Bantayan Island Cebu Travel Guide

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bantayan island is located near Cebu and is probably what Boracay looked like before it was Boracay. Bantayan is named after the local term "To guard" which is what the island used to do against Chinese pirates. Nowadays, that task has been passed on to the Optical Media board and Edu Manzano, and the island has become a getaway beach of sorts (less the Chinese pirates and plus the Korean tourists).

To get to Bantayan, you first have to go to Cebu, take a bus from the North Bus Station to the Hagnaya port and ride a RoRo ferry which, next to tectonic plates, is probably the slowest moving thing in the ocean today. Luckily, the ferry canteen offers beer. It doesn't make the trip faster, but like many things, alcohol helps you forget. Word of advice: Don't get the VIP seats. Don't ask why. One thing you may want to watch is the deluge of porters (guys who carry baggages for you) the split second the ferry hits (literally) the dock. They come flying into the galley from every conceivable entry point (windows, portholes, chimneys, CR etc) like pirate ninjas off to carry your loot luggage. It's amazing.

Bantayan island is actually home to three rural towns. Santa Fe, Bantayan, and some other town whose name I forgot. Most resorts are in Santa Fe, so expect prices to be unrural, because you know, you're a tourist. I didn't go to the other two. I just felt that I had to mention this fact here to sound like I'm credible.

Cheapest place to eat if you're not finicky or a fish (in which case you should avoid) is the wetmarket. There are carinderias over there where you can buy "de latas" and ask them to cook the contents (and the can, if that's your thing) Cebuanos like to cook rice and stuff them into intricately prepared banana leaves the size of a baby's heart. They call it "puso" and is probably the greatest innovation to rice eating ever since it lets you eat rice with just one hand, while standing up, on the go, or taking a dump.

The beach in Bantayan is like a conversation with a fine arts major. It's very artistic, it's shallow as hell, and it doesn't get any deeper no matter how far you go. The sand is white and powdery, but unlike Boracay, is populated with tiny sea shells that are sharp enough to puncture skin and small enough to enter your bloodstream. Enough of these pricked me while running around, so like if I bend sideways, you can almost hear the ocean waves. Boracay doesnt have these because they employ indigenous children to ground up the shells at night when nobody's looking for measly pay and horribly living conditions. Shame on you Boracay.

Nearby Bantayan is the Virgin island, which is called in local terms "palay na hindi pa nagiging bigas dahil wala pang bumabayo" since that's too long, and since they don't really speak dirty Tagalog in Cebu, it's called Virgin island.

There are no virgins in the island, save for the time me and my fellow gang of IT developer guys went there. We totally spiked the virginity ratios. Other than that, yeah. Don't get your hopes up.

Virgin Island, going by my earlier analogy, is like Bantayan Island before it realized it's Bantayan Island. Save for a sarisaristore, a makeshift toilet, and a mysterious couple of houses that have one too many earthen jars (that may or may not house ninjas) the Island is largely undeveloped.

The beachline is pristine, white, and teeming with fish and other sea life just a few feet from the shore. Unsurprisingly, sea urchins are also present just waiting to fuck your foot with their 3 inch needles of FUCK YOU. If you get pricked by one of these, you will be in exruciating pain, at least until you will realize that the fastest cure is to get yourself peed on wherever you got pricked to enable the urnine's ammonia to disperse the poison (after which the main sensation will be bordering shame/clinical depression).If ever you face dive and hit one of these things, tough shit. Wear sandals, use goggles, and don't be retarded. That ought to prevent any untoward events.

There are no waves in Bantayan island, making it ideal for backfloating, swimming, and sex on the beach. For references on how painful beach sex with strong waves may feel like, watch Derek and whats her name's love scene in I Love You, Goodbye. It's already scripted, starring the two hottest actors in the Philippine showbusiness, and they still couldn't make it look like they even remotely enjoyed it. But I digress.

Virgin island has very few people on it year round, making it a peaceful alternative to Boracay. Food is ordered ahead of time and cooked on the spot by a team of male chefs who coincidentally are the boatmen who will be taking you to the island. That's what you call true multidisciplinary practice (Take note, lazy Ateneans).

If you feel like pretending to be a masa mangingisda, or you just want to get to deeper waters without having to risk being raped by sea urchins, you can rent a row boat bangka and paddle to the deep part instead. I'm just saying. Real men would swim all the way. As nature intended.

80% of the island is covered with dense foiliage and jagged rocks that form small caves that are probably still being used by Japanese who think the war is not yet over. Exercise caution. You might trip and fall on a bayonet.

Other fast facts for Philippine destinations:


Hihey said...

lupet mo talaga mhen!

thadzonline said...

can we exchange links please?

here's a list of my sites: PH rank higher than 80k)


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