Last weekend we headed to the north of Cebu to relax, discover and unwind, feel the summer breeze, bask in the sun, and dip in a clear turquoise sea of Bantayan Island Cebu for one night.
Located in the Visayan Sea, Philippines Bantayan Island Cebu is situated to the west of the northern end of Cebu Island, across the Tañon Strait. The island area is 110.71 square kilometers (42.75 sq mi) and mostly covered by coconut palms. Bantayan derived its name from a popular folklore; it says that during the time of 22nd Governor-General Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera, the Visayans were continually harassed by Moro pirates who came on raids to capture slaves. Consequently, tall stone walls and watchtowers were built in different parts of the archipelago, for refuge and protection from Moro aggression. These watchtowers were known locally as “Bantayan sa Hari,” meaning “Watchtowers of the King,” and they served as lookout towers for incoming vintas (Moro pirate vessels). In the course of their vigil, it became common to say, “Bantayan! Bantayan!”, Meaning, “Keep watch! Keep watch!”, and that was how this island-group got its name. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bantayan_Island)
From Cebu City, we took a vhire or van for hire in North Bus Terminal heading to Hagnaya port, and the fare was 200 pesos each. The travel was about 3 hours though with vhire there’s a chance that the travel time would be less versus traveling through a bus because of less stop-over. However, just expect that you are packed along with other passengers and the ride is not as comfortable as the bus.
We arrived at Hagnaya port and bought a ticket to Bantayan Island, the damage was 170 pesos for the vessel ticket and then 10 pesos each for the terminal fee. The travel time from Hagnaya to Bantayan (Santa Fe port) is 1 hour, and once you arrive, you can get a motor cab to bring you to your destination. The motor cab fare will depends on your destination, the farther it is, the more expensive it will be, and in our case, the driver asked 15 pesos each for a 2km ride).
We booked our accommodation at Budyong Beach Resort. There are a lot if accommodations in Bantayan Island, you just have to look for it in TripAdvisor or ask the motor cab driver, they know a lot of accommodations that may not in TripAdvisor. Personally, I don’t recommend Budyong Beach Resort though its location is great, I’m sure that there are better resorts that offer a quality stay. Good beaches can be found in the southeast around Santa Fe, and in the northwest at Patao and Madridejos.
We actually don’t have itinerary because initially our goal right there was the beach and only at the moment when the motor cab driver offered us Land Tour as well as Island Hopping. We took the Land Tour since we were discouraged in Island Hopping option because we knew that we will not land on those islands that we will hop in, there’s a fee if we opted to.
The Land tour will range from 500 to 1,500 pesos and for us we’re lucky to found a gem and got the lowest price. The land tour that they’re referring is a rent for their motor cab including their service to drive you to the location for the whole duration of the visits. The land tour covers four areas around southeast of Santa Fe. The land tour inclusions are: The Mangrove Forest or OMEGEICA, Paradise Beach, Ogtong cave (this is inside a resort, and during that time we’re not able to visit because ethe resort controlled the visitors and prioritized the resort’s guests), and Cliff Diving in Kandugyap (we skipped this since we’re not interested in cliff diving).
Before we went home we have a few minutes to enjoy the Kota beach then went to HR music bar and restaurant for our sumptuous lunch. By the way, extend your patience in going home process as it was worst; a long queue for the ship ticket and when you reach in Hagnaya port you will still have to queue for the ‘limited bus’ that were coming. Overall we enjoyed Bantayan island though we never maximized our trip since it’s just one night, we will definitely come back very soon!
|Going into Bantayan
|Going back to Cebu
|Ferry fare (including terminal fee P10)
|tricycle fare to Budyong
|this depends in your appetite
|this depends on your group number and how good are you in scouting less expensive accommodaion
|tourist spots entrance fees
|this could be less, depending on your location. It range from50-150)
This was not my first time to visit Bantayan, below are the pictures I took on my first visit.