When it’s been raining non-stop, don’t you just ever crave for some sunshine and the beach? I do. I’ve been craving for the sun and beach during the past few days and I can’t help but look back on my trip to Cebu last year. Aside from staying with my family in the city, we also went to Bantayan Island.
To get there you need to rent a van or take a bus to Hagnaya port. It usually takes 2.5 hours on land. In Hagnaya port, boats are available everyday to and from Bantayan Island. That’s another 1 hour boat ride. Best to go in the morning as the waves usually become rough in the afternoon. If i’m going straight to Bantayan, I usually take the earliest flight out of Manila, which is 5 or 6 am. I get to Hagnaya port around 10, which is a perfect time to ride the boat.
Bantayan island is my to go place for a complete R&R. We stayed in Ogtong Cave. I’ve been visiting this place since I was a child. Every year, this place just keeps on becoming more beautiful. Ogtong has two pools, cottages, beautiful landscaped gardens and (as the name states) a cave. Yes, a CAVE which you can swim in. Room rates ranges from 1,800php to 16,000php
Ogtong is also operated by Sta Fe Beach Club, which is btw, one of the first resorts established in the Island. You can use the facilities of both properties when you check in to either of the two. Awesome deal right?
When in Bantayan, visit Paradise beach. It’s a privately owned cove with fine sand and crystal clear waters. There is an minimum fee is required to enter. Last I remember it only takes 10 or 20 pesos.
Paradise beach is completely empty. No bathrooms, no restaurants, no stores. Which is why I like it, and this is why people visit it. When we were here, aside from our small group of 5, there was the guard and 3 more people. It’s like having our own private beach.
Now, let’s talk about that cave in Ogtong. This is a must visit. The water inside is brackish- a mixture of salt and fresh water. The water inside is soooo clear. It’s clearer than the sea water in Bantayan. Since the cave is underground, the water stays cool throughout the day. You can swim take a swim even if it’s noon. They say that this cave ends out to the sea but, you can only swim out there if you scuba dive. Ogtong does not have scuba gears. If you want to dive, it’s a bring your own gear kind of thing. They actually found another cave inside the property. It’s bigger but they have not yet excavated the opening.
Personally, I don’t like sharing my favorite/hidden beach destinations because I don’t want it to become a mainstream destination. The days of having the beach all by myself will be long gone. Then again, I am all for promoting local tourism. I am hoping that when you guys travel and visit this place you leave the place cleaner and more beautiful than when you have arrived. It only takes money to be a tourist, but it takes humanity to be a responsible tourist. Let’s be the latter. Let us keep our beaches clean.