Sta Fe Bantayan Island
Travel

I LEFT MY HEART AT STA. FE, BANTAYAN ISLAND, CEBU

May 22, 2016

Yes, I left my heart at Sta. Fe and all it took was 36 hours. As I’ve promised from my previous post that I will write about this Cebu trip last March. So here it goes! I hope you won’t get bored since it’s a lengthy post.

HOW TO GET THERE

From Mactan-Cebu International Airport we rode a taxi to North Cebu Bus Terminal. (Tip: White Taxi is much cheaper with P40 flag down rate compare to Yellow Airport Taxis with P70) It’s a 20-minute ride from the airport to the bus terminal and we paid around P200 since it’s already midnight and traffic in Cebu is kind of tolerable at this hour.

Our first plan is to stay at the Ceres bus station and wait for the first trip at 4 am as what we read on researching online. But guess what? I think we were blessed to have a bus leaving to Bantayan Island at 12mn! We didn’t think twice even we were seated at the farthest seats of the bus with our big backpacks.

The bus has a direct route to Bantayan Island so we didn’t need to ride another bus at the Hagnaya Port. Fare is P200 and we left at 1 am (I think it’s the Pinoy’s clock! Lels!) As the clock strike 12, we greeted Joana a happy birthday! It was her first birthday to celebrate it on the road! What an exciting day for all of us!

At 4am we stopped at Hagnaya Port and paid P170 for the Ferry and P10 for the terminal fee. The ferry left 15 minutes later. We decided to find our seats inside the ferry since it’s my first time to ride one. I’m telling myself not to get dizzy the whole ride because I believe motion sickness is all in the mind. And I want to tap my shoulder for being so brave and conquered my first ride. (Mejo madrama, lels!)

It was the best scenery at that time, the sun is just rising from the horizon and the sky is in its beautiful color with the sounds of the ocean waves. I think that was the moment that I got to appreciate the beauty of this place.

We arrived at 6am. Our co-passengers in the bus are too kind to help us to find the exact place of Kota Beach resort, where we booked a room. They called the conductor to drop us at Sta. Fe. And from there I didn’t know the name of the street we just rode a wheeler and told the driver to drop us at Kota Beach Resort. It’s only a three-minute ride from where the bus dropped us.

Since the resort opens at 8 in the morning, we stayed at the chairs near the beach. We got so excited that we forgot the heavy bags on our backs and run towards the beach to see the full sunrise. It was so b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. I think this photo didn’t give enough justice to what I saw that morning.

The resort opens at 8am and the receptionist gladly upgraded our room since there are available ariconditioned rooms. (FYI: We got a discount since Joana and Jem availed Skydiving)

The staffs are so kind and helped us in our room. While everyone in the resort are having their breakfast we took our little nap and set our alarms at 9am to freshen up before heading to Sta. Fe airport.

After our quick nap we decided to take an early lunch since Jem and Joana we’re going Skydiving at 11 am. We ordered chili crabs, sinigang na lapu-lapu and grilled pusit.

The food here in Bantayan Island was good and the price is really cheap. The crabs are only for P215 for 3 pcs. of crabs!

SKYDIVING EXPERIENCE OF JEM AND JOANA

FACT: I’m afraid of deep waters and afraid of great heights. This is the first time I admitted it and it’s on my blog!

So when Joana asked me to join her Skydiving in Cebu I told her to help her and just document the whole moment for her. Because of the fact that I’m too scared and the fee was really pricey. I think I need to undergo Lasik Surgery first before jumping 13,000 ft. from the sky.

Good thing, Jem was an adventure seeker type of girl who’s willing to experience that jump too. We were greeted by Terry, Captain Boyd, Brad, Chris, Arin, Edward and Gem as we arrived at Sta. Fe Airport.

 

Joana and Jem signing their wavers.

Terry discussed all the do’s and don’ts of Skydiving. And minutes later Jem is ready to jump!

While waiting for Jem, nervous strikes at Joana but we talked and reminded her that this is on her bucketlist and it’s her birthday wish! SO nothing can stop her from doing it.

Jem’s landing was so cool she was really on ecstatic mode. She’s shouting and I feel so happy for her that she made it.

It’s Joana’s turn now. Dancing to let her anxiety go away. Lels!

While waiting for Joana’s landing, Jem and I had a great talk with Chris who has an NGO in Bantayan Island. The YPDR. It’s main purpose is to conserve the marine life of the Island and right now they also build kubo houses for the people of the Island. His brother Arin, who’s a scubadiver went to the Philippines to help in their NGO too. I hope a lot of people are kind enough to help a new place.

In that short talk we felt so happy that these foreigners are too kind to help the people here. I hope we can help too some other time.

Joana’s jump! We greeted her as soon as she lands; I think she’s teary eyed at that moment. I feel so proud for her!

The good people of Skydiving Greater Cebu told us that there’s this great burrito place in the Island and of course we should check it out.

BANTAYAN BURRITO COMPANY

At 6:30 pm we were at MJ Square ordering Burritos and Nachos at Burrito Grill. We were enjoying the night and eating good food when Skydivers came. We had a great happy birthday song for Joana and we ate the whole cake that night. Had a great talk about skydiving, scuba diving and life in general.

Joana wanted to spend time in the beach and watch the stars that night. And guess what? They invited us at YPDR camp, the place where we can see the beautiful sky. We were with Edward and Gem,  the couple from Manila, Brad and Arin.

We lie down on the beach and watch the night sky while talking with the group was the best time of this trip for me. I always imagine this moment to happen and that was it! Reality was so much better than in my dreams.

I thought I shouted when I saw a shooting star! That was my first time. Lels! #sorrynotsorry

When you travel you learn a lot of things, from people, culture, and from yourself. I never knew I will be good in meeting new people until that night. I never knew I can enjoy with the people I just met. And the truth was, I was so happy I did it.

I gained new friends that day. I learned new thoughts. And I learned to be happy on my own little way.

OGTONG CAVE

We skipped the Virgin Islands instead we went to Ogtong Cave near our resort.

Entrance Fee: P100

We roam around the area and get some cool photos. We decided to just swim in the cave since their beach wasn’t that good compared the beach on Kota Beach Resort. We just spent an hour only on this place and decided to come back in our resort and spend the whole remaining hours on the beach.

KOTA BEACH RESORT

 

Doing my jump shot with my best travel CAMpanion, Canon SX700hs!


TIME’S UP!

It’s time to pack our things and say goodbye to this wonderful place. I think I already have #sepanx as I fold my clothes and pack my things. We were so sad and wanted to spend more time on this Island. But I guess we need to let our feet move for now and maybe come back later.

Bye, Sta. Fe! You will always have my heart. ♥

 

p.s.

2 months after. I am writing this post and the island was still clear in my head. Also, may #SEPANX pa rin ako. Lels!

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