Aug 8, 2011

Cebu Getaway: Bantayan Island

We started our 2nd day very early because it’s time for some beach lovin’ at Bantayan – an island at the northern tip of Cebu. We woke up around 4:30, took a quick bath, fixed ourselves and our things then rode a cab to the North Cebu Bus Terminal. Cab fare from East Capitol Pensionne to the terminal is a little short of 100php.

We asked around for the bus to Hagnaya Port, San Remigio but we were told that we’re unfortunately a couple of minutes late for the 5:30AM trip. We settled for the next bus departing at 6AM. According to travel blogs, most buses to Hagnaya are ordinary but we’re lucky to chance upon an air-conditioned one so we didn’t mind waiting (even if we’re the first passengers there… haha!) Jhay bought a local newspaper to pass time and it turned out to be a good buy because inside it was this:

Now there’s no more guessing when it comes to ferry schedules ^_^

The bus left shortly and our journey to Hagnaya began. Bus fare is Php 150 each and estimated travel time is 3 hours. It was a long ride but I managed to entertain myself by marveling at the beauty of Cebu countryside. The alternating greeneries and sparkling seas were truly a sight to behold. Too bad I forgot to charge our camera so I don’t have snaps to share.

We reached Hagnaya Port at around 9:40 (yeah, it took roughly 3.5 hours from the city to the port). I hurried to the ticket booth hoping that the 9:30 trip didn’t leave on time but it did so we had no choice but to wait until 10:30. We paid Php 170 per head (one way, that is) plus the Php 10 per head terminal fee. It was a pleasant surprise that the ferry is really big and I don’t have to call on all the saints I know to get to the island in one piece (just like we did on our way to Puerto Galera last year). In no time, we docked at Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island where the Kota Beach Resort shuttle is waiting for us. After 10 minutes, we were greeted by this breathtaking view:

It took a lot of self-control not to take a dip right away!

We cooled down awhile in our room then looked for a place to eat. One advantage of Kota is its location: the market is just 2 blocks away and the restaurants and eateries line up the same street.

For lunch, we chose between these two restos mostly mentioned in travelogues:

Because the place looked more inviting, we settled for D’ Jungle.

Native materials all around for that perfect island feel.

We ordered 200 grams of shrimp (because it’s their minimum) priced at Php 120 per 100grams. Cooking charge is included in the said price. Rice is expensive though – a cup costs Php30. Serving time was around 30 minutes so don’t go there if you’re starving because you’ll really have to wait while they cook your food.

Shrimp Sinigang is okay but I’ve tasted a lot better. And, it looks like a hybrid of Sinigang and Nilaga – see the pechay leaves and black pepper in the soup?

This one I really liked! The lemon garlic butter dip (that’s according to their menu :P) perfectly complemented the hot-off-the-grill shrimp.

Our lunch cost around Php 400 which I think is kinda pricey for one meal (especially in a province where seafood is a staple). Considering the food, service and value for money, D’ Jungle gets 3.5 out of 5 for me.

Moving on, we went back to the resort in a trike for only 5php/head. Unbelievable! =)

After a few minutes of siesta, we changed into our swimming clothes then hit the beach, but that’s for another post :P

Other posts from my Cebu Getaway Series:

Cebu Getaway: The Beginning
Cebu Getaway: East Capitol Pensionne
Cebu Getaway: SM Cebu and CNT Lechon
Cebu Getaway: Cebu City Tour
Cebu Getaway: Kota Beach Resort
Cebu Getaway: Bantayan Town Tour
Cebu Getaway: Gran Tierra Suites
Cebu Getaway: Casa Verde
Cebu Getaway: Skywalk Extreme
Cebu Getaway: See you again, Cebu!

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