I never heard of Bantayan Island before, but some locals of Cebu City said that we should check it as it is a powdery white sand beach. Okay, it was few years ago and as far as I can remember, we took a bus to a certain port- Hagnaya Port.
The bus ride took three hours (that I remember) and from there, you need to board on a ferry going to Bantayan Island Santa Fe Port. This ferry ride takes almost two hours. The cost? don’t worry about the bus cost or ferry cost, Philippines cost of living like public transportation is very affordable. One way Bus +Ferry will be 18-20$ or 300-400Php the last time I checked (year 2015).
I did not expect anything about Bantayan, I did not even search it or google it online. All I want was/is to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
As the ferry boat gets closer to the island, I can see the white sand beach meets the turquoise water. I become excited.
Wow!, a long stretch of white sand and unbelievably pristine blue waters.
From the port we took, a “sikad-sikad” in Visayan/Bisaya languange and “padyak-padyak” in Tagalog. It is easy for me to communicate with Cebuanos as my grand on my mother side is from Bohol, so I can speak fluently Bisaya language.
Bantayan Island is located in the northern part of Cebu island surrounded by Visayan Sea. Bantayan group of islands are Doong Island, Botigues, Lipayan Island, Hilantagaan Island, Pulo Diyot Island, Moamboc, Panitugan, Silagon, Sagasay, Hilotongan Island and many more islets.
The resort where we stayed was very exclusive with a native style Filipino cottages. As of now, there have been many improvements on the resort and they added amenities which shows increased in tourism. The room rate before was 41$ /per night/ front beach cottage and now, prices ranges from 65$-80$/night.Check more about the hotel here.
This is what we call- relaxation! Blissful Bantayan. This is a view where you imagine to just lay in the hammock and watch the sun set over the horizon.
Bantayan Island and its wide and long stretch of white sand is one of the best beaches That I have been to. Some call it as ” the Little Boracay”.
Sunrise at Bantayan Island is a good time to swim during summer season, I prefer to swim at sunrise or walk on the coast, feel the morning breeze from the sea.
If you are not a beach person, you can explore the town on foot or rent a bicycle, visit the church and many coastline restaurants, Dip in Ogtong Cave.
You can check some souvenirs shops of handmade lampshades, chandeliers made of sea shells and some wood carving furniture to take home. (well, I bought the chandelier).
The bars and restaurants were great. Foods you can chose from the freshly caught sea foods and you can ask the them to cook it your way, grilled, fried, sizzling, sauteed, soup, anything that appeals to your taste buds.
Most of the properties are owned by foreigners, mostly Europeans from France, Sweden and Denmark. The owner of the restaurant was a French man- Mr. Franco. He was very accommodating. There are many accommodations or resorts to chose from. Better book ahead during summer season as it gets full.
It’s more fun in the Philippines.