Posted by: backpackersescapades | March 20, 2009

Destination: Bantayan Island

We woke up late since we were really tired from the City Tour. We were supposed to go to Cebu City North Terminal at around 8am but we woke at 6:30 and so, after taking a bath and fixing our stuff, we went there at about 8:30 am.

After we checked out at Castle Peak Hotel, we rode a cab going to the North Terminal. We asked the driver to wait for us in McDonald’s along the way so we could buy breakfast. After that, we went to the North Terminal. Our Destination, Bantayan Island.

Bantayan Island is an island north of Cebu. You need to ride a ferry boat from Hagnaya to Sta. Fe to get there. From Cebu City, you need to take a bus or a van to get to Hagnaya Port and then ride a ferry going to the island. It is about 3-4 hours going there from Cebu City.

Ceres Bus from North Terminal to Hagnaya Port

Ceres Bus from North Terminal to Hagnaya Port

We took the bus going to Hagnaya Port. It was an ordinary bus and the ride took us about 3 hours. It costs only P80 from the North Terminal to Hagnaya Port. They have several stop-overs along the way. I dozed of to sleep twice and still we were far away from our destination. It was not that bad ride since the air there is fresh as compared to Manila. It was quite hot though since it was summer already and if you could sit down for about 3 hours straight, riding it would be alright for you. I was impressed by some people who rode the bus since they were already standing in the center isle of the bus. I thought then that the trip would be short but it was not. Some of the people stood at the isle for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, we arrived at Hagnaya Port where there are a lot of people offering resorts and boat rides going to the Bantayan Island waiting as soon as the bus stops. We went to the ticketing office to buy a Ferry Boat ticket that would take us to Bantayan Island.

People there are offering a lot of things to us. One was offering a P10 ferry ride to the island. We learned that it was a Ro-Ro boat that takes one and a half hour going to the island. We chose the Island Shipping Corporation instead and bought a round trip ticket P120 each. The boat would leave at 1pm and it was still 11am that time. They allowed us to stay at the boat while waiting for 1pm.

Island Shipping Corporation Ticket Office

Island Shipping Corporation Ticket Office

Ferry Boat going to Sta. Fe

Ferry Boat going to Sta. Fe

We first went to the 1st class section of the ferry boat but we realized that it was more relaxing outside compared to the air conditioned room inside. We transferred outside and rested for a while while taking pictures and eating chips while waiting.

When it was almost 1pm, the boat was ready to go. We took our seats and enjoyed the cool breeze going to the island. It took us about 45 minutes before we reached Bantayan Island. It was nice ride. We were entertained of the flying fishes and the view. We took a lot of pictures before we got tired and dozed to sleep once again.

Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island

We awoke when we were almost at Sta. Fe Port. We prepared to un-board the boat while it was nearing the port. There were already a lot of people asking if they wanted to stay in their resort. We talked to a local there that was offering us an island hopping and snorkeling trip. He also said that he would take care of the snorkeling gear. Since we wanted to explore Bantayan Island, we agreed and said that we would meet him the next day at 7am.

Sta. Fe

Sta. Fe

At Sta. Fe Port, we were fetched by Kota Beach Resort‘s shuttle service. We checked-in the resort as soon as we got there. We booked two beach front cottages each worth P2,000 and is good for 3 people. We paid an additional P200 per extra person. The room was quite big and has a double sized bed and a single bed with a bathroom. It was the nicest cottage there since when you go outside the cottage, the beach is already in view. Kota Beach Resort has several sand bars and when it is in low tide, the lagoons looks like kiddie pools.

Kota Beach Resort

Our cottage at Kota Beach Resort

We rested for a while and decided to have lunch even though it was already 3pm. We went to Kota‘s restaurant (I don’t know its name) and ordered our lunch. We ordered Sweet and Sour Pork, Calamares, Tempura, Crabs, Shanghai Rolls and some fruit shakes. We didn’t expect that upon ordering, it was only the time they start cooking. We waited for almost an hour before our meal got to us.

The shakes arrived first. The mango shake was good but the pinapple shake tasted like milk. We couldn’t find a hint of pineapple in it. The banana shake was also good but I didn’t enjoyed it since there were a lot of flies flying around and one landed on the banana shake. We just returned it and they are kind enough not to charge us of it.

Dishes we ordered at at Kota

Dishes we ordered at at Kota

I didn’t get to taste the Calamares and the Tempura but they told us that it was okay. Besides, we were so hungry that it didn’t matter much. The Sweet and Sour pork was also good. It was just not that bite friendly. It was difficult to chew. The Lumpiang Shanghai was also good and it comes with a sweet and sour dip similar to the sauce of the Sweet and Sour Pork. The crab was also good but we think that it was not fresh. It was just a good buy since one order is about P200 and you get two crabs. We were not satisfied with the service but it was good enough. We just had a mental note not to eat there again unless necessary.

The beach with the sand bar

The beach with the sand bar

The beauty of Bantayan Island

The beauty of Bantayan Island

We rested for a while after that before taking a dip in the beach. We had fun swimming but we had difficulty finding a nice spot which is sea weed free. Majority of the shore there has a lot of sea weeds floating making the water not clean.

We played in the sand for a while and as the sun set, we relaxed in the waters, letting the waves take us back to the shore.

When it was already getting dark, we decided to look for twigs and dried branches for our planned bonfire later that night. When we had gathered enough, we went back to the cottage to take a shower and prepare to go to the nearby street to look for a place to eat dinner.

We were planning to try the buffet that day but we went there at about 7pm and we were supposedly be there at 5:30pm. We just decided to do that the next day and so, we went to the restaurant beside it.

Blue Ice Bear Restaurant

Blue Ice Bear Restaurant

We had dinner at Blue Ice Bear Restaurant. They serve a variety of dishes there. They have a cozy place where all the tables and chairs are made of wood. They even have a chess board where customers could play for free. Joms and Jape played there while we order and wait for our food.

Like the previous restaurant, they prepare the food upon ordering but they are a bit faster compared to the first resto. We ordered Carbonara, Chili Prawns,Grilled Squid, Baked Potatoes, Seafood Pasta, Seafood Pizza, King Crabs and some fruit shakes.

Dishes we ordered at Blue Ice Bear Restaurant

Dishes we ordered at Blue Ice Bear Restaurant

The Carbonara was good. It has bacon strips and the sauce was creamy. I tasted the Chili Prawns and it was really hot. I just tasted one since I couldn’t stand the spiciness. The Seafood Pizza was also good. It has a lot of toppings. The King Crab was really yummy compared to the one we ate earlier. It was already cracked and you just have to dig in to it. The baked potato was also good. It has bacon bits and sour cream. You could ask them to put sour cream on it if ever you ran out. I didn’t get to taste the other dishes but I’m sure they are also delicious.

Their service is great and the people are friendly. They attend to our every needs. We loved that dinner on our first night at Bantayan. We went back to the resort full and satisfied.

Our Bonfire

Our Bonfire

Before we get back, we bought some booze for the rest of the night. We rested in our cottage and they built a bonfire on the sand. I didn’t get to participate since I had a headache and wet to sleep for an hour. When I woke up, they were already toasting marshmallows. I joined it and enjoyed the melted marshmallow on stick. When we had enough sugar, we went back to the cottage and played Inidian poker. Our consequence is one shot of vodka+sprite mix. After a few hours of laughing and drinking, Elouise, Denise and Ai went to sleep. Joms, Jape, Wazer, Irish and I were the only people left. We had a few booze and then we decided to go on the sand and watch the stars. We saw a lot of shooting stars that night. Some of us saw one for the first time. We enjoyed it there.

When we were already tired, we all went to bed since we need to wake up early the next day for our island hopping and snorkeling adventure. We had lots of fun that night. I wish that we do that again, maybe next summer, or in a few months when we all have enough money.

Click here for other images form Jeri, Elouise, Wazer, Irish and Jape.


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