Scribbles: Bantayan Island

Pimp my ride : Bantayan Island is located in the northernmost part of Cebu Province. From Manila, take an early flight or an overnight sea trip to Cebu City. Ask the cab drive to take you to the North Terminal for a land trip up north. A bus trip to Hagnaya is approximately 5 hours with a fastpaced peek of the countryside. Upon reaching Hagnaya, proceed to the pier (which is just a stone’s throw away) and purchase a ferry ticket to Sta. Fe. Another hour or two savoring the seaside on board the roro.

When you don’t have a free resort transport, don’t fret. Just flag down a tricycle or pedicab to take you to yor temp home in the island.

Around Bantayan, tricycles are available to take you any place in the island Or you can rent a motorcycle for a day.

Savor Flavor: There are numerous eat-all-you-can offerings in Sta. Fe. Just walk along the restaurant row and there are buffet specials left and right. Wherever you will be having your dinner buffet, always savor the grilled bamboo shells and scallops. These go best with a nice bottle of iced cold beer.

For the not so hungry pack, try out the grilled stuff infront of the bakery. It is a makeshift stall selling bbq-ed chicken and chorizo (pork sausage). The queu might be long but the juicy chorizo is worth the wait. It is best eaten with one’s hand plus a serving of puso (rice wrapped in coconut leaves).

For the rest of the day meal, aka breakfast and lunch, order at least once- the danggitsilog. Danggitsilog is composed of fried dried boneless danggit, garlicky sinangag (fried rice) and uber fresh sunny side up. When you’ve tasted Bantayan’s egg, you will agree why the island is called the egg basket of the region.

Since the island also has a couple of local eateries, one can try out their tola (sour broth with local fish) and seaweed salad called lato. Dang, the two are actually play of words! And if one is too picky, head out to the wet market. Buy some seafood and let your resort or the nearby eatery cook it for you the way you like it (probably fried or grilled) with a minimal fee.

See Oh See: Bantayan is not limited to lounging around Kota Beach or enjoying the sun and sea in the sand bar. There are numerous activities one can enjoy…and they are not strenous!

1. A visit to Sts. Peter and Paul Church and its museum.Oldest church in the area with a museum that has a relatively extensive collection of Catholic religious items. Looking at the walls makes one imagine gargoyles guarding the premises,btw.

2. A half day tour in Sta. Fe and Ogtong Club to have swim in the Ogtong Cave. If one is lucky, you got fish as swimming buddy. If chlorinated water is your thing, a large pool is waiting near the tiny cave. One can also flex some muscles by kayaking in the calm water of the resort.

3. Jumpshot in Sugar Beach. It may not be sweet but definitely fine sand to rival Boracay’s and Panglao’s.

4. Kill time in Virgin Island. Crystal clear water. Secluded area. Lush garden. If swimming with starfish and nemo’s friends is your aim for the day, head out to the island to enjoy some quiet time.

5. Market Day. Haggle your way to score the best deal of dried daing or tocinong isda. Located in Sta. Fe town proper, it is the must go to place for a first time or frequent visitor.

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