June 16, 2014

Last hurrah

One week before the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA, which means "hope" in Tagalog) officially declared the onset of the rainy season, our office went on its annual teambuilding and R&R. Last year, we went to Boracay; this year, we went to Bantayan Island in the province of Cebu (which is also an island). From Metro Manila, it's a one-hour plane ride, two-hour van ride, and one-hour boat ride away. It was worth the long trip.
 Anika Island Resort in Bantayan Island We stayed at Anika Island Resort in the small town of Santa Fe. It's right on the beach and the rooms are unusual because they're all made from freight containers. Needless to say, they all have airconditioners.
 low tide at Anika Island Resort in Bantayan Island There are only a few resorts in Bantayan so it's very peaceful. There are still quite a number of fishing communities on the island and fish pens near the shore are not uncommon. We were able to buy freshly-dried danggit, naturally salted by the sea water, to take home to Manila. On our side of the island, the tide is very low in the mornings, but even when the tide is high, you can walk 200 meters from the beach and the water will only be waist-high.
 outrigger of a bangka We were told that there was a smaller island just off Bantayan where the snorkeling was good, so we rented a bangka to go there.
 Virgin Island just off Bantayan Island It's a really small island—basically a rock with some palm trees growing on it, with a tiny strip of beach on one end.
 welcome sign at Virgin Island Welcome to Virgin Island! It doesn't have its own electricity or water, and all supplies have to be brought in by bangka. There are no resorts, either, though more adventurous souls are welcome to pitch tents on the beach and stay overnight.
 snorkeling at Virgin Island You don't have to go far from shore to to see schools of yellow and silver striped fish (I have no idea what they are), but you have to swim farther to get to the live coral.

beach at Virgin Island For those who don't snorkel, Virgin Island also has a nice stretch of shallow water with no coral, rocks or sea grass—perfect for little kids.


Stefan Jansson said...

Made from freight containers. That is a new one. But it sure seems like a place well worth a visit.

William Kendall said...

Freight containers doubling as accomodations is something different. The area looks beautiful, Hilda.

hamilton said...

That is some beautiful beach!

Photo Cache said...

bantayan island is very popular. at least i read so much about it from bloggers.

EG CameraGirl said...

I've seen a few buildings made of freight containers here in Canada too. I guess it's economical construction but not that easy to keep warm in winter.

What a lovely island!