Few weeks ago, Philippine Airlines invited us, bloggers, for a night of love for wanderlust, music (ugh, Bamboo!!) and knowledge. I sucked at geography (so for sure, I lost at the raffles and games LOL) but I’m so happy that on its 74th year, PAL, the country’s flag carrier, is set to launch new flights from Manila to more parts of the world!
I am a fan of PAL. If I’ll be given enough budget for travels, I would definitely choose this airline with its excellent service and the Pinoy touch to its clients. I remembered my mom who’s a biyahera, would always choose this for her trips, and ours too (my first PAL experience was a trip to Sydney when i was a kid). So when PAL announced that there will be new flights such as below, this will definitely be good news for travellers, business people (like my mom who always go to Guangzhou!) and OFW’s as well! Congratulations, PAL!!
Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) this October 2015
Auckland (New Zealand) via Cairns (Australia) on December 2015
Additionally, PAL has also launched its services earlier this year to New York (USA), Guangzhou (China), Tablas (Romblon) and opened new inter-island flights in Visayas and Mindanao. PAL also reintroduced its Business class service to Cebu and Davao.
The ever competitive Martha of the Beauty Junkee who also won a trip to Cairns!! #GoBeautyBloggers
Elesiiiiiii #bamboo #ugh #TheVoiceee A video posted by M I K K I M I N A J (@mikkigalang) on
Si @thebeautyjunkee ‘di napigilan! Wahaha #babe #bamboo A video posted by M I K K I M I N A J (@mikkigalang) on
Santa Fe, Bantayan Island in Cebu is one of the most peaceful and raw islands I’ve ever experienced. The white-sand beaches are ok, but I really like the kind of serenity (and the sunrise which Bantayan is known for) and vibe especially because of the Afro-Mediterranean inspired Kandugyap House By The Sea where we stayed at. This side-trip definitely was worth it even if we stayed only for a couple of hours.
We arrived at Santa Fe (which is east of the Bantayan Island) after a 2-hour bus drive and approximately 1-hour ferry trip from Cebu City. It’s quite tiring due to the duration but there’s no traffic so basically I just slept the whole time. The transportation expense is affordable (around P600-700 for a round trip) and there are vans or cabs too if you want smaller capacity of vehicles.
I have never been on a ferry trip but it was the only way to get to Bantayan from Cebu (Hagnaya Port). There were lots of tourists and locals who were travelling that time (hello summer!) so the ferry was jampacked for the first trip which was at 4am (spell haggard)!!!! But, it was all worth it, especially when I saw what my friend booked for us for our stay at the island: Kandugyap House By The Sea.
I love the place!!! (YES, three exclamation points!) It’s just a 10-15 minute-tricycle trip from the port and really accessible to a lot of the sari-sari stores where you can buy food, drinks and toiletries. There’s no Jollibee or Mang Inasal, but their stores offer a wide range of goods that tourists need.
The main house is named after the owner, Dolores, a strong woman who stood the test of time and serves more than half her life to the community, changing lives. For Eight (8) years, villa was exclusively used as the family’s vacation home. The villa was built in 2003 using strong construction materials to stand against the strong Southwest Monsoon. Uniquely and exquisitely designed by a local architect, Arch. Ulysses A. Castillo inspired by Afro-Mediterranean designs. The interior has a wooden loft and handrails, sand washed and deep colored walls, molave wood tables and chairs, a king-size bed, a queen bed and a double bead with a wooden headboard. (Photo gallery above courtesy of Kandugyap FB)
Aside from the interiors and the fact that I sort of own the sea (haha) and I can take lots of pictures hehe, the service is excellent, as well as their food offerings.
There is a portion of the house that lets you access the beach. Kandugyap House by the Sea is a private resort with 1 villa and 2 bungalow rooms only and is ideal for prenuptial photo shoots (check out the above spot!!), beach weddings and honeymoon. When I posted photos of these on IG, my friends asked me where was that. I felt like I was somewhere else because of the mediterranean feel of the place.
I highly recommend this resort. We got the villa which can house 6 people for only P6000 a night (not really that bad!!). The villa has a bathroom and toilet with hot and cold shower, air-conditioning unit, digital TV broadcast, refrigerator and a WIFI internet access!!
After some photo-taking, we immediately left the resort and took a boat to Virgin island which is just a few minutes from Santa Fe. There is no hotel or major activity in this beach but it’s the nicest white beach near Bantayan where you can go picnic, snorkeling and hang out with friends. We played volleyball there just like high school haha!
There’s a portion of the island where we were supposed to be toured at but it was too far and it’s currently under development. We went back to the resort instead to have drinks and to just relax before the sunset.
There is also not much night life at island except for this bar where we saw lots of tourists and foreigners dining in and drinking. The food is nice and the variety of Filipino and local food is awesome. We went home after some drinks and continued bonding at the resort which was really peaceful at night!
The other day was about catching the sunrise, taking photos (below are more OOTD’s featuring the nice interiors), and just enjoying my friend’s company after months of not being updated about each other.
Bantayan is definitely one island that I wanna visit when i want to just relax and spend time with my friends or family. I suggest having this trip whenever you’re in Cebu (maybe after Sinulog – which I had been planning for the next year). See you again, Bantayan!
I told myself that when an opportunity comes to visit Cebu again, i would definitely go because the people are so warm and friendly, and the places are peaceful and pretty. I went there for the first time around 7 years ago with my cousins and friends who toured us to the top destinations in the city and until now, I couldn’t forget the moments. Below are photo diaries of my 2 trips to Cebu: one in 2009, while the other which is just a 5 months ago!
My first visit in Cebu was memorable because our family friend toured us to these destinations that are famous in the city. They also accommodated us in their house and met a few more friends and batchmates that we have bonded with in resorts, clubs (I like the night life there!), and beaches. I love Cebuanos’ hospitality. Sometimes people would just greet me “hi” and it’s so nice to hear that coming from a city where everyone is just busy haha
So when high school friends invited me for a short trip in Cebu City and nearby island, I immediately said Yes even if I have a booked event on the 3rd day. We arrived at Cebu City in the afternoon and we visited the clean and green Ayala Mall which I first saw 7 years ago.
We then went to eat at this famous locally grown restaurant and I just can’t help to Instagram and devour these!
I didn’t have the chance to visit some cultural places back then so we were on tourist mode for a couple hours and it’s nice to be refreshed with some history lessons!
We ended the short day at Tops which had become really developed after a few years with more restaurants and food offerings. Our good friend Jed and Maricris brought us here and it was such romantic place!
Thanks to friends for making this trip possible! We tried going to a bar after but we realized that it was a Thursday haha. Will definitely be back and hoping I can experience Sinulog too!