Updated as of August 22, 2013
As the Holy Week is approaching, most young people in Cebu plan to observe it in Bantayan, a tiny island off the north-west side of Cebu. Observing the Holy Week may not be the right term, as it’s usually the party that they go for. It becomes Cebu’s version of Boracay during the Holy Week season.
So how do we get to Bantayan in the Holy Week season? Or even if it’s not?
How to Arrive in Bantayan
Our starting point is Cebu, so wherever you are in the Philippines or in the world, try to get first here in Cebu. To be exact, our jump off point is in North Bus terminal, near SM Cebu. You can take either a bus or a van-for-hire and you won’t get lost finding the buses/v-hires going for Hagnaya in the terminal. Hounding dispatchers shout their respective routes and insist on passengers to take theirs when the latter wants to go someplace else. Persisting SOBs despite you’ve repeated your destination in their face like the holy rosary.
Fare, How Much???
Aircon buses cost around Php 150. Non-aircon, around Php 130. The van-for-hire is also in the North Bus terminal. Like I said, a lot of those dispatchers are a headache. I have snapped on one of the manong’s there when he insisted for our group to ride the v-hire for Maya (going to Malapascua) when we wanted to go to Hagnaya. What do you want to us to do in Maya??? Hahaha… Anyway, the v-hires cost around Php 150, and shoots up during the Holy Week season.
Reaching Hagnaya port, you’ll disembark and get on a ro-ro or ferry that would cost you around Php 170. It then docks at Sta. Fe wharf, where most of the attractive and popular beaches are. If you are taking your car with you, try calling Lite ferry and Island shipping for their car shipping rates. Upon reaching Bantayan, you may want to beach bum in Sugar Beach, the trisikad or tricycle can take you there for about Php 20.
Additionally, you can rent motorcycles in Bantayan for around Php 350 a day
and they don’t require a driver’s license.
So how much is the fare from Cebu to Bantayan total? Assuming you’re going for the cheapest, one way is about Php 320.
Length of Travel, How Long Does It Take???
For buses leaving the terminal at certain time intervals, and have the penchant to stop at every chance it gets, it takes about three to four hours to reach Hagnaya. Also, buses stop at certain restaurants along the way especially when the driver feels hungry if it’s early in the morning, noon, or supper time.
For v-hires that have an erratic schedule based on the alas-puno scheme, travel time is about two hours but you’ll never know what time it leaves. Well, alas-puno nga, ang kulet.
The barge or ro-ro usually takes around an hour for it to arrive at Sta. Fe wharf, and oftentimes the barges don’t leave exactly on their scheduled time.
All in all, it takes about five hours to reach Bantayan from Cebu, give or take.
So there you go. That’s how you get to Bantayan all the way from Cebu or wherever you are in the world, and arrive at this God-given place.
Photo credits: Joey Gonzales and Jiji Saromines
Info credits: Joey Gonzales who is from Bantayan
Map by: obviously Google