We left the city hotel early by private van and reached northern Cebu‘s port to Bantayan by 8am.
Still a little sleepy from the 3-hour ride from Cebu city, a small motor boat fetched our group of 10 and the trip took about less than an hour before we saw the shores of one of Cebu’s gem on the north – Bantayan Island.
Bantayan Island is one of the well-known spots north of Cebu. Beautiful beaches known for its white powdery sand line its coast.
It is also referred to as Visaya’s “Egg Basket” by producing tons of eggs which is supplied around the region every single day.
Bantayan consists of three municipalities: the Bantayan proper, Santa Fe, and Madridejos. You could actually tour the island in one day by hiring a local jeepney or a motorcycle-for-rent.
The Beach Resort
We stayed on a beach front resort uniquely called Yooneek Beach Resort. That’s as unique as it can get. =) It’s a small two-level compound with about 10 rooms that can accomodate about 4 people each.
They also have a resident monkey that lives across two coconut trees near the beach. Albeit in chains, the monkey is fed and taken cared of on a regular basis.
He usually becomes noisy when we’re having our meals (I guess he’s calling out for his share). =)
Starting the Day
After checking the rooms and leaving our luggage, we had our breakfast facing the beach. We had corned beef, eggs, rice, and a glass of ice-cold Milo for energy the whole day.
According to the itinerary, next stop is a neighboring island called Virgin Island where we had our unforgettable sumptuous lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon by the beach. Allow me to defer the Virgin Island story as a dedicated post to be published at a later date (but not part of this travelogue series).
We came back late in the afternoon just enough to catch the sun set. This was our first day in Bantayan.
The gang woke up 9am. With some aching muscles from yesterday’s activities, we got ready for the jeepney day trip around town.
Breakfast this time is 4pc crispy danggit (local fish delicacy), eggs, rice, and Milo/coffee option. The jeepney came and we’re off to town.
First stop was the town plaza with a small park. It was near the beach as well. There was a half-kilometer concrete walkway leading towards the sea and a three-level overseeing platform. As visitors, we just could not help but to go there, have some sight-seeing and group shots.
Next stop was the Bantayan Church – St.Paul and Peter Parish Church. Its facade suggest it is centuries old. Did you know that Bantayan is one of the rare groups which is exempted from the general Catholic practice of meat abstinence during Holy Week!
Just a block away was the Bantayan firestation
It was midday and the sun was scorching hot. It didn’t prevent us however, from visiting the town market. Here, they sold a lot of products such gas-based lamps, woven mats and local produce such as dried fish, dried squid, danggit, and other similar packed goods.
My friends got a lot of danggit but I bought myself a pair of slippers with a label marked “Made in Marikina.” =)
A little past 1, we’re a little hungry by now. But we just have to visit the last stop in Santa Fe Beach Club‘s Ogtong Cave. The clubhouse was pretty upscale and there were a lot of Koreans. Ogtong Cave is at the center of the resort near the swimming pool area, but we did not go in the cave anymore since there was water in it at that time which was stagnant. We simply went around the beach area, relaxed a little, some took a swim and we left.
We had our hearty late lunch as soon as we got back at Yooneek and spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach where I was able to capture my day 02 sunset.
We slept early that night in prepration for our next island transfer (and resort transfer as well) to Malapascua the next morning.
Seeing Cebu Travelogue Series:
Part I – Historical City of the South – Nov1
Part II – Reaching Bantayan Island – Nov 8
Part III – Cebu On A Plate – Nov 15
Part IV – Malaspascua, Cebu’s Boracay – Nov 22
Part V – ‘Adtonako’ Cebu – Nov 29
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