When the Mr and I got married, we initially planned to go to Gigantes Island for our honeymoon. But because the weather wasn’t too good, we ended up going to Iloilo with my younger siblings instead. It was also a way for us to thank my younger siblings for helping us out with our wedding planning. But before hubby said yes, I promised we would have our real honeymoon later– on another office holiday. Two months later and we were on our way to Sta. Fe, Bantayan.
Our office follows the US timezone, which meant it also had to customize local Philippine holidays with US holidays. At first, this put us off since we wouldn’t be able to spend long weekends with our friends and family members. But after a while of working with our schedule, you get to realize that it does come with some perks. For starters, our holidays are not the same with other people. So with this, we don’t have to worry about peak season rates or overcrowded beaches.
Over the weekend, we had an office holiday– President’s Day. And just in time for Valentine’s Day, we decided to celebrate it away from the city. Mr. C had been planning to take me to Bantayan since Valentine’s Day 2015 but I got sick so we weren’t able to go. This time, we were fully ready and excited to head over to what people called as a beautiful island.
True enough, Bantayan lived up to its name. It was truly a paradise– white sand beaches, pristine blue waters with no jellyfish or sea urchins to worry about. It was hubby’s 2nd or 3rd time in Bantayan but it was my first– and already, I’m looking forward to visiting the island more and getting to know the locals more.
On our visit, I was amazed at how the locals went away with their daily activities. It was such a refreshing sight to see children going to school on bikes and parking these outside their school. If I were still in Manila, I’d think that these children stole the bikes (I witnessed an incident in 2008) from someone else. But no, Bantayan was different. Walking around the small town of Sta. Fe, it was comforting to see how the locals were able to recover from the damage caused by Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan). We spoke to a trisikad driver and he told us that when the typhoon hit, a lot of people hurried to help Bantayan. According to him, those who were homeless were given homes; the jobless were given small businesses; and people were given bikes so they could use it on their daily activities.
But as you made your way to the mercado or the market, you’d see some visible evidence that the beautiful Bantayan was once ravished by a typhoon. Yet despite all the devastation from almost 3 years ago, the people show that their steadfast foundation in God has proven stronger than any typhoon.
Bantayan is beautiful and it is slowly rebuilding itself back to its former fame.
Know more about our Bantayan trip here:
How to Get to Bantayan
Where to Stay in Bantayan
Where to Go in Bantayan
Where to Dine in Bantayan