Believe it or not, it is my first time to visit Bantayan Island. I can’t imagine the beautiful landscape of Bantayan Island because it was too far from my expectation. I wonder for so long for this Island and most of my friends had visited there and experienced a lot of things. This was my second time to witness a clean and peaceful land after my Mindanao trip last January this year. So it’s my turn now.
This is not a travel blog, but I can write my experience about my first trip to Bantayan Island. Yeah, it was an overwhelming experience for a newbie, like me, to step in an island that I really wished for a long time. It was great to see an island that surrounded by the clearest blue seawater and white sand seashore in the horizon. They maintained also the cleanliness of their surroundings to make the island more appealing and beautiful. A tropical lush of island vibes made me feel so good during my stay at Bantayan Island.
From Hagnaya Port traveling to Bantayan Island.
The Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island is an island located in the northwest part of Cebu Island. The Bantayan Island is divided into three municipalities; the Bantayan, Madridejos, and Sta. Fe. Their speaking dialect is a mixture of Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Masbateño, and Boholano. The island has numerous tiny islands around the southwest part and some of those are inhabitable or protected for conservation. Bantayan Island has a lot of marine resources that can sustain ecotourism and livelihood. Aside from that, Bantayan Island is also included on the Visayan Marine Triangle where the biggest marine life sanctuary and ecosystem can be found.
Despite the natural calamities that happened last year 2013 from the typhoon Yolanda, the community of Bantayan Island had a strong determination to rise and rebuild the island. It was a very challenging year for Bantayanon, but the spirit of “Bayanihan” was dominated and it was easy for them to recover from the calamity. Now, Bantayan Island has a lot of tourists daily.
The Island Adventure
My Bantayan Island is incomplete without these interesting tourist spots.
The Bantayan Proper
The Municipality of Bantayan (Lungsod ng Bantayan) is a 1st class municipality of Cebu province. It is located on Bantayan Island with a population of around 80,000 people (try to Google it for the correct information). The Bantayan proper has a lot of historical sites from the Spanish Colonial era.
The parish church of Saints Peter and Paul was burned down during the Moro raids, but it was replaced into a wooden structure. The present construction of the parish church was started in 1839 and took for almost 24 years of reconstruction. They used corals for the building materials. At the side of the parish, they have a small museum where you can see a lot of religious artifacts inside.
I saw a lot of Spanish houses in a small street of B. Rodriguez in Bantayan Proper and I found the famous halo-halo dessert at Kermit’s. For only Php 80, you can experience the unique flavor of Kermit’s Halo-halo. They have also Carbonara Pasta for only Php 55 in a single serving. It was so tasteful.
Their plaza was a great place to tour around and I saw a lot of people walking and enjoying with their family and friends in the plaza. So I had a little enjoyment in the plaza. I got an ube ice cream for only Php10.00 in a small cup.
My Bantayan adventure is more meaningful because I joined the Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk hosted by Mobile Perspective and Huawei Sugbo, and the Department of Tourism of Bantayan is partnering with us for our major photowalk in several places and tourist attractions in Bantayan Island. I will write it in a separate article for the photowalk event.
My overall experience was very memorable. I can see myself growing through travel. It was an opportunity to go beyond the different places and I want to make it as goal yearly. For this trip, I learned so much for being responsible for taking care of the island because they are also campaigning for the environment. Second, I learned from their program that can sustain a livelihood from marine resources and which they can develop and grow in the next years to come. The island has a lot to offer. As a tourist, we can be responsible in a way that we can contribute to the progress of sustainable ecotourism for Bantayan Island.
Thank you so much for reading my blog. The second part of this blog will be published soon.
Additional Info: www.wikipedia.org
Photos: Dannea Moneva & Herbert Kikoy