Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Journey to Bantayan

1 hour taxi ride from Sct Borromeo to Terminal 3

1 hour waiting at Terminal 3 before boarding

1 and a half hour plane ride to Cebu from Manila

30 minutes taxi ride from Mactan Airport to North Terminal (near SM Cebu)

Two hours break: Late lunch in SM Cebu, bought tickets for the Ferry Ride.

4 hours Bus Ride from North Cebu Terminal to Hagnaya Port

2 hours ferry ride from Hagnaya Port to Bantayan Island.

10 minutes shuttle ride from Sta Fe wharf to Kota Beach

…All sums up to priceless memories in Paradise.

They say that the journey matters more than the destination. But in this case, both the journey and the destination are worth every single penny, time and effort! 
This journey marks my  first time in the island of Cebu. My stay in the city was short and sweet because I was headed to a paradise that lies up north…Bantayan Island. 

I stayed in Kota Beach, where there is a natural pool separated by a magical sand bar. 
It was a magnificent beachfront view. Natural and if I try to bend the truth, virgin. 

There were endless aquamarine waters. White sand.

While the beach is not remote, my general take on the place, is as if, I was all alone in the island.  Peaceful. Not too much noise, not too quiet either. 
Not too touristy, not too remote.

Maybe because of the lack of too much beach activities like kayaking, surfing, or sailing? That the allure of the place relies on the calm of the sea, the sand and the traveler. You're not forced to do something, because doing something takes you away from all the magic.
Maybe because I’ve seen a few kids who haul their boats and nets for a quick fishing expedition early in the day?
Bantayan is not yet a party island, and it doesn’t quite aspire to. It is a beach that can be enjoyed to socialize and to vegetate in solitude or with your friends.


How to get there:

1. Board a plane from Terminal 3 going to Cebu City if you are coming from Manila.
2. Upon reaching Mactan Airport, you can now take the white taxis (just climb a short flight of stairs and you'll see them). Yellow taxis with more expensive meters are what you will see first though.
3. Go to North Terminal - it's near SM Cebu. The fare from the airport to North Terminal will cost about 100 plus pesos. You will pass by Mandaue city, Lapu lapu city and others before you get to Cebu city.
4. Once you are in the North Terminal, you can board a Ceres bus going to Hagnaya Port. There are choices between air conditioned and non a/c buses. In my case, we took the air con bus. Fare costs about 150 plus. The journey is about three and a half to four hours. Along the way you will pass by various ports goint to Malapascua and Camotes Islands.
5. After hours of bus ride, you will are now in Hagnaya Port. The ferry boat is operated by Island Shipping corp. We took the special (air con) trip that costs around 170 pesos.
6. After about one and a half to two hours, you will now reach the port of Sta Fe in Bantayan Island. Your beach resort will probably have a shuttle that will take you to your resort. I stayed in Kota beach and the resort has a shuttle stationed near the port. If you do not have any accomodation yet, there are trisikad, habal -habal that can take you to various resorts. Travel time is only about 5-10 minutes.


  1. gorgeous beach and gorgeous ladies ;)

  2. During my first visit to Cebu, we only spent one day in Cebu City and headed straight to Bantayan Island. It wasn't the peak season so we were able to enjoy the beach in solitude. I agree with your observation though, Bantayan isn't too touristy nor too remote, sakto lang :)

  3. @anon: haha, thanks! the beach is indeed gorgeous!

  4. @claire: going there is quite the journey! but worth it! too bad we weren't able to go island hopping though. yes, the vibe is very chill. perfect for vegetating and recharging.

  5. Bridge. I went to Cebu many times. But that was during my teen years with my mother. We always passed along this beautiful island. And today, this is still part of my wish list for a family vacation perhaps. Nice place indeed.:-). BTW, you have a very nice photos now, seemed you improve a lot. I am not a professional photographer, but I appreciate your photos ever since.

  6. hi bon!!! thank you for the kind words =) yeah, perfect ang Bantayan for family vacations! still trying to practice photography =) cool blog btw!