Saturday, June 21, 2008

a backpacker's guide to bantayan

the best thing i can give back to the people of Bantayan island is a personal backpacker guide for the beach lovers who are planning to visit the island. i assume that you'll be staying there for two days and one night. although a longer stay will really be better! Day1
7:00am>>> you need to be at the Cebu North bus terminal. Cebu North terminal is located near SM City Cebu which is along F. Urot street Mandaue City reclamation area. you can take a taxi from anywhere in Cebu city even from the airport going to the terminal. two bus lines can bring you to Hagnaya in the town of San Remigio. we chose the Ceres bus liner as it leaves the terminal earlier.
7:30am>>> bus leaves the Cebu North bus terminal. traveling via the Mandaue highway North road. passing by the coastal towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and the industrial town of Danao. 8:40am>>> next town is Carmen and just kilometers away from this town is the first 15-minute stop over at the Hillside terminal. there are small restaurants and mini food shops but i still suggest that you buy your food in Cebu city.
8:55am>>> bus leaves and will pass by the towns of Catmon, Sogod then Bogo. this time the trip crosses the mountainous area of northern Cebu. 10:05am>>> second stop over at Bogo. this is a shorter stop over.
>>> leaves the town of Bogo and journey its way to the port of Hagnaya in the town of San Remigio.

>>> arrives at the Hagnaya port. just in time for the 10:30am ferry trip to Sta. Fe in the island of Bantayan. the ferry usually waits for this Ceres bus trip as most of their passengers comes from this bus trip. the bus drops you at the port itself. just few steps away is the ticketing office and the pier terminal. buy your tickets immediately and board the
ferry. 10:30am>>> ferry leaves Hagnaya port bound for Sta. Fe in Bantayan island. the expected travel time is one hour. on weekdays, few people are traveling. so you'll have all the space that you need for this trip. there's no special accomodation in the ferry. a mini canteen is available selling chips, noodles and coffee. there's not much view to see during the trip. you'll pass by some islands including the Hilantaga-an island.
>>> ferry arrives on time. from the pier, people just walk going to the Sta. Fe welcome arc. you can either take your lunch from the nearby food shops just outside the entrance arc or immediately go to the resort.

>>>suggested resorts within Sta. Fe municapility:

Sta Fe Beach Resort >>> a walk away from the pier. no need to take a ride to get there. you can walk along the right side of the beach front of the pier. Ogtong Beach Resort >>> beach resort that has a swimming pool and high end accommodation. also owned managed by the Sta. Fe Beach Resort. but this is located South West of Sta. Fe. you'll need a ride going there. it will be a short ride 10minutes or even less. this resort is famous for its well preserved natural underground cave. Sugar Beach Resort>>> medium class resort with very reasonable price for backpackers. it has a wide beach stretch and palm trees are abundant for shade lovers. this resort has a wide stretch of sand landscaped with coconut trees. they offer several types of cottages from air conditioned rooms to non-air conditioned rooms. there are other resorts in Sta. Fe but we only inquired for this three. there are also resorts in the municipalities of Bantayan (its capital) and Madridejos.12:00nn>>> lunch time and settle down your things on the preferred resort.
>>> enjoy the beach time at the wider beach
front of the Sta. Fe beach stretch. go as far as you can to get a view of the beach front filled with white sand.
>>> grab a drink from nearby food shops and walk along the beach stretch.

3:00pm>>> go swimming at the cave of Ogtong Beach Resort. if you did not check in at Ogtong Beach Resort, a day entrance will allow you to enjoy some of its facilities which includes the swimming pool, the cave and its beach.
3:30pm>>> enjoy the 8feet-deep swimming pool of Ogtong Beach Resort.
>>> swimming time for beach lovers at the resort's beach front which is facing the Sugar Beach Resort. there are rocky parts in the resort's beach front.

>>> rent a kayak for an hour and paddle your way around its area. the water is clam on this side of the shore because it faces Cebu's mainland. perfect for kayaking!

5:30pm>>> visit the cave again as there are lesser people occupying the cave at this time. 6:00pm>>> enjoy the sunset at the beach front. might as well go swimming when the skies are getting darker.
7:00pm>>> food tripping at the resort or you also have the option of eating at some food shops outside the resort for cheaper costs.
7:30pm>>> settle down at your room's balcony facing the beach with your feet on top.
8:30pm>>> Bantayan doesn't offer much for people looking for nightlife. the best you can do is to set up for a campfire infront of the beach and gather everybody in the group for a whole night of fellowship. there are some bars outside with live bands but you might as well enjoy Bantayan's charm that offers a relaxing setting.

Day 2

>>> wake up at this time to grab the chance to see the sunrise. walk along the beach and see fishermen setting up their boats.

6:30am>>> swimming while the sun is out. start canvassing for a banca rental for an island hopping by 8:30am.
>>> breakfast time in the resort. you can ask the caretakers or the staff to cook the seafood of your choice. danggit is perfect for your breakfast.
8:30am>>> small boat leaves for island hopping. this allows you to get a bigger view of the beach as you pass by the different resorts of Sta. Fe. don't forget to bring your diving masks and snorkel. if you didn't bring your own, you can rent it from the boat owner to include it in the package.
8:45am>>> snorkeling at the Virgin island's coral haven. Virgin island is also called Sillion island by some people. you can transfer from one site to the other to check out the different corals and sea creatures.
10:45am>>> proceed to Hilantaga-an island. no need to spend time swimming there as it offers the same thing as the Virgin island offers.
11:30am>>> take your lunch and rent a motorbike for at least 2hours to drive along the highway of Bantayan. you won't have a problem looking for the rentals as people offers it everytime you go out of the resort. if you don't know how to drive a motorbike, someone can drive you.
>>> drive your way to the town of Bantayan, the island's capital, and make sure that you visit the old church. roam around the town center and might as well grab the chance to
interact with the locals for Bantayan's history. if you have enough time, you can still drive your way to the town Madridejos. Sta Fe to the town of Bantayan will take you 20minutes and Bantayan to Madridejos will be 30minutes. you won't get confused with the road as the highway is obviously larger than the regular streets.
2:00pm>>> back at the resort, you can take your time to relax take a nap or might as well swim.
3:00pm>>> settle your accounts, take a last walk along the beach front and rent a motorbike to the pier. take the last ferry trip to Hagnaya port.
>>> ferry departs from Sta. Fe resort.

>>> ferry arrives at the Hagnaya port. bus going to Cebu awaits the passengers of this trip. so don't worry, you won't miss the bus.

>>> bus leaves immediately.

7:00pm>>> stop over at Hillside terminal. you can have dinner at the restaurant or might as well buy some snacks and have dinner when you arrive in Cebu city.
>>> bus leaves Hillside terminal and continue its way back to the North Bus Terminal.
8:25pm>>> bus arrives at the North Bus terminal in Mandaue City.
a two-day and one-night trip to Bantayan might be enough but if you have enough time. might as well extend your stay. i hope this guide will help you in the future. i didn't include the prices as it might vary with time but don't worry the budget is cheap.


Ely said...

sayang tag-ulan na. Will need to wait for another year para makagala...

Stevenson Q said...

Grabe ka talaga kuya Dong! Pamatay ang blog mo! Sa totoo lang, you can write a book with your posts eh! napakainformative! Ako unang bibili jeje

Ang ganda talaga jan sa Bantayan. Sana sometime in my life, marating ko din yan! jeje

Salamat din po nga pala sa pagdaan sa blog ko^^


Anonymous said...

looks like such a great trip! very nice shots!

escape said...

>ely, oo nga. pero ok din naman bumyahe kahit tag ulan. wag lang bagyo. pero less pictures pag tag ulan. hirap ng mabasa ang camera.

>steven, hahaha... salamat pero malayo pa ito sa katotohanan.

sana nga makapunta ka rin sa bantayan while its peaceful and cheaper.

>luke, thanks!

RedLan said...

wow this is a great post. i will reply on this schedule you share kapag magkaroon na ako ng time na makapunta sa cebu. bantayan has a lot of beautiful things to offer. nakaka-excite!

thanks for sharing it Dom. btw, invited ka sa red carpet party ko bukas sa blog ko. hehehe

Napaboaniya.Elaine Ling said...

The water looks calm and I like the shadows of those coconut trees on the ground :)
Hope your weekend was an enjoyable one.

RedLan said...

rely* pala

Nanaybelen said...

how i wish makarating din kami ng anak ko sa Bantayan. Binag-iiponan na namin pag malaki na ang kita namin sa blogging. Thanks sa photos and the routs paano papunta

escape said...

>redlan, salamat din. sana nga makatulong sa iyo ito pag pupunta ka don.

wow! thanks. anong meron bukas? kaka-excite naman yan.

>hi napaboaniya, thanks! i just stayed at home the whole weekend because typhoon Frank enters the Philippines. but it's still a great time to relax at home.

>hi nanay belen, oo nga. hindi naman kailangan ng masyadong malaking budget pag nandun na. yung airfare lang ang kailangan i-consider. pero marami namang promos.

sana nga makaipon na po kayo. buti na lang kumikita na rin sa blog.

Anonymous said...

i have to save this post. baka makapunta ako dyan sa bantayan soon.. very soon.. *grin..

Raft3r said...

greetings from japan!

Admin said...

Hayz! Ang layo rin pala...

Mukha namang worth it pagdating sa lugar ang pagod e...

Nice :)

Traveling Bells said...

Oh no, storms in Manilla...praying for safety for everyone, especially you!!! Please give us an update when you are able, as I realize the power may be out. Too much rain there, and drought here in Georgia. We need weather balance. God bless you, my friend.

Anonymous said...

grabe ganda talaga ng place na 'to. very romantic pa. I will really visit this place.

Hmm, but I think I might be saving muna for my planned Mexico trip. lam mo na, pero if may spare moolah ako, I would definitely see this place talaga.

escape said...

>richard, oo nga. i hope this will help you in one way when you visit bantayan.

>raft3r, nasa japan ka pala. enjoy dyan at wag mong kalimutan ang pasalubong na kwento at pictures.

>richard, medyo malayo pero hindi boring ang byahe. i assure you that. at sulit na sulit ang pagpunta.

>hi sandy, yes. a typhoon just passed by early this morning but not so much damage in our area. power was out for just a short time. a boat sunk with about 700passengers and no concrete number of survivors yet.

global warming has really affected earth's weather condition.

thanks for your prayers!

>hi equi, yes. perfect for people looking for a semi private environment. but not on holy week as people from the city flock this island.

exciting ang mexico trip. sana nga may maiiwan ka pang para sa bantayan.

L.Reis said...

As I kept reading your guide tour and seeing your picture I felt very, very "miserable" :D Here in Portugal, it's very hot todayand the next week it's gonna be full of work to do...and the only thing I kept thinking was: I wanna be in this place!!! :D
You made such a beautiful documentary on this place and it's sure looks a piece of paradise! said...

thanks for the very informative post! when i went to cebu i was not able to visit any of their beaches. sayang..Hope someday i can go visit bantayan..

Anonymous said...

Bonjour Dong

J'apprends cette terrible nouvelle concernant le typhon qui a ravagé les Philippines.
J'espère qu'il ne vous ait rien arrivé à vous et à votre famille.
C'est terrible. Nous pensons à toutes ces victimes et à leurs familles.


Pietro Brosio said...

Another great post with a really interesting sequence of images of your nice trip.

SandyCarlson said...

This is a wonderful post. The narrative and images put me there and make me want to be there!

Joy0z said...

Love the place..lovely pictures of nature..

stan said...

that wil definitely go down on my to-revisit places list. How long were you travelling for again?

alicesg said...

Very nice post and a very detailed one. You even put the duration of the time. The photos are very lovely.

dave said...

i just remembered that my friend has a beach there in bantayan... hahaha... we'll get there soon...

Oman said...

thank you for the advise/guide dong. i will definitely consider going back to cebu in due time.

p.s. dinaig mo parekoy yung lonely planet sa features ah. galing.

Anonymous said...

buti ka pa nakapunta na sa bantayan island. hehe, ako medyo malapit lang pero never pang naka-apak dun. hehe.

Lantaw said...

great info bro! very useful. I have been there eons ago pa and would certainly pay the place a visit again one of these days.

escape said...

>l.reis, i hope that you'll be able to visit the philippines soon. bantayan is just one of the many beautiful islands that we have. we'd be glad to help you once you decide to visit the country.

>hi arlene, i miss your post. next time make sure that bantayan is in your itinerary. you also have other options like malapascua and camotes island. but i have not yet seen these two yet but when i went to cebu these 2 were in my option but i chose bantayan.

>hi ariele, yes. that's a very sad news. i hope that there will be more survivor from the tragedy. just today, they found 28 survivor. we hope for more. thanks for your prayers.

>pietro, thanks!

>hi sandy, thanks!

>joyouz, maraming salamat!

>stanley, 4hours from Cebu city. 3hours land trip and 1hour boat trip. don't forget to remind me when you'll be visiting the philippines.

>alicesg, thanks! the time will help you make your own itinerary. it makes it flexible and realistic.

>dave, astig! eh di ayos na ang accomodation. siguradong mag eenjoy ka dun.

>lawstude, hehehe... hindi naman. sana nga makapunta ka na ng bantayan next time pupunta ka ng cebu.

>beero, napansin ko nga yon. meron din akong kakilala sa cebu na hindi pa nakapunta sa bantayan. sana makapunta ka na.

>allan, tagal na nga talaga. bisita ka ulit. nandun pa rin ang charm ng island na peaceful at simple living.

Dakilang Islander said...

wow! this is a good idea dong! ang haba ng buyahe ano pero worth naman...

Selerines said...

Nice photos dong.... Keep up the good work my friend....

Heart of Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing these beautiful spots and great line up of activities. I hope I could visit this lovely place in the near future.

honey said...

hI ganda talaga ng view..Now I know where our next stop on mu hubbys visit...

escape said...

>dakilangislander, yes. mahaba pero ganda ng mga dinadaanang lugar. may part na coastal at may part na ma-bundok. worth it talaga.

>selerines, thank you.

>hi rachel, thanks! im sure yohan will enjoy there.

>hi honey, it'll surely be one great vacation!

.::. Vanny .:. said...

gusto kong matakam sa mga alimango. kaso wag na lang. kc iniisip ko pa lang eh kinakati na ako. haha. allergic ako sa seafoods eh. wawa. :(


pauwi na rin ako dong... hay... ang bilis ng panahon.

Anonymous said...

A place like this would be just perfect for me when I stop working. Sigh!

escape said...

>hi vanny, hirap nga naman ang ganun. hindi ko kaya ng bawal ang seafood. ako din may allergy sa seafood pero kumakain pa rin ako kaya parang natangal na yata ang allergy ko.

>jasper, bilis nga. pero pag nasa trabaho parang ang bagal.

>quinttarantino, i can assure you that bantayan is one perfect place. but i hope that it will maintain its charm in the coming years as more tourists flock this island.

Anonymous said...

Yes I will definitely spare moolah for this Bantayan trip.:)

Anonymous said...

I'll make sure to reference this if ever I visit Cebu in the future. Very well done Dong!

escape said...

>hi equi, hahaha... nice term. moolah.

>ferdz, maraming salamat. sana nga makatulong ito kung pupunta ka dun.

lagal[og] said...

thanks for the informative post dom. sure appreciate it. and i think a lot of people like me finds it very helpful.

escape said...

>oggie, i really hope that this will help people in a way. thanks bro!

wandering mind said...

wow! maganda pla sa bantayan! a place we should not miss to visit.. Nice pics!

Travel vacation said...

a good place that can increase the inspiration for all of us ..

Insurance Quotes said...

thank you for this excellent info, I would like to visit there.

Technology and Informations said...

beautiful, beautiful, interesting ... that's no good at these places .. I like that.

Healthy Live said...

I like it, and I'm sure everyone would like to place this good, I was eager to visit it for the sake of my family happy.

Finance Business Corner said...

Thank you for everything you have shown to us, you will definitely experience I use to soon come and visit this nice place.

Technology said...

very good, the quality of the natural beauty of incredible ..

bobby said...

really beautiful and very fitting for my soon to visit.

7a'faR said...

a part of wonder world...
thanks for share...


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Unknown said...

Thanks for this tips Dong, Dave and I will be going there February next year :)


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