|Must eat: Bantayan danggit, a less salty yet more flavorful dried fish than the ones in Cebu City|
Our goal on the second day of our Bantayan Island getaway was to visit Ogtong cave and swim in freshwater. It’s not that we were tired of swimming in the beach but more because of I want to experience swimming inside a cave. Sadly though, swimming in the cave is only allowed for checked in guests at the Ogtong Cave Resort. According to the receptionist, this is a DENR directive to preserve the quality of water inside the cave. Walk-in guests can still enter the cave for 100 pesos and take pictures inside. The entrance fee also includes swimming rights to the resort’s pool if you really want a dip in the water. We decided not to see the inside of Ogtong Cave anymore if we didn’t get to swim anyway since there’s one more cave in the island that’s said to be bigger than the one in Ogtong. This cave is located at Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort which is 30 minutes away from the main beach area.
We had a hard time deciding whether we will push through visiting that other cave because we found the price a little steep (500 pesos round trip). One thing about Bantayan: getting around the island will burn your travel money fast. If you can avoid riding the tricycles to get to where you’re going, you can save a lot. For those who can ride a motorcycle, you can rent motorcycles in your hotel or at one of the stalls along the main road on an hourly or daily charging. They also rent out bicycles which is what we did. Bikes are 35 pesos per hour and 150 pesos per day, which is not bad considering a 10-minute tricycle ride will already cost you 80 pesos. If there’s one thing I regret in our trip, it’s not renting out bicycles from Day 1 not only because of the money we could’ve saved but also because it was so much fun and freeing getting around the island on a bike.
The road to Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort is not paved so we were bouncing inside the sidecar throughout that ride. Very hard butt massage we experienced on that trip. We visited on a Monday and lucky for us, that’s when they rehabilitate the water so no one is allowed to swim. We were butt massaged for nothing. But since we were there anyway, we decided that we might as well see the cave for a 75 pesos entrance fee. And it was a letdown. I thought that there will be some spelunking involved but it was basically just a hole in the ground with some water in the bottom.
|Cave at Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort|
We ended our day on a low note BUT I would definitely go back to Bantayan and next time I won’t stress about seeing and experiencing all the things the island has to offer. I will just stay on the beach, drink a cold mango smoothie, probably read a book and ride my bike out whenever I get hungry. Here’s a photo of Sisig-Stuffed Squid from Zubuchon to make us all happy:
Read the first part of our trip to Bantayan.