hi sir... tip's nmn jan/ how to tour around bantayan w/ cheap budget... hahaha... im originally from bantayan but d2 n s negros nag stay... haha,,, ty

    1. if you're travelling alone, mag homestay ka nalang... then, especially for food, meron mga carinderia jan.. rent ka na din agad ng motorcycle. sa beach placid, pwede sya hourly, tas itototal ang # of hours, then dun ibebased yung bayad...


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