• 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.

  • 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.

  • Culture, Questions, Real Estate

    Posted on July 25th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    When Buying Property on Bantayan Island

    When Buying Property on Bantayan Island

    Having just completed the purchase of a beach front lot on Bantayan Island, I have learned many things concerning the purchase of land and some of the correct procedures for doing so.

    First of all, it is quite normal for a piece of land to have no title when you make an inquiry to purchase a lot or parcel of land. It may even be possible that the land has already been subdivided among family members who never formally had the land surveyed or acquired a title for each parcel.

    The prospective sellers will assure you that they will give you a “Tax Declaration” and assure you that this document is enough to show ownership of the land. This is not true and should you pay the full cash price for the land and accept a tax declaration for the property, you do not own the land and may never be able to get a title for the property that you have just paid for.

  • Culture, Vehicle Purchases

    Posted on January 13th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    A Note About Licensing a Vehicle in the Philippines

    A Note About Licensing a Vehicle in the Philippines

    When my wife and I purchased our new Honda Beat, we assumed that we were paying all of the require taxes and fees associated with the purchase of the new scooter. We were wrong.

    Upon paying cash for the scooter “Cheng” at Honda Motor World in Cebu City told us that the License plate would arrive in about three weeks. We had to pay for “A Conduction Permit” which allowed us to drive the scooter on the streets of Cebu for seven days. The cost of this permit, as well as an insurance rider that is also required, cost us an additional 500 Peso’s.

    At the end of the seven days, we returned to the Honda Motor World dealer and were told we had to purchase an additional Conduction Permit for another seven days. The problem is that the Philippine Land Transportation Office is “Off line” for days at a time and during the time that they are off line, no one can get anything done regarding their vehicle registration or licensing.

    We were forced to drive our new scooter all over Cebu for days without a Conduction Permit because of the inefficiency of the Philippine Government.

    If by chance we were stopped by a police officer and it was found that we did not have a current conduction permit, our new scooter would have been impounded and we would have to pay a 5,000 Peso penalty plus a fee to get our scooter released from their impound yard.