Bantayan municipality from far end of quay
Map of Cebu with Bantayan highlighted
|Region||Central Visayas (Region VII)|
|District||4th District of Cebu|
|Barangay||25 (see § Barangays)|
|• Mayor||Ian Christopher Gonzaga Escario|
|• Vice-mayor||Geralyn Escario Cañares|
|• Total||81.68 km2 (31.54 sq mi)|
|includes outlying islands|
|• Density||920/km2 (2,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
|IDD:area code||+63 (0)32|
It is the island's most populous and largest town, with a population of 74,785 people according to the 2010 census. It is bordered to the north by Madridejos and to the southeast by Santa Fe. The municipality also includes numerous smaller islands, such as the Don Islands (Botigues, Doong, Lipayran), Hilotongan, and Yao.
Bantayan is administratively subdivided into 25 barangays:
For short journeys within population centres, then trisikads are readily available. They can carry two or three adults plus goods, a total load in excess of 250 kg (550 lb). They are available only where land is flat and level.
For longer journeys, such as from the municipal centre to outlying barangays, then motor tricycles are available. Smaller ones are motorcycle-sidecar combinations, and can carry about 4 passengers. Larger ones, known as multis, have some sort of saloon behind the driver, and are usually shared between as many as eight passengers, plus some goods stowage.
For the longest journeys, such as from Santa Fe ferry pier into downtown Bantayan and onwards, there are larger jeepneys, which can carry around 20 passengers with rooftop goods stowage.
There is no public bus service as such.
|Population census of Bantayan|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
There are a few historically notable buildings but they have generally not been well maintained, and the ravages of the climate hasten decay, together with several major fires, which consume the wooden structures. Preventive maintenance generally was not practised, so even the best preserved buildings date back only to the middle of the 19th century.
Parish church of Sts Peter and Paul
The main church stands on the principal plaza. Since the arrival of the Spanish there have been several buildings on its site: originally it was little more than a bamboo and nipa structure, which was burned down during one of the Moro raids. This was replaced by another wooden structure, which also burned down. Construction of the present building (the fifth on the site) started in 1839. The main driving force was the parish priest Padre Doroteo Andrade del Rosario and the maestro de obras (master of works) was his nephew Don Manuel Rubio y del Rosario (also known as Kapitan Tawi). Construction lasted about 24 years. The principal building material is coral, sawn to approximately parallelepiped shape and dressed like stone.
Since mid–2012 refurbishment work has been in progress: the belfry has been restored to its former glory, and as at February 2013[update] there are plans to open it for tourist access. The stairs are very steep and not very well guarded, however it does offer an elevated panoramic view of the waterfront.
The church also houses a small museum, visiting by appointment.
D.C. Abello theater
The D.C. Abello Theater was a Love Offering of Diego Abello and Candelaria Abello y Causing, parents of the late Mayor Remedios Abello Escario. Construction of the theater started in 1948 and was completed in 1952. It took four years before the theater could be fully operation as they had to source out a suitable projector and a quality screen that showed images clearly. Diego and Candelaria Abello built this theater to provide entertainment to the people of Bantayan. The building's architectural style harks back to the American period. The D.C. Abello Theater used to show double films and was the favorite rendezvous site of many young romantic Bantayanons at the time. Bantayanons from the neighboring islets and island barangays would flock to this theater especially when a Fernando Poe Jr film was showing. The theater was closed in the early 1980s with the advent of Betamax and, later the DVD era.
As at February 2013[update] it is some sort of warehouse for glass and windows.
Central plaza was the location of several well-built houses. Opposite the church Don Manuel del Rosario built two which used to be "the grandest homes on Bantayan island". Originally pre-dating the church, one was used as the Casa de Mamposteria (house of masons) during construction of the church. The main house was later inherited by the son of Don Manuel and his second wife, while the house next door was their wedding gift to their daughter.
After subsequent bequests, ownership of both houses was shared by many scions of the Causing and Escario families. They were unable to decide on (or maybe fund) any necessary preventive maintenance work. As at February 2013[update] both houses have more or less collapsed in ruins past repair. All that remains of Bantayan's former glory is a dangerous and unsightly collection of rotten beams, collapsed walls and broken tiles occupying a prime and valuable location. Typhoon Yolanda cause both ruins to collapse entirely.
There are no longer any public entertainment centres such as cinemas. Apart from religious fiestas and processions, the main Bantayanon enjoyment comes from karaoke (known as videoke). Many households have their own equipment, but for special occasions they hire equipment with truly prodigious output, especially with low frequency sound. This is likely to be placed in the street, for the enjoyment of all the neighbourhood.
Much of the municipality coastline is unsuitable as a beach - there is no real sandy area, mostly rocks or mud, all along the southern coast of the municipality, and the western coast almost as far north as Baod and Patao. There are better beaches on the eastern coast, but access is difficult.
Sillon and Ba'igad is where good beaches can be found – wide expanses of sand, clean sea and few bathers. However these too have plenty of detritus and flotsam – for the most part seaweed and vegetation from the coconut palms which line the shore. The beaches are almost completely undeveloped, so no facilities, and there are several large private properties which are built close to the shore line.
Private facilities which are open to the public include:
- Casa de Antiguedades – This is a private house whose owner is happy to show visitors some of the artefacts and objects he has collected over the years. No entrance fee, but a contribution to upkeep is appreciated.
- Obo‑ob Mangrove Garden – established by the residents of brgy Obo‑ob, the garden offers visitors a tour into the mangal forest along an elevated bamboo trail.
- St Helena Botanical Garden shows off a selection of exotic flowers and fruits.
- Bantayan Nature Park – this recently established[update] (2012) place does not (yet) live up to its name.
As is common throughout the Philippines, 'sport' is synonymous with cock-fighting. There is a large sports centre (cockpit) on the road to Santa Fe, which attracts a large clientele in Sundays. In addition, puroks can have their own arena, usually just a piece of land set aside for the purpose.
Festivals and processions
The Holy Week observance attracts large numbers of local and foreign tourists to the foot processions on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, when life-sized images and icons are mounted on carrozas (floats) decorated in a carnival style that depict various tableaux of Christ's Passion and the Stations of the Cross.
Palawod is another festival held 29 June in honour of Sts Peter & Paul. The street dancing and ritual showdown competitions which depict the fishing traditions of Bantayan have contributed to Palawod's being the 3-times Grand Champion of the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festival of Festivals.
Sinulog takes place at the end of January, when there are ten or more days of noisy celebration.
- with Mambacayao Daku & Mambacayao Diot
- with Polopolo
- with Botong
- with Biayagayag Daku, Biayagayag Diot, Botigues, Moamboc, Panitugan, Silagon and Sagasa
- Political dynasties in the Philippines and Hedman & Sidel.(pp102–103, 105–106, 108–110, 112, 115, 117)
- "Province: Cebu". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Philippine Income Classification for Provinces, Cities and Municipalities
- Philippines Standard Geographical Code
- Gawad Kalinga
- GK Village I, Bantayan
- National Statistics Office - Population and Annual Growth Rates by Province, City and Municipality: Central Visayas: 1995, 2000 and 2007[dead link]
- BERSALES, Joeber (13 September 2007). "Finding gold in Bantayan" (News online). Cebu Daily News (Global Nation). Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- Villena, Reynan (8 August 2010). "Casa de Antiguedades (House of Antiques)" (Cebu lifestyle). The Freeman (Philippine Star). Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- HEDMAN, Eva-Lotta & SIDEL, John T (2001). Philippine Politics and Society in the Twentieth Century. Colonial Legacies, Post‑colonial Trajectories. London: Routledge – Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0415147903. "Table of contents: 1 Introduction 2 Trasformismo and Philippine Democracy 3 Morbid Symptoms and Political Violence in the Philippines 4 'Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown' 5 'The last hurrah' revisited 6 Mailing Manila: Images of a City, Fragments of a Century 7 From Pugad Lawin to Pugad Baboy: The Making of the 'New Native' 8 The Sulu Zone Revisited: The Philippines in Southeast Asia"
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bantayan, Cebu.|
|Visayan Sea||Santa Fe|