Plans awry and suddenly I got three days without anything to do. So me and my friend packed nothing but bikinis and hopped on the earliest bus bound for Hagnaya. It has been two years since I first visited Santa Fe.
Santa Fe is one of the municipalities of Bantayan Island which is located in the northern part of Cebu. You can reach this paradise in four to six hours by riding a bus to Hagnaya Port and a ferry to Santa Fe. I was mesmerized by the beauty of its beaches; the white sands, crystal clear waters and impeccable sky. It was then my desire to come back and bask under the Bantayan sun.
Without hesitation and last-minute preparation, off we go on that impulsive getaway. Surely, there are numerous sites to see and activities to do in Santa Fe but here are the five things you can do if you have no itinerary.
1. Rent a bike and give your best smile.
What really sold me to this getaway was this– biking around town. It has been 10 years since I last rode a bicycle and truth be told, I have never tried biking on roads. Ergo, the awkward posture and the constant shrieks.
We visited Sugar beach, Ruins, Ogtong Cave Resort and Paradise Beach. Some roads were kinda steep and rocky for a beginner like me. Hence, the amusement and giggles of some locals and tourists on my rants and grunts.
The locals, especially the kids, were friendly. Greeting us as we passed by, which made the ride more memorable. In return, we gave them our best smiles and called back with the most enthusiastic hello’s and good day’s.
2. Eat all you can scallops. Almost.
We visited the wet market and were lucky enough to find a vendor selling steamed scallops, three packets for a hundred pesos. My eyes widen. That is certainly good deal. Two pieces of puso (steamed white rice wrapped in coconut leaves) and a pack of steamed scallops; lunch is now served. Let’s restrain ourselves from eating too much I might get indigestion with all the “unlimited” scallops.
3. Swimming. Basking. Repeat.
You can’t go to this paradise without getting salt in your hair and sand in between your toes. Our accommodation is just a three-minute walk from the beach. Hence, we mostly spend it by the waters. If you can’t find us swimming, we are basking and napping under the heat of the sun.
In the midst of all these, we happen to spot a local collecting the seaweeds that were washed on shore. We picked another sack and helped clean the shore – clad in our bikinis.
4. Two bottles and counting.
The entire Santa Fe is bustling with tourists; from the restaurants to the bars. Definitely a good idea to have a bottle or two of your favorite beer and listen to some acoustic songs.
But no judgment here if we opt to lounge on the bed with the AC on high; sipping beer and listening to songs played outside. Let’s just say, we need all the rest we can.
We raided the thrift shops after hearing mass which was located across the church. Honestly, I am such a bad shopper. I would just normally scan through every single item and still leave the shop empty-handed. I am glad to have my friend with me, she might find something that suits me. Who knows some of her tricks and taste might rub on me.
With its scenic beaches and cheerful locals, Santa Fe definitely earns the spot as the place to have quick getaway from all the mundane of everyday life.