FEATURED BLOG: Bantayan Island: 9 Things You Shouldn’t Miss

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

by  Sara of Travelosio

Your trip to Bantayan Island will be one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences of your lifetime. From the moment that your tired feet touch the powder soft white sand beaches, till your aching body is soothed by the 85 degree crystal clear water, you will never forget this island paradise.

Here’s a list you shouldn’t miss:

1. Get a tan.

It is a sin to go to Bantayan and not get a tan.

Go out, comb the beach and let the sun kiss your skin! Take off your shoes and just stroll. Look for a heart-shaped shell or uniquely colored piece of stone. If you feel a little bit lazy, simply lay down on the beach.

2. Visit the old church in Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island is famous not only for its crystal clear waters and white beaches. It is also known for its age-old churches. In fact, St. Peter and Paul Church is the first Parish established in Cebu by the Augustinians in 1580 and one of the parishes included in the Arch diocese of Mexico. The church is formerly known as the convent of Asunsion de Nuestra Senora.

3. Snorkel in Virgin Island
Hire a banca, about Php800-1000 pesos for unlimited time and prepare an additional 200 pesos for banca parking fee. Known to Bantayan locals as Virgin Island, Silion Island is an isle off the mainland. Rights to the island are owned by the Villacarlos clan, a political family in Madridejos town in Bantayan Island.

Just like in Daku Island, Siargao, tourists visit the island to picnic on its calm and serene atmosphere renting cottages built on bermuda-covered lawns and white sand shorelines. The rich marine life of the Bantayan Marine Sanctuary not far off its shores make it also a good jump-off point to those who want to experience the joys and thrills of snorkeling.

Good swimmers can circle the island while snorkelling. The island also has rocky edges, if you’re really brave go up the rocks and jump to the water, fun!

You can bring your own lunch, buy some fish and rice at the Sta. Fe market and have your bangkero (boatman) cook them for you (grilled or steamed fish or shrimps/crabs), just make sure you share your food with him (local custom-sharing).


4. Rent a motorbike and explore the island
The town is idyllic and incredibly charming. If you start early, you can circle around the island within a day with a few stops. Be prepared to stumble upon little kids waving their hand with their big smiles.

And if you happen to go around on a Sunday, don’t be surprised to see a lot of motorbikes parked on the edge of the road. Drivers are taking some time off to bet. Sunday is cockfighting day.

5. Explore the cave at Ogtong Cave Resort
From the name itself, Ogtong Cave Resort is famous for its cave. Where else have you heard of a cave in the middle of a beach resort? The place is usually filled with families during weekends.  It has a cave pool where kids and adults can swim in its crystal clear waters.
The good thing is, you do not have to be a guest of the resort  to go for a swim and explore the cave! Walk-in guests are welcome for a minimal fee. Entrance fee is Php100.

6. Discover the Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort
Once you enter the 8-hectare nature park, you will instantly feel as if you are in the middle of the jungle. Animal lovers will have a great time because the park is home to various kinds of animals that are not normally seen in other places. Entrance fee is Php150.


7. Support local artists
During the summer season, Bantayan is one of the homebases of many Cebuano artists. Walk around the town and you’ll find finely-crafted art pices to buy and wear. Amazing trinkets which are perfect souvenir items can be purchased at a very reasonable price.


8. Join the procession
One of the most well attended activities in the island is the annual Holy Friday solemn procession. A lot of tourists from all over the world come to Bantayan for the sole purpose of taking part in this religious activity.


9. Visit Kota Park and watch the Sunset at the Boardwalk
Madridejos Kota Park is an old Spanish Fort that was transformed into a park.


The boardwalk is famous for getting an awe inspiring sight of the sunset.

Lawis Sunset
If Bantayan has been added to your destination list, find out how to get there through this post. Or if you want to know more about Bantayan Island, check this out.

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