After my City Tour, I just slept a bit in the hotel, showered, then checked out.
10:45PM – Arrival in North Bus Terminal. Need to catch the first trip going to Hagnaya port (Ceres Bus). Bus fare: P165
11:20PM – Departure from terminal. I thought the first trip was 11:45PM, so it’s so good that we left earlier.
02:00AM – Arrival in Hagnaya port. Usual travel time is 4 hours, but since it was very early in the morning, it only took us 2.5 hours only. Ferry fee: P170 + P10 terminal fee
03:00AM – Departure from port. First trip is 3AM. I suggest you sit on the second floor. First floor is so hot while second is well-ventilated.
04:15AM – Arrival in Bantayan Island. Rented a motorcycle (P20) to bring me to Bantayan Cottages, but he suggested that we look somewhere else near the shore. Glad we did. Found a home stay near shore, along F. Roska Street, for P500/night. I didn’t get the name though.
(Before my arrival in Cebu, I contacted Maria Fe Gilbuena – 09125870676 (tour guide) to arrange my island hopping and inland tours. She gave it to me P1500 (that’s cheap, I guess, because this includes all the entrance fees already) because I was a joiner with a couple (don’t tell me)).
08:00AM – Start of island hopping.
08:30AM – Arrival in Virgin Island. I was in awe. It’s a small island with very white, smooth sand meeting the glistening clear-blue water. You can snorkel there, but I’d prefer to beach bum resting in a hammock. It didn’t diminish my enjoyment, though. The place was a real paradise. I guess this was the highlight of my stay in Cebu.
10:00AM – Arrival in Hilantagan Island. This is a privately owned island, but the owner allows tourists here. It is a beautiful island near Virgin, but not as beautiful as the latter. The island is not well-kept; probably because the owner is not concerned yet of its commercialization.
11:00AM – Arrival to Paradise Beach. Those black matters you see are dried leaves and not random dirt. To be honest, this part of the island is so nice. The sand is velvety smooth, and the waters (despite having algae) is still shimmering with beauty
12:00PM – LUNCH. We ate in a restaurant near Ogtong’s Cave. I forgot the name; maybe it’s part of Ogtong Cave Resort.
01:00PM – Start of inland tour. Ogtong’s Cave. I have to be honest. There is nothing special about this cave. It’s just a cave, nothing more. But go and see for yourself.
01:30PM – Arrival in Diving Cliff and German Ruins (we rode a rented tricycle). Ate Fe told us that Diving Cliff was featured in the Filipino movie Camp Sawi. Haven’t watched it yet so I was not able to relate. Nonetheless, I still appreciated how beautiful the cliff was. It’s like I wanted to jump; only I don’t really have the balls for open-water slash heights.
Look how dramatic this German Ruins. The dark clouds (it was drizzling then) complemented its structures and I just love their combination.
2:15PM – Arrival in Obo Ob Mangrove Garden. I absolutely loved this place. I love seeing trees and waters combined. I think this was my first time seeing mangrove for real. Too bad, I didn’t take as much pictures as I could because I was so sleepy and all. What’s so thrilling about this place is you have to walk on bamboo walkway, which creaks with every step. Below you while walking, you could see several fishes and they are so beautiful to watch. I love seeing creatures on their natural habitats.
This place was also a Camp Sawi filming location, but I didn’t bother taking picture on the signage.
4:00PM – Arrival in Sts. Peter and Paul Church. This was the first parish in Cebu, and one of the oldest in the Philippines. Like most of the oldest churches in the country, this church was made out of stones and corals. I have always enjoyed visiting old churches with every travel I do. I am always fascinated with its construction and oldness adding to its characteristics and beauty. I always admit that I am not that religious; I don’t think it’s important for someone to appreciate these kinds of beaut.
WHAT I MISSED
These were the places I was able to visit during my 1D1N stay in Bantayan Island. If you could, try to visit these two other places I missed:
- Kinatarkan Island – I was really planning on going here; for some reason I didn’t request this to Ate Fe. She said she used to work in this island and it is really beautiful as compared to Virgin and Hilantagan combined. So make sure you negotiate with her about this.
- Madridejos Towns – It’s on the edge of the island, and a very nice spot to watch the sunset. I was about to go here, but I was falling already in the motorcycle because of sleepiness. I didn’t take chance against my life.
WHERE TO STAY
There are lots of home stays in Bantayan, which do not have web pages so I suggest you ask around for cheap ones especially with the people from Bantayan port as you set foot in the island (that’s how I found mine). I didn’t have time to be picky; I just need somewhere near the shore.
Options I looked at beforehand:
- Bantayan Cottages – Cheap but far from shore
- Kota Beach Resort – beach front
- Bantayan Huts – near the beach
- Ritzy’s White Beach Resort – beach front
WHERE TO EAT
I highly suggest dropping by to MJ Square. There are lots of food choices here; just walk and choose.
As I have only allotted one day for Bantayan, I left the home stay as early as 4AM to catch the first ferry trip.
04:00AM – Left home stay. Hailed a pedicab going to Bantayan port. Fare is P30.
04:15AM – Arrival in Bantayan port. Ferry fee: P170 + P10 terminal fee
05:10AM – Departure from port
06:20AM – Arrival to Hagnaya port.
BUDGET AND ITINERARY
|22:30||To North Bus Terminal||PhP 100|
|23:20||To Hagnaya port||PhP 165|
|02:00||Arrival in Hagnaya port|
|03:00||Departure from port||PhP 180|
|04:15||Arrival to Bantayan Island||PhP 20|
|04:30||Checkin homestay||PhP 500|
|08:00||Start of island hopping|
|08:30||Arrival in Virgin Island|
|10:00||Arrival in Hilantagan Island|
|11:00||Arrival in Paradise beach|
|13:30||Arrival to Diving Cliff and German Ruins|
|14:15||Arrival in Obo Ob Mangrove Garden|
|16:00||Arrival in Sts. Peter and Paul Church|
|Tour guide fee||PhP 1,500|
|the following day…|
|04:00||Checkout home stay||PhP 30|
|04:15||Arrival in Bantayan port|
|05:10||To Hagnaya Port||PhP 180|
|06:20||Arrival in Hagnaya port|
Checkout my other blogs during my stay in Cebu: