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Jampacked discos but no bikini shows held in Bantayan during Holy Week

By: Peter L. Romanillos April 20,2014 - 12:59 AM

STA. FE, BANTAYAN ISLAND ––Blaring discos and parties by the sea were held here on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, jampacked with local and foreign tourists, five months after the island was devastated by supertyphoon Yolanda.

But bikini shows are still banned under a 2009 municipal ordinance which prohibits loud discos during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in beach resorts situated within 500 meters from the town’s church, Sta. Fe Mayor Jose Esgana said.

Tourists in their mid-20s to early 30s flocked to the beach front and kept beer stalls busy until dawn.

Loud music was played by some resorts but the volume was turned down immediately after 11 p.m.


On Black Saturday, a telecom companiy and the municipal government staged a mini-concert and disco in Beach Placid Resort near the town’s passenger port.

Esgana said bikini shows are prohibited in this solemn week but “as long as it is in a private area and not in public, the local government has no control over that.”

Msgr. Alfredo Romanillos, parish priest of the Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Bantayan town, said he wrote to the municipal government to ask whether bikini shows are being staged again.

Esgana said the town suffered a 30 percent decline in tourist arrivals compared to last year’s Holy Week due to poor weather.


He said the weather bureau’s warning of a low pressure area last week forced tourists to cancel their trips here.

One of the two ramps for roll-on roll-off (Roro) vessels in Hagnaya port in San Remigio has yet to be fixed as well, he said.

“Even before Yolanda, a lot of people were already making reservations. A lot of people still want to come here,” the mayor said.

Bantayan island was the second spot where the superstorm made landfall in Cebu, after hitting Daanbantayan town.

Sta. Fe, a fourth class municipality, is one of three towns with Bantayan and Madridejos that comprise Bantayan Island in north Cebu with close to 30,000 inhabitants.

The town boasts of a 7.2 kilometer shoreline with pristine, white-sand beaches.

Rental tents

From the original 350, close to 200 rooms in resorts around Sta. Fe were available since the others were damaged by the supertyphoon.

To help meet the gap, some residents offered homestay packages to tourists for P500 to P1,000 per night.

Esgana said this would bring extra income for residents, who are still reeling after “Yolanda” wrought havoc in the town November last year.

Other tourists chose to set up tents by the beachside. These included tents donated by international disaster relief charity, Shelter Box, to Yolanda victims.

Some beneficiaries of the tents offered the use of the temporary shelter to revelers for P500 to P1,000.

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