4AM call time turned into 6AM.
That has always been the situation with us. We don’t get frustrated. We don’t get irritated. We just patiently wait until most of the group arrives. We are heading to Bantayan Island for our annual summer outing – team building / welcome home party / engagement party / relaxation – all rolled into one.
I’ve been to Bantayan Island twice last year. I went there for a DAY with a good friend and came back a week later for a night on my own. I was dealing some … thing at that time. ANYWAY! back to our summer outing. 🙂
Bantayan island is 4-5 hours bus ride plus a ferry ride. You can get a bus ride to Hagnaya Port at the North Bus Terminal, Subangdaku, Mandaue. The first non-air-conditioned bus leaves at 1:30 AM while the first air-conditioned bus leaves at 6:00 AM . There are buses that leaves every 30 minutes and vans are also available at the terminal. You may call the Cebu North Bus Terminal for the rates: (032) 346 7346.
Since there were about 16 of us, we rented a whole van and just paid for the lacking people so we won’t have any pit stops along the way. We arrived at the Hagnaya Port and bought tickets for the next boat trip. There are two ferries operating at the port going to Bantayan. First trip is at 4AM and intervals at every 3 hours.
I would recommend coming to Bantayan Island during the non-peak season or the rainy season so you would enjoy the serenity of the beaches. There wouldn’t be a long line at the port and the ferry won’t be fully packed when you visit. Plus the accommodations will be much cheaper. Non-peak season starts from June 1 until October 31 while peak season starts from November 1 until May 31.
There are a lot of beach resorts, pension houses and inn rentals around the island. During my first two trips, I stayed at Budyong Beach Resort and Yooneek Inn. As for our summer outing, we rented a house with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathroom and a kitchen. It doesn’t look much but we just really need a place to sleep. You can also pitch your tent by the beach to watch the sunrise.
If you are staying just within Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, you can take a cycle rickshaw to reach your resort. When we got to our rented house, we then grouped ourselves for designation of chores and for the team building later that day.
Once everyone knows which group they belong to, some of us volunteered to go to the market and buy a few things for our meals. To get there, we rented bicycles! How awesome is that!
Throughout the afternoon, we played under the sun, learned how to cooperate and thought outside of the box for our different activities. After our amazing race, we had a lot free time between then and dinner time. We spent it enjoying the clear waters of Bantayan Island.
After dinner, we had trivia night and our team won! It wasn’t easy though; there were categories such as Marvel vs DC and Math as the difficult round. When the game ended, everyone was getting ready to sleep while a few of us decided to bike around the town.
There are a few bars you can visit, a lot of tourist among these places, which have live acoustic band shows. We didn’t stick a round because all of us left our wallets back at the house.
The following day, we bonded over food and swimming. We started to pack up around 2pm and headed to the pier. It would’ve been a good idea to ask someone to get us ferry tickets early in the morning because there was a long line at that time. We waited almost an hour to get a ticket for the next ride and thankfully, we just made it! The people who were next line had to take the next ferry. We got back in the city around 8pm. While the others decided to grab a late dinner, my brother and I went home.
The Amazing Race
The Beautiful Island
Back then, I didn’t realised it would be the last time that I spent summer outing with them. I only have to these photos and the memories as a souvenir to cherish. I surely miss my family who helped me grow as an artist.