In Borongan City
BORONGAN CITY– An island in this city is offering extreme activities that adventure seekers are sure to enjoy.
For just 30-minutes boat ride from Sawang port, the guests could reach Ando Island fondly calls by the locals as ‘puro halaba” or long island.
The island, facing the vast but treacherous Pacific Ocean, is where the Bantayan Cliff is located.
It is here where the famous “hanging hammock” is located and was conceptualized by Huplag Adventure owned by Eleazar Labtic in 2012.
Since the activity was opened to the public, it slowly attracted attention partly due to the posts in social media sites by those who visited the place.
The hammock is suspended 116 feet or at least 36 meters above, making one to see a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean.
Tourists who will try the hammock are treated with picturesque view of the vast ocean, a beautiful sunrise if they stay overnight at the campsite, which will surely earn more likes and share when taken by pictures and posted in the social media sites.
“But Bantayan Cliff is not only about hanging hammock. Guests mostly posts and shares their experience about how they enjoy sitting in the hammock suspended in the top of the cliff. But our activities is not only the hanging hammock because we are offering more,” Labtic said.
He added that they came up with more activities to make sure that those who will visit their place will enjoy and treasure their experience.
But make no mistake. These activities are not for those with faint heart and with health problems.
He first thought of creating a tour package where guests can explore the whole island but scrapped the plan and instead decided to focus on what Bantayan Cliff can offer to its guests.
For adventure seekers, a trail was developed for tourists to follow before they can try the hanging hammock. It will start at the “makuri trail” which translate to difficult trail, “matarum trail” or sharp trail.
Guests will also experience a sort of caving, rock climbing, ascending by rappel up to about 6-meters high ridge and rappelling 116 feet down from the Bantayan Cliff.
Down in Bantayan Cliff, guests may enjoy dipping their weary bodies in the small lagoons during low tide.
Among the activities, the ascending is optional for the guests to try. Before they can do it, they must try to ascend in a talisay tree at the camp site. If they can successfully lift their bodies to the branch of the tree, they are allowed to do it, but if they fail, they will follow another trail that doesn’t need climbing.
Labtic added that he prefers small group, or at least four to six people trying the trail to make it easier to handle, and have their experience in Bantayan more meaningful.
Doing the challenges is bit costly, with rate for single person cost to P6,500; for two guests the package will amount is P3,000 each; package for three to four guest cost P2,500 each; for five to six person, the tour cost P1,800, while for seven to eight guest cost P1,500 and nine to 10 guests cost P1,200.
The package rate includes, tour guide, island accommodation, boat transportation, porters, entrance fee, meal and government tax.
At present, guests who will stay for overnight in the island are accommodated in an open nipa hut at the camp site, with an option to sleep in a hammock or at the floor. Labtic explains that this is to make each guest experience the feeling of living an ordinary life.
“But we have plans of constructing a small house made from bamboo that can accommodate a couple or a group of friends who wishes to have privacy when they decide to stay for overnight,” Labtic said.
A comfort room is available for the guests to use and in this day and age of internet, the place has a good mobile phone and internet signal.
Recently, officials of the Eastern Visayas Tourism Association (EVTA), an organization accredited by the Department of Tourism, visited the island and assess the services in Bantayan Cliff.
During their visit, the group gave suggestions on how to improve more the site and the services they offer to guest which was warmly welcome by the operator. They also promised to promote and market the hanging hammock to their clients.
EVTA also noted that the place is not only good for adventure seekers but also a good site for those who are into birding. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)