My Bantayan trip is one of my most memorable trips.
We went to Bantayan Island for the Holy Week. Before going there, I was just excited to see the blue waters and white sand of the island. I was looking forward to taking photos, and immerse myself to the heat of the sunshine.
We hit Cebu airport by around 2PM. A friend in Cebu fetched us, and quickly drove to Hagnayan Port. We reached the port by 430PM, and parked the car there. The queue was extraordinarily long primarily due to the vacation season. For almost an hour, we barely moved on the line. By 530PM, we decided to just ride a pump boat, than the usual barge.
The pump boat was big and can transport 50-70 people. When the pumpboat started to sail, we were greeted by a moonrise! The view was just majestic, seeing the moon rise from the horizon up to the dark sky.
By around 730pm, the pumpboat stopped. I thought it was just a short break since we were around half a kilometer from the shore of Bantayan. From our boat, I could even see the dancing lights of an event in the island. Smaller boats started to approach our boat, and people started to transfer to those boats. Apparently, the pumpboat cannot dock on the shore because it was “low tide”. It can’t dock on legitimate ports because the boat was a colorum.
We were the last group to unload the pumpboat. We wore our backpacks, secured our phones and wallets. The boat that we were to transfer to was unusually small. I just shrugged it off.
I stepped on a net on the boat. A fluffy net. I tried sitting on the net thinking there was a piece of wood I can sit on, but none! The boat was a simple fisherman’s boat! So I decided to sit on the ledge. We kept the balance of the boat by having another person sit on the other side of the boat. Everyone got on the boat and had settled. We were four passengers, and another four were the fishermen originally on that boat.
“Pwede na tayo magScuba diving!”
“The boat is sinking… group yourselves into…”
We humored ourselves a little. Then one of the boatmen started the machine. First pull! The machine did not start. Second pull! It did not start again.
Third strong pull! He went overboard. The boat started to turn.
In 2 seconds, the boat flipped.
We all got soaked. Even our souls got even soaked I think.
We had a few seconds of panic, but upon seeing that everyone’s safe, we quickly calmed down. And oh, our bags!
May bag was trapped inside the flipped body of the boat. I was trying to pull it out with the hope to save my gagdets. I was trying hard to pull it out, but the fish net was tied on my feet. If I pull hard, I would most likely tie my feet even more. And even if I try, I have lost so much energy to do so. So that time, I just had to accept that all of my things will just get wet.
After 10mins, a bigger boat approached us and rescued us. When almost everyone was not holding on to the flipped boat, one of the boatmen was already able to get my bag.
Upon reaching the shore, we were still quite deranged by what happened. The boatmen were heckling asking for the boat fee. All we were asking was for just to at least get to the sand and lay our things to get money. I was really disappointed to their behavior.
We were supposed to meet our host as he was waiting for us in one of the resorts. Now, we did not know how to connect with him since all of our phones were not working anymore. Trusting that both parties would keep to agreed meeting place, we pushed through. And we were met with much sympathy.
When we reached the house of our host around 9PM, we opened our bags as fast as we can and looked what we can salvage among our valuables. None on my bag. My DSLR and 2 phones were all not working anymore. We were strangers to our host, and I was really confused which one to prioritize: to greet and mingle with them, or calm myself from what happened.
We were wet. But our hearts were not that wet.
They lent us some clothes to use for the night. When we were done washing, we prepped ourselves for some calming sleep.
Then suddenly, we were asked “Are you ready to go?”.
In my head: where are we going? Why am I leaving? Why do I have to move now? Why? I am not yet on my normal state.
As good guests, we went out with them. We were going to a party along Sta Fe beach.
THEN, TO CUT THE STORY, THAT WAS ACTUALLY A CRAZY PARTY. Electromusic under the stars and dancing over the sand of Bantayan. Crazy night sealed off by a crazy party. Our host was one of the organizers of the party in Bantayan Island. Apparently, the island turns to a party beach every Holy Week.
On our Day2, the first thing we did in the morning was to wash our clothes!
THEN I REALIZED I HAD A GoPro with me. I thought the whole trip would go undocumented.
Then here goes the photos!
We wanted to cliff-diving but upon checking out the area, the waters were already shallow because of “low tide”. We decided to head to Sta Fe again.
After that very calming sunset, there goes our third and CRAZIEST party.
FOUR DAYS in Bantayan. THREE NIGHTS of partying. ONE EPIC ISLAND.
Now, I have already got a new phone and camera. And lots of learning on about packing our things to be water-proof.
Make sure you do too!
[WILL ADD A STORY HERE SOON]