Bantayan Island in 2009

In 2009, I decided to go back to the first island I fell in love with. With this post, I want you to see what Bantayan looks like ten years ago.
It was August when we came back, my second time on the island where the southwest monsoon occurs and make seas rough. But it was still the same feeling seeing Bantayan Island for the second time. We again stayed in Budyong, traversed the Sugar Beach, ate freshly catch seafood bought from locals and went back to Sta Fe Beach Club and the Ogtong Cave.

Here’s a video of Bantayan in 2009.

Where to stay in Bantayan Island

Sta Fe Beach Club and Ogtong Cave Resort.

Sta Fe Beach Club is located at Talisay in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island. From the port, you could see the beautiful beachfront resort on the left side of Alice Beach. And easily accessible by tricycles. If you book earlier you could also ask to be picked up at the port as they have a free transfer.


There are so many rooms in Sta Fe Beach Club, airconditioned and fanned rooms. There are rooms for Clubhouse twin, triple and quadruple; Cottage Triple Seaview, Double Duplex and Family Cottage. The rooms have a veranda. It would be nice to pick a room facing the beach front. Some rooms don’t have a television.
There’s a restaurant in the hotel but breakfast is not included in the rate. They also offer island tours.
At night most visitors preferred hanging out on the beach front to mingle with friends. You could also see the view of the port at night.

Another resort owned by Sta Fe Beach Club is the Ogtong Cave Resort where you will find inside the resort is a small cave with cold crystal clear waters. The resort is open for visitors if you’re going to check out the cave.
The resort has a view of the beach and a swimming pool. They also have rooms and their own restaurant.

Budyong


Budyong Resort has been one of the first resorts in Bantayan Island. It is located along Sugar Beach. It is also accessible by tricycle. The resort is also near the town of Sta Fe’s church and market and near the different restaurants in the area.


Budyong has its own restaurant. The rooms are a concrete Nipa Hut facing Sugar Beach. There are different rooms to choose from. You could also buy fishes caught by the fishermen.

For other posts about Cebu, please check Why Cebu? Revisiting Bantayan Island Bantayan Island

Revisiting Bantayan Island

I came back last summer of 2014 to Bantayan Island, revisiting the place some months after Yolanda devastated the island. And this time around, I traveled with a group. There were eight of us who went there after our convention in Cebu City. That Friday night, we went to San Remigio and stayed at our colleague’s house. In the morning, we went to Hagnaya Port to bring us to Sta Fe port. We stayed at the side of the ferry and enjoyed the view and breathe of fresh air going to Bantayan Island.

Bantayan Island Beaches

Upon seeing Bantayan Island again, I felt I was home. It saddened me though, that the coconut trees were cut into halves. Other trees were disheveled too. I could still see the effect of Super Typhoon Yolanda within the vicinity of Sta Fe as some houses had broken down.

Alice Beach


We went to the town proper of Sta Fe and ate a sumptuous lunch in a restaurant called Coucou Bar Bantayan Island Hotel and Restaurant. There were new restaurants in the area. Restaurants before were located in the resort and there were only some carinderias around. We checked in at the Sta Fe Beach Resort near Sta Fe port. We booked two cottages without aircon, and we split into two. The cottage and the veranda were big enough for us. Our cottage was near the beach, while the other one was at the back.


We headed to the beach front and started enjoying the beach front. We took pictures while waiting for the boat that would take us to Virgin Island or Silion Island. We walked thru the fine sands of Alice Beach towards the boat.

Virgin Island

Virgin Island was a secluded area and you need to pay an entrance fee for the day tour. We took pictures and and enjoyed swimming in the beach. We waited until the sunsets from the horizon.

It was already low tide when we got back to our resort. We took a bath and ate at the Island Daddy Dok’s restaurant where we get grilled pork, fish soup and shrimps. We also took some time in the grocery to buy our drink for the night, ice and some snack foods to munch during our drinking session. As we get back to our hotel we drank and shared stories about lives. When we finished drinking, only half of the group decided to take a night swim. We actually didn’t swim but, enjoyed the cold beach water.


We transferred to the beachfront where there were other customers who were also enjoying the night. We were the ones left until past midnight. We already finished our drinks and we headed to the waters where we stayed there for another hour.


The following day, we were already up when the sun rose. Because we were on the east side of the island the view of sunrise was fantastic. After taking pictures of the sunrise, I toured the group in Sugar Beach.

Sugar Beach

This side was the best hit area during the super typhoon. Some of the resorts where recovering but there were also resorts that were really devastated. We walked from Sugar Beach until we reached the area where we could also see the port.

We went back to Sta Fe Beach Resort where we enjoyed our breakfast before we went back to San Remigio. The next time I visit Bantayan Island, I need to go to the Bantayan town proper and Madridejos. These two municipalities that I haven’t explored yet.
Bantayan Island has been listed as my number two travel destination in terms of beach, food, resorts and people. And I would never get tired of going back. It would always be my comfort zone. My first love. My first ever worthwhile travel. And the reason why I started exploring the archipelago and loving my very own country.

Why Cebu?

This is my favorite province. If you read my blog, I’d been featuring different locations here, and still, there’s a lot to explore.

Why Cebu?

Sugar Beach, Bantayan Island

I’d been to the different cities and towns in Cebu like Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay, Bantayan Island, Danao, Camotes Island, Malapascua Island, San Remigio, Daanbantayan, Carmen, Oslob and Samboan and the most recent is Moalboal.

Dako Island, Moalboal

Where to go in Cebu

For starters, tour the city first, from the famous Sinulog Festival every January, a visit to the oldest church of Basilica Minore del Sto Nino, Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro and Taoist Temple.

Malapascua Island

The different islands and towns promote numerous activities. But it depends on what you want, like diving, island tours, trekking and canyoneering falls, mountain climbing, watching whale sharks, viewing the heritage sites.

San Remigio

Name it Cebu has it. It just depends on what you want to see and what to do. It is the best place for Lechon, seafood, the famous Larsian food stall and the Lantaw restaurant with a view of the city.

Camotes Island

My favorite destination is Bantayan Island, my first love, but overall Cebu is worth your time, money and memories.

For the next posts, I will concentrate on the Visayas area, most especially about Cebu. It is my favorite province, a province with all my favorite destinations. Cebu will never get old to travel, I’d been here for the nth time, either for work or vacation.

You can also check my post about Bantayan Island