Sunday, March 30, 2008

Paradise: Bantayan Island

Guys don’t be jealous when I say I just came from Bantayan Island. Of course, some you there have been there, but I tell you, you’ll be coming back for more…

Bantayan Island is known as the island paradise in the Philippines. Foreigners from all over the globe, especially Europeans fall in love with the place that they even have settled down for the rest of their lives. Foreigners and local tourists alike will surely be entranced with the crystal clear blue waters (no jokes, not an exaggeration!) and a long stretch of powdery white sands. Not to mention the delicious seafoods and the friendly town folk that will great you even if they don’t know you.

Coming to Bantayan is like coming out of a time machine. It’s like entering the time and place when life was simple and quiet.

Things to expect and to know:

· Sea food and buwad (dried fish and squid)

· Crystal clear blue waters and powdery white sands (like Boracay and Panglao)

· Ogtong Cave. The locals said it connects to Iloilo, true? Find it out yourself. But mind this; there’s still a lot of ancient unarmed caves like Atop – atop and etc.

· Sunset and Sunrise. Sunset is more stunning than sunrise. Try Kota Park at Madridejos or at the pier.

· Yellow Bells. You’ll be greeted with the yellow bells lined along the road to Bantayan proper

· 405-yr. old Bantayan Church. Oldest in the Visayas and Mindanao

· One-and-a-half century house of Anun Escario

· Kota Park

· Hilutungan Island and the virgin island of Silio

· Don’t go when it’s Christmas time or Lentin Season. The prices are sky high. But if you’re planning to, you have to get reservations one year to six months ahead.

· Bantayan is composed of three municipalities, specifically Bantayan, Madridejos & Sta. Fe

· Egg Basket. The whole island of Bantayan produces half a million eggs a day

· Peacefulness. Jeepneys and private cars don’t lock the roads, the natives of Bantayan are sweet smiling, less crime rates and etc.

· Holy Week Procession. Tourists from around the globe come to Bantayan not just to relax but also to witness the Holy week Procession. Did you know that they have a certification from the Papacy to exempt them from not eating pork during the lent? Now you know.

To save our butts from the sky-high prices of Bantayan, we just stayed on the Home Economics room of Sta. Fe Elementary School. It’s like a real house because we’ve got everything for free, tv with just two channels, a living room a dining room, a kitchen, a bathroom and even a maid (she’s the maintenance worker)! Good for us since my friend’s Dad is the former supervisor of Bantayan schools.

Coming to Bantayan is a really an experience, a de-stressing treat for yourself away from the city. If you want to experience staying in a paradise, come to Bantayan Island .

Guys I tell you, this is not an exaggeration and I don’t get a pay for doing this. This is just my compensation for their warm welcome. haha

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