- Posted May 1, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Eye on the Philippines
Undiscovered Bantayan Island of Cebu, Philippines
Let me just show you one island of thousands still awaiting discovery. This is listed as Top 5 of the CNNGo Philippine top beaches.
All these years the Philippines has been understated when in fact it is one of the world's most beautiful places. It just lacked proper exposure. Here, you can hire a boat for less than 20$ for a day's trip and visit a small island that you can claim for a day. The nooks and crannies are gorgeous.
Bantayan Island once earned the title as the Alaska of the Philippines due to its rich fishing grounds. It has 3 towns. Bantayan is the biggest town and was once more than a hundred years ago the only town. Madridejos and Santa Fe are the other towns with the latter being the resort town. Population is around 120,000 of the 3 towns which has more than 10 islets within their jurisdictions.. There is no shortage of food here. The island too is the egg basket of of the Visayas which produces 1,000,000 eggs a day.There is one massive church from the Spanish era which has an finely crafted wooden altar.There is a mini museum behind the altar.
No five star hotels here, which added more to its charm. No malls. It is very quiet much of the year except for the Holy Week and on fiestas of the 3 towns which has their separate dance festivals.
It is accessible from Cebu City by land trip to the north of 2 1/2 hours and a boat ride of one hour. There are many good resorts here that surely suit your budget, range is 10$-150$.
There are caves and in one fishes will nibble on your legs. There's a mangrove forest and several islets unexplored.
There is 24 hour electricity and good internet. Wifi is quite common in resorts. Food is no problem at all. The island is so blessed with abundant food and trade is good from neighboring islands. A lot of foreigners have settled here that own restaurants. They can be French, Swedish, Portuguese, American or Italian.
The best way to appreciate the island is on a motorbike. You have options for bicycles and rented cars as well. Santa Fe to Bantayan is 10 km while from Bantayan to Madridejos is 15 km. Best sunrise is in Santa Fe and sunsets are best in Guiwanon, Kabak and Putian area. You can explore the big island for one whole day.
When you are in Cebu, Bantayan Island is good for even a 24 hour quick trip.