The Ultimate Travel Guide to Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines Part 1

9:30:00 AM Jerik De Guzman 11 Comments

STORY: After traveling around Cebu City for a few days, my time spent in the electric lights and enigmatic charm of the oldest province in  the Philippines is done. It's time to head up north to where paradise is found. It's funny, that after writing so many stories here in my blog about my adventures around the Philippines, there's always a new "Paradise" island waiting to be discovered. I couldn't complain as the Philippines boasts of the best beaches in Asia.

I love Thailand and its lovely beaches, but the unspoiled and uninterrupted views of white sandy islands of the Philippines is impeccable. And this one in particular, not necessarily unheard of, is actually still a newcomer in the ball game.



How to get there?
If you're in Cebu City and tired of the hectic life style, head to the North Bus Terminal. From here, pack some goodies to take with you in this long journey. There's cup noodles at P25 or around $.75, soft drinks, native delicacies and a bunch of other stuff you can take with you. 



TIP: Because you know you're heading to the port more than a hundred kilometers away, head out here as soon as you brush your teeth and pack your rucksacks. The sooner you're here the better. Reserve your seat as soon as you get here. 




Don't be confused on which bus to take because in reality here, it's not at all confusing. It's very easy. Ask around where's the bus to where you're going. "Manong" will point you to the right direction. If you leave the north terminal at around 7AM, you will most likely arrive at the destination around lunch time. Don't worry about eggs, they're plenty to where you're going. Heck, its called the "Egg basket of Cebu".



AC or Non-AC?
You have two choices at most times, one is an aircon bus which is of course more expensive, but it's still dirt cheap. This type of bus leaves every hour, but schedule may vary as of this writing. You can also ride the non-aircon bus which i purposely rode.



With no breakfast at all, i grabbed my newly boiled hot cup of noodles and mineral water and started munching them like I've never eaten before. 

TIP: Easy on the liquid. There are no toilet breaks here. Meanwhile, as i munch on the noodles the aroma was all over the bus, and most of the locals began looking at my direction. I just smiled. I could have said "Kain?" which is to offer my food to them if they like. A few minutes more, the bus was leaving already, and my loins felt like when i was in grade school.



Ride the non-aircon bus, if only for the awesome view. Green fields, lonely coconut trees, kids going to school, men and women with their usual chores, are all what you will see. 



You'll never know what you'll stumble upon on your way here. I saw funny posters, tranny divas and even a motorcycle competition which was just heating up.


As seen below, the best view to watch the competition is in the balcony.




I have to tell you, it's not an easy ride. The beach is four hours away from the city, 110 kilometers from Cebu city, passing through some unpaved roads, and what appears and smells like volcanic ash fall (cement and gravel). But i am pretty sure, once you've reached the spot, you'll know it's all worth it!

A few more stops for some passengers after, and you're on the port heading to one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Did i mention the place already? Let me take you with me on a trip to the majestic island of Bantayan!



11 Comments:

Anonymous said...

i prefer bantayan over boracay...
kaso last month ago when we went there it wasnt that nice compared to last summer visit...daming basura sa beach..

Hi Anon!

Yes. Most definitely, What we miss about Boracay: the tranquility, the lack of overpriced resorts and food, and the lack of tourists, Bantayan has it!

Yes i was walking some resorts up north of Kota Beach, it was filled with some trash. So sad, the port boasts of white sand but is filled with garbage, i wonder what we can do about it? Did you blog about Bantayan too? share naman!

Nilcha said...

nice post! :)

thanks nicha! Bantayan just took my breath away. If photos are great, its better when you're out there! Arguably, the best beach in the Philippines!

flipnomad said...

i've been to bantayan only once and got hospitalized due to severe dehydration haha didnt go back after that... nice to know that you've enjoyed your stay in bantayan...

what happened flip? severe dehydration? yes bantayan is lovely, isn't it? by the way, are you back to work or still traveling? what are you travel plans, would be cool to meet up somewhere!

ayan said...

i did blog about it...photos lang though.. http://pinoydaysleeper.multiply.com/photos/album/162/Bantayan_Bai
pero still...kahit na medyo madumi during sa last visit ko.astig pa rin sa kin to..cgro alanganin lang din tlga yon season ngayon..

ey man, checkin all the places youve been in...pucha kakainggit..

ska sana sipagin na rin ako mgdocument ng travels..been to romblon last month at wala ako ni isa pic.. oh well..

Hey Ayan, when did you visit bantayan? people say nga na, may season na madumi. hope it gets better, ang ganda kasi talaga!

Yes, eto lang talaga gusto ko gawin for the rest of my life. yung feeling kapag may pupuntahan kang bago parang di mo ma-explain yung feeling! sobrang saya!!! dami kang makikilalang tao, marami kang mapupuntahan. pag-uwi mo mas masaya kasi mas mamimiss mo yung family and friends mo!

yes, document mo travels mo! sayang, ako i blog about it para lang talaga di ko makalimutan.

I really want to go to romblon, specifically in tablas! sana makapag-leave ako 1 week. yun talaga ang project ko na next philippine destination. favorite ko kasi talaga ang visayas!

ayan said...

gusto ko rin visayas...leyte samar area na lang din ang di ko napuntahan sa area...last weekend dun kami ng barkada for masskara..
the best city sa kin sa visayas.. dumaguete..charming little city..

last ko bantayan 1st week ng sept...
ano ym mo? ym mo nga ako man, tanong lang ako bout sa ibang destinations...

Hi ayan! I haven't been to Leyte or Samar, i have a few folks out there. And actually, my next target are Bacolod, Dumaguete and Siquijor. Basta, the first time i was in Visayas, i felt at home agad.

I have a ym, but i haven't been using it that much, if you have some more questions regarding trips, just post a comment on which destination it is.

Naiinggit ako, i haven't been to a really great festival in Visayas such as the Masskara! Kumusta? how was it? Dami tao?

Fina Tan said...

I prefer Bantayan Island over Boracay. The place will give you a sense of tranquility. Truly lovely! Don't forget the pasalubong delicacies from Cebu like the otap, dried mangoes, even their famous lechon.