Daanbantayan is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cebu, the Philippines. According to the 2008 census, it has a population of 73,254 people. Malapascua Island is part of the jurisdiction of the municipality of Daanbantayan.
The name Daanbantayan was derived from two words: the word “Daan” (which means “old” in the Cebuano language, and the word “Bantayan” which refers to a place that served as a “look-out-station” for Moro raiders before the Spaniards obtained control. The original site of the town might have been located at an elevated vantage point near Punta which is situated near Tapilon. Some older maps and publications use both words independently from one another, as “Daan Bantayan”.
To get to Daanbantayan, you will need to ride a bus for a 3-4hour ride. Most of the popular buses with routes to Daanbatayan are Cebu AutoBus and Ceres Liner Buses. You may also take a V-Hire bound for the the town proper of Daanbatayan. Daanbatayan is the gateway to Malaspacua since you will need to go to the port of Barangay Maya to get to Malapascua.
Daanbatayan is my mother’s hometown, in Barangay Tominjao, having spent at most 18 years in the town before moving to mainland Cebu to earn a living. It became a requirement to visit the town once a year to visit my grandparents and relatives normally every summer. My Lola died when I was still in grade school and my Lolo died when I was in 2nd year higschool. My grandparent’s house is located just 15 meters away from the seashore, so this I should say influenced my love for the sand and the sun. Remembering years past, me and my sisters would soak in the beach under the sun the whole day until the only body part left visible in the night will be our eyes and our teeth. Yeah, we were suckers for that beach fronting my Lolo’s house and you can’t blame us. If I can find our old picture with the beach, you too would be enticed to dive in. If not on the beach, we will be spending the whole day eating fruits, biking through the rough road or climbing the hill at the back of my Aunt’s house. We also normally go island hopping (Malapascua and others) using my uncle’s motorized boat.
We were not able to visit the place that often after my Lolo died and since my parents were on the verge of breaking up for the past years. As far as I remember, if I remember it right, the last time I visited the place was year 2005. During our latest visit, 2010 Holy Week, I found a lot of different and devastating changes.
Well, the whole town’s road is now concrete! Asphalt baby! That really surprised me as for the many years that we have visited the place, the road was a real bummer! You will choke on dust on a sunny day and get filled with mud on a rainy day. That was one good change that I was able to notice.
And here starts bad news. The hill that we used to climb has been quarried. There is still a big part of the hill left but just looking at it, the hill looks like a cake that was attacked by a bunch of kids on a birthday party! And most devastating, the beach that we used to love and spend the whole day on looked pretty awful. The once was white sands has now turned brownish and soiled because people used the white sands for their house construction! Due to that, the seawater turns murky once you step on it. Nonetheless, my nieces and nephews still enjoyed soaking in it. They would have enjoyed it more if the locals took care of that beach. I have seen the quality of the seashore degrade the last time I was there due to bad sewage but I did not picture it to look that bad. (The pictures above is the beach fronting my grandparent’s house)
Since we were there for a short vacation, I had to let Sheena experience my short “thrills” if I am in Tominjao, Daanbantayan. So, we rode my cousin’s motorized boat and just wandered away (we did not go to Malapascua though), then biked into the now-concrete road and climbed the quarried hill at the back of my Aunt’s house. Everything was just priceless!
Also, aside from the short Holy Week trip, I was also there for a Christening of my cousin’s son. I was a Godfather. Due to that, I was able to visit Daanbatayan’s church. La Construcccion de Esta Yglesia de Sta. Rosa De Lime dora. The patron saint of Daanbatayan is Santa Rosa de Lima.
Anyway, our short trip to Tominjao, Daanbantayan Cebu was still very well worth it, since I was able to catchup and share small talks with old friends and my cousins and Sheena was able to met my relatives. 🙂 I’ll definitely go back this year to just get away from the busy city.