Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bantayan Island Escapades 2010: How to go to Bantayan Island

The blazing heat of the sun and the uber crowded terminals and stations did not hinder me and my friends from leaving Cebu City for Bantayan Island. This Island is not as popular as Boracay, but the island is starting to build its name, locally and globally. I will try to elaborate and write here every detail that I saw or experience during my 4 days stay in the Island.

Here is my Bantayan Island Escapades 2010

Fair Expenses from Cebu City to Bantayan Island

This is how to go to Bantayan Island. From the City (SM), we took a taxi going to North Bus Terminal and took a bus that is a 4 hour travel going to San Remigio, Cebu where our next ride awaits, the ferry boat. The Ferry boat which is an hour travel will directly lead you to the Island of Bantayan. Since this is a long trip, you might want to bring or buy some water and some food like pintos, is a delicacy from Bogo City and is made from corn, milk and margarine wrapped in corn skin and steamed.

(Photo from Langyaw)
Pintos from Bogo City
So below is a breakdown of the fair expenses (excluding the taxi going to North Bus):

Fair expenses from Cebu to BantayanSo you only need Php 500.00 to go to Bantayan and go back to Cebu (back and forth)!

The Big STEP to Bantayan Island

I was mostly asleep during the 5 hour travel (in the bus and in the ferry boat) going to the island. Probably, I was preparing myself for the big STEP I am about to experience!

And the time has come... It is the time for me to take a step to one of the most rumored islands in Cebu.

Welcome to Bantayan IslandI realized that no matter how positive the rumors are about the island, you can still clearly spot...and I mean literally spot the flaw of the island.

The Flaw

Garbage beside Bantayan portThe Flaw of Bantayan IslandIf you try to look at the pictures, this is the port area where all tourists passes through to get inside Bantayan Island...and you can see this piled garbage destroying the beauty of a crystal clear beach. It just breaks my heart that no one even seems to care. I hope the authority or even the people living in the island will do something about it.

I mean, their port is like the surface of their island, if it doesn't look good, how are they going to attract more visitors? How are they going to progress more? I hope this concern gets heard and by the next time I come back and make my seconds step to the said island, I hope I can see a clean and outstanding port!

Celebrating the Lenten Season

At the port, we had a long conversation on where to go. Bantayan Island is composed of 3 here are the 3 options:

Bantayan, Cebu is a 2nd class municipality and is considered as the town proper of the island. The town is well known for their delicious dried fish and dried squid.

Madridejos, Cebu is a 4th class municipality and is more on livelihood projects. A good friend who was with us during the escapade is from Madridejos.

Santa Fe (Sta. Fe), Cebu is a 5th class municipality and is the most crowded and the busiest town in the Island during Lenten Season (Holy Week). People usually get their reservations as early as 6 months - 1 year before the Holy Week, or else all resorts will be fully booked.

We chose to go to Santa Fe (Sta. Fe) since it is where you can find the best beaches in the island and most events are being held there during Lenten Season.

Most Visited Resorts at Santa Fe (Sta. Fe)

Below are 4 of the most visited places at Santa Fe:

Ogtong Cave Resort is located in Pook and is part of Cebu's Best Kept Secrets. You can either enjoy their swimming pool, cleans yourself in the cave's fresh waters or chill in the waters of the beach.

Kota Beach Resort, they say, is pure and enchanting. The only unspoiled beach and can be considered as one of Cebu's best kept secrets. Too bad I never got the chance to visit the resort. The next time I visit Bantayan, this will be the resort I will be staying. I wonder why people call this place enchanting.

Santa Fe Beach Club, I think, is the most visited resort. You will definitely enjoy the beach with their clear blue waters, powdery white sand, and lovely ambiance. Boats are ready for those who are interested in snorkeling, fishing or sightseeing. They also cater wide variety of mouth watering dishes that will make you salivate to death! You might want to consider your budget though.
Sugar Beach Resort is the best place for those who wants to enjoy the beach (as fun as how people enjoy at Santa Fe Beach Resort) without burning their pockets. There amenities are not as good as Santa Fe Beach Resort, but are manageable. I had so much fun at Sugar Beach Resort, especially when we were using the well (tabay).

Bantayan Island Escapades

I had so much fun!!! I cant explain how enjoyment was surrounding me! It was a fascinating atmosphere indeed! Below are some photos of my 4 days stay in Bantayan Island:

(Click the photos to see the full size)

people preparing tents Tent World at Sugar Beach Resort people enjoying Bantayan Island JM and Mary at Bantayan The Candle Light

Firework Display on Easter Sunday (12:00 am)

Finlust at Bantayan IslandRabsin written on the sandSugar Beach ResortMy new friends: Bonsai, Hector and IThe luster at BantayanBantayan's delicacy: dried fish and squidBantayan Island Souvenirs

However, while I was enjoying, I did not forget the goal that I planned. It was written on my previous entry: Holy Week at Bantayan Island - PUMP N SUMMER 2010. I planned of befriending someone who lived in Bantayan Island his whole life.

Manong Noc-NocHere is Manong Noc-Noc, a padyakero for more than 5 years now. He is 59 years old (turning 60 this December) and has 5 children. Living in the island, he said, is hard especially that the island is isolated with less job opportunity. You will, indubitably, try any job or any strategy of making money just to finance and let your family eat 3 times a day. However, they sometimes don't even eat 3 times a day.

A padyakero from BantayanIt was heart breaking while listening to his talk while paddling the bike. I wish I could help him...even for that least I could comfort his shaky voice. The only thing I could give him was money and so I did. His frowned face turned into a dimpled smile and said 'Thank you...' I smiled back and left the Island.

I wish him well and blessing to his family. Till the next time we meet...

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iggy said...

nice ang fireworks shots!! and is that the aboitizland I SEE!!! :D

rabsin_d said...

@iggy: Thanks! Nice ra cya tanawon kung gamai...ayaw ra!

...and yeah...that's the aboitizland beach chair indeed! Nikuyog cya bantayan...nyahaha!

Ghienoxs said...

the place is familiar, this must be in sugar beach.

rabsin_d said...

@Ghienoxs: indeed it is sugar beach ;D Thanks for the comment btw...

cagayan de oro resorts said...

This is a very nice guide, definitely will help travelers planning to take a weekend off at Bantayan Island. There is only one thing I will say about the island, very gorgeous! This could be the next Boracay, all it needs is a little refurbishing.

rabsin_d said...

@cagayan de oro resorts: I couldn't agree more! Hopefully the government in Bantayan will see that and make it a better place for the natives and the tourists :)