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Airdrop Post: Fighting Birds Breeding Brought Us to Bantayan
Thanks to @ARTicLEE for sharing about the NomadCoin project's airdrop. NomadCoin project is all about creating a community of like-minded travelers, learn more about it here: NomadCoin Airdrop is Here...
I have been contemplating on what would be my entry for this travel airdrop, after a few scanning on my drives, I bumped into our photos at Bantayan Island, one of our favorite beach destinations in Cebu and so I figured, this would be my entry.
Bantayan Island is located west of the northern end of Cebu island, across the Tañon Strait, it takes three hours drive from Cebu City to Hagnaya Port and a 30-45 minutes ferry ride to Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island.
This trip specifically was our third time to get to the island and there's a lot of reason why we keep on coming back. However, for this trip, the main reason was my husband and his brother's fighting bird breeding. They were invited by a friend who has a game farm and we were there to buy some pairs of birds with good bloodlines. Cockfighting is a huge industry in the country, some may have banned this just like the United States but this one is still legal in the Philippines. My brother-in-law is so active in joining derbies and he wanted to start it right with his simple backyard farm. My husband on the other hand is not into the fighting side but more in the breeding, he is very interested in this topic and so he needs to be there at the farm to see the chickens himself.
Hitting two birds with one stone. I was just there to support them, I was not after the farm visit, rather, I was for the vacation. It's a two-day trip.
Our host, Dino Montemar owns a beach resort and this was not our first time to get to his resort because, on our second visit to the island, we stayed there for a night. This time, we are just there to eat breakfast or brunch should I say.
Beach Montemar is very quiet, during our stay, we were the only guests. My husband and I watched a million stars above our head at night, there was a blackout during our stay but it was a blessing in disguise because we were able to see the stars while lying in the resort's beach chairs. The sunrise view here is also very nice. We didn't get to catch the sunrise though because we arrived a little late for it, around seven in the morning.
But our breakfast was ready! I thought it would just be pancakes, corned beef, hotdogs, or typical silog-Filipino-type of breakfast but I was wrong!
There were plates of seafood prepared by the in-house restaurant and our host was very accommodating. There were only three guests, me, my husband, and the brother-in-law but the food prepared was good for a dozen people!
There were seashells, squid, pancit, some grilled fish, buttered shrimps, halang-halang, fish soup, sea weeds, and more. I can't quite remember all the food that was served in front of us. But I do remember being very full, there was still a lot left on our table.
Filipinos are really good at hospitality and Dino even told us to bring the leftovers to go but we declined.
After having breakfast, we were brought to the farm. Dino's family owns a chicken meat and layer farm on the island. Dino's game farm named Dart Gamefarm is also right next to that and we started looking into his chickens immediately after arriving.
Again, I am not into the chickens, so I was just there but I can't wait until they finish their business so we can explore the island.
As soon as they were done, the brother-in-law went back to the city while my husband and I had booked a room to stay here overnight.
Unlike the previous stays, we opted to go to a place a distance from the main town because most of the resorts were fully booked. So we booked a one-night stay at Hide Away Grove via Airbnb. The property was 11 minutes drive away from the town and so we needed a vehicle to get there. We found scooters for rent in the main town for Php 300 for 24 hours so we got one and I believe it was a good deal.
The room was clean and the resort owners were very friendly. However, we didn't expect that the beach shoreline is unlike the ones we were used to seeing in Bantayan. The shoreline is filled with seagrasses, since it is not a commercialized area, there was rubbish on the shore and it is not the whitest sand as well compared to those located in Sta. Fe.
Still, we enjoyed the view of the locals, the fishing boats, the dogs, and the kids.
In the evening, we decided to go to the main town and check the nightlife, just kidding, we were there to look for an internet connection and have tea as well. There was a poor connection signal in our room.
We found Lay'se Cafe's ambiance cool so we dined there, ordered a few desserts, and just killed time. They had fast and reliable as well as unlimited internet wifi access, it was perfect for the two of us.
At nine in the evening, we decided to go back to our Airbnb room but the rain started pouring while we were on the road. Thanks to our dry bag, our digital items were not drenched, only ourselves and the motorcycle.
We had a good night's sleep. In the morning, our breakfast was served and I can't remember what we had ordered though. Our check-out time was at 11 in the morning and our plan was to go back to Cebu by the afternoon and so we still had time to roam around the island. We never had the chance to explore the waters, I was discouraged to swim as one of the guests who went freediving said there are a lot of spiky sea urchins around and I don't want to encounter any accidents.
Our morning consisted of a lot of walking instead, we walked from the resort's shoreline to some other properties which looked abandoned. Then we also checked the simple province life in the neighborhood. It felt like we were locals in fact and I liked it! We bought some chips from the small sari-sari store, we snapped photos too!
The weather was better on our second day on the island. We decided to have lunch at Ogtong Cave Resort. A tip for those who want to go inside resorts but don't want to spend a night is to just dine in, that's what we usually do whenever we are traveling.
Ogtong Cave Resort is basically a resort that homes the Ogtong Cave, this cold cave sits just right in the heart of the resort and it is what's attracting visitors to come. This is also a sister resort of Sta. Fe Beach Club, the beautiful white sand beach that's visible from the Sta. Fe port.
This resort sits on natural limestone rock with a landscape garden. They have pretty Filipino architecture villas and non-aircon cottages. At the entrance, a bougainvillea fence is very attractive. The shrubs have grown up and were trimmed well.
Kudos to the management for keeping the resort clean and tidy. They have no available lockers so we had to bring our bags with us after paying the day tour fees. We looked for a spot at the restaurant instead and I spotted a lot of guests enjoying the pool as well as some who were basking in the sun! I immediately noticed the cave entrance just next to the restaurant too. The freshwater feels great in this hot weather. The sun was totally shining with no clouds so being under these limestone rocks dipping in the cold freshwater is the best option rather than staying in the beach or the pool!
A rough cemented stairway allows guests to access the cave. The waters were clear and clean, it can accommodate a few people inside. Children below 14 years of age are not allowed in the cave for safety reasons.
Guests can enjoy the resort's two swimming pools, white sand beach, freshwater underground cave, sauna, activity area, and a restaurant which was available 24 hours but I wonder if that's still the case today.
For lunch, we had Tangigue fish kinilaw with coconut milk, the Filipino ceviche which is a personal favorite, stir-fried vegetables, and lemon chicken. Everything tasted good! I couldn't complain, in fact, everything was wiped off the plates!
Our two days and a one-night stay on the island are quite different from the previous two visits but it is something that we as well cherish because we were like locals, and we felt that there is still a lot more to discover here. I hope we can go back to the island when everything is back to normal. Also, with the use of Nomadcoin, we might be able to stay in better accommodation, a beach front with our son so we can watch the sunrise together. Also, I'd like to revisit Virgin Island too!
My smartBCH address is 0xBf87BE5F74849A0392623f628ebbad37aA5df49C