On our third day, we decided to wake up early, rent mountain bikes and explore the island on wheels. We got up at 6:30, quickly changed into our biking outfit. Nothing fancy. I put on my fave pink halter-back shirt which I got from Bora a few years back and my army-green linen cargo pants purchased a few weeks back at 50% off from Bossini.
Ariel, well, he doesn’t really care about what to wear so I guess he just pulled out the first shirt he got his hands on. We both slipped into our most comfortable pair of footwear – our Crocs! I got a pair of silver Mary Janes which I adorned with three red jibbitz (a heart, a ladybug and a strawberry). Ariel oted for a pair of blue Beach Crocs, also adorned with 3 jibbitz (a music note, a guitar and a yellow smiley). I swear, it is worth every peso. We could have survived our entire trip with just our pair of Crocs. I didn’t have to bring my aqua socks!
(By the way, I made a digital layout of our biking
exploration. Check it out here.)
After breakfast, we hired a tricycle to take us to the town proper so we could check out the Bantayan Public Market. We were told by the resort personnel that the Market was 11 kms. away and it would be too far for us to go there on our bikes. As we just had breakfast, we decided to go with the tricycle. The tricycle is not the same as the ones you would see in Manila. It actually looked like a small jeepney and would comfortably fit maybe 8-10 people. Along the way, we saw some chicken farms where Bantayan’s famous eggs are produced. We also saw Coke bottles filled with coke-like liquid being sold on the streets. We later found out they were gasoline for the tricycles.
Once in town, we went around and explored the area on foot. We went to the commercial pier where poeple from nearby islands dock to do their domestic chores like buy water, fresh produce, etc. While going around, we chanced upon a group of men carrying a small hut in bayanihan fashion. They gamely smiled for the camera while I snapped away. We then checked out the dried fish section at the public market and was disappointed to see that their danggit is not well-dried unlike those that are sold in Cebu City. No wonder my breakfast was a bit “malansa” and was not crispy.
To experience the local flavor, we had to eat where the locals eat
After our simple but sumptuous meal, we headed back to the resort. Tired and full, we decided to take a short nap before kayaking later in the afternoon.
We paddled to Kota Beach and stopped for a bit of swimming. We met a couple of kids who were vacationing from Cebu City. Very friendly lot!
The beach was so beautiful on our last day. It seemed like the island knew we were enjoying our last few hours at the beach. The tide was low and we had a wide stretch of beach before us. The water was very calm. There were starfishes all over the beach. The sky was clear and the sun was so bright. We enjoyed just sitting by the beach, partly soaked in water, mostly baking under the sun. We took a lot of pictures to freeze the moment. More than anything, Ariel and I enjoyed our quiet moments together. This trip was far from perfect but it exceeded our expectations. While most people would pay a lot to be with the party crowd of Boracay, we decided to buy us some peace and quiet , and a bit of an adventure in an obscure island in Cebu.
For our last dinner, we went to Balikbayan Restaurant. We ordered the house specialty , Kinunot, which is basically fish fillet in coconut cream with malunggay leaves. Yummy!!! We also ordered grilled pork belly (no surprise there), squid rings (or calamares) with a dipping sauce which seemed to be made of mayo and mustard, and 2 cans of Coke Light. Fantabulous food!!! I’m glad we saved the best for last. A glass of halo-halo for Ariel and a shot of Bailey’s for me were the perfect ending to a great dinner. We paid a total of P770. Not bad for a great meal!!! Next time (we will return to the island someday!), I’d love to try the Spicy Prawns (P350) and the Spicy Crabs (medium – P180; large – P220). Balikbayan Restaurant is definitely a must for any Bantayan Island visitor.
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