i've come full circle. bantayan in cebu is the only "must-visit" place that haven't checked in the four years i've been living in this island paradise. from north to south, east and west, i've practically toured the island. but i never got the chance to visit this "famous" place. the closest i did was on a company outing to San Remigio but i wasn't particularly impressed with the beaches then.
fortunately, i got invited to join a trip to bantayan and although it wasn't really a photographer's trip, i was able to get some interesting pics of the tourist spots in the island. (click on read.more)
if you're planning a trip to bantayan you must catch the 2:30 AM bus trip from the North Bus Terminal to Bogo and San Remigio (Php 70). The bus drops you off at the Hagnaya port by around 6:00 AM, enough time to grab some breakfast and board the ferry that leaves at 6:30 AM (Php 150 aircon section). by 7:30 AM you dock on the port of Sta. Fe in Bantayan Island and you can arrange to get to your resort via any of the tricycle-vans (Php 20 / person).
By 8:00 AM you should be by the beach.
Everyone made for the beach and i decided to plop myself on a long bench to grab some snooze under a cottage in Sugar Beach. By 11 AM everyone boarded a boat that you can rent for Php 2,500 that will take you to the pristine Virgin Island just a little way off from the main island itself.
In case you recently won the lottery or knocked out a british boxer, you can afford to buy the island that's owned by this 70 year old virgin. I really don't know if that rumor is true but the island is a perfect setting for a wedding pictorial.
if you are planning to take the boat back to the main island by 1:30 PM the following day, i suggest you wake up pretty early and take a trike to Ogtong Beach Resort so you can check out the fresh water pool in Ogtong Caves. If it wasn't for the horde of tourists jumping into the water, it would have been a bit freaky dipping into the eerily still pool. The owners of the lot "conveniently" installed lights inside for those that are claustrophobic.
in any case, there's a lot of promise in the island but i would say that camotes island is lovelier. i am planning to do another visit though, this time to really get proper snaps of the place.
tip - bring lots of sunblock. as my other friends painfully realize, eeeeet hurts under the baking sun that is reflected on white sand.