February 15-17, 2008
2/15/08 - 2/17/08
(...for lorelie who believed that we're crazy enough to travel on a bad weather...)
Locos Viajeros- this is what i have decided to call the first (i hope) of the series of entries in my travelog. My friend D and myself had so far proven that whenever we decide to travel, we make sure that nothing gets in our way. And we mean, NOTHING! Especially when the tropical storm LANDO that drenched and deluged the sewage of Cebu City, failed to stop us from sailing to CAMOTES island last year. The trip that started our new-age advocacy in traveling that goes... "whenever the weather gets tough, we better get going!" ☺. (sounds original ehh?)
Just recently, friends and myself mapped out another exciting itinerary for my birthday get-away. We planned on making the jump start by taking a bus and head down south of Cebu to sail for Dumaguete; stay a night in Apo Island; sail for Siquijor Island in the morning; and sail back to Cebu via Dumaguete the next day. The itinerary was the grandest plan i had so far and I was very excited to make it happen. However due to the weather condition and an unlucky twist of fate we needed to postpone the trip.
Now since everything is packed, everything except for my sanity i guess i felt the sudden urge to travel. Where? Destination: Unknown. I asked friends for option, check the details online, and told mi loca amiga, D. And this is how Destination: Bantayan came to the fore:
Day 1|February 15, 2008
IT-Park Apas, Cebu City
6:00am| I logged off from work and met D at JY square to discuss the possibility of heading North of Cebu and sail across to Bantayan Is instead. We randomly discussed about the route we'll be taking and things to bring over breakfast with another happy and yet crazy couple in Jolibee-Mango. At around 8:00am D and myself headed for our first Pit Stop: ELizabeth Mall. Mission: To Shop (D's Fave)
1 Bottle of Mojitos
1 Bottle of Sangria
Corn Chips, Potato Chips, and more Chips
NOTE: need to be packed on green recyclable SM bag (required recently)
Cebu City North-Bound Terminal
9:00am|We arrived in North-Bound Terminal late for the airconditioned bus to Hagnaya, which was perfecly fine by me. On board the bus for 4-5 hours or so, we rolled our way passing through the sub-urban scenery of Liloan, Danao, Sogod, and San Remigio . It's quite an experience and reasonable for 69php fare each.
Hagnaya, San Remigio
2:00pm| The second Pit Stop was the not-so-busy wharf in Hagnaya. We helped ourselves in line to secure tickets for the Ro-Ro barge going to Santa Fe, Bantayan.(Cost: 150php each for first class accommodation). As expected, the barge cruised through the rough waters which in turn proved overwhelming or seemingly traumatic for D. But after 45mins, we finally reached the port.(Halellujah!)
Sugar Beach Resort| Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
3:00pm| Bantayan greeted us with a sunny smile despite the obvious presence of the dark heavy clouds. From the port, we took the most convenient mode of transportation, tri-sikad, for 20php each going to the Sugar Beach Resort where our reservation awaited. In less than 10 minutes, we made it to the resort unsoaked from the drizzle that failed to shoo us back to Cebu.
We got ourselves a cozy little cottage. The "green amacan" is what they call it. It faces the shore and is equiped with 2 single beds, a fan, and own comfort room. All these for 700php per night.
4:00pm| Mi loca amiga decided to sleep her dizziness off while i started exploring the resort and the neighborhood. I checked out the sandy white beach. Too bad the water was too cold even for a dip, so i decided to stroll along the neighborhood instead. Still drizzling, i walked a block or two, exchanged smiles with the friendly locals and met "teriang" the infamous monkey who has a habit of chewing a piece of clothing.
Sta. Fe is indeed an intresting sight. You will even be surprised to find fancy restaurants that listed European Dishes on their menus in a very reasonable price. After strolling for an hour or so, i went back to the cottage and took a nap. (..snore..)
Balikbayan Resto|Sta. Fe, Bantayan
6:00pm| I finally was able to convince D to get up for dinner. We took a stroll about a block away from the resort and ended up in Balikbayan Resto. The place is neat! It showcased a warm and cozy ambience with its dim-lighted cottages laid on combed white sand. A relatively perfect depiction of dinner-by-the-shore with a feel of the golden sunset.
On the other hand, the food proved to be less interesting than the place itself. It sure was funny to find yourself eating a mushroom soup that tasted more like a birds' nest soup or the carbonara with an overcooked pasta. Other than that, the place is great!
9:00pm|We headed back to our cottage and decided to grace the lazy night with sangria.We strolled on the coastline, as if tracing the coconut trees neatly planted in line along the shore while enjoying our drink. After an hour, we decided to call it a night.
Day 2|February 16, 2008
6:00am|We woke up on a gloomy morning, but we were headstrong or most likely crazy that it never stopped us to enjoy the drizzle. We started walking and getting the feel of the sub-urban atmosphere. The quiet neighborhood was really friendly, we walked several blocks from the resort to the market and D was suprisingly polite enough to exchange greetings with the locals in her very own version of "salamat...maayong lawas!" that is "salamat...lami ko ug lawas!".
We grabbed a bite from a local burger junction. It was very cost efficient, a light breakfast of burger and a soda for less than 50php each. Afterwards we walked some more, we tried to literally lose ourselves out of the trail. We passed through the local cemetary, took the dirt road thinking were traversing the right way to Ogtong cave and only to find out that we're back in the resort's entrance. Shooootz. Anyway, walking was fun.
12:00| Lunch. The best thing in Bantayan was that one wouldn't worry where to find food. It was very convenient. You can either get a barbeque from the nearest block or have the resort folks prepare a meal for you. We took the most cost-eficient way, that of the former. So we had barbeque over lunch, beer for myself and soda for D. (Bon Apetit'!... burp)
The sun decided to peek out from the heavy clouds once in a while. After lunch, when i decided to take a dip, D laid herself in the shore taking advantage of the UV rays or the lack of it maybe. And overwhelmed by her own disorder (obsessive-compulsive), she loosened out the greener side of her and started a clean drive by picking up the garbage and washed seaweeds from the shore. I supported her advocacy, and we both ended up stacking a big pile of garbage courtesy of Drypers' Huggies, Boy Bawang, and worn out RTW among others. It must have been the entire SM. Hehehheh.
We soaked ourselves in the cold water for almost the entire afternoon. And when the weather finally got even the better of us, we took the chance to stay inside the cottage and mapped out the evening plan.
6:00pm| We agreed upon taking advantage of the "all-you-can-eat" restaurant near the market. And again, like the pilgrims of Mecca we walked our way to Portugese Restaurant where a warm host greeted us. The buffet table was festive: golden-fried calamari, grilled squid, steamed crabs, and various pork and beef dishes were sumptuously prepared before the guests. We pigged out as expected and walked out of the resto paying around 400php total. Fair enough!
9:00pm| A year ago we started our tequila craze when we celebrated a friend's birthday in Kawasan Falls, Badian. Since then our trip to the beach is always synonymous with "Lick-it, Slam-it, Suck-it!". And needless to say, we had our very own tequila night in one of the quaint cottages by the beach to greet and celebrate my 24th year of glorious existence. Shots followed shots until quarter past midnight when normal senses became fleeting and we decided to retire back to our cottage. Goodnight and Happy Birthday to me! (hik..hik)
Day 3|February 17, 2008
6:00am|D woke up with a terrible hang-over, so we scouted the neighborhood for her favorite mushroom soup. It was very easy to find. One of the resorts served us a big bowl of creamy mushroom soup for 100php. A perfect antidote for hang-over. Afterwards, we strolled along the shore while the sun finally decided to grace our morning.
8:00|The sun finally lighted up the atmosphere for our perfect get-away. We went for a dip and savor the last few hours in Bantayan. Pictures were taken, uhm, more pictures, and some more... by 10:30am, we decided to get ready and pack. In half an hour or so, we headed back to Sta. Fe port and bid Bantayan goodbye with a sunny smile.
I may have visited Bantayan in its not-so perfect weather but the experience will always be remembered. Im ending this uhmm lousy attempt to blog (?) with a quote from a random traveler. In his immortal words i celebrate the memory of my journey... cheers!
"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." - Fitzhugh Mullan