• Bantayan Island Typhoon Yolanda Damage Pictures and Updates

    Bantayan Island Typhoon Yolanda Damage Pictures and Updates

    Bantayan Island has been utterly devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan, also known as “Yolanda.” Reports from government authorities tell us that up to 90% of the existing structures on the island no longer have a roof. Homes and buildings constructed of native materials are completely obliterated. These structures make up the majority of the homes for the poor fishermen who live along the shore of Bantayan Island.

    Our friend Joan Pasasadaba Nepangue, owner of Beach Placid Resort, updated us at about 11 pm that 12 of the cottages in her resort have been destroyed. We have seen pictures from the beach at Santa Fe, near the Pantalan which show substantial damage to the port offices and facilities.

    Pictures from the town of Bantayan show massive damage to structures which have existed there for over 500 years, including the beloved Bantayan Church.

    Relief efforts by the Philippine Red Cross are underway, while roads from Cebu city to Hagnaya remain blocked by fallen trees and debris.

    Banelco has informed residents that electric service will not be restored for up to four months. Residents and resorts which have generators are producing their own electricity to charge cell phones, computers and internet service to upload pictures of the massive destruction on Bantayan Island.

    We are here in the United States meeting with church leaders to seek their help in bringing back to Bantayan Island the much needed food, water, and medical supplies that are currently needed. We will arrive on Bantayan Island soon and begin helping our friends on the island to clean up and rebuild their lives.

    This web site for Bantayan Island will now begin posting pictures and updates of the conditions on the island as well as updates on families in the Barangay’s where your loved one’s live.

  • Pictures

    Posted on October 30th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Sunrise on Bantayan Island, October 22, 2011

    The Morning Sunrise over Bantayan Island in the Philippines is one of the most stunning and beautiful in the world. From time to time I will post photo’s that I take when I make it up early enough to catch the morning display.

  • Weather Updates

    Posted on October 28th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Weather Update: Friday October 28, 2011

    Weather Update: Friday October 28, 2011

    Weather on Bantayan Island should be mainly clear and sunny this weekend with occasional afternoon showers and gusty winds from the North East. The onshore breezes are bringing a lot of sea weed, and other debris to the white sand shores making for a rather messy view of our otherwise beautiful shores.

    Low tide prevails throughout much of the day making the water level on Santa Fe about 150 yards farther that at High tide. It is during these period of low time that the beaches are also not as attractive.

    Ferry service is running daily, but expect rougher seas due to the increased winds.

    Other than the shore debris and lower tides during the day, Bantayan is still a great place to make your weekend getaway.

    Hope to see you on the beach. Magkita-kita na lang ta diri sa isla…

  • Beaches, Weather Updates

    Posted on October 19th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Weather Update: Thursday October 20, 2011

    Weather Update: Thursday October 20, 2011

    Weather on Bantayan Island has been clear and beautiful this past week. With the onset of “Habagat”, the winds have changed to onshore, bringing much debris to the white sand beaches.

    The upside of this change in wind direction is that the nights are cool and refreshing and perfect for a great night’s rest if you are near the coast. Last night we enjoyed a wonderful cool breeze until about 3 am when the winds became calm.

    Weather for this weekend should be near perfect, with the coming of any future tropical storm far off from the coast of the Philippines. There are two weather systems developing in the pacific that we are watching that could become tropical storms systems in the next week. Both these systems look to move north of Bantayan Island, should they further develop into a tropical depression.

  • PAGASA, Typhoon Watch, Weather Updates

    Posted on October 14th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    The Problem with PAGASA: You Are Too Late…

    The Problem with PAGASA: You Are Too Late…

    During the recent approach to Cebu and Bantayan Island by Tropical Typhoon “Ramon” a few days ago, it became quickly apparent that PAGASA is not doing a sufficient Job in closely monitoring the weather in the Philippines.

    From my vantage point, it was clear that when Ramon changed direction before making landfall with Cebu, that no one was aware of the change in course, because PAGASA does not conduct rapid enough assessments of approaching storms. Instead of an every six hour or twelve hour assessments, perhaps it would be advisable to give updates every fifteen minutes or so when a storm is on final approach to a populated landmass.

    Unless PAGASA changes their present approach to predicting approaching Typhoon’s in the Philippines, I predict that many will be looking for new jobs.

    As inhabitants of the Philippine islands, we need faster and more frequent updates on the status of approaching Typhoon’s or tropical storms, so that we might be better prepared. How many lives have been lost because the weather updates are too late for citizens to get out of the way before disaster strikes?

    If you agree that PAGASA needs to do a better job, write or call your local government official and let them know a change is needed.

  • Beaches, Pictures, Resorts

    Posted on October 14th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Bantayan Island Pictorial

    The following Photos of Bantayan Island were taken by Rob Robinson. This photo slideshow will be updated periodically, so check back often for the latest additions.

  • Typhoon Watch, Weather Updates

    Posted on October 11th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Typhoon Ramon Will Strike Bantayan Island Thursday

    Typhoon Ramon Will Strike Bantayan Island Thursday

    Upon the entrance of Typhoon Ramon into the Eastern area of Mindanao and Southern Leyte, this growing storm has increased it’s wind speed to signal number 2.

    It is certain that by midnight on Thursday, October 13, 2011, Ramon will make direct contact with Bantayan Island.

    Current indicators, as shown on the latest map below, show that Ramon likely will increase to signal number 2 as it comes into contact with the shores of Santa Fe, on Bantayan Island.

    Although the map below indicates signal number one for Cebu and Bantayan Island, this wind strength will likely be updated to signal number 2 by late Wednesday evening.

    Storm Status Updated at 7:00 am Wednesday October 12, 2011, See the complete Post.

  • Typhoon Watch, Weather Updates

    Posted on October 10th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Typhoon “Ramon” Tracking Towards Bantayan Island

    Typhoon “Ramon” Tracking Towards Bantayan Island

    Low Pressure Area: “92”, off the coast of Mindanao is growing in intensity and making a North West track towards Cebu and Bantayan Island. Estimates are that within 6 to 24 hours this low pressure system will become the next Typhoon in the Philippines, called “Ramon”.

    It would be advisable now to make early preparations for the possibility of a signal 1 or 2 Typhoon striking Bantayan Island as early as Wednesday or late Thursday of this week. Make sure you have plenty of fresh water, enough food for a few days, fresh batteries for a good flashlight and perhaps have some extra cash on hand as ATM’s may be out for a day or two.

    There is a possibility that once this low pressure area becomes a Tropical cyclone, it may take a more Northerly route and not strike Northern Cebu and Bantayan Island directly.

    We will post updates on the progress of this low pressure area in the next 24 hours.

    If you have been planning a trip to Bantayan Island this week, you might pause for a day or two until the final disposition of this low pressure area is know. In the event that “Ramon” does strike Bantayan, or skirt the island with a band of rain and wind, coming to the island or leaving the island will not be possible for a few days. Island Shipping does not provide Ferry service on or off Bantayan Island during a Typhoon.

  • Weather Updates

    Posted on October 6th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Bantayan Island Weather Update: Friday October 7, 2011

    Bantayan Island Weather Update: Friday October 7, 2011

    A massive low pressure system off the coast of the Visaya’s has brought very wet weather to Bantayan Island. Rain prevailed throughout most of the night Thursday. As I write this Friday morning at 7:20 am, there is heavy cloud cover with heavy rain on and off.

    The seas are rough, which should cause Ferry service between Hagnaya and Santa Fe to be delayed until the seas calm, if they do today at all.

    If you are planning a trip to Bantayan this weekend, the forecast is for more rain and continued rough seas until Sunday.

  • Beaches, Culture

    Posted on October 6th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    “Amihan” and “Habagat” on Bantayan Island

    “Amihan” and “Habagat” on Bantayan Island

    The beauty of Bantayan Island depends of two variations of weather that are well known to the native islanders. “Amihan” and “Habagat”.

    Beginning in late September or Early October the trade winds come across Bantayan Island from the northeast as a cool breeze. Temperatures are lower with little of no rainfall. These mainly easterly winds bring debris from the ocean onshore to the white sand beaches of the island, causing them to be littered with sea grass, garbage from Cebu and just about anything adrift on the ocean.

    The beaches begin to taper off and at low tide, the sea grasses on the sea floor near the island are nearly exposed to the air, giving some pretty spectacular views to those who walk out onto the wet sand to view them.

    These easterly winds usually change almost overnight beginning in late May or early June. The wind direction then begins to come from the West, taking all of the debris out into the deep ocean and away from Bantayan Island. This phenomenon is called “Habagat” by the native islanders.

  • Blog Updates by Rob, Culture, Shipping

    Posted on September 30th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Bringing “Balikbayan Boxes” to Bantayan Island

    Bringing “Balikbayan Boxes” to Bantayan Island

    If you are planning to bring “Balikbayan Boxes” or other boxes of that size to Bantayan Island, expect that you may have to pay twice at Hagnaya and twice again at Santa Fe, to have these items loaded and unloaded onto the Ferry.

    When you arrive at Hagnaya, the porters will quickly storm your vehicle in hopes of having the opportunity to move your belongings to the passenger waiting area, and then onto the Ferry once loading begins.

    Pay special attention to the men who ask to move your belongings, as those without a shirt that says “Hupa” are not officially working for the port authority. If you allow these “unofficial” men to carry your boxes and then pay them a tip for doing so, you will have to pay a second time for a fee called “Arastre” which is the official fee set by the ports of Hagnaya and Santa Fe to pay the porters to move your belongings on to the Ferry.

  • Weather Updates

    Posted on September 30th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Bantayan Island Weather Update: September 30, 2011

    Bantayan Island Weather Update: September 30, 2011

    The current weather on Bantayan Island is party cloudy with relatively calm seas. Forcast is for isolated rain showers or thunderstorms with winds southwesterly up to 10 meters per second. Seas will be slight to moderate southwest except during periods of thunderstorms.

    If you are arriving on Bantayan Island by Ferry, expect relatively calm seas today. It is expected that the weather will begin to change early Saturday morning with the possibility of rougher seas, rain and wind on the island.

    During the recent Typhoon “Pedring” many visitors were stranded on Bantayan Island from Monday-Wednesday this week due to the ceasing of Ferry service between Santa Fe Port and Hagnaya Port. Plan you vacation or visit to Bantayan accordingly as you anticipate the possibility that increases in rough seas this weekend may delay your return to Hagnaya Sunday or Monday.

    I arrive on Bantayan Island yesterday at about 3 pm from Cebu and experienced calm seas with sunny to partly overcast skies.

  • Weather Updates

    Posted on September 28th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Bantayan Island Weather Update: September 28, 2011

    Bantayan Island Weather Update: September 28, 2011

    The ferry’s are running this morning from Hagnaya to Bantayan Island, although the seas continue to be rough.

    The skies are mostly clear and sunny with only a slight breeze.

    Many hundreds who were stranded during the recent Typhoon “Pedring” will be able to get to their destinations as of today. If you are coming to Bantayan Island today, welcome to paradise…

  • Weather Updates

    Posted on September 27th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Massive Typhoon “Pedring” Affecting Bantayan Island

    Massive Typhoon “Pedring” Affecting Bantayan Island

    A massive 500 mile wide Typhoon that struck the coast of Luzon early this morning, is causing massive 26 foot high waves and very rough seas around Bantayan Island. There are no Ferry’s currently running between Hagnaya and Santa Fe, leaving many people stranded until later this week.

    My wife and I have been in Cebu since before the Typhoon began it’s approach this last Sunday and were planning on making our way back to Bantayan on Monday. Those plans were delayed as we learned that Pedring was causing large waves at and around Bantayan and making travel to the island impossible.

    Forecasts are that the wind and waves may subside by Thursday, allowing for the Ferry’s to Bantayan to once again be available.

    I spoke to our friend on Bantayan Island a few minutes ago who told me that the waves around the island are massive and that the wind is howling, with driving rain.

    If you are planning a trip to Bantayan Island this week, look for delay’s in getting to the island until later this week. Friday to Sunday should be much better for travel.

  • Beaches, Resorts

    Posted on September 10th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Beach Placid Resort

    Beach Placid Resort

    I recently completed a few pictures taken at Beach Placid Resort at Santa Fe on Bantayan Island. This is my favorite resort and I highly recommend you book your next stay on Bantayan with the friendly staff at Beach Placid.

    The beach out front of Beach Placid is in my opinion, the nicest white sand beach on Bantayan Island. Many of the Bungalows are located right on the white sand just a few steps to the crystal clear water.

    The following is a short slideshow displaying some of the beauty at Beach Placid and Santa Fe Beach.

  • Weather Updates

    Posted on August 30th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Bantayan Island Weather Update: Tuesday August 30, 2011

    Today we continue to enjoy mostly cloud free and sunny days. It has been hot and dry since last Saturday. If you are planning on a trip to the island, it is very hot, the waters are calm and there are many visitors to the island currently.

    If you are coming to Bantayan make sure you make a hotel room reservation in advance as the better resorts are currently fully booked.

  • Beaches

    Posted on August 22nd, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Your Beach Is Waiting

    Your Beach Is Waiting

    The water is 85 degrees. The Sand is the Whitest and Softest you have ever seen or felt. Walk out into the crystal clear aquamarine blue water for one hundred yards and you are only up to your waist deep.

    Swim in your own private pool of the most refreshing and wonderful water you can imagine.

    The beaches of Bantayan Island are waiting for you… We will save you a beach lounger.

    Go to www.bantayanisland.org to find our how you can plan your next beach vacation in the Philippines.

  • Blog Updates by Rob, Culture, The People

    Posted on August 19th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Views From The Beach Bungalow

    Views From The Beach Bungalow

    Making Bantayan Island our home has changed us. My idea of the perfect beach was one that was uncluttered, quiet and serene. The problem with my idealistic view was that the reality of everyday life on our beach is far different.

    Returning from Cebu yesterday, we learned that a couple that moved in to a bungalow near ours has a special heart for the island children. Each morning beginning shortly after sunrise, the wife of this new couple gathers as many of the local children from the Santa Fe fishing village as she can find.

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