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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

How Was Cebu 2015 ( 3 out 4 series) : Bantayan Island and the Anika Island Resort

After a day of visiting the whale sharks and enjoying Mother Nature's beauty at the Aguinid Falls, we were, once again, up and about to start our journey to Bantayan Island.

puso, inasal, chorizo and hotdogs were sold at the port area


Located in the Visayan Sea, at the northern end of Cebu Island, lies Bantayan Island. Comprised of 3 villages - Madridejos, Santa Fe and Bantayan, we ended up staying at the Santa Fe, specifically at the Anika Island Resort.

buoys serve as markers for the sea "highway" that the ships have to follow

For this itinerary, our Cebu friends provided the transportation for our group of 18. From Cebu City, our driver took us on a 2.5-3 hour drive, all the way to Hagnaya Port. There are buses (Ceres, 125/head to Hagnaya)  too that ply this route as well as flights (1500 pesos, 35 minutes - from the Cebu Airport). Please note that the last ferry to Bantayan is at 5:30 PM.

Upon arrival at the Hagnaya Port, we then proceeded to get our ferry tickets, log on the passengers' manifesto, pay whatever fees had to be paid and waited for our turn to board the ferry. I also picked up some street food- hotdogs, grilled chorizos and puso rice from the port vendors, to prepare for the 1-2 hour ferry ride.

For those folks with lots of luggage, the cost of hiring a porter is 20 pesos per bag. Also, as Bantayan is an island, make sure that you have all the stuff you'll need for your stay there. You will not have the chance to shop around for various toiletries and medication once you get to this destination.


When we got to the port at Bantayan Island, we were picked up by the shuttle service of Anika Island Resort, which is seriously a 5 minute drive away.

Check in was quite fast, and welcome drinks were promptly served as we had the bellboys bring our luggage to our respective rooms. Arriving a little before 2 pm, we were pretty hungry.

Lunch from Anika is a varied affair, with a little of everything to choose from. Their restaurant is in the same area as the front desk and could cater to big groups without batting an eyelash.

For our first meal at the resort (we were all checked in for an overnight stay on the island), we decided to go with these:

chicken poppers

baked scallops

It was drizzling when we got to the resort, so we waited out the rain in the restaurant. Rooms are separate structures, made with tastefully decorated recycled container vans. Quite ingenious, if I may say so.

When we were led to our room, we were quite pleased to have gotten one fronting the beach.

room sweet room

The rooms are small, but comfy, with a deck/balcony at the front that's perfect tor hanging out with friends, or reading a good book, while looking at the blue waters across.

a queen bed and a single bed, a tv and fridge alog with a desk were the furnishings of our room. The en suite bathroom had hot and cold water. Zero issues too as far as the AC was concerned

The furnishings, bathroom and bedding were all to our liking. Except the towels. I'm guessing it's too much fabric conditioner that makes the towels not be as absorbent as you'd want them to be. There was also no wifi in the room. The strongest connection may be found at the resort's restaurant.

The waters of Bantayan were quite mild, high tide or low tide.

low tide in Bantayan - this was covered in water the day before. Phil injured his foot on the stiff twigs while moving around the beach

I would like to express caution though for beach combers out there as Phil cut his foot and toes from the twigs of the plants that were underwater (high tide when we got there). If you're the type who will move around, wading in the beautiful beach, you may want to wear swim shoes or flipflops.

MAX gets to know the neighbors

The 85 degree view of the sea was quite breathtaking, injured or not. The water was clean, with litte fishes swimming close to shore. It was a lovely place indeed.

Hanging out by the beach chairs, a coconut vendor selling freshly picked coconuts may come your way. Feel free to indulge. Prices are reasonable. However, if you feel like imbibing, you may have to bring your own booze as Anika does not serve alcoholic beverages.

That, however, didn't stop us from enjoying the place.

there's a small playground for the kids

MAX loved our room

Given our injuries (my sprained ankle and Phil's foot wound), we were not able to go around the island. There's an underground lake that you could swim at and lots of old churches that you could go to. Here's a list of other things you could do at Bantayan Island:

The next day came much too soon. Before I knew it, it was time to pack and head on back to Cebu City. I definitely want to go back to Bantayan!

Should you ever find yourself in Bantayan Island, pick up some Darling Danggit and support the local cottage industry 😎 (140 pesos for 100 grams in a stink free, vacuum sealed pouch)
For more information and reservations, check out their website here.

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

***Check out Part 1 and Part of our "How Was Cebu 2015?" Series at these links:

How Was Cebu 2015? ( 1 of 4 series) : The Mandarin Plaza Hotel Review 

How Was Cebu 2015? (2 out of 4 series): Oslob, Revisited and the Aguinid Falls

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