Cebu would always have a special place in my heart. My family and I have spent countless celebrations in Cebu and this time, I went back to visit one of the places I have always dreamed in visiting. The beautiful island of Bantayan!
Bantayan Island is situated at the northern part of Cebu. From Manila, my friend and I took a 45 minute flight that landed in Mactan International Airport. We then took a Ceres bus from the Cebu North Bus Terminal going to Hagnaya Port that costs around Php 180 per head for an air-conditioned bus that journeys for around 3-5 hours, depending on the traffic. We arrived at around 12 midnight and only traveled for around 3 hours going to Hagnaya port since there were no stop overs and traffic jam to lengthen the travel. However, the reverse journey from Hagnaya to Cebu took us around 5-6 hours. The bus from Hagnaya leaves the terminal every hour.
Upon arriving at Hagnaya port a few minutes before 3AM, we hurriedly purchased our ferry ticket from Hagnaya to Sta. Fe port that also costs around Php 180 per head. Travel time is around an hour and a half.
We were picked up by our hotel service as soon as the ferry docked. If staying in a hotel, you might want to inquire about their pick up service. We stayed in two different hotels in Bantayan. Both I think are splendid. :)
Anika Island Resort
We booked Anika's Sunset Villa for two nights via Agoda.com which costs us 2,000 PHP a night. The rooms in Anika are all container vans. It is simple but comfortable, with basic stuff such as cable tv, air-condition units, toilet and bath, and comfortable beds.
My friend and I also booked a Deluxe Aircon Cottage via Agoda.com which costs PHP 1900 a night. We were picked up from the previous resort and checked in early, which they allowed with no extra cost. We arrived in the resort full of guests having their brunch. It is evident that the resort is a little bit old, but not really run down. Maybe a little renovation here and there could help uplift the place but nevertheless, it is still a good one. The property is pretty huge with villas scattered all around the resort.
These two resorts are situated in Barangay Sta. Fe which is a coastal barangay where all the awesome beach front resorts are situated.
Bantayan Town Proper
A few kilometers away, you will find the Bantayan Town proper which is also a charmer. There, one can find Sts. Peter and Paul Parish which is the oldest Cebu founded by Augustinian missionaries that was founded on June 1580.
|Our ride around town!|
The church is the heart of the town. I love the old town vibe which was greatly highlighted by more old architecture seen around.
When visiting a town, I would say that the best place to visit is their local market. There, one would really see how the locals live, plus, one would be able to sample some local delicacies! Look at those delicious seafoods for sale at a very affordable price!
We also had the chance to stop by their local "pantalan" and go go biking around town, which is by the way lovely.
Going around town, we also saw their government offices. The town is very laid back, sleepy I would say, and really clean.
We enjoyed roaming around Bantayan's very laid back and relaxing town. Everything is affordable and fresh! The food that we ate both in Bantayan town and back in Sta. Fe are both delicious and satisfying. I would say skip the meats and indulge in seafood for everything is fresh!
I fell in love with Bantayan Island and swore that I will be back again. Ideal days to spend there is from 3-5 days. I would give Bantayan a 5/5! Great experience!