So we’ve all been there. Falling in love, getting our hearts broken, having a slumber crying party, moving on that possibly includes stalking exes for quite some time, bitching out on their new partners, or finally deleting their numbers that you still know by heart and unfriending them on FB. Quite a cycle, huh? But my point is we all know the feeling of being in love. Because even the most coarse, seemingly heartless person has loved at one point in their lives. And it really doesn’t matter who that person is, what that thing is, where that place is, when that time is and how that happens.
So have you been wondering what is with LOVE topic? I know, it’s way past February or Valentines Day. And no, I’m not having a hangover with that holiday either. But it’s more of this place. BANTAYAN ISLAND. An island located west of northend of Cebu, approximately 139km away from the city proper. My third island to visit this summer with a span of a month or so interval.
Unlike Malapascua, it was not my first time traveling bound to this place nor visit the island. I could still remember the first time I stepped on that pristine white sand and clear waters. I fell in love with it on an instant. And I am not the only one. Almost everyone does. It was when a friend, Neil, invited us over at his Lola’s hometown during summer of my sophomore year at college. That was 2008, I believe. And that hometown is none other than Sta. Fe. How can he be so lucky? Haha!
Then another opportunity came so I had the second time last 2012. A team building on my previous company. We stayed at Sugar Beach Resort that time. Their rates are affordable and it also helped that one of my colleagues know a local who works at the resort. Having friends and connections really help people get discounts, do some favors and have some special treatment. Not that you should see people as commodity but being nice and friendly at all times is really vital.
Fast forward to four years, Bantayan is still the same island I’ve fallen in love with. Such a relief that it has not been tarnished by over-commercialization. If you want some peace and quiet, then this is the place you need to visit to unwind. You’ll definitely feel relaxed after seeing the azure sky and beach. Research has also proven that blue is effective in relaxation and that is one of the reasons why people tend to feel at peace seeing the beach.
Scenery aside, what I also remember from that weekend trip is the first time I slept near a bonfire by the beach with just my off-white cotton maxi dress as my blanket. A fashion side note, maxi dresses and maxi skirts are of dual purpose. First, aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Well, not to all but definitely to me. Second, convenience and comfort especially you are traveling on long distances, walking on a chilly weather and in my case, sleeping outside the resort room. The moment I have known the existence of such clothes, I couldn’t make myself wear rough denim pants when traveling anymore.
Moving on, I had my third time recently. Just this first weekend of June. And I was off with another set of team. Yes, another team building from a new company I’m currently employed with. But I was together with a college friend, Lalaine, one of my college barkada, who’ve been in Bantayan as well during my first time. We shared the same feeling of nostalgia actually when we walked down same paths we traversed 6 years ago. Oh yeah and we got giddy seeing the same playground near an elementary school. I remembered playing the swing before getting tipsy (not me) by the beach.
So this third time is past Yolanda time. Of course, you probably have heard about THAT storm surge that devastated a lot of places in Visayas regions last 2013. I would like to express my gratitude to all who supported our country during those times. While strolling around, I saw volunteers, some are foreigners, still visible on the premises to continue rebuilding the schools and houses, aiding the hunger and possible scarcity of supplies on some far-flung barangays and doing what they can. Thank you, really.
Here are the tips that I’ve summarized for your own disposal.
*** If you are a student wanting to travel, bring your ID. Student’s Privilege (SP) Discount is not too much but can help you lessen expenses. Like for example, on our bus ride with Ceres, normal rate is PHP160.00 while SP is only for PHP130.00. Just Php30.00, right? But every peso counts. So go ahead and present that ID at all times.
*** Aside from riding thru a private vehicle, I suggest you ride a bus instead of other PUVs (such as Vhire). It is more comfortable especially if have longer legs or simply, taller than average Pinoys. I’ve heard this complaint right straight from a friend who is 5’11” tall.
*** Wanna stroll the whole island? Well, not that you can do that in one day but most of the scenic places, I mean. RENT A BIKE. For Php120.00 per day, you have the freedom to get lost and discover some hidden views. You get to burn some calories off your binge eating, too.
*** Speaking of binge eating, it’s inevitable here. Food are of good quality and way sufficient servings. I’d recommend Island Daddy Doc’s Burger Cafe and Cuisine . Their rates range from Php150.00-250.00. They even have budget meals at around Php80.00-100.00 and of decent serving size. We ate all our main meals here from lunch to dinner to breakfast the next day. They have various dishes to choose from, walls painted with vibrant colors, and free functional WIFI. But I wouldn’t want to limit you on that. You should try other restaurants and bars, too. Resort foods are good, too as per Raymond and Anna. They’ve tried Sisig at Kota Beach Resort.
*** Kayaking. Php400.00 for 2 hours. We personally have not tried it but you know, it’s fun. I will personally try it next time.
*** Island Hopping. Php700.00 for 2 persons. I’m writing down personal experience from Raymond and Anna because we have not tried this for some time constraint and health concerns.
*** Budyong Beach Resort, the one which room we rented with for an overnight stay, offers affordable fan and airconed rooms. One advantage of choosing this resort is having a sandbar. You can check out their website if you’re curious of what I’m talking about. But I won’t be describing further because I sound as if I’m doing some advertisement about the resort.
*** Sunrise watching. The best two parts when you are by the beach is either watching while the sun goes down or goes up. On my previous beach trips, I’ve done sunset watching. So this time I made sure to wake up at around 4AM and have a dip at my large salty swimming pool aka sea water while watching the magnificence of gleaming sun. Very good moment to have some alone time, really. Just you and nature around you. Two thumbs up.
FASHION SIDE NOTE: I chose this wonderful red maillot from @aprilabycandy, an online store managed by college friend Candy. I loved the fit of this swimwear and design, too. It has subtle sexiness on it on front cutouts and at the back. By far, this is my new favorite suit. Hence, the highlight.
In a tropical country like mine, June is the start of rainy season unlike most countries in the West that this month is only their start. So even if I will be lessening my beach trips for now, I will still post some entries every once in a while. Perhaps, more into fashion but thank you so much for perusing.