Saturday, October 9, 2010

Manila-Cebu City-Bantayan Island: Nothing A Preggy Backpacker Couldn't Handle

Aboard a plane, we giggled our way from Manila to Cebu. We were a party of four. Biggest group of people I ever flew with. There was me, my hubby Shervin, my sister Gabe, and my friend Xhy. All of us scored seat sale tickets, P840 each one way. I was the one who booked the flight and well, loosely organized the trip.

It was my third time in Cebu and I finally had the chance to visit Bantayan Island. But with a 1-hour 10-minute flight, 3-hour ordinary bus ride, and a 1-hour 15-minute ferry trip in one day... At two months pregnant, I shall say getting to the island wasn't a breeze.

Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island. Its port in a distance.

Our plane touched down Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 11:20 AM. After quickly grabbing our backpacks from the belt we got out of the arrival area, walked the pedestrian crossing, climbed up a flight of stairs, and ended up at the regular taxi queue (airport taxis start at P450 to city center).

Our driver asked for P200 which was reasonable, given the distance and traffic condition at lunch hour. We dropped off Shervin at Alpa Suites where his Aussie friends were staying (they were in Cebu to have a tattoo done). We'll be seeing him again the next day after our beaching. As for us three, the driver took us to the North Bus Terminal near SM Mall.

We did not find a Ceres Bus. Since we wanted to catch the last ferry to Bantayan Island at 5:30 PM, we boarded the first ordinary bus we saw (P80, 3 hours) after having lunch at the terminal's Lucky Me Carinderia.

The road to Hagnaya is paved, but can make a preggy traveler nauseous nonetheless. It's actually good that we were on an ordinary bus. Just a week before this trip, a Kota Kinabalu-Sandakan air-conditioned bus ride made me dizzy to the brink of chucking. I was glad we were out in the open.

Hagnaya-Bantayan Island ferry. Sufficient number of life jackets on board.

At the terminal, no other tourist was in sight. We were there in time for the second to the last trip. Ferry ride was P135 for regular, and P160 for first class (air-conditioned). Terminal fee, P10.

As our ferry cruised at an unhurried speed, Gabe and Xhy ordered a bottle each of San Miguel Pale Pilsen. No alcohol for me so I drenched myself with the bewitching charm of the setting sun.

View of the sunset from our ferry.

When we docked at Sta. Fe, it was already dark. A mosh pit of dudes offering vacant rooms loomed from every direction. Soon we were standing in a claustrophobic circle surrounded by them. We managed to pull away (not an easy task though), and got in a tricycle. I asked the driver if he could recommend us a cheap fan room.

Obediently, he drove us straight to Onde Guesthouse, beside Seaview Apartelle. Fan rooms were at P750, air-conditioned P1,500. We took the remaining vacant fan room (they only have two). We were exhausted and didn't bother scouting for cheaper options. Shelling out P250 each for a room isn't so bad anyway.

Dinner was at a carinderia selling different sorts of barbecue and grilled seafood beside Arjaymay. All of us weren't feeling too social that night. Instead of hitting some bar, Gabe and Xhy bought vodka to drink at the guesthouse to cap off the night. And me? I downed my materna milk.

The day after will be a hectic one too for we'll wander around Sta. Fe's beaches, explore a small cave, and sadly head back to Cebu City. Nothing a preggy backpacker couldn't handle. Bow.

[This is part of the Voyaging Visayas Series which took place February 2010. Price of goods, transportation and so forth may already be different.]


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princess_dyanie said...
November 4, 2010 at 5:03 AM

bow talaga ako sayo kasi go ka pa din kahit preggy! :) ay malaki pala yung sasakyan na ferry haha kalo ko yung paran mga pang galera lang hihi. btw, kamusta naman yung dagat? kalmado lang?

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
November 4, 2010 at 8:12 PM

Hey dear! Water was calm. Dunno if it is like that the whole year round. Pero sa laki ng roro, di naman masyado magiging rough ang ride :)

flip'n travels said...
November 5, 2010 at 11:00 AM

can't wait to see more of yout bantayan pics.
di pa kami nakakarating dyan and we're planning to. maybe next summer.


☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
November 5, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Ron, we just wandered around beaches in Sta. Fe :( Gotta explore the island more when we come back!

Shine said...
November 7, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Were you able to visit southern part of Cebu? Kawasan Falls and Pescador Island is a must see :-) - SeaBreeze Cottages

AudreyRose said...
November 11, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Hay! nakakainggit ka talaga with all your travels :) and to think preggy ka pa nyan ha. I've been planning on going to bantayan for years na pero hindi talaga matuloy-tuloy. pero sana before the year end makakapunta na talaga *crossing fingers*

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
November 12, 2010 at 5:41 PM

Hi AudreyRose! You will get to Bantayan someday soon for sure. Wag mo planuhin para matuloy. Hahaha!

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