Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bantayan Church, the Market and the Tricycle Ride

We stayed in one of the modest resorts in Santa Fe with the whole family. Bantayan Island is quite raw when it comes to accommodations and tourism as a whole, which appeals to me in an egalitarian way as I am quite tired of the same hotel-type exclusive resorts I see invading Mactan Island in Cebu. I don’t go for a holiday to lock myself up inside the resort (I can do this at home!), I want to explore the place.

So we decided to do some little outing by checking out the capital of the island named after itself, Bantayan, and go for some ‘bulad’ (dried fish) shopping as well. The island is known as one of the largest dried fishes producers in the Philippines so me and my mom were quite excited for this little side trip.

‘How do we get there?’, we asked the woman at the reception of the resort.

‘By tricycle and it’s about half an hour ride.’

Funnily, the whole family kind of enjoyed the little tricycle ride. It’s one of those things that they rarely experience so it strikes a sense of discomfort and adventure into their cosy metropolitan lives, even for just a thirty minute journey and back. Me and my sister were busy filming the whole time, haha.

We made it to the public market in Bantayan but helaas there were not enough selection of dried fishes on sale, as we would have thought. It appears that 99% of dried fishes produced in the island are directly transported on boats to mainland Cebu and other parts of the country, leaving very little for the locals.

There was also a mass going on in Bantayan Church and I managed to shoot a few fotos inside. The church was built in 1839 and completed in 1863 so I guess that makes the church as one of the oldest in the country.

Here are the fotos:

Communion time, notice the women are wearing lace veils. I seldom see this in the country but since Bantayan is very rural, the women still practice this habit.

The Church of Bantayan is made of corral stones. The Philippines is one of the devout Roman Catholic countries in the world where the church still has power over its people. Many religiously go to church on Sundays.

Danggit (rabbit fish) is the queen of all dried fishes in the Philippines. It is so celebrated that many restaurants and fastfood chains in the country offer this as breakfast.

Dried fish is not only popular in the Philippines but it is eaten and served all over Asia.

A road side store selling nipa (a tropical palm type), used for roofing houses.

More market scenes: a shopping alley, a street side eatery, and tropical vegetable and fruits: sayote (green), santol (yellow) and coconut.

Travel Period: July 2009
Destination: Bantayan Island (Cebu - Visayas Region), The Philippines

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