[Bantayan+Malapascua #1] A Beach Love Affair…


I’ve always longed to go back to this place! I first discovered the Bantayan and Malapascua Beaches almost 5 years ago. I fell IN LOVE with the beach. Both the islands have a different attraction — Malapascua is so charming that it is regarded as Boracay more than 10 years ago… while Bantayan, is how the beach should be and where you can find peace and serenity. I’m starting this [Bantayan+Malapascua Series] to share with you this joy and my love affair with these beaches. In fact, I’m planning to buy a beach lot in Malapascua — that’s how I love this place. I do hope this remains to be a secret paradise in the northern tip of Cebu… For now, only foreigners know about the secret, a few locals, and now my readers of Awesome Planet πŸ™‚

The adventure starts as you travel to the northern part of Cebu where these beautiful islands are located. We decided to go to Bantayan first then Malapascua (although I would recommend the other way around). It takes two and a half hours (2.5 hrs) from the Cebu City to the Hagnaya Port where you will need to ride a ferry or a fastcraft to go to Bantayan island.

This is a story of 6 travellers and might as well introduce them to you. From left to right: (Francis, Carlo, Tots, Noel, Chris and Anton– the photographer πŸ™‚ This is the scene in Hagnaya Port. This is already a lot better than the Maya port going to Malapascua. You have two options: take the fast craft which would cost you P100 and a terminal fee of P10 (less than an hour to Bantayan), or the ordinary ferries which would take you to Bantayan for almost an hour or so. The fast craft time could change but in our case we were able to catch the 11.30am Fast Craft. So if you leave for Cebu at 5am or 7am in Manila, you’ll just be in time for the 11.30am.

I’ve always wondered what a fast craft looked like, and I took a picture here so that you’ll manage your expectation on how small it could be. Since this is almost close to noon, expect unfriendly waves so if you are the type that easily get seasick — Beware! At this point, you’ll get excited with the adventure that awaits you, and savor the experience!

When you arrive in the Sta. Fe, Bantayan port, this is the scene that would welcome you. A long line of white beaches and this famous Sta. Fe Beach Resort. I checked out Sta. Fe in the past, and the accommodation and beach are fantastic! The only problem is this is near the port so you could imagine how the water could be oily or dirty at certain points of the day.

You’ll be greeted by this welcome sign as you go to your transportation going to your hotel. It is best that you already arrange with your resort to have someone pick-up you. Just a word of caution here, people would try to bring your bag (the porters) and they would expect a high tip. If you give them P20,
they would ask for more like P50– Unfortunately, this little island has been exposed to Tourist prices early so for some foreigners a $1 tip would be the minimum. So be prepared, and it is really suggested that you act as local cebuanos on a vacation — so its a plus if you have someone who knows how to speak the dialect.

Finally! We arrive at my favorite resort in Bantayan — Kota Beach Resort! This is the best resort for me where you stay in single detached huts — not much of amenities (no hot water) and simple beds and capiz windows. But this is how resorts should be where you’ll find peace, serenity and oneness with nature. It’s very difficult to describe the view, It is like staring out to the beach in an open sea in one gigantic cinema screen of pure Nature — clouds, beach, sand, and the waves crushing to the shores…. It’s soo beautiful!

OK — now, I don’t plan to scare you with this picture. I was experimenting on this photo using available light. This is actually how the rooms look like in Kota Beach, simple bed — normally double beds in a single detached room. If you are the type that you need a sophisticated accomodation and this is more a priority for you, then there are other resort options in Bantayan including Marina’s Beach Report, or Sta. Fe Beach Resort.

Finallly, good old Filipino lunch with nature and the beach in your background! Since you are in the province, time slows down and so expect to get your food one hour after ordering them πŸ™‚ The food in Bantayan is not that spectacular but definitely it is home cooked πŸ™‚ At last, you now can feel that you are in a beach paradise where all your worries are swept away and you feel one with nature.

KOTA BEACH RESORT STA FE, BANTAYAN ISLAND Cebu #: 032- 4196135, 032-4389042, email: kota@cebu.i-next.net about P1500-P2000(beachfront) per room Anton

16 thoughts on “[Bantayan+Malapascua #1] A Beach Love Affair…

  1. I don’t know how I didn’t found you earlier… you have so many nice blogs.
    Anyway I linked you to my blog under the pinoy photobloggers.
    May I use one of your Carlos Celdran’s pictures for my photo blog? Of course I will acknowledge that it is your picture and I will try to include a link to your blog.

  2. Hi there. Would you happen to know the schedule of Aznar fast craft to & from Hagnaya. I would assume you took the air con bus from Cebu City to Hagnaya?

  3. hello,
    im planning a trip to bantayan and malapascua for end of september. thinking of spending two nights in each island.
    so you highly recommend this kota beach huh?
    would you suggest going to bantayan first and then malapascua? or the other way around?

  4. hey thanks for your reply.
    sent you an email with further inquiries, hope you dont mind.
    anyway, i got a recommendation for budyong beach resort,
    would you know of it?
    kota beach resort or budyong? which is more ideal?

  5. Hi…my friends and i are planning to go to malapascua and bantayan this coming august? Since its rainy season that time would it be safe to travel one island to another? and how long would be the travel time from malapascia to bantayan? how much would be the rate?
    thanks..hope you can help me put

  6. hi! i would like to ask how does one get from malapascua to bantayan and vice versa?how long does it take to get from one place to the other?how much does the transpo cost?finally, which island is better? πŸ™‚

  7. Hey Anton! Great Blog! Im going to Cebu this December and looking for interesting places to go… πŸ™‚ any other suggestions? πŸ™‚ thanks! ^_^

  8. Subject: featuring some of your blog post
    Hi Anton,
    We are part of the Nestea Love The Beach team. We noticed some of your blog entries. It seems that you are quite the beach lover, which is why we would like to feature some of your write-ups on our Friendster and Facebook profile. [profiles.friendster.com/67457440]
    Love The Beach is an environmental advocacy campaign designed to help preserve the Philippine beaches. We feel that your write-ups would be great to illustrate why this is an important cause and help raise awareness for it.
    Let us know if you would be open to having some of your words featured on our Friendster profile. Of course, we will give you all due credit. We can also include a link back to your blog/site.
    We look forward to hearing back from you.
    Nestea Love The Beach

  9. Hi! Bantayan island is pure addiction! Kota beach resort is the best i think because the location is where the shore changes and shifts. such a pretty sight at whatever time of the day!

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