Save for the huge crowd that milled around the island and beaches during Holy Weekend this year, Bantayan Island is without a doubt a person’s best choice to be at when you want to celebrate Easter and reflect on your spiritual growth. This is said with poetic honesty, mind you. I guess this is perhaps one of the reasons why we also decided to go around the island and escape the merriment of the beach to coalesce a province that is dubbed as the Lenten Capital of the Philippines.
We missed the procession that usually takes place near the large colonial-era church of St. Peter and Paul but it is more reverent to visit this old church sans the people, the noise and the festival. There were stories of epic real live performances of the crucifixion and people actually nailing themselves until they hemorrhage but I couldn’t just bear to see that. I would like to remember the passion of Christ as a serene, peaceful and obeisant moment no matter how appalling Christ had to go through to make us remember that day year after year.
It was heartwarming to see my friend Miguel or Bash (his Muslim name) go inside our Catholic church and take all the grandeur of colonial times into heart. There was no differences in religion during holy week. It was purely the perfect time to reflect on one’s faith and religion and understand that unity resides in the heart and not in paper and prescription.
We took pictures and realized how different it is to be inside St. Peter and Paul Church. Surprisingly, it was cold and warm at the same time while the temperature outside remained at 30 degrees high.
Basti enjoyed the long drives so much he practically sat still the entire time.
Gross, I know.
We had difficulty choosing which was fresher! That’s Hedge, Joven and Bash by the way.
Fresh Bangus (Milkfish)
I am guessing this is swordfish.
Saang Shells – never tasted it. Best when grilled.
Aj rattled off its history when she told us that Bantayan Island became her thesis paper since she was a local from Bantayan and would be the perfect person to do that job. Madridejos was one of the towns in Bantayan that gave them popular landmarks such as the 187 meter Bontay Baywalk and the watch tower that is made from corals and stones. I felt bad I didn’t get more photos from that tower. At least I have something to look forward to the next time.
Bantayan Island certainly carry a popular cache due to the Island’s glowing recommendation as one of the best beaches in Visayas and the best places to be in come Holy Week. There is so much to learn in Bantayan and so much history and culture to soak in. Perhaps next time, we will go back there on a non-peak season where there are less people and more time.
**Text and photos by Kristine Roa. Reproduction without consent is not allowed.