It didn’t take long for us to reach Anika Island Resort, which would be our home for a couple of nights. After checking in and leaving our bags, we immediately went to the beach to try to make use what’s left of the afternoon light. The Sta Fe beach was wide and fine but heavily disrupted by traffic of people. The Sta Fe pier is at sight from where we were indicating its closeness. The beach stretch is shared among a community of local fisher folks and resorts. It was no surprise to see a lot of local youngsters at play. A group of kids playing football by the beach and some playing with toys they constructed out of materials they could find. This is still a place where kids aren’t consumed by electronic gadgets yet. We were watching out for the moonrise which came early that evening. People were already propped in some of resort chairs admiring the warm orange glow of the moon rising beyond the fish cages on the blue horizon. I can hear and see families staying until night-time by the shallow tides playing and enjoying the sands. Later, I could hear guitar strums near the beach while a group enjoys a night of music. Amusingly a bike-riding balut vendor would pass to steal the show with his yell. This is the kind of rural atmosphere I enjoy. Unhurried and relaxed which we particularly enjoyed over sumptuous seafood dinner by the beach.
I decided to wake up real early to catch the sunrise. Walked farther from our resort into where most of the fishing boats are. As early as that time while the cool morning wind still blows, I could already see a few fishermen preparing their boats. The morning purple glow came and cast its light on the wavy patterns on the sand with occasional common starfishes almost unnoticeable on the surface. When it came bright, I saw the community behind me, and noticed there were still remnants from the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda in which Bantayan was also hit hard. I’m guessing the owners of the house ruins decided to leave or worst, joined the number of victims back in 2013. It was a slightly saddening thought. I sat on one of the lounge chairs by the resort and observed how the beach crowd is slowly picking up. Life goes one, Bantayan Island as a destination is getting back in the tourist map and it is also the start of the long day for our Oceana Philippines Photo Safari.
About Oceana Philippines
Oceana Philippines seeks to restore the health, richness, and abundance of the Philippine oceans. By working closely with civil society, academics, fishers, and government, Oceana Philippines will promote the use of sound science based policies to help ensure sustainable fisheries and vibrant marine ecosystems.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.