Our stop at Banton’s Poblacion was really but a temporary one, our real destination was at the bukid (farm) where D’s grandparents live. And to get there, we either ride at the back of a motorbike through steep and winding roads, which is the only mode of transportation in the island, or walk. We chose to walk.
The hike looked simple enough on the map, crossing only three barangays. What the map didn’t show was the terrain we have to cross.
We started out at exactly nine in the morning, moving southwards from Poblacion. The roads were easy, just a few meters from the sea. Palms and all sorts of leafy trees line up the paved roadway.
The path started curving upwards thirty minutes into the hike. This was not going to be a walk in the park.
Fifteen minutes later and we can already view Banton’s halfside. We were already on top of one of the peaks of the island and I was already panting like a tired dog under a searing sun.
We passed by Barangay Togong’s marker an hour and forty minutes into the walk. I was super exhausted, I was sweating buckets and I have no more water to replace it. I seriously considered knocking on someone else’s door to ask for water but we were not passing any houses no more.Feeling my muscles about to give in (I do cramp easily), the road suddenly leveled and started going downward. Finally!
But it was still not an easy walk, as the drop was so steep that a minor trip would probably send me tumbling down the road.
With unlimited number of breaks, we finally arrived at our destination after two hours. The farm, however, was nowhere to be seen. It turned out that bukid was really a term used loosely in Banton that designates any place that is not in town. Aha, interesting.
There was indeed no farm in sight but there is an white stretch of beach just a few meters from the house, Malabiga Beach, they dub it. They can call it anything they want, I’m going in for a swim!
Barangay Poblacion - Togong
Address: Banton Island, Banton, Romblon
Romblon Provincial Tourism Office: (042) 567-5145 | (0920) 629-5838