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Places & Events to Visit in the Municipality of Bantayan

The Municipality of Bantayan is the center of trade and commerce in the Bantayan Group of Islands. It is also considered as the most populous municipality and there are lots of places and important events every visitor will surely consider to experience.

One of the most popular tourist destination in the Municipality of Bantayan is the century-old Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church; the famous Camp Sawi landmark inside the Obo-ob Mangrove and Eco-Park; the Market and Food Park of Bantayan; the Sunset at Bantayan Lantawan; and the exotic Bantayan Town Plaza.

In terms of Bantayan Island events, the Semana Santa in Bantayan also dubbed by some visitors as Fiesta sa Bantayan, but it is not a Fiesta, it's a Holy Week Celebration gaining recognition as the Lenten Capital of the Visayas. Aside from the Holy Week in Bantayan, the Municipality is also gaining prominence because of Palawod Festival, the town Fiesta of the Municipality of Bantayan.

Here's Some of the Most Popular Tourist Spots & Important Events of Bantayan Town:

Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church:

The most imposing historical structure in Bantayan is the over-a-century old Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, located at the heart of Bantayan Town, just across the town plaza. The church is made of coral stones put together by mixture of tree sap and limestone.

The church which was finished in the 1863, served as the seat of the first and therefore, the oldest Parish in the Visayas and Mindanao area. It was founded on June 11, 1580 as the Convento de la Asuncion de Nuestra Senora which was at the time under the direct supervision of the Diocese of Manila.

With the church skillfully crafted architecture and well-preserved antiquity, the church is not just a hub of spiritual activities but it is also a tourist "must-see" destination in Bantayan Island.

Obo-ob Mangrove Garden and Eco-Park (OMAGIECA)

A vast Mangrove eco-park established by the residents of Barangay Obo-ob residents offers an enchanting tour into the Mangrove forest along an elevated bamboo trail that traverses through the thickets of the park. A banca tour along the fringes of the mangrove forest offers breathtaking encounters with migratory birds as well as marine creatures that abundantly cover the seabed.

The Obo-ob Mangrove Garden is now managed by the second-generation of mangrove planters headed by its chairman Barangay Councilor Rolando "Nonoy" Abello Jr., the son of Nonoy Abello Sr., one of the first mangrove planters in Obo-ob. He is also assisted by fellow second-generation mangrove planter Fernan Umbao, the designer of all the signages of the Mangrove Garden and one of the tour guides. He is the youngest son of Modesto "Monding" Umbao, one of the original mangrove planters in the Barangay.

Notable names who first planted the mangroves in Brgy. Obo-ob includes Miguel Pacilan, Teresito Tecson, Roderick Ducay, and the late Tiyo Pelis Tumabiene (Carabuena), Marcelino Tumabiene, Manuel Giducos, and Clemente Jarina to name a few.

Market and Food Park:

The Bantayan Public Market offers a wide variety of goods and wares. Marine, agricultural and industrial products are sold to shoppers and consumers who delight in purchasing varied knickknacks, or the delectable boneless danggit, pusit and other dried fish.

Sunset at Bantayan Lantawan:

Lantaw means "to watch from a distance." Strategically lining the seawall with long stretch of benches interspersed with lamp posts and Ficus trees, the Lantawan is a mini park by the sea that offers a commanding view of awe-inspiring sunsets and of neighboring islets and the nearby province of Negros Occidental.

Late afternoon is an opportune time when one can stay there, alone or in company of friends and loved ones, to sit back, relax and muse over the day's happenings or just commune with nature or simply appreciate the sunset on the horizon.

Town Plaza of Bantayan:

The exotic Bantayan Town Plaza is arguably the biggest and widest in the Province of Cebu. Old Agoho trees stand impressively around the plaza's perimeter. With a water fountain at its base, the Rizal Monument stand proudly and looks extraordinarily dramatic when night falls and plaza lights are turned on.

Events in Bantayan Town:

Palawod Festival:

Held every June 29, during the annual fiesta in honor of Sts. Peter and Paul Paul, the Palawod Festival has gained national and international acclaim. It holds the singular honor of being the 3-time Grand Champion of the province-wide Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festial of Festivals Competition.

The street dancing and ritual showdown competitition are performed with the four basic steps: Sulo (Torch), Bugsay (Paddle), Silik (Fins) and Isda (Fish). Tousted as one of the most colorful and world-class festival of Cebu, the Palawod depicts the unique fishing traditions of Bantayan.

Semana Santa sa Bantayan:

The world-renowned Holy Week observance in Bantayan has attracted hordes of both local and foreign tourists. The highlight of the event is the solemn foot procession on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday when life-sized images and icons are mounted on elaborately-decorated carrozas that depict various tableaus of the Passion of Christ.

Source: Bantayan Tourism Office / OMAGIECA

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