Monday, September 30, 2013

Bantayan Island: Day 1 - Birthday at the Beach

I just love Cebu Pacific Air! One morning in March, my sister and I were checking out seat sale for domestic flights; forgot the occasion, but they did have Php10 seat sale. I have not been to many provinces in Visayas, so I asked my sister to accompany me to Cebu, she said yes of course! So for my 29th birthday, I celebrated away from home for the first time.

My sister usually helps me with the itinerary, but this time, she said that I should take charge since it is my birthday trip anyway. I did, it was easy. I've heard from friends that Cebu City is just like Manila, so I skipped the city tour part. There is this place in Cebu, the Bantayan Island, that I've been hearing so many raves about, that's where I wanted to spend my birthday.

I did my research on Bantayan Island, and I found really helpful travel blog sites:
Getting There, Where to Stay, What to Do, Where to Eat.

Originally, our flight to Cebu was at 4:55 AM, but I received an email from Cebu Pacific Air informing me that our flight has been moved to 3:25 AM. Landed at Mactan International Aport less than an hour later. My birthday destination was still 4 hours away, so being rescheduled was just perfect.

From the airport, we took a cab (NOT the yellow, airport taxi) to the North Bus Terminal (Php150). At the bus terminal, look for the Hagnaya signage and take the yellow Ceres bus. Boarded the aircon bus (Php160) since it will be a 3 hour road trip to Hagnaya Pier.

The 3 hour bus ride was spent for catching some Zs. After a while, it started feeling like we were on the road for too long so I asked the conductor if we were there yet, but he said "Ay malayo pa!" When we were finally at the port, I was just sooooo happy! My birthday at the beach was about to start!

From Hagnaya Pier, Island Shipping Corporation's RoRo, will be your ride to paradise. This 1 hour ferry trip (Php170) felt really longer than it should, maybe because I felt like we were really near, yet so far.

We rode a tricycle (20/person) to Abaniko Beach Resort, along Alice Beach. Accommodation was at it's cheapest (Php900/night) since September isn't peak season. Joy, the owner gave us Bungalow #1, a fan room with 2 single beds and our own bathroom. I really liked our home away from home. Everything was fairly clean. The best part was Bungalow #1 was just 15-20 steps away from the beach. Abaniko is right beside the very famous Anika Beach Resort.
Home away from home.

AH! The island, the beach! I seriously CANNOT believe my eyes! It was such beauty I saw. I'm so psyched that I get to celebrate my birthday and relax in this paradise.
Celebrating my 29th with Ate. :)

After basking in the sun, we finally felt the hunger. A friend who's been to Bantayan strongly recommended Tristan's pizza. It's at the other side of the port, but my sister and I decided that it would be fun to walk along the shore. I thought we'd never find Tristan's! I was starting to regret our decision to walk when we finally found it. We ordered 1 Mexican style pizza and I just loved it! The crust soft but it also has a crunch to it and the cheese was delicious. Perfect birthday lunch! We had leftovers and they were still delish after two days. Hahah! :))
Mexican pizza at Tristan's.
Tristan's Beach Resort is located @ Sugar Beach.

We took the same route going back to Abaniko. I wasn't able to go to the beach this summer, so I really didn't mind the heat and the long walk. I was actually expecting tan lines. ;)
Getting kisses from the sun.
Ate enjoying her fresh buko juice.

Bantayan Island really has it's own charm. No camera can't not capture it's beauty. I even got some real amazing shots from my GHD toy camera. 

I cannot be any happier. Spending my birthday in a laid back town, in a beautiful, far away island; away from the city is something that I can get used to. Happy birthday to me, indeed. :)

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