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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cebu / Bantayan Island Trip : Day 1

Second stop for our Visayas trip is a visit to Bantayan Island in Cebu. I realized there's more to Cebu than I thought. There's just so many places to see. Sadly, I only have limited time. My original plan when I booked our flight was Cebu-Bohol-Cebu but then I thought, oh well I'll just visit Bohol separately....

Now I have to think where to go in Cebu. My options boiled down into 2 - Malapascua or Bantayan Island. I learned that Malapascua is more of for divers and the like while Bantayan Island is more of for beach bummers. We chose the latter since hubby and I would like a stress-free trip. And I remember Bantayan Island is at the top 5 of best beach in the Philippines by CNNGo (click the article here).

I was so caught up with my everyday life that I only had little time preparing for this trip. Good thing planning wasn't difficult at all!!!

The Plan

Our expected arrival in Cebu is at 2:10PM. We need to reach Hagnaya port, where ferry boats await bound for Bantayan Island. I read online that travel time to Hagnaya port is 3 hours, then, a Roro ride takes 1 hour. That means, we need to allot 4 hours to reach the island. Now, the last ferry is scheduled to depart at around 4:30-5PM. If that is the case, given our scheduled arrival, we do not have enough time to go straight to Bantayan. Therefore, we need to stay overnight in Cebu City.

That's ok!! I have an uncle in Cebu whom I have not seen for 10 years. Paying a visit would be great!! Then we'll travel to Bantayan Island early in the morning on our second day. For our third day, if we ended up enjoying our stay in Bantayan then we will spend our 3rd night there, otherwise we'll leave and spend the remaining day of our trip in Cebu City. 

Bee and I missed camping so we would like to camp in Bantayan Island. We haven't used our tent for along time after our trip to Palaui Island. It was suggested that Sugar  Beach Resort accommodates camping. I didn't make any reservation in Sugar Beach because I wasn't worried at all since we only need a space for our tent. If we decide to stay in Bantayan for our 3rd day, we can stay camping in Sugar Beach or transfer to other resort. 

For the island hopping, we'll just ask around once we get there. 

That's the plan and we're all set!!!


DAY 1 -

Upon arriving in Mactan International Airport via Philippine Airlines at 2:30PM, we went straight to the taxi bay. We were greeted by people offering taxi services. Flagdown rate for yellow-colored taxi or airport taxi is P70 while white-colored taxi is P40. 

We visited my uncle in Lapu-Lapu City and spent the entire afternoon there before heading onto Sampaguita Suites in Cebu City.

I chose Sampaguita Suites because of its positive reviews from Tripadvisor plus they have rooms fit for our budget. For P898 a night, I booked a standard room with matrimonial bed thru their website at their Plaza Garcia branch.

We had a hard time locating Sampaguita Suites. First, the cab driver was not familiar with Magallanes Street, where the hotel is located. Second, when we finally decided to search for it ourselves after going round in hopeless circles and asked the people along Magallanes St, they are not familiar with the hotel either!!! 

Upon reaching the end of Magallanes street, we found Sampaguita Suites!! Hurrayy!!

It shouldn't be hard finding this hotel as it is located very near Magellan's cross and Sto. Nino church. On the voucher we printed out and the only resource we had at that time, the address only says Plaza Garcia Building, Magallanes Street, Philippines, which obviously did not help us at all. 

Other than our bad experience searching for our hotel, I like their service. The staff are nice and friendly. The room is clean. There's a few flaws like the old TV and the air conditioning that's difficult to start. Overall, I am contented.

Good thing, Magellan's cross and Sto Nino Cathedral are just around the corner. I didn't have to go that far and really, these are the only spots that interest me.

City Hall
Magellan's Cross

candle stand outside the cathedral

way to the museum
Once you reach the end of the hallway, the entrance is to the left. There is an entrance fee of P30.

Cebu / Bantayan Island Trip: Day 1
Cebu / Bantayan Island Trip: Day 2
Cebu / Bantayan Island Trip: Day 3
Cebu / Bantayan Island Trip: Day 4

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