Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bantayan Is., Cebu

this has been one of my dream destination for sometime now. and i just got so excited when our trip finally pushed through last May 27-29!

located on the northern part of Cebu, Bantayan Island is one breathtaking place you won't mind trekking to. I did my prior research from an online forum and some websites and just made bookings and travelling easier.

i wasn't prepared for some details though. we left for the Northern Bus Terminal around 6am as suggested as aircon buses are suposed to be scheduled as early as 7am each day. we were told however that aircon trips were already cancelled. we boarded the next non-aircon bus which was to leave at 730 although it was already full only a short while that it parked and waited. Fare is at PhP55.00 each. it was quite a long 3 hours of a little bit of rough road and warm weather. i'm not so sure if that's a normal occurence but it could be that Bogo town, the town right before Hagnaya port, had it's annual fiesta but men and women carrying some kids would hop on standing on the aisles, squeezing themselves unto the rather small bus. yup, it's not even the usual Victory-big buses we have here in Manila. it was a bit tiring three hours huh. gladly though, most passengers already alighted at Bogo town, where indeed they had their town fiesta. about 30 minutes off Bogo we finally reached Hagnaya port where we had to board a fastcraft for the town of Sta. Fe where the resorts are located. Fare is at Php150 and about an hour and a half later, we finally reached our destination.

i have made prior reservations at Kota Beach Resort, one of the suggested resorts and I've already made contact with their driver to pick us up at the airport. yes, one of the reasons why i chose the resort is its free transfers.

our cottage cost us PhP 1560 per day good for 3 persons plus and additional mattress for an extra person costing another PhP200.00. Not bad really as it is big and comfortable enough for the 4 of us. and this is the sight that greets you outside:

fine powdery white sand that could stretch on to forever indeed. and Kota is strategically located in one corner making you feel like you have your own private beach. and there's a vacant stretch of beach just beside it for that "marooned in an island" feel.

food is a bit expensive in the resort though. a cup of rice is at PhP17 and main dishes range from PhP145 to 200 good for 2-3 persons. you could opt to buy fresh foods at the nearby market and have them cook it for you for a whopping P200 per kilo. we asked around and learned that a store just beside the school near the resort accepts paluto though at P40 per dish. we found a better deal.

this meal, our dinner later that day cost us barely PhP 200 including rice and a 1.5 liter bottle of coke zero. a far cry from the PhP700 i spent at the resort's restaurant that lunchtime.

on our second day, we rented a boat to head off to what they call as Virgin Is. for more beach and snorkeling. the trip cost us PhP800 for the banca rental, PhP300 for the island entrance fee and another PhP100 for the 2 snorkeling masks. cheap enough knowing that island hopping in other islands could fetch up to PhP1800 to 3000 huh!

Their Virgin Is. is about a 25 minute boat ride from Kota passing by the many resorts. what we saw there is more powdery fine white sand and crystal clear waters. there are cottages around the area and some pit were the boatmen themselves could grill fish and meat for us. we bought a big enough fish at the market before we left for like P60. grilling was free this time courtesy of our manong bangkero.

we spent our half day there swimming and exploring the island. just be careful of jelly fishes though as they seem to abound the waters. you may want to try out Godiva's safe sea sunblock with anti-jelly fish stings (plugging! hehe)

back at Kota, a group of local and some tourists were enjoying the late afternoon sun on the sandbars skimboarding! wow, if only i had enough courage to skimboard again i could have tried it anew. oh well.

i had such a great time there. i fell so in love with the place and i hope i could go back again. i hope they will bring back the aircon buses though. just the same, the ride is still well worth it. and i hope they won't soil the place too much by adding in more establsihments, jacking up the prices for tourists and not regularly cleaning the area. so far, everything is almost perfect there already.

more pics here.

and more info about the place at

and oh, please check out PAL rates before booking anywhere else. I got my Cebu-Manila airfare with them at PhP2300 compared to CebuPac's more than Php3k!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:16 AM


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