the kota beach journal

Cebu Travel Blog

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Day 1

who doesn’t love the beach? it is peace. it is paradise. and in an island, in the far far tip of cebu, there’s kota beach, a white-sand fortress.

kota beach is in sta. fe, bantayan island. bantayan island is in the northern tip of cebu island. it’s quite a long way to get there, but it’s all worth the rough trip. from the mactan international airport we took an airport taxi to drive us to hagnaya wharf, the gateway to bantayan island. it’s a 3-hour trip, that’s why we took a taxi for convenience instead of the bus.

then from the wharf, it took us 1 and a half hour to bantayan via the ferry (m/v super shuttle ferry), then learned later that it would only take us 45 mins if we took the fast craft (aznar fast craft).

we’ve been travelling since morning and were already tired when we got to the island. fortunately, manong dodong of kota beach fetched us from the port in his multicab. after unpacking we went to check out the beach, and all exhaustion went off. we then had dinner. it really was great, with shrimps and squids and a view of the beach. though all rooms in the resort were occupied, the place was still peaceful and never crowded. and though the nearby resort (budyong beach resort) was jam-packed with guests and tents, we still felt secluded in kota.

the weather was not that good, it actually rained a bit. we hit the sack early so we can wake up early in the morning and meet the sunrise. we slept well despite the vibrations coming from the party’s sound system in budyong.

Day 2

we woke up early, around 6am, and looked for something to eat. only one restaurant was open at that time, the mama titas bakery and restaurant just across the church and the market. we had dangitsilog for only 40 pesos! after that delightful breakfast we went around poblacion and looked for a store where we could buy toothpaste, shampoo, etc. since ours were taken out of our carry on baggage at the airport.

after a bath and changing to beach clothes, we walked on the beach and enjoyed the sun. unlike boracay or puerta galera, the beach is never crowded. but then the heat of the sun was quite strong on the skin, staying on the shades watching the wonderful blue cottony skies over blue crystal water and the white sands was heaven enough.

for a change of scenery, we rented a multi-cab for 500 pesos and went to bantayan town for their good friday lechon parade (yes, they have lechon (roasted pig) on good fridays, it’s been told that this rite is supported by the church and can be traced back from the time when the town didn’t have anything to fish on a good friday and had to put lechon on their table). but we were too early and except for the church, we had nowhere to go to since the town’s museum was also closed.

we just then went to ogtong cave beach resort. it’s a private resort and has an underground cave where you can go down and dip in cool water, a pool for those who doesn’t like the saltwater, and a beach. the resort is beautifully landscaped and very private though there were a few excusionists who paid 75 pesos entrance fee to explore the place. the cottages looked more expensive though. we just walked around the place, we didn’t like the idea of getting wet since it’s quite far from kota beach. and we didn’t want manong driver to wait for us too long since it was almost lunchtime.

we headed back to kota beach for our lunch. we ate at the restaurant, warning though, the food took time to prepare, so we realized we should order our food in advance so we don’t have to wait too long. after lunch, i asked mang dodong (the one who fetched us from the port and the one who looked for a driver to drive us to bantayan town and ogtong) where to rent for a skim board. i just gave him the 150 pesos rental fee for the 3 hour use of the board.

after resting our full tummies, we ran to the beach and tried skim boarding. it was all our first time and we didn’t have any idea on how to use it. so we watched the other kids do it. it looked easy, but when i tried it, it wasn’t! i got cuts on my toes, feet, and hand. after several tries and falls i got tired and settled to enjoy watching the other kids. haha and i really did enjoy.

for dinner, we ate at Marisquera O Portuguese Bar and Restaurant. the food are affordable but not really great. the pizza w/ anchovy was cheesy and good but the fettucine was bland. the dinner wasn’t really great enough to take away our exhaustion. we were really tired and went directly back to our cottage right after dinner, we really did a lot of activity the whole day. i felt like a was kid again, retiring to bed totally exhausted from playing all day. lying down watching the simpsons, i easily dozed off.

Day 3

it was our third day  and we wanted to visit the neighboring islands. manong dodong fixed us an island tour to virgin island and some snorkeling for 1200 pesos. along the way we joked about who’s not going to be allowed to step on the island, we would know who among us are still virgins haha. funny thing is, when we got there, we were not allowed to enter the island. oh, but it’s not about our virginity. it is a private island and the owner was having a private party there that day. we just left and the boatmen brought us to an area where we could snorkel. we snorkeled for just a little while since there weren’t a lot of fish in that area. we transferred to another spot, but the the waves were too strong for us. so we ended up heading to another nearby island which name i forgot because it wasn’t really easy to remember.

the island isn’t touristy, the sand has peebles and not that clean. there are a few houses along the shore, some kids, and a pigpen that smells. there were a few groups of local tourists seemed to go there for their lunch, i really wondered why. the only thing i liked there was the view of the sky, there were ripples, a very huge ripples. it was my first time to have seen something like that.

and oh yes, you can also see batayan’s long stretch of white sand beaches from there. the boatmen offered to look for some fish or squid for us to cook and eat. unfortunately, there weren’t any to buy. it was almost lunchtime, probably the families had already cooked all the fish they had. so we just headed back to kota beach for lunch.

the rest of the day was dull. dull afternoons on the beach feel really good. lots of memories came into my mind. lots of realizations. it was a counting crows moment.

i waited for the sunset only to realize that the sun sets on the other side of the island. waah! it would have been perfect at kota, the sandbar, the hightide, the lowtide, the sunrise, the seclusion, but missing the sunset was really a disappointment.

Day 4

i missed the sunrise. no thanks to budyong beach and smart, for their holy week summer saya party. i wasn’t able to sleep well the night before. i sat on the veranda and worked on sorting my photos. the other guests couldn’t sleep also. i really hate budyong beach and smart for that. did they really expect people to stay awake with their painful eardrums and headaches until 5am for a week? it was really very irresponsible for smart sponsoring such loud party in a quite town like sta. fe on a holyweek.

we just spent the whole day bumming around the beach. it was living life fully. it was feeling life. very spiritually uplifting. the whole day, i felt the need and excitement to refresh my perspective in life. and i thanked god. you see, i spent the week holy afterall.

Day 5

it was our last day at kota, so i woke up early to catch may last kota beach sunrise. ah, the drama of a sunrise. the light on the shores of darkness. missing the sunset means not missing the sunrise at kota which isn’t a disappointment afterall. and as one quote goes “We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in darkness”. another day stretching out before me, giving me the chance to realize and do what i ought to do.

but the day wasn’t as uplifting as i wanted it to be. the trip back to the city was a long trip and i just slept it off. when i woke up, i felt tired and wasn’t in the mood to tour the city. the temperature was really hot and worsened the mood. the taxi driver was good enough to drive us to mactan and lapu-lapu shrine, sutukil and the pasalubong market.

i really loved the sukutil part, sutukil stands for ’sugba’,’tula’, ‘kilaw’. we ordered crabs, prawns, lapu-lapu and oysters and paid only 1200 pesos which already included the charge for the preparation/cooking, 2 platters of rice, 2 liters of coke.

from sutukil, we headed to the pasalubong market. the prices of the goodies are reasonable enough. i bought some dried dangit and pusit. then manong juan, the taxi driver, drove us to the airport. we were too early for our 11pm flight, but we’re too tired to check out the city. we just killed time in the airport. next time, i won’t be booking for the last flight. we were already sleepy and too impatient to wait for our turn.

there was no drama leaving cebu. i was just too tired. but i felt i’ll be back soon. i love cebu, for the beaches and the nice people, and for some sentimental reasons.

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Contact
Kota Beach Resort
Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu
Tel#. (032) 4196135 / (032) 4389042

Rooms

We paid 2400 pesos for the room which is just in front of the beach. It is airconditioned,  has 2 beds (single & double) and a veranda.

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photo by: TravellinChic