My first visit to Bantayan Island was with Fred, we just started our relationship back then. We got married and few years after, I went back to the island and that time I brought Louise with me. It was a fun trip but I admit it wasn’t smooth because Louise, 2 years old that time, had tantrums several times. I went there with officemates, Fred didn’t come with me so I dealt with her tantrums alone.
Here she was, enjoying the waves:
This year, we went back, as a complete family. And for the first time, we took our car on a road-trip going north. For those driving their own cars, you can leave it just before the Hagnaya port, look for private parking areas. The fee was Php 150 per day and since we stayed on the island for 1 night only, we paid Php 300 good for 2 days.
For the ferry, we only experienced Island Shipping, below are their rates:
Adult – Php 185
Senior – Php 148
Kids – Php 92.50
Terminal fee Php 10 per person excluding kids and senior citizens.
To give you an idea if you plan to go there, here’s the timeline of our travel:
4:30 AM – start of our road trip.
5:45 AM – arrived in Danao City, stop over in Jollibee for around 15 minutes for quick pee breaks and to order breakfast. To save time, we just ate in the car while we continue our road trip.
8:00 AM – arrived at Hagnaya port.
10:00 AM – ferry boat departed from Hagnaya port. The schedule was 9:30 but we all know Filipino time, delayed as always.
11:30 AM – arrived at Sta. Fe port.
When we arrived in Bantayan Island, we paid Php 30 (adults only) for the Ecological fee. We already had a resort booking at Anika Resort and we’re glad they offered free pick-up service from the port. Actually, our booking at Anika resort was done last February but due to my mother’s sickness, I emailed them for cancellation. Good thing their front desk officer Sir Rey suggested not to cancel (they give only 50% for a refund). Instead, they extend the validity of our booking up to December 2019. When I contacted him again for the availability of their rooms, we were so lucky we got 1 room on our chosen date.
Good thing about Anika resort which we really loved was that they’re so accommodating. I highly recommend the place, it is peaceful even though they’re fully booked. It seemed like all the other guests got a relaxing time and privacy they all needed, not just us.
For the room rates of the resort, you may visit this page:
https://anikaislandresort.com/accommodation/ . We reserved for the Sunset Poolside which costs Php 2900 but we ended up getting the Garden View Room and paid the additional person fee (we traveled there with my MIL).
Check-in time for the resort though was 2:00 PM so we left our bags in their waiting area and decided to eat in Sta. Fe proper. We chose a carenderia since we’re travelling on a budget. Our tricycle driver offered a tour and we happily agreed. The only problem though, we did not bring sunscreens and swimwear. We only made sure we bring water and snacks for all of us. We really learned a good lesson that day – when exploring the island, one should always be ‘beach-ready’. Anyway, we only got to see two tourist spots because Martina had tantrums already. We paid Php 650 to our tricycle driver which covered the fee from Anika resort to the carenderia, waited around 30 minutes for us while we had our lunch and drove for us to Camp Sawi and Mangrove Eco Farm and to Paradise Beach. He offered to bring us to the cave but the kids got tired already, plus Martina’s already crying for minutes so we really had no choice but to go back to the resort.
It was 2:30 PM when we arrived at the resort and we finally got our room key. I thought we can have a quick rest or perhaps the girls needed a nap but I was wrong, they excitedly changed to their swimwear and head directly to the beach. The girls loved the view, the clear water and white sands but I think they loved the Paradise Beach more. Still, we enjoyed the beach and the pool, we didn’t even noticed the time and realized late that it was almost dinner time.
All of us were so tired so our plan of going back to Sta. Fe proper for dinner did not happen. The girls had their milk and fell asleep early, same thing for my MIL. It was only me and Fred who went out for dinner but decided to just eat in the resort’s restaurant. The prices were not bad but paid Php 1000 for 3 main dishes, 2 beers and a softdrink. We drank beer at the beachfront while enjoying the sounds of the waves and the stars above us. Sounds cheesy but guess what, we talked a lot of things that night that we kinda messed up each other’s mood. Don’t get me wrong but I think this is pretty common for couples haha!
Anyway, it was low tide the whole time we stayed in the resort but that did not stop us from enjoying the place. They had a pool anyway and it was what the kids needed more. Overall, we had fun up to the 2nd day. We skipped the idea of visiting the famous Virgin Island as we plan to visit Bantayan again, only time will tell when. Hopefully, we’ll be staying for at least 2 nights on our next trip.
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