Sunday, June 28, 2015

Discovering Bantayan Island - Day 0 to Day 1 - Getting there

Cebu story from day 0 to day 1- Getting there

This is really is it!!! I was dreading for months staying in a small cubicle in front of my computer resolving issues, with no surf trips in between, wasted weekends because of too much sleep. Life is so gray and boring. I am finally leaving, going far far far away from stress! 
Cebu Day 0 (June 11)
Thursday morning after shift, It was around 9:00 AM when we arrived home, I haven't packed yet! I still have laundry to do too, We need to get going by noon to make sure we won't miss our flight.
Finished all my chores at exactly 11:00 AM 
At 12:30 PM We left the house, The cab driver took us to another route, We were stuck in traffic, took us more than an hour to reach NAIA terminal 3.
2:00 PM We finally arrived (NAIA terminal 3)
Since We are only carrying 2 backpacks we don't have any check-in baggage. When we entered the airport we went straight to their online kiosk for web check-in then went straight to departure area. We still got time because our plane will be boarding at 3:30 PM. While waiting for the boarding time we ate at Chaikofi brewing lounge. MJ had chunky chicken and iced jasmine green tea while I had iced mango juice and bought siopao at the nearby restaurant. 
I was actually impressed because the gate started boarding around 3:25 PM and by 3:53 PM We are safely seated at our designated seats.
4:00 PM The aircraft slowly departed from the terminal. Yoooohooo!! Hello Cebu in a few.
While we were on our way we met Sister Mina a Korean born nun with a big heart for Filipinos. She's been in the country for 10 years now and been travelling the world doing feeding program and spreading God's love for more than 30 years. I felt safe during our trip because most of the time she was praying, When she discovered that we were couple, She said that do not forget to respect and trust each other because that is really important (I'll always keep that in mind sister!). 
5:30 PM Touch down Cebu
We rode a white taxi to get us to Cebu North Bus terminal, Current flag down rate is PHP 40. I didn't expect that there is traffic problem here too. Took us almost an hour to get to our destination. 
Upon arrival I asked once of the terminal personnel about the first trip going to Hagnaya port. He pointed a huge tarpaulin with bus and ferry schedules, first trip was 12:00 AM so instead of checking-in to a hotel and stay for few hours only we decided to just kill time at the terminal since it's 7:00 PM already that time. We decided to meet my Aunt and cousin at SM Cebu and also to grab something to eat. It was almost 9:00 PM when we left SM. We took a cab and we went back to the terminal and waited for the first bus
By 11:30 PM A Ceres bus bound to Bantayan arrived however we were not informed that they do number system here too! We just waited for nothing, the first 2 bus were already fully booked and our only chance is the regular bus going to hagnaya port because the 3rd air conditioned bus with direct trip to Bantayan will board at 3:30 AM I don't want to wait that long anymore. After few minutes an ordinary bus arrived, it's not reserved, I used all my power to get a spot for the two of us, I tried really hard to squeeze myself on the small door and luckily I saved seats. What is poise? lol. I really wanted to take that bus because I wanted to rest, we're awake for more than 24 hours now and we are so wasted.
Aircon bus with Direct trip to Bantayan Island
Ordinary bus going to Hagnaya port

Cebu Day 1 (June 12)
12:54 AM - Our bus departed
At first i really find it hard to adjust because of the language barrier, I don't know how to speak Bisaya (local dialect) but good thing my parents are bisaya so I managed to understand some of it. The night's breeze is giving me chills, I had to close my window and grabbed that chance to take a nap.
3:30 AM - We arrived at Hagnaya port, It was just a quick one, I really thought it would take us more than 3 hours. We were really tired and just wanted to reach our destination. We bought our tickets and rode Super Shuttle ferry.

5:30 AM We're already at Sta Fe port, 

while waiting for our service some locals approached us asking if we wanted to rent or ride a motorcycle. They are kind and not pushy that's why we manage to say no but there's this one guy named Ronnie who offered us a trip to Virgin island - his price is PHP 900 only so I took his number and told him we'll just contact him when we already decided, as of now our main goal is to go to our resort and rest. After few minutes our service finally arrived.

*By the way here's Kuya Ronnie's contact number: 09297275858.
As soon as we arrived at the resort We head to their restaurant and ate our breakfast, while taking our breakky we had a chance to chat with the owner of the resort and the president of the resorts association on the Island Mr. Allan Monreal. He did shared great stories about the Island and their ongoing projects to sustain Eco tourism, I will tell everything about it soon but for now I have to log off and sleep. (yawn..zzzzZZZZZ)

3:30 PM We don't want to spend all our time sleeping and just lying around, We woke up and prepared to explore the park. We did a short walk, well actually we were looking for a mini grocery store to buy some stuff but unfortunately there is no near store here except a small store few meters away from the gate. After that we caught a glimpse of the park's Sto Nino cave, explored the mini zoo where we met Emo the long tailed macaque monkey, the fish spa as well as the wellness spa.

4:15 PM We are famine so we head to the Park's restaurant
We had:
Club house sandwich 
Ham and egg sandwich
Mango shake
Club house

I would say this place is really secluded but it already got everything! After our snack we tried the fish spa and we ended the day at the infinity pool, it's been a while since the last time I went swimming on a pool. The water is warm and you'll surely have a great time because of the overlooking virgin island.

Fell asleep
End of day one.

*Expenses will be posted on a separate post.

Related links:
Discovering Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort
Exploring Cebu | Sample itinerary
Discovering Bantayan Island - Day 0 to Day 1 - Getting there <--- You're HERE
Discovering Bantayan Island - Day 2
Discovering Bantayan Island - Day 3 to Day 4 - On wheels to farewell

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