Day 3: Bantayan Island Tour
Our third day at Cebu started as early as the previous day. This time, we were off to the North to visit the famous Bantayan Island. I had heard and read lots of rave reviews about this island and I just had to visit it.
Check out: 4D3N Cebu Itinerary, Budget and Travel Tips
At 3:20 am, we were once again paying the P10 toll to enter the North Bus Terminal near SM City Cebu. We again boarded an air-conditioned Ceres bus and paid the fare of P150. Our bus left the terminal at 3:50am and we arrived at the Hagnaya Port by 6:35am. It was another case of my itinerary stopping at the Port so when all the passengers of the bus lined up to get tickets to the ferry, we lined up with them. Unfortunately, instead of taking the LCT Island ferry, we booked the Super Shuttle Ferry (P170) which was really the slooower one. It took us an hour and a half to reach the Sta. Fe port, with the LCT Island ferry overtaking us despite our 30 minute head start.
When we arrived at Bantayan Island, we were swarmed with porters asking to carry our bags but seeing as we only have really small ones, we were rather left alone except for one of those resort marketing men who was persuading us to go to their beach. With no real destination in mind, we found ourselves inside a tricycle with the driver insisting to bring us to one of the resorts. Because of my lack of research (I got really busy before the trip), we ended up in Queen Elizabeth Beach Resort. The tricycle driver was really annoying in that he wanted us to book a family room that would cost P1500 for the next 4 hours of our lives whereas we would be perfectly happy with a cottage where we could put our stuff in while we explored the beach. Good thing the owner of the resort was really understanding so we ended up in one of the walk-in cottages which only cost P300.
Okay, Moche and I had the same impression of Bantayan Island and its beach as we saw it: it was not very dissimilar to what we find in our Batangas beaches. Of course Bantayan Island has white sand and its beach was generally cleaner and less crowded than the Batangas beaches, but the vibe was the same. There were plenty of boats hanging around and the water was not clear. And there was a ghost town feel because there were so few people that I kept wondering the whole time if we were in the right place! And to think it was a Sunday!
Because of this slight disappointment (yeah, we still managed to enjoy ourselves by swimming around a bit), we were ready to leave by 12nn. We managed to catch the regular LCT Island ferry back to Hagnaya port (P170) and made it back within an hour. At the Hagnaya Port, we ate at one of eateries and missed the leaving Ceres bus. The next one came by around three o’clock but we left the port an hour and a half later. Talk about boredom. Then after three hours of traveling, I was already itching to get off the bus so I made the mistake of insisting that we get off at SM City Consolacion, thinking that it was already the one in Cebu City (yes, there are two SM’s in Cebu). So from there we rode the 24 jeep to SM City Cebu, then the 04L jeep to Ayala. It was a blessing in disguise that I got us lost because we passed by AA Barbeque and we were able to score some yummy dinner!
Day 4: Babu, Cebu.
Day 4 was really just being able to sleep longer than the past two days combined, getting a ride to the airport and getting on a plane to Manila. But let me close this lengthy tirade on a more positive note as I repost this tweet that I made while waiting for our flight:
February 17-18, 2013
Summary of expenses in Cebu (good for two):
- Accommodations (3N in Islands Stay Hotel): P3705
- Transportation (taxis, buses, boats, tricycle, multicab): P3,395
- Activities (Crowne Regency Combo 3, whale watching, bluewater day tour, etc.): P7830
- Food (includes tips in restos): P1265
- Pasalubong (dried mangos, otaps, etc.): 1306.75
- Miscellaneous (restroom fees, etc.): P125.75
- Total: P17,627.50