• 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, Comments

    Posted on September 18th, 2011

    Written by admin

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    In Consideration of Others

    In Consideration of Others

    I have been able to observe the guests who come to Bantayan Island now for the past two and a half months that I have lived on the island. Most of the people who come to Bantayan Island are very nice, friendly and consider the feelings and the rights of other guests to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing vacation on this island paradise.

    There are however a few who think when they arrive on Bantayan Island that the all the space in the resort belongs to them. They remain load and obnoxious until all hours of the night, drinking and screaming at the top of their lungs, with no regard for the peace and tranquility of the other guests in the resort.

  • 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.

  • Blog Updates by Rob, Pictures

    Posted on July 25th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    New Future Photos From Nikon D-700

    New Future Photos From Nikon D-700

    We are very excited to be back on Bantayan Island to live amongst the people and island that we have grown to love so much. We are currently renting a three bedroom house in Santa Fe and have completed the purchase of our beach front lot. All that is needed now is the funds to complete the construction of a small home for Marissa and I. As the Lord guides, He provides, so we are confident that we will have what is needed, when it is needed.

    One of the plans that we have as a part of our move to the island is to produce thousands of high quality photo images of Bantayan Island to show the world what a wonderful and special place this tiny island is.

  • Blog Updates by Rob, Mid Sea Air

    Posted on July 21st, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Mid-Sea Express, Cebu to Bantayan Island

    Mid-Sea Express, Cebu to Bantayan Island

    A few days ago, Marissa and I had the privilege of flying round trip on the new Mid-Sea Express Aircraft that has began service to Bantayan Island from Cebu.

    What a joy it was to experience a short 30 minute flight compared to the normal 3 hour bus ride, followed by a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride to Bantayan Island.

    The fare each way from Cebu to Bantayan Island is just P1,500 Pesos. When we compare this cost to those of flights in the U.S., the price seems very fair. We understand that the average Filipino may view the fare as a little steep, but when you consider what your time and safety is worth, P3,000 round trip for an extremely pleasant trip to Bantayan is a great value.

  • Bantayan Ministry, Blog Updates by Rob

    Posted on July 21st, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    The Blessedness of Simplicity

    The Blessedness of Simplicity

    After nearly six grueling months in the States, we have finally returned to Bantayan Island where life has taken a soft slumber reminiscent of village life in the Philippines one hundred years ago.

    The sale of our home completed, we packed up our few belongings and made the 20-hour journey to our tiny seven by ten mile island atol that is to be our new permanent home. I am writing to you today from our small rental home along the shores of Santa Fe Beach, on Bantayan Island.

    From the moment that we stepped back upon the white sands of this beloved island, we felt a surge of peace and tranquility that we have not felt since our last stay here this past January. This morning as I prepared myself to open my Macbook and write the first article since settling in, my wife walked the short distance to the open air market to purchase our daily groceries.

  • Blog Updates by Rob

    Posted on June 8th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Back to Bantayan Island

    Back to Bantayan Island

    After a 5 month absence from Bantayan Island, we are in our final preparations to return to the island in the next 3 weeks. We have sold our home in the U.S. and hope to be back with the people and land that we have grown to love, soon.

    I will be writing daily updates on Bantayan Island once we return that will include a daily photo journal, weather updates, and news of local happening around the island.

    Since our departure in January, and the launch of this web site in early December 2010, we have moved in our Google page rank from the 15th page, or about 150th place, to the first or second page, 10 or 11th place.

    We are starting to see traffic numbers on the web site approaching several hundred per day. Once we are physically back on Bantayan Island and begin to write daily updates, that number should increase dramatically to thousands.

    We receive several email inquiries each week about the resorts, recreation and happenings on the island. We alway return every email within two hours, whenever possible.

    We are looking forward to seeing everyone on BI and hearing the wonderful stories of how blessed your life has been living on one of the most beautiful places on earth.

  • Bantayan Ministry, Blog Updates by Rob

    Posted on January 28th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Phase One of Bantayan Island Ministry Completed

    Phase One of Bantayan Island Ministry Completed

    Marissa and I returned to the United States on Wednesday January 26, 2011. It was incredibly difficult to leave the people who need us so very much.

    Knowing that we needed to return to the States to raise the funds necessary to help the people of the Island, we made the 10,000 mile journey back to our home to prepare to move to the island full time.

    Please pray for us as we will be listing our home for sale so that we can provide our own financial needs while on the island and not be a burden to the ministry itself.

    As the Lord leads, we will sell our home and most of our personal possessions so that we can raise the funds that we will live on while providing ministry to the people over the upcoming years.

    If the Lord is in our being on the Island full time then we are confident that we will sell our home, despite the decreasing housing market across the U.S. When I began my ministry many years ago, a similar situation presented itself. I needed to sell my home and possessions in order to fund our ministry. Despite a slow market at that time, the Lord sold our home for the asking price just 30 days after we listed it when no one else in the entire neighborhood could sell their home even at a reduced price.

  • Blog Updates by Rob

    Posted on January 16th, 2011

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Back To Bantayan Island

    Back To Bantayan Island

    After the Christmas and New Years celebrations with family in Cebu, we are headed back to Bantayan Island on Wednesday morning. On this trip we will forgo the usual trip via Air Conditioned bus and take our Honda Beat Scooter instead.

    Our favorite Resort on Bantayan Island is Beach Placid and the Tri-Plex Cottage is perfect for us as just a few steps in the white sand and we are in the Aquamarine water swimming and snorkeling once again.

    It will be interesting to see what the weather will be like on Wednesday since we have been inundated with tremendous thunderstorms and torrential rains for days now. We are taking the rain coats and helmets just in case.

    What normally takes about 3 hours by bus, should only take us 2 hours by scooter. We can take our time and see the sights and stop at anything that perks our interest. There are so many interesting and photogenic places between Cebu City and Hagnaya, riding a bike is a perfect way to really see the sights.

    Strapped to the back of our scooter will be our dive bag containing the fins, snorkels and masks for both Marissa and I. Taking just shorts, t shirts and flip flops it is sure to be a wonderful 4 days and nights on the Island we love so dearly.

    On the schedule is another wonderful opportunity to walk amongst the fishing villages and talk to the quiet and gentle people who live there. We love to gather with them and see their homes, children and the stories about their lives that always touch our heart. There will be once again, an opportunity to give them some of the much needed basic essentials for life. Every time we walk through the villages and give money to the people who live there to buy rice and their basic needs, it leaves me in tears as I walk away stunned at how wonderful it feels to help people who have such great need.

  • Blog Updates by Rob

    Posted on December 31st, 2010

    Written by Rob Robinson

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    Welcome to Bantayan Island.org

    Welcome to Bantayan Island.org

    This is our first post on the Blog portion of Bantayan Island.org’s new web site launched December 28, 2010.

    Although the new travel and ministry web site is up and operating as I write this first post, there are hundreds and hundreds of pages that need to be completed to make Bantayan Island.org a complete travel web site for this island.

    I am a writer by profession and an amateur photographer, so blogging here about the island that I love so dearly is going to be pure joy.

    After a five day visit in early December 2010, my wife Marissa and I gave much prayer and consideration to whether we should make this our permanent home. By the end of December we were both convinced that this was the place we were suppose to be. There is such a great need on this small island. Although there are over 120,000 persons living on Bantayan Island, the vast majority of the people live in terrible poverty.

    Making their living by the sea, the peaceful fishermen of Bantayan Island depend on what they bring out of the seas around Bantayan Island to feed their families. Many live in Nipa Huts that hardly resemble a shelter at all. Marissa and I determined that we would come to Bantayan Island to not only live and enjoy the beauty and serenety of this beautiful place, but also to do as much as we could personally to make the lives of the people on the island better.

    In the upcoming days I will add many new categories, pictures, travel information and give you as the readers of this blog, and opportunity to post your questions and comments here as well.

    Looking forward to seeing this blog section blossom and grow as the first of many members who are interested in Bantayan Island as a vacation destination, or to come alongside Marissa and I to help with our ministry to the precious people of this island.