The symbol of you is what you’ve explored in this world. By Abisoda
Beautiful place with its own character of charm and solemnity. Truly a soul enhancing place in the north of Cebu. We had a rush jam packed itinerary before coming in this place but when our feet step to this island our plan change. From plan A to plan Z. And my travel life series change drastically. It open my eyes how to exude excitement through slow pace of travelling.
There are almost no physical records nor evidence to indicate when the first people came to Bantayan, nor their places of origin. Some believe they can be traced back to Panay, others believe that the bulk of them were of Cebuano origin, and still others say they came from Leyte and Bohol.
Connections between Bantayan and other places can be deduced from the mixed dialects spoken by the people, and their ancient culture such as cloth‑weaving, dance, and architecture. In addition certain old-established Hispanic family names are associated with certain locations:
The early people were said to be timid. They didn’t travel and knew little of places away from their homes. They wore little clothing because the climate didn’t need it. The abundance of fish, wild games, wild fruits and tuber, such as ba-ay, hagmang,[i] bailacog, and kiot, made the people do little more than make clearings on which to plant corn, camote (sweet potato) and other vegetables. Large and small trees grew and spread, shading the ground all year round with their heavy foliage. Vines and creepers climbed the trees hanging from bough to bough; cultivation of open land was difficult.
Derivation of name
During the time of 22nd Governor-General Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera, the Visayans were continually harassed by Moro pirates who came on raids to capture slaves. Consequently, tall stone walls and watchtowers were built in different parts of the archipelago, for refuge and protection from Moro aggression.
Popular folklore says that these watchtowers were known locally as “Bantayan sa Hari“, meaning “Watchtowers of the King”, and they served as lookout towers for incoming vintas(Moro pirate vessels). In the course of their vigil, it became common to say, “Bantayan! Bantayan!”, meaning, “Keep watch! Keep watch!”, and that was how this island-group got its name.
In all there were 18 watchtowers built on the Bantayan islands. Most have not survived, although relics can be seen to this day.
That at Madridejos is in fair condition, that at Santa Fe less so. There is a particularly fine example on Doong island.
In his “Statement of the Annual Incomes and Sources of Profit of His Majesty in These Philipinas Islands” for the year 1608, Pedro de Caldierva de Mariaca declares the tributes (tax) from Bantayan and Bohol combined amount to 2400 gold pesos.
What to do in Bantayan island:
- Rest your soul
Honesty the best thing to do in |Bantayan is just take your sheet,put your sunblock and just enjoy the beach solemnity. In short, just enjoy being with yourself. This place really extracts your romantic and nomadic inner self. I guess this is the reason why a lot of old or retiree foreigners are visibly rampant in this place.
- Rent a bike or motorcycle.
Its more convenient to explore Bantayan with motorcycle but given a chance i will choose bicycle cause it give you more local feel. I spend 350 pesos good for 24 hours and with proper research you can actually finished all attraction with the said period of time.
- Beach hoping or resorts hopping
It’s actually my hobby to walk from tip to tip of the beach stretch. I did it in Boracay and h started to enjoy it since it really makes my soul more relax. You can check my Youtube video:
- Go to virgin island
If your nerve still pumping for more adventure then try go in virgin island. I haven’t been there cause at that time there were no people who wants to go there. And 700 is quite steep for a budget solo traveler. I guess skipping that one is not a sin. But if you did go here please share your views in comment below.
My feet was on these places:
- German ruin with cliff
There’s nothing to do here if your not in a swim ready mode. But if you do ,this place is good for cliff diving or watching the surroundings with a bottle of beer. But don’t do vandalism.
- Obo ob mangrove park.
I really have a small portion spot of longings for mangrove parks anywhere i go. Its not that big but considering a certain movie was shot in this place. Its an INSTAGRAMBLE place for social network celebrity feel believer.
- Paradise beach
My definitely favorite place among the side trips in the island. Powdery white sand and crystal-clear water will be your reward by coming to this place. The only awkward moment while coming here was i cant bring my motorcycle up to the beach cause the pavement is not for amateur rider like me.
There are 2 resorts around the place either way you can pass through the water.
But if you want to sun bathing then Sandira beach is your best option.
- Sta.fe town
Its a small town and you can actually go from place to place by foot. What make this town special is their people hospitality. Add to that is there native language which is bisaya ( a big big plus for me ).
- Sta fe shoreline
I will make a statement here, Sta.fe beach is one of the beach in the Philippine if not the number one beach in the Philippines.
- Bought daily things in bantayan like water, shampoo, soap, can goods, beers and other usual local needs. Because its practically cheap their considering its an island. People in the town are honest and polite people. This way we can help in a little way in their simple economy.
- Rent motorcycle or bike as explained above.
- Go to the beach at low and high tide. Both gave different beauty that makes your heart captivated.
- Ride a bus then stop at hayamnan port. From their you will ride a fast boat going st. Fe bantayan. From st.fe port ride a trike going to your hotel. In this systen i could save 40 pesos but unfortunately i wasnt.
- Going to paradise beach is quite tricky. My suggestion would be go first in obong ob mangrove park then go back at the same road where you came from then slowly look for a sign heading to paradise beach. If my calculation is right i think its about 100 to 200 meters from obo ob mangrove park.
- Obviously weekdays are the best day to visit if you want uncrowded. But according to our host tuesday to thursday is the best time for ghost hunting. Joke! In my experience its like a ghost town in the beach.
- If you have limited time to spare, you can ride a bus as late as 11:00pm. If you try this like i did, you must have a talent to sleep while in the road. I did this several times so im already used to it. You may explore bantayan island being a haggard master then finish it until 4pm to ride roro going back cebu mainland.
- If you want to go in virgin island but you dont want to spare big bucks then go in weekends. There will be a big possibility that there are other people who might want to share the fare cost of the bangka. Keep in mind there’s an entrance fee in virgin island per pax. Someone told me its 200 to 300 per pax.
Overall it was not only a good experience for me it was a perfect moment for myself and inneself exploration of being a solo traveler ( even though i am with my wife in bantayan ). Bed of roses for my feet in lowtide and a garden of heaven for a beach enthusiast in hightide. Truly philippine has it all.
So tATa NA sa BANTAYAN ISLAND!!!
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