Weekend in Bantayan Island 🌴

“slow down and enjoy the view”

How do you want to spend your weekend? Everyone would like to end their weekend differently, whether it involves indoor or outdoor activities to partying and drinking booze all night. In my case, I decide to head to Bantayan Island a well-known tourist destination in Cebu. I never really tried to travel alone because I don’t prefer to travel alone, I need at least a buddy who is a wanderlust like me. We are a group of five this time my friends and I and our Korean managers, the more the merrier and cheaper lol. I am always the planner when I travel and I asked them 3K each for 2 days 1 night escapade that already includes accommodation, Food, Entrances and Transportation. But, I actually returned P275 to each of them so for a weekend well spent in Bantayan it was worth it.

We finished our work at 11PM Friday, ate dinner and decided to take the first trip going to Hagnaya Port in North Bus Terminal that leaves 1:30 in the morning. Sleeping in the bus is not really bad choice if you wanted to avoid traffic and save your time. We arrived in Hagnaya Port at around 6AM and their first boat leaves at 7AM so we had to wait in the Terminal just before sunrise. 

We arrived in Sta. Fe port at around 9AM and we were picked up by Kota Beach Resort driver. After we checked in, we went out to eat BRUNCH at local restaurant that serves letchon manok and liempo. Because it was AMIHAN at that time, the waves are big and it’s dangerous to go swimming in our resort but the beach is very attractive to dive in. Nevertheless, to avoid wasting time we haggle a boat operator to bring us to Virgin Island instead which is 30-45 mins away from our resort. 

Virgin Island has white sand and crystal blue water but be careful there’s always danger in beauty as they say, because it has a number of Jellyfish. Virgin Island is a must when you visit Bantayan but even though it’s a bit expensive. You will have to pay entrance fee and also the cottage but in our case, we decide not to get a cottage since we didn’t bring a lot anyway we just brought food and phones and snorkeling gears and there’s a space where you can just sit comfortably. After swimming in Virgin Island, we decide to rent a bicycle which I would recommend when you are travelling to Bantayan. It’s very common for locals as a mode of transportation getting around the island. We went to Ogtong Cave by bike and went swimming. The water in the cave is very clear, it’s also dark and some part of it is deep so you have to be careful. What I like about this cave is, it doesn’t smell bad jus like other cave that has a lot of bats. After, Ogtong Cave we decide to go back to church because my friend dropped my phone and we had to look for it by going back and forth to Ogtong resort. We tried to call my phone but nobody answers, didn’t even turn off so we’re sure it’s somewhere in the street. When we decide to give up and went back to the resort and rest we decide to go back again to church for one last time where we spent 30 mins asking if they saw a phone. Readers, it’s not iPhone but I can’t afford to buy new phone as good as my S4. Finally, someone called us and asked what we’re looking and then said I picked a phone while ago I’m cleaning I didn’t know how to answer it because I never had a phone like this. My God! It’s my phone. I was very thankful to the lady, and give her a reward in exchange. 


We had our dinner at a local restaurant and it was very delicious. They actually have it in a cheaper price for the food that we order. We had seafood, pork, shake and beer. We also had our island nightlife but because there was no electricity the live band could not perform. We had 1 pitcher of red margarita instead and side dish. *tipsy* *speaking english mode* Can’t fully remember..SLEEP!

DAY 2:

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Because I want to see the sunrise, I get up at 5 in the morning head to beach and made friends with dogs lol. I wanted to attend the mass but we are late so we just lit candles instead. We also went swimming in morning embracing waves like La Union and had BRUNCH again in the resort. Resort food rates is almost the same ass eating outside and it’s very comfortable especially if they accommodate you well. We checked out at 11 in the morning because we need to go back early to avoid bumpy ocean lol. We arrived in Cebu at around 4PM stop by at SM Consolacion to watch Suicide Squad. This is how my weekend ends.

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TIPS:

  • Travel to Bantayan as early as possible to avoid traffic
  • Rent a bicycle when you are in the Island
  • Do not miss Ogtong Cave
  • Visit Virgin Island
  • Visit Kota Beach own sandbar
  • Resort Hopping
  • Eat delicious seafood (more expensive in the city)

Sugary Sweet Negros Occidental

IMG_0557-1Negros Occidental is known as the sugar bowl of the Philippines and no wonder why.

When we arrived in Negros, we pass through a maze of sugar cane especially when you go to Lakawon Island. This beautiful Island is located in Western Visayas which is famous for the city of smiles or commonly known as “Bacolod”.

DAY 1: The Ruins-Silay Heritage House-Campuestohan Highland Resort

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We arrived late because our original flight got cancelled we haggle a taxi driver to bring us first to The Ruins since it’s the closest to the airport. We spent an hour in the ruins taking pictures and discovering how this grand mansion of one family became the “taj mahal” of the Philippines. We had our lunch at Silay afterwards and visited “Balay Negrense” which is known as haunted house in Bacolod. In Silay you will notice that most of their houses are influenced by spanish architectures and it similar to Vigan. Our last stop for the day is Campuestohan Highland Resort, this resort is good for team building because the area is very wide and it offers a lot of activities and it is also good for children.

DAY 2: Sipalay Island Hopping- Tinagong Dagat – Perth Resort

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We woke up at 12 midnight because we had to leave for Sipalay which is 5-6 hours away from Bacolod City. I should say, Sipalay is a hidden paradise of Negros. We arrived in Sipalay at around 6:45AM and we did Island hopping and snorkeling first, visit tinagong dagat and swimming in well-known Perth resort where you can start counting the islands at your back. The scenery is worth your time, your effort and your money.

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DAY 3: Lakawon Island

Woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning and head to North Bus Terminal going to Cadiz. Going to Lakawon Island is quite difficult due to bumpy road and wavy sea. We were one of the first guests to arrive in Lakawon and it was still low tide. The sand in Lakawon Island is fine but due to ongoing development in the resort it is quite messy as of the moment.

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TRAVEL GUIDE/EXPENSES:

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For Sipalay Tour I would highly recommend Kuya Dado +639217865615. He is not only our driver but also our baggage counter, guide and photographer  😆

Summer in El Nido

“You don’t have to be rich to travel well.”

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“My best summer ever!”

After five months of waiting, I can finally see El Nido in flesh. Palawan is a top destination in the Philippines during summer because of its fine sand and beautiful beaches. Travelling to Palawan with my own expense was once a dream for me and now it became a reality.  Palawan is the largest province in the Philippines and as what lonely planet says it’s “A WORLD OF WATER”. After I booked my ticket to Palawan five months ago, I kept reading blogs and articles about the things I can do in Palawan and I learned that Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Coron are the top tourist destinations when you are visiting Palawan. Since, I like to make the most out of my travel, my pals and I decided to go El Nido based on the reviews we’ve read on the internet. Palawan has always been one of my bucket list and I always thought going to El Nido would cost you arm and leg but it I was totally wrong. 

DAY 1:

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A day before our flight, I start searching for cheap accommodations in El Nido since it’s a 5 hours drive from Puerto Princesa by van and 6 hours by bus so we need to have a place to stay when we arrived since our flight is at 11:30 in the afternoon. Initially, I booked at El Nido Bay Sands Inn for a fan room that cost me cheaper than I expected but as soon as we arrived there we changed it into air-conditioned room because it’s extremely hot. We haggle the price of the air-conditioned room based on our budget and we decided to booked the van with them as well since it’s cheaper than other transport owners.  As soon as we arrived in Puerto Princesa, we were picked up and perfectly accommodated with our van reservation. The funny thing there was, we were the only local tourist inside the van and the rest of the passengers and European and Americans so every time they talk we kept quiet.  We arrived in El Nido at 6:30 in the evening and we rode a tricycle going to our Inn, looked for dining restaurant, arranged for island hopping tour, rest and got ready for the next days adventure.

DAY 2: Island Hopping Combo A and C

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The night we arrived in the Inn, we decided to asked help to the house owner to arranged a tour for us. She wanted us to join the rest of the her guest for the Island hopping so that we can save however, she suggested that a private Island hopping tour would be desirable because we can control our time without considering other groups. Tour A already cost 1200 and Tour C cost 1400 pesos however she offered a combo tour of A and C for 2000, private boat with free lunch. We started our Island hopping tour at 8 in the morning and finish it at 5 in the afternoon. We were able to visit the following islands:

  • Helicopter Island
  • Hidden Beach
  • Secret Beach
  • Secret Lagoon
  • Big Lagoon
  • Small Lagoon
  • Seven Comando

We’re back in our Inn, had our dinner and call it a day.

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DAY 3: Taraw Peak Canopy Walk, Nacpan Beach/Twin Beach,Viewing Deck, Las Cabanas Sunset and El Nido Zipline

We had a good rest last night even though the electricity is on and off. As soon as we got up we were getting ready for our adventure, we had our own american style breakfast in bed a slice of bread and coffee. We went first to Taraw Peak climbing but we took the easy one since we are not confident to climb the higher peak. We had to do the canopy walk before we can reach the top, our legs grow weak, sweat drops and puffing but when we reach the top we were in “AWE” and all we can say was it was worth it. We went to Nacpan and Twin Beach afterwards and we were devouring the beach with snorkeling gears. I particularly like Nacpan because it has a wide shoreline and it’s not very crowded, well maybe because we were early. Our next stop was at the viewing deck, we actually didn’t know about it at first but our tricycle driver recommended this place to have a perfect view of Helicopter island and other islands of El Nido. It was free of charge, we had rested there for half an hour before we went to Las Cabanas to have an exemplary view of El Nido Sunset. We arrived there at around 3PM and sunsets in 2 hours so to make the most of our time we walked going to El Nido Zipline. The zipline is also worth to try especially if you wanted to try everything while you are in El Nido. It will cost you 500 pesos for 1 way and I know it’s quite pricey for the distance but it’s El Nido after all. We decided to try 1 way and walked down so that we can reach Las Cabanas shorline again. One thing I can’t forget about this beach was aside from the sunset I actually saw foreigners sun bathing braless. Readers, I know it’s normal for them but “hello” I was shocked they free their nipples. After watching the picturesque sunset, we had our first most extravagant dinner since we arrived in El Nido because we made sure we don’t exceed in our travel budget. After dinner, we bought pasalubong in stalls because we will have early flight the next day. 

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Day 4: El Nido  to PPS to Cebu

Since our flight going back to Cebu is at noon, we had to leave at dawn. While travelling back to PPS, I couldn’t take a nap because it’s so cold and the fog is very thick. We also had our stop over and ate our breakfast before reaching the airport. Four days and 3 nights is not enough to get enough of this paradise. 

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