Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines

DIY: Bantayan Island, Cebu

DIY: Bantayan Island, Cebu
Philippines

After a month of staying in Boracay Island for work, it is time to move to Bantayan Island in northern Cebu, Philippines.

Thanks to my boss for assigning me to work in Bantayan Island. It is indeed a paradise. Stayed here for 9 days. I did not expect it to be that magical. From the long stretch of white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, sunrise and sunsets to its friendly people.

 I did this trip solo. I tried to immerse myself with the locals. In every trip it is the locals that I have a great respect for. It is their place and I want it to stay that way. I gained friends during my stay and I had a heavy heart leaving this place. It is the people that makes a place special.

This is one of the places I want to go back to. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. And since the trip is work related, I’ll be featuring places, activities, restaurants that you can try during your stay in the island.

Check out how peacefully beautiful this place is.

Let’s go!

Things to see and do in Bantayan Island:

1. Sta. Fe town – it is where the paradise is
2. Rent a motorbike for 250/day and drive anywhere you want to. It is a small place, you’ll get to be familiarized with it easily
3. Check out the long stretch of Sta Fe’s white sand beach
4. Enjoy the sunrise and sunset
5. Dine at the foreign owned restaurants in the area where good French and Italian dishes are served. Coucou Restaurant and Tristan’s Beach Resort’s Restaurant are some of it
6. Go to the town market on a Sunday morning to buy some fresh seafood and cook it yourself or have it grilled by a local for you like I did
7. Buy some grilled native chicken for 25 pesos a piece
8. Smile at the locals and hangout with them; they are very friendly and kind
9. Go Island hopping
10. Try sky diving
11. Try snorkeling or even scuba diving
12. Visit the town, market and their church
13. Chill and enjoy the moment. Live like a local

Where to you can stay:

1. The Coral Blue Oriental Villas and Suites (5,500-7,500/suites or villa)

2. Tristan’s Beach Resort (1,500-2500)

3. Guesthouse (with no name but has nice rooms 600-700/night with Kitchen, A/C, TV) at the back of Tristan’s Beach Resort)

To Cebu City
To Cebu City

IMG_1125

From Cebu International Airport, you can ride a cab to North Bus Terminal. Fare would range from 120-140.

Air-conditioned bus fare would range from 140-150. The trip will take 3-4 hours.

The bus headed to Hagnaya Port leaves the terminal at 8am. There are trips to Hagnaya Port every after 30-45 minutes.

At the Hagnaya Port, you have to pay around 170-180 for a ferry ride to Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island. It will only take an hour and 15 minutes. The boats run from 5:30am to 5:30pm.

IMG_1128
Hagnaya Port, Cebu
Sta. Fe
Bantayan Island, Cebu

When I get off the boat, I asked a motorbike man to take me take around the area where the resorts/lodges can be found. Luckily I found a place for 600/night. It is good for two and the room has air-conditioning.

Bantayan Island, Philppines
Bantayan Island, Philppines

And so I put my bags down and hurried to see the rest of the Island. Rented a motorbike for 250/day for 10 days. Spent the rest of the afternoon driving around the island.

IMG_1204
rainbows, Bantayan Island
Sunset at Bantayan Island Cebu
Sunset at Bantayan Island Cebu
Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines

After sunset, I had my dinner at Tristan’s Beach Resort. Bought a 10 inch Shirmp Pizza and it was pretty good.  Tristan’s Beach Resort is just a few steps away from where I am staying.

This is how my mornings in Bantayan Island looked like:

Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines

I drove around the town and noticed that the students use bicycles to go to school. Bikes and motorcycles are their primary means of transportation. You will seldom see a 4-wheeled vehicle here.

Children of Bantayan Island
Children of Bantayan Island

Another glimpse of the beach.

Sta Fe Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philipppines
Sta Fe Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philipppines

Working and chillin’ at the same time..This is just infront of the place where I am staying.

My office just right in front of the beach!
My office just right in front of the beach!

Do not forget to have a refreshing drink from one of the stores in Bantayan Island. You can also get this from any resort in the island. I got mine for free. 🙂

Coconut drink at Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Coconut drink at Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu

Had my lunch at one of the canteens located at the local market. Just a 3 minute drive from where I am staying.

Tried their grilled chicken in one of the canteens in the market
Tried their grilled chicken in one of the canteens in the market

Worked and chilled at Kota Beach Resort.

Kota Beach Resort, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Kota Beach Resort, Bantayan Island, Cebu

Had another glimpse of the beach at Kota Beach Resort.

At Kota Beach Resort, Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines
At Kota Beach Resort, Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines

Finally had my dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the island. I had Marinara Pasta for 210 pesos. It was good and they serve big.

Marinara Pasta at Coucou Bar and Restaurant
Marinara Pasta at Coucou Bar and Restaurant

I was lucky I was the only guest at the guesthouse for the rest of my stay in the island. I get to use solo their kitchen and the living room, too. The room is air-conditioned and can fit 2 pax. They have kitchen utensils and a refrigerator in the kitchen, and a TV and stand fan in the living room. They clean my room everyday. How nice!

Sala Set
Sala Set
Kitchen
Kitchen
My room
My room

The next day I was scheduled to meet the President of the Bantayan Resorts Association and the GM of Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort. It took me 30 minutes to reach the resort. Going there is a bit tricky so always ask someone when you are not sure where to turn. Locals are very friendly but some of them can’t understand tagalog.

To Bantayan Island Nature Park
To Bantayan Island Nature Park

I had a tour around the park. Thanks to the GM who was very accommodating and generous.

Bantayan Island Nature Park
Bantayan Island Nature Park
Rabbits at Bantayan Nature Park and Resort
Rabbits at Bantayan Nature Park and Resort
On site cave, Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort
On site cave, Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort
Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort
Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

The park has a number of animals that are properly taken care of by the staff. They have infinity pool and villas that are ideal for a group of travelers and families.

Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort
Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

You can book a room by contacting them here.

On my way back to the guesthouse
On my way back to the guesthouse

I stopped for a couple of minutes to talk to the children. They were all very friendly and adorable.

Children playing
Children playing
Students going home after school
Students going home after school
Dita Heritage Tree
Dita Heritage Tree

Before I finally head back to the guesthouse, I had a quick Bananacue snack at a food stall nearby. Since then, I became their regular customer. 🙂

Bananaque for meryenda
Bananaque for meryenda

Here is where I dine and work for 2 days. The Coral Blue Oriental Villas and Suites. I became friends with the Operations Manager, Ms. Arlene, who is very friendly and generous enough to offer me a free overnight stay at the resort. During weeknights, they feature a local reggae band that will suit the night chill mood. They serve good food, too, at their restaurant.

The Coral Blue Oriental Villas and Suites
The Coral Blue Oriental Villas and Suites
Work place for the day
Work place for the day

Ms. Gehanne is the new OM of the resort. You may book a villa here.

I chose to spend the afternoon visiting the Island’s Parish Church. It took me 30 minutes to reach the municipality, where it is located, by a motorbike.

Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island
Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Church
Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Church

The Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church is now 50 years old. Went inside and said a little prayer.

inside the parish church
inside the parish church

In front of the church are the elders selling candles. Their look on to the camera made me feel awkward, but they were nice and even smiled at me after this shot.

The elders
The elders
Wet Market, Bantayan Island
Wet Market, Bantayan Island

Just across the Plaza is the Wet Market where you can buy a bunch of fresh seafood especially during Sunday morning.

the boulevard
the boulevard

And so I drove slowly going back to the guesthouse. Who would not enjoy driving this place.

On my way to the guesthouse
On my way back to the guesthouse
Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island
Playtime for the children
Playtime for the children

Thanks to the carecater of the guesthouse, Ate Linda, for helping me cook my dinner. Seafood fresh from the market.

Asked them to join me as I bought it for us, but they chose to eat it later when I am done.

my dinner
my dinner
my dinner
my dinner

Ate Linda is so kind enough to give me some of their food for dinner, too.

Hangout at night at The Coral Blue Oriental Villas and Suites.

The Coral Blue Oriental Vilas and Suites
The Coral Blue Oriental Vilas and Suites
Reggae Band at The Coral Blue Oriental Vilas and Suites
Reggae Band at The Coral Blue Oriental Vilas and Suites

Thanks to Ms. Arlene for my free meal and drink!

My drink :)
My drink 🙂

Now, it is weekend and it’s time for some adventure. It’s snorkeling time! I asked around if they know someone who can give me a cheap rate for an island hopping trip. Lucky me I was referred to a guy who can give me 500 pesos for the trip. Normally it would cost 800 to 1000 pesos for an island hopping boat trip.

Island Hopping in Bantayan Island, Cebu
Island Hopping in Bantayan Island, Cebu
Virgin Island, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Virgin Island, Bantayan Island, Cebu

I am so tanned and I got it from living in Boracay for 4 weeks and surfing in Leyte for 3 days. Plus the snorkeling, i’m burnt!

Snorkeling, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Snorkeling, Bantayan Island, Cebu

Look how clear the water is!

Snorkeling, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Snorkeling, Bantayan Island, Cebu

Spot me! 😛

Snorkeling, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Snorkeling, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Snorkeling, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Snorkeling, Bantayan Island, Cebu

And then finally, after the 2-hour snorkeling trip, it  is time to go back. I am so burnt. Check out the kids bathing freely and happily.

In front of St. Bernard Beach Resort
In front of St. Bernard Beach Resort

And the weekend is over. Its time to grind again. Worked and chilled at Kota Beach Resort. Thanks to the owner for the mangoes.

Kota Beach Resort, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Kota Beach Resort, Bantayan Island, Cebu

Magical sunset at Bantayan Island, Cebu.

Sunset at Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Sunset at Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Sta. Fe port, Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Sta. Fe port, Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Bantayan Island, Cebu
Bantayan Island, Cebu

I will surely be going to go back to you and spend more time with you. See you again, soon, Bantayan Island!

’til next time, thank you so much, Bantayan!

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6 thoughts on “DIY: Bantayan Island, Cebu”

  1. Hi,i really like you DIY writings, I would love to go on June 29;will go to bantayan skydiving and diving,do you remember rent boat only 500p that guy contact number ? Can you give me that guy contact number? and rent moto that guy contact number.Do you know what time isthe last bus from North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya Port ?

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