Reminiscing my first visit
I remember the first time I visited Bantayan Island.
I was 16, and about to enter college. I took the university’s entrance exam and the school’s administration office said that the result will be revealed after a week. We needed to wait so that I could enroll to the university. During that time, we stayed in my Aunt’s house, she is Mama’s first cousin. While waiting for the result, they decided to go to Bantayan Island, where my grandfather was born.
I actually had no idea about the island back then. I was curious, but not interested in how it looks like, what it can offer, and what to do on the island.
What I remember was, it was a long drive. We took the bus then hopped on a boat.
We arrived at the pier then took a multicab to Kabangbang.
Back then, I was maarte. I want to be comfortable and the feeling that I’m not in a familiar place bothered me that time. It was summer and the heat was killing me. I was not in the mood to go out or even go to the beach.
We stayed for days and I didn’t explore the island as much as I want to now.
For me, the highlight during our visit was the fiesta where we joined the procession. The locals burned the coconut shells and leaves on the side of the road when the statue of the Patron passes by. I was in awe with their tradition that I did not see back in Mindanao.
I also met some of my relatives from my mother’s side. To be honest, I am not familiar with them since we do not go to Bantayan Island often. To be exact, we never did.
I came back and here’s what happened
On the first weekend of February, my friends and I went to Bantayan Island. We had this annual anniversary getaway to celebrate our year of employment in my previous company (their present company). Out of 15, 2 resigned the company, including myself.
It was a quick getaway, it was like a dream , but a really fun dream I must say.
Our meet up time was 5AM in the morning at North Bus Terminal. Hernan and I were the first one to arrive. Then, as time passed by, others showed up.
We rented a Van for only Php150 per head. It was a good deal and the Van was exclusively for us.
One of our friends was late because he drank the night before. We were worried that he might be sleeping and won’t show up. But we waited and hoped for him to arrive.
Time was running out and we can’t contact him. We decided to ditch him if he will not be in the terminal at 6AM. He was actually unlucky and lucky at the same time. His phone was dead and he was trying to charge it, then we had contact and he arrived at 5:50AM. Such a good timing.
The Van was pretty fast. It was like a bullet train. On our way to Hagnaya Port, it was a crazy and scary ride. I was sleeping and super tired, so I didn’t mind. To my surprise, we arrived at the port after 2 hours! Unbelievable.
We got out tickets and while waiting to hop on board at 9:30AM, we ate some breakfast.
Exploring Batayan Island
We arrived at Bantayan Island after an hour, then we took a tricycle going to our accommodation. We stayed at Bobel’s Hayahay. Their rooms cost Php2500 per night with two beds, good for 4 pax. Extra Person is Php250.
We had an amazing lunch. It was a boodle fight with tons of seafoods.
While preparing to serve the lunch. Hernan announced to me “You’re going to love the food, it’s all seafood that I do not want to eat. At least they served fish. I think its good.”
He is a picky eater. He is not allergic, he is just not used to eating crabs, shrimps, and shellfish. Poor thing (P.S. I’m actually mocking him).
It was already afternoon and we had to spend our time wisely since we had only two days on the island. We rode on our bikes and went to Paradise beach. For an entrance fee of Php50, we got to explore and swim on this beautiful beach.
I got tons of photos of the beach since it was really picturesque. It was a nice afternoon to spend with some friends. I enjoyed our conversation while swimming.
Then, we went to the ruins. Hernan’s reaction was really funny, he said, this is just a house. Pretty much, it was just an abandoned and damaged house. We stayed for a little while and decided to go. It was a quick stop.
After we went to the town of Bantayan. Most of us needed money so we went to an ATM and withdrew cash. We had snacks near the Church.
We went out for dinner. They have a food park where there are a lot of restaurants. I was quite shocked that the place was touristy. I thought Bantayan Island would be slightly remote, but I saw a lot of bars and foreigners around the area.
After dinner, some of us bought some drinks for later. While Hernan took me to the beach. With the moon that lighted so bright above us, we walked on the beach and watched the water flow as it was going to be a high tide. Got to say it was a sweet move. He is really sweet in his own simple way. #Kilig
Since I had the key to our room, we got back to our accommodation and our drinking session started the moment we settled on a cute little hut on the beach, just in front of our rooms.
It was cold and we had a really serious and funny conversation that I can’t share in this blog. Hahaha.
As the time passed by, we got a little (or a lot) drunk and one by one we went to our rooms.
But, I’ve got to say, it was a great catching up with my friends.
Here’s what I want to happen on my next visit
After the trip, I realized that I want to explore more of Bantayan Island. Not just the touristy and cool spots, but to explore the place where my grandfather was born. To know more about my family, and to meet some of my relatives.
The chance I never grabbed the first time I visited 8 years ago.
I have to say that Hernan influenced me about history. We planned to trace our ancestors and to travel the places where our grandparents were born. To list down our family tree just like a history project. I think it would be a nice purpose to travel.
So, I want to apply that plan on my next visit to Bantayan Island.
I think it is a good project for everyone who wants to know their family background a little more. Because history is an interesting topic and it shows how things happened and how it affects our present now. Tracing and looking back will not hurt the future, but helps the present to be more understandable.