Cebu 2014 || Bantayan Island

Yes, that is a shameless airport selfie! If you follow my Instagram (@teeshue), you’d know how vain I turned into during this entire trip. As mentioned from last week’s post, I went on a solo trip for my birthday. My boyfriend (who is too punctual it’s annoying) decided to pick me up from the house by 3 AM so he could drive me to the airport. But since he’s crazy about running late uhh traffic at 3 AM, really? me, he was at the house by 2 AM waking me up and ensuring everything I need is in my bag. He knows how scatterbrained I get sometimes. There was a time I accidentally left my bag (with all my money and phone) on a bus (I hailed a cab once I realized this and have him race to the bus terminal to recover my bag) and kept telling me to please be careful.

Sufficient to say, I was at the airport three hours before my 7 AM flight. I slept in one of the airport chairs and set my alarm to make sure I do not miss my flight. Haha! When I boarded the plane, I slept through the one hour flight as well. 🙂 The plane landed at around 8 AM. I went to the regular taxi stand to get a ride to the North Bus Terminal instead of the more expensive airport taxi. The ride took about 30 minutes and cost me Php 165, while using the airport taxi will cost me, at least, Php 100 more.

Unless you have a lot of luggage with you or you can spare Php 10, when the driver asks if you want to be dropped off at the terminal, do not say yes. It’s just a short walk from the entrance anyway. For some unknown reason, Cebu is a place with a lot of terminal fees. I was aboard the air-conditioned Ceres bus bound for Hagnaya Port by 9:20 AM, thinking the travel time will take about 3 hours (like I read in blogs, plus the fare is cheap at Php 160). But I was so wrong!! I arrived at Hagnaya Port by 2 PM. 😦 The departure time has an interval of an hour and the next ferry will be leaving by 2:30 PM. Fortunately, you can board the ferry already and wait there. The one-hour ferry trip cost me Php 170 plus the Php 10 terminal fee.

Aboard the ferry was the first time I actually felt unsafe and when I started doubting my decision to go alone. Three guys separately talked to me, and two of them reeked of alcohol. They knew how to speak the local dialect and noticed that I only answered in English, concluding that I must be a tourist. They all had unsuccessfully tried to find out where I was staying (each of them “wanted” to help me get there), to which I just answer that someone was meeting me at the port. All throughout this ordeal, a line from one of my favorite Bollywood movies, Jab We Met, kept ringing in my head “A woman traveling alone is like an open treasure box.”

Thank God for port transfers! I walked slowly and my mind was willing those creepy strangers to go ahead. I had already seen my name in one of the signboards held up by a man in a shirt with the resort name plastered in it, but I stayed back and didn’t acknowledge him. Once I was sure they were out of sight did I approach the man (his name is Jose) to take me to Anika Island Resort (details in another post). Some people are more adventurous than I am and do exciting things in Cebu such as go to the falls or go diving. But my life has been so hectic and busy, all I wanted to do was do nothing. So when I was researching on what to do for my birthday and found a great island to relax in, I set my sights on Bantayan Island. I was a little worried since the island was greatly devastated by last year’s super typhoon, but I wanted to see for myself.

Along the road towards the resort, Jose pointed out a lot of areas that are still trying to recover from the typhoon. The resort’s beach has been cleaned up but if you walk past it, you’d still see a lot of areas that are not the same.

To discuss less depressing things.. I ate a lot while I was in Bantayan Island! The food from the restaurant tasted okay although the prices was a little steep (Php 150-250/person price range), given that I was in a remote area. However, it rained on and off throughout my entire stay that I didn’t find it in me to get out of the resort and eat somewhere else.

Dinners by the sea!
Island food for breakfast every day!
Chicken BBQ for lunch!

Honestly, my entire stay in Bantayan Island was a staycation. I lived off mango shakes, walking around in my bikini the entire day, sleeping on a beach chair, sitting on the sand while reading.. from dusk til dawn. #TRUESTORY

And swimming.. until I got unfortunately stung by a jellyfish. I had welts all over my legs and left arm. I panicked and was on the verge of tears thinking I’ll die, Luckily, the girl manning the reception and Jose acted quickly and was there to bathe me with vinegar. Good thing I got stung on my last day because there is no way I’d go back to the water after that.

All that fiasco aside, all I had to do was look forward to #nofilter sunsets in Bantayan and the entire trip was worth it. 🙂

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