I am not a well- founded writer, I am not even good in translating my thoughts into words and to express myself correctly for I don’t have a rich vocabulary to aptly describe the ideas in my mind. Neither do I have profound ideas, great insight and creative concepts; but one thing is truly accurate, I love blogging.
I am so fond of blogging that I just realized I have been sharing my perceptions by way of brief entries for almost a year and a quarter. This favorite pastime of mine has inspired me to live by the name of “The Wanderlust Keeper”. I have the desire to go places and experience the thrills along the way, learn something new and expand the keepings of my wanders.
I love to visit other places but…wherever I go, nothing really beats the place where my heart is, my home, my island paradise, Bantayan Island.
For many years I have lived in Bantayan, but I didn’t have the drive to wander out. But now, it’s different from before. So I would like to share my recent tour in Bantayan. Here are 13 ways to experience Bantayan to the fullest.
1. Swim in a Cave
As far as I know, there are two resorts in Bantayan Island that offer swimming in a cave but there are still caves in Bantayan that seldom visited by tourist. I just learned that there’s another cave in Barangay Tamiao called Hydra Cave.
The entrance fee is 20.00 Php only. Why not try Hydra and enjoy swimming in it?
Hydra Cave is privately owned, but it is open to those who want to see and/or swim in it for a minimal fee. To preserve its beauty and to prohibit trespassers, it is enclosed by a fence.
It has a small cave opening, but inside, the space is as big as house which can accommodate to 25 to 30 people.
The water in the cave can reach 9 ft. deep if its high tide. During low tide the water is 5 to 6 ft. deep. The cave rocks are “alive and growing” meaning some stalagmites and stalactites are visible.
If you want to experience an enjoyable and safe swimming in a cave, try Ogtong Cave in Santa Fe and Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort in Tamiao where you can also avail of other amenities. 🙂
Kota which means fort was originally built by the Spaniards during the 1790’s and it was used as a camp and watchtower. What remained after many years were the ruins of the Kota. The Kota was later on transformed into a park where artifacts and relics were displayed. Unfortunately, Earthquake and Super Typhoon Yolanda destroyed the Kota Park. It is presently closed for viewing.
See the colorful wooden letters on the shore. They spell LAWIS, the old name of Madridejos. This painted wood and the ruins of Kota Park are nice sights to perceive.
In additional there is the Bontay Boardwalk, a 187 meter-footbridge connecting the shore to a lighthouse or watch balcony. Taking a walk through the bridge and looking around are just perfect moments to relax, enjoy the view and smell the sea breeze.
3. Get Lost in the Quarry in Kabangbang, Bantayan
Many tourists don’t even know this. The quarry done by the locals has created a magnificent view of rock formations, a picturesque view of a mountain. It is another scene that tourist must visit in Bantayan . It’s like in the series of Breaking Bad where Walter White hid his money, lol. haha!
It’s just a ten-minute ride from Poblacion Bantayn to reach the Quarry.
🙂 🙂 🙂
4. Eat a Sumptuous Lunch of Sea Foods from Bantayan Wet Market
Take a break from pork and other meat once in a while. Try to consume the newly cooked seafood bought from Bantayan Wet Market. As for seaweeds, some may be eaten raw. The seafoods are freshly caugth or gathered from the sea and transported to the wet market for sale. Even vegetarians can have a fill of seaweeds like “Goso and Lato”
In our case we had a super satisfying lunch of sea foods, courtesy of Nina Jeanne and family. Thank you very much Nin.
5. Saunter into the Mangrove Sanctuary in Obo-ob, Bantayan
Mangroves play a vital role in the preservation of the ecosystem. Take time to visit the mangrove sanctuary in Obo-ob and see what the people there have contributed to save the marine resources of Mother Earth.Aside from the different species of mangroves you can see lots of marine animals around the area.
Despite the destruction caused by Typhoon Yolanda, several mangroves have managed to survive and had made our saunter pleasant and worthwhile.
Entrance fee : 50.00 Php
6. Relax with the Fish Spa in Marikaban, Sta. Fe.
Never would I thought that this exist in Bantayan and please note that this is free! AWESOME! No entrance free no charges! Absolutely free. This was one of my favorite places in my Bantayan tour. I could stay here for a day!
So sit down , put your legs in the water relax and let loose and enjoy while the fishes are busy slurping their meal.(dead skin I guess)
Maybe these fishes have limited space to swim and inadequate food to eat, these may be the reasons why they greedily feed on whatever objects gets into the water.
The name of the place is Langub.
7. Swim in the Waters of Santa Fe
There are number of great and beautiful beaches in Santa Fe, but let me stress this, if you re on a tight budget but you want to go swimming in the sea for free, go to Tingtingon of Barangay Marikaban of Santa Fe. After all the sea water of anywhere has the same salty taste, lol.
8. Experience Holy Week in Bantayan
Holy Week is an annual event. A great number of people come to Bantayan during this time and that is why Holy Week has been mistakenly believed as the fiesta of Bantayan.
Please be aware that the town fiesta falls on June 29 and our patron saints are Saints Peter and Paul.
Expect a lot of people during Holy Week. The population is more than doubled. You may either be a spectator of the big caros or you may join the procession.
9. Visit the Church, Museum and Have a Selfie with Abras
♦ Saints Peter and Paul Parish is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, a historical treasure to marvel. This year it will be 444 years old. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)
♦ The Bantayan Museum showcases antique religious articles, garments and works of art made by known Bantayanon artists. If you want to know why Bantayanons eat meat on Good Friday, visit the museum and see the old document showing the Pope’s dispensation giving Bantayanons that special permission.
I think the dispensation has lost its validity because it was issued centuries ago, but some Bantayanons continue to practice this tradition.
♦ Have a Selfie with Abras. Knowing Abras will give you additional glimpses of Bantayan Culture. I am sure most of the Catholic in Bantayan know very well Abras, the church bell ringer and one in charge of informing the people in the event that a Bantayanon dies. He goes around the procession route and like a town crier. He announces recent deaths while ringing the bell.
He has been the church bell ringer since I was a kid. He is true blooded Bantayanon. 🙂
10. Have a Meal of “Tagu-Angkan”
Tagu-angkan is from the chicken’s womb where egg is formed. It is barbecued or grilled. It tastes like an egg. Some people in Cebu City don’t know about this. That’s why if ever we have visitors, we offer this Tagu-angkan barbecue.
You can have a meal of Tagu-angkan Barbecue for only 35.00 Php.
11. Never Miss a Chance to See Sunset
For those of you who like to chase sunsets, you can witness these equally beautiful sights at Sta. Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos. With the right weather, you can capture stunning photos. Here are my example of my sunset photos captured in this island.
12. Have Fun at the Beach
I love wandering on any of the beautiful beaches that Bantayan Island offers. Walking alone on the fine white sand, viewing the spectacular tropical scenery, watching the waves kiss the shore are perfect ways to beat the heat this summer.
13. Other Places To Visit
♦ Bantayan Island has 3 municipalities, namely Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos.
♦ Some of the nice spots mentioned here are located in the interiors parts of Barangay. They are not along the highways. Just ask people for directions.
♦ You can do this by renting a motorbike, tricycle or even a car.
Thanks again to Nina for this awesome joyride and to your Uncle Aljon for driving us safely. 🙂 🙂 🙂
How to go to Bantayan?
♦ If you are in Cebu City, go to North Bus Terminal look for a bus with Hagnaya on its sign board
• Airconditonned Bus – Php 150.00
• Non-Airconditoned Bus – Php 132.00
♦ In Hagnaya Wharf, pay Php 10.00 terminal fee and Php 170.00 ferry ticket for Santa Fe
• The ferry ride will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the port of Santa Fe.
♦ Then you are in Bantayan Island. Take a jeepney or tricycle for the town of Bantayan. It will cost you Php 25.00.
♦ Another option is to take a Ceres Bus at the North Bus Terminal which will go directly at Bantayan. The fare is Php 200.00 excluding the ferry fare.
© Rainjai_gp for some pics.
Featured photo credits to Joms Santos ( @whereisjoms)
What suggestions can you give to make this Bantayan Tour more enjoyable and worthwhile? I would love to hear from you. 🙂