Bantay Abot rock formation greets visitors heading to Maira-ira’s Blue Lagoon cove (officially known as Malingay Cove). This distinctive attraction, naturally sculpted by the waves and winds of South China Sea, is a favorite stop over and offers a view of the rugged seacoast.
The rock formation is very accessible; it’s just a few meters off the road. From the road, one descends makeshift steps of rocks to the shore below.
Most refer to Bantay About as a “cave”, but I don’t think it accurate, at least now if you consider its current configuration. Bantay Abot is more like a “doughnut hole” - in fact “bantay abot” means “mountain with a hole”. It probably is a cave a long time ago but the steady beating from the harsh elements must have collapsed some of the walls and ceilings.
I had the opportunity to visit Bantay Abot twice. The first time I passed there was on the way back to Vigan after spending the night in Blue Lagoon. It was noon time and the place was empty, but it can get crowded at times. The latter was the case on my second visit (we stayed in Bangui, about 30 minutes away, for the windmills, and headed to Blue Lagoon after breakfast for a quick dip). It was mid morning and from a distance I could see a steady stream of tourists going down to the shore and heading up to the hole to take photos or have their (prerequisite posterity) photos taken. It is quite understandable, considering that Bantay Abot is really hard to miss.
If you love shooting landscapes, you’ll love the shores near Bantay Abot at low tide. You’ll see rocks covered with green sea weeds and algae, adding a nice texture to your foreground while having the rock formation in the background.
The vantage point on the road near Bantay Abot also offers a great view of the shoreline and the lush verdant mountains beyond.
But the best thing about Bantay Abot is what its distinctive presence indicates: the azure water of Blue Lagoon is just minutes away now.