Visit To Bantayan Island Beach Resorts

As regular readers know, I recently headed over to one of the Bantayan Island beach

resorts.  It was my first visit in almost two years.  That’s just too long to be away from Bantayan Island.

On our ferry ride to Bantayan Island we did take a ferry with first class accommodations and air con, I noticed a sticker on a cabinet that read “Life jackets 20pcs.”  At first, I thought, wow they charge for life vest ha-ha.  Of course that was 20 pieces and not 20 pesos as I first interpreted it.

I stayed at Tristan’s Bantayan Island Beach Resort and it is my most frequent place to stay when I do visit.

Bantayan Island Rainbow

There are so many Bantayan Island Beach Resorts that I have to visit though and I really need to see them all.  Only one is expensive.  That is Ogtong Cave Beach Resort.

The price at Tristan’s makes it hard for me to pass up.  The price charged by Tristan’s Bantayan Island Beach Resort, along with the hospitality and great service that is provided by Nancy, the resort’s owner.  If you’d like to contact Tristan’s Beach Resort you can text or call her at 63-919-537-1536.  Please tell her Rusty sent you.

Cost of visiting Tristan’s Bantayan Island Beach Resort

My trip was for one night.  The cost for my two days and one night at Tristan’s was only P2200 or about $52 at today’s exchange rate of P42 to 1USD.  That is the effective dollar to Philippine peso exchange rate that I actually get.  Now the total cost would include a ferry ride, pedicab rides, and porter fees and would push the price up to around a total of P3000.  None of these fees are very much separately but they do add up when you combine them together.

That includes the two full meals we had at Tristan’s Bantayan Island Beach Resort.  Jessie and I shared a pizza soon after we arrived.  That night I had breaded pork chops.  I don’t recall what Jessie had.  I was going to try the Tristan’s Tangerine Steak later on but I fell to sleep before I had the chance to do so.  That would have cost me another P200.

When we arrived at Tristan’s the sea was at high tide.  It was not only kissing the steps but splashing upon the edge of the Bantayan Island Beach Resort.

She had made some improvements to the resort.  Building her sea wall up and extending it out just a bit.  With a row of very nice picnic benches that sun lovers could enjoy while having their meal. Though Tristan’s is not the most lavish of the Bantayan Island beach resorts, it is one of the best.

I planned to enjoy them too, after the sun went down. I became very sleepy around 7:30pm though and was soon fast asleep.  I had slept only three hours the night before.  I woke up around 3am.  Perhaps, I was too excited to sleep in anticipation of my return to one of the Bantayan Island beach resorts.

I did take my first swim in the waters of Bantayan Island around 2pm.  I was waiting for the sun to go down a bit.  We arrived at Tristan’s Beach Resort around noon.  I wanted to jump in right away to take advantage of the high tide.  But I remember the injury that added to the insult of middle age hair loss and the horrible sunburn I got on top of my head on my last visit.  So, I waited.  Noticing the tide roll out, I entered the sea a little before I thought wise.  But it went okay, no sun burn.  I stayed in the water less than an hour.

The current was strong.  The water was pounding upon the sea walls protecting the homes along the Bantayan Island beach.  I’ve never seen that before, splashing high with a loud crash.  I recalled that there two people drowned during Holy Week.  Resulting in Bantayan Island officials raising cautions about strong currents in the area.  The Bantayan Island visitors had been snorkeling.  I don’t know which Bantayan Island beach resorts they were staying at.

Spectacular Golden Sunset Blankets the Bantayan Island Beach Resorts

Wow, I’ve seen golden sunsets in Bogo City before but I have never seen anything like this.  There had been a storm in the distance, followed by a rainbow.  The winds blew up and it became very comfortable in Tristan’s open air but covered restaurant.

Jessie spotted the rainbow and we both took pictures of it.  We took a lot of pictures because with my camera, capturing a rainbow is hard to do.  Jessie’s picture came out the best once I processed it.  In the camera, mine looked the best but on the computer it was awful.

We had returned to our table, I was browsing the web, working on something when I looked up and saw this awesome golden glow covering the beach.  Though I had little hope of capturing it with my camera, I did.  This little Olympus Sports camera does an awesome job with landscapes.  The pictures from this golden glow have been enhanced only slightly and some were better untouched, presented just as they were taken.

After the storm in the distance died down, it became staggeringly hot on Bantayan Island.

Day Two At Tristan’s Bantayan Island Beach Resort

I didn’t see any wildlife on my first swim.  But the next morning Jessie and returned to the waters and quickly found a dreaded sea urchin.  I had asked her if “Can you scoop them up if you dig under them?”  She freaked out.  She did not realize that I meant me when I said “You.”  She went to the beach to get her slippers and scooped it up.  I am too lazy to have even considered that.  I surely wouldn’t want to step on that!

Sea Urchin at Bantayan Island

The water was at low tide and we had to go out a bit further than usual.  The urchin though was quite close to the shoreline.  We ventured into a rocky area where Jessie spotted a beautiful starfish.

I noticed its bright orange color and immediately wondered if that might mean it is deadly.  Many brightly color critters are deadly. I did some research on it but I didn’t find anything about deadly starfish in the Philippines.  At least not deadly to humans, there are starfish in the Philippines that destroy coral and this may very well be one of those.  Deadly or not to humans, stepping on this animal might not be a pleasant experience.

starfish

Once back at Tristan’s Bantayan Island Beach Resort, I noticed what looked like a snake protruding from a rock.  Jessie said it was dead and went down to the beach to take a picture for me. There she saw it was moving and not dead at all.  Her closer vantage point and picture suggest it is not a snake but probably a sea cucumber.  These are normally found on the ocean floor though.  Perhaps it washed up along with the tide that came in during the night.  I’m not sure it is one of the sea cucumber. If anyone knows for sure, please tell me what it is.  Sea cucumbers are a traditional food source for humans in the Philippines.

Sea Cucumber

On our way to Bantayan Island, I noted many kids swimming in the sea.  Filipino children often swim like fish.  Headed into waters that would totally scare an American mom to death, it is summer in the Philippines.  School is out and the kids are in the water.

When we arrived at the port on Bantayan Island, there were a line of kids, all yelling hello my friend.  What they want is for the new arrivals to toss coins into the water.  I didn’t realize that until Jessie said “Want to see them dive?”  I shrugged and answered in the affirmative.  I didn’t know she was then going to toss some coins into the water.  Jessie is pretty tight fisted with money as she has seen some days when money was scarce for her.  I was surprised when she did that.  She went on to tell me that they use to do that when she was in high school.  She explained that the waters in Tacloban were deep and it was fun to watch them dive deep for the money.

Time To Leave Bantayan Island

Fish In A Bottle Of TanduayOn our way back to the dock, I noticed that one vendor was selling bottled fish.  Little fish packaged in a bottle of Tanduay.  The Tanduay  long since disposed of and replaced with these tiny fish that are soaked in vinegar and eaten right out of the bottle.

There was some kind of mix up with the tickets we purchased for our short return voyage. We had paid for first class tickets on one ferry but when we got to it, we learned the departure was delayed about two hours.  Another ferry, a ro-ro used to transport both people and vehicles was leaving at our scheduled time instead.  We were told we could take that one instead.  There is no air con on the ro-ro but that isn’t really necessary on the ferries. Once they start moving, the breeze creates a nice natural air con.

The ship’s personnel even went back to the ticket office for us, a long walk for me, and returned with new tickets and change.  The first class tickets we paid for cost a little more.  Neither Jessie nor I expected that.  Good old fashioned Filipino hospitality and honesty.  This is the kind of honesty that one rarely hears about when foreigners talk about the Filipino. But, this is the honesty that I find to be quite common after living in the Philippines for more than three years.  So many times, I hear that Filipino will take advantage of you at every step. And here’s some proof that it just isn’t so.

My latest trip to the Bantayan Island beach resorts was pleasant, just as I knew it would be.  If you’re coming to visit Cebu, do yourself a huge favor and visit Bantayan Island.  If you stay at Tristan’s please tell her Rusty says hello.

You can also see a 11 minute video I captured while on Bantayan Island during this trip by visiting this link: Bantayan Island Video

There are many other Bantayan Island beach resorts to choose from but no one will take better care of you than Nancy and her staff will.

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