When I arrived at my favorite destination, my island paradise, my home, Bantayan Island, I wasn’t really planning to go out because I wanted to spend my time with my family, cuddle and bathe our dog (haha 😋) and most importantly I wanted to be in my own bed for I needed to rest this weary body and heart of mine. Cheret ✌️🤣
But due to unforeseen events, after two days staying in the island, my friend Reymund (Idol) came over and wanted to go somewhere around the island especially to the beaches because it was his first time to step foot in the island. So I decided to accompany him.
Besides I just couldn’t resist to be in the sea again. There’s something alluring in it. My senses seem to come alive when I am in the beach. Maybe I would fully recover and my soul will be healed by nature’s touch.
As what the quote said which I couldn’t disagree a bit:
“Who does not love the sea? The beach is a place of healing and joy. The salt cleanses us and the sun embraces us in its warmth. The ocean heals the heart, mind, and soul. ”
Along with my idol and other friends, off we went to the beaches and other tropical places.
First Stop: Paradiso Campsite
As soon as we arrived at Paradiso , I eventually dipped myself down in the sea, Haha! I just couldn’t leave this place with dry clothes. I had to be wet to taste and feel the salty water. I have always been drawn by the sea as if it is a magnet that pulls me.
As you can see in in the photo, the joy in my face is indescribable. HAHA! 😂 Anyway, this place is really one for the books if ever you will visit Bantayan Island. I will not elaborately expound my story about this paradise because I have blogged this place already. Check out my blog on how to get to this simple yet astounding beach.
PARADISO CAMPSITE (how to get there) https://chasingpotatoes.com/2018/06/30/paradiso-campsite-in-bantayan-island/
Next stop: The Ruins in Bantayan
One of the most photographed spot in Bantayan is what they called “the ruins.” This place was made known by the movie “Camp Sawi” where the cast threw bottles or glasses on the wall while screaming their hearts out to unload all the pain they got from love! After that tourists flocked to this place.
What I know is that “the ruins” were are not actually ruins but remnants of an unfinished house. As to why the house was left unfinished, I don’t know the reason.
Near the ruins were stores and this coconut was on sale on one of the stores there. To quench my thirst and to cool myself from the hot weather,I bought one. You see, I need to be hydrated at all times to avoid being sick again. Hehe! 🤮
- TIP 👌 We rented this tricycle also known as “rela or motorela” here in Bantayan which is designed like a small jeepney and could accommodate 10-12 people. Our destinations were Paradiso Campsite, the Ruins then to Siyogan in Balidbid. Our last stop was Sillion. If you wish to hire a “rela”, the rate depends on your negotiations and your destinations. In our case, we rented it for Php 1,000.00.
Next place we visited was Siyogan in Balidbid.
My friend, Giovanni, who resides near this place narrated to us that during his childhood days his friends would come here to swim and play with the currents in the sea. During high tide they would tie a rope along the boulders in the shore then go to the deep part of the sea and let them be thrown by the strong current while holding on to the rope for them not to get lost. The local term for strong current is “siyog”. And that’s how Siyogan got its name.
When we got there the tide was going high but the waves were smaller than what was expected. I waded on the waters and I could really feel the strong current underneath. As shown in the photo, I’m dipping in the shallow part because I was scared of being dragged on to the deep part of the sea, haha!🤣
⚠️⚠️⚠️ For me, this place is not advisable for those who don’t know how to swim because the strong current could lead them to danger.
🏖️🏖️🏖️When we got to Siyogan, there was an entrance fee of Php 10.00. I heard from my friend that this place will soon be developed to become a resort.
Be sure to look for this famous rock in Siyogan.
There is this ROCK located along the shore. It has a heart-shaped hole. You should look for this rock and once you find it go to it and make a wish. “Sabi nila kung ano ang hihilingin mo rito matutupad iyon, lalo na kung tungkol iyon sa pag-ibig.” I hope it would really come true for I just made a wish. Heheheehe. jk! 🤣
The light was not on our side so this was the result of my photo! HAHA. The shadows and light from above were dispersed because it was noontime when this snap was taken. Anyway, this is the rock with a heart-shaped hole in it.❤️
Before going to Virgin Island we made sure we filled our hungry tummy with delicious seafood for lunch sponsored by Giovanni’s family.
They prepared baked cheesy scallops soaked in oystershire sauce, pinaugang adobo scallops ala Trifuna, fish escabeche ala Tessie, steamed scallops, rice, sea grapes which was later served (not in the photo) and sprite because as what the elders say, seafood like scallops should be dissolved or digested in the stomach with the help of soda just like sprite.
Well so much for my side trips, this is now the real topic of my blog, the ever marvelous Virgin Island.
- TIP 👌In going to Virgin Island, we got a boat in Sillion which was geographically near Virgin Island. Luckily, we found a cheaper boat rental there (but then again it depends on your haggling skills).
As the boat jaunted through the waves,and as it harmonized with the rhythm of the sea, I was silently grinning with joy because it was my first time actually going there. YAAAAS, I may come from Bantayan Island but this would be my prime experience setting foot on the pristine white sand beaches of this famous Virgin Island.
My eyes feasted on the splendid sight of the island as our boat draw nearer and nearer. The cerulean sky and the crystal blue water surrounding the island dividing heaven from earth were magnificent sights to behold. 😍
As soon as we landed on the ever white fine sandy beach of Virgin Island, I was ecstatic seeing the beauty that laid before us.
Aside from the vast white sandy shore where one could freely walk barefoot around and the coconuts that complemented the scene, there were also exterior decorations which had rustic vibes yet I find them fancy just like these shells dangling down under a tree and the wooden boards that posted some information about the island.
Look at those big jars that have sorting garbage bins to keep the island clean! I like the consistency of the designs!
Unmindful of the scorching heat of the summer sun, and aside from strolling around and taking pictures, my friends and I played beach volleyball. There is a volleyball area in the island and a ball which is for rent for Php100.00for one hour.
I realized beach volleyball is such an exhausting sport because it takes a lot of effort to play and chase the ball especially with your feet on the sand which is not a stable ground. We physically exhausted ourselves because of all the mistakes we did especially when chasing the ball that got away and almost reached the sea but still we ended up laughing. We really enjoyed and had much fun. 😂❤️
After that tiring volleyball game we walked around the island taking photos of the beautiful beach.
When we arrived there, the tides were getting low.
As you can see in this photo, there are huts at the end of the shore. That area is the cliff which is the jumping site of Virgin Island. Actually it’s not really a cliff, but a man-made bamboo-scaffolding on top of a rock. The height of that so called “cliff jumping site” is about 20-25 feet high. But sad to say we weren’t able to experience jumping because the water was already shallow due to low tide.
As time passed, my friends and I rested for awhile and ate our snacks to re-energize ourselves after that exhausting beach volleyball game. Then moments later, we hit the golden hour, my favorite time of the day. The sun’s blazing rays made the scenery become yellow/orange-y warm which was a lovely view. Wohoo! What a great time to be alive!
And when the golden hour was over, the sky then splashed beautiful hues of the setting sun! My friends were enjoying themselves swimming in the sea when the sunset was happening. I was envious of them. I wanted to join them.
But at the back of my mind I wanted this space for me to reflect and celebrate my solitude, my freedom watching the sunset alone because it always gives me a different feel to see a spectacular show in the sky. This is my own little slice of heaven. This makes me feel good about everything!!! It gives me hope that everything will be okay tomorrow That I’m going to be okay! Yaaaass! Okay! 👌❤️
I was really happy and grateful for this adventure which also gave me time to be bonded again with my friends. But I also have some regrets.
Before I end this blog, I would like to share my regrets about this trip. These regrets are just about the lack of time to fully make the most of the Virgin Island experience. It would have been great to spend the whole day in the island. I would have experienced cliff jumping. I should have brought my fins, mask and snorkel to see the beauty under the sea. I wanted to explore more around the island and see the mini forest there! Too many to mention! HAHA. I guess that’s the reason why I will come back to this beautiful island of Bantayan, the Virgin Island.
Time did not stand still and soon we set off to sail back home.
I would like to thank Idol for this opportunity for without him I would have never stepped on Virgin island, Giovanni for the delicious food and snack and Giovanni’s friends, Niña, Roel and Roel’s cousin for the awesome company.
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
- Airconditioned Bus – Php 165.00
- Non-Airconditioned Bus – Php 132.00
♦ In Hagnaya Wharf, pay Php 10.00 terminal fee and Php 180.00 ferry ticket for Santa Fe
- The ferry ride will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the port of Santa Fe.
♦ In Santa Fe Port, go to the tourism office, just follow the covered walkway in going there. Then pay Php 30.00 for the Ecological Fee.
♦ Then you are in Bantayan Island. Take a jeepney or tricycle for the town of Bantayan. It will cost you Php 30.00.
- You may rent a motorbike to tour around Bantayan Php 100.00 to Php 500.00. Motorbikes are usually available for rent in Sta. fe.
♦ Another option is to take a Ceres Bus at the North Bus Terminal which will go directly to Bantayan. The fare is Php 230.00 excluding the ferry fare.
How to go to Virgin Island?
While you can reach Virgin Island from any part of Bantayan just like what we did in Sillion but still the best area to look for boat rentals is in Sta. Fe or you may even ask the resort where you are staying to charter you a boat headed to Virgin Island.
Fares will always depend upon negotiations. The fare usually range from Php 1,500.00 to Php 3,000.00. So better sharpen your haggling skills. If you want to spend less, it’s advisable to go there by groups so you can divide expenses.
TIPS and TRICKS:
- Always leave no trace.♻️ Let us be responsible travellers. As a kid, I was taught by my mother to keep my trash inside my bag. I have imbibed that lesson up to this day. That’s why, until now I practice it. It’s just a simple act but has a great impact for the environment. Just bring your trash and throw it to the garbage bin. Please! It’s just as easy as a snap of the fingers.
- Virgin Island is a privately-owned resort. For those who are budgetarian travellers, this resort is not budget friendly. So if you want to economize, bring along your water & food, snorkeling gears, etc.
DAY USE rates
- Php 500.00 for 2 persons and Php 100.00 additional per person in excess of 2.
- Available cottages are for Php 300, 500, 600, 1, 000 and 1, 500.
- Cabana Php1,500.00 for 2 pax. Maximum of 4 pax.
- Open cottage Php1,500.00 for 5 pax.
Php 200.00 for every succeeding persons.
- Bamboo Cottage Php 3,000.00 for 2 pax. Maximum of 4 pax.
- Family cottage Php 5,000.00 for 4 pax. Maximum of 6pax
- Barkada cottage Php 7,000.00 for 8pax. Maximum of 10pax Php 300.00 for every succeeding persons.
- You can also set up your own tents for Php 300.00.
Official contact numbers:
- Prices may change without prior notice.
- Virgin island doesn’t have that much amenities, so don’t expect too much in Virgin Island. But one thing for sure Virgin Island is one ravishing tropical island! It’s a place perfect to unwind and chill.
- Always check the weather. If the weather is not that good, you might not enjoy your trip and you might encounter treacherous waves in going to Virgin Island.
- Travelling is fun, but always protect your skin from the harsh heat of the sun. Always use sunblock before sun exposure.In my case I use Sevensense Sunblock Spray because it’s handy, non-sticky, fast absorbent, white pigment free and preservative free.
Those naughty potatoes roll so fast that I could hardly catch up with them in Virgin Island. I wonder what place will they be venturing next. So stay tuned for my next chasing potato adventure.
How about you? I bet, you have visited this famous island in Bantayan Island.? What are your experiences when you travelled to there? Do you have regrets also? 🤣 Tell me about your story. I would love to hear from you? Please connect thru my FB page and Instagram. Join me in my adventure and misadventure. Let’s chase those potatoes. OH YESSS! Thanks for visiting.