“Amihan” and “Habagat” on Bantayan Island

The beauty of Bantayan Island depends of two variations of weather that are well known to the native islanders. “Amihan” and “Habagat”.

Beginning in late September or Early October the trade winds come across Bantayan Island from the northeast as a cool breeze. Temperatures are lower with little of no rainfall. These mainly easterly winds bring debris from the ocean onshore to the white sand beaches of the island, causing them to be littered with sea grass, garbage from Cebu and just about anything adrift on the ocean.

The beaches begin to taper off and at low tide, the sea grasses on the sea floor near the island are nearly exposed to the air, giving some pretty spectacular views to those who walk out onto the wet sand to view them.

These easterly winds usually change almost overnight beginning in late May or early June. The wind direction then begins to come from the West, taking all of the debris out into the deep ocean and away from Bantayan Island. This phenomenon is called “Habagat” by the native islanders.

During “Habagat”, the monsoon, or “wet season” is prevalent over Bantayan Island. The weather is much hotter, humid and can experience frequent heavy rainfall.

The change from Amihan to Habagat and back again, is caused solely by the change in wind direction.

Amihan: Winds from the East, cooler, more debris on the shoreline.

Habagat: Winds from the West, hotter, more humid, more rainfall, less debris on the beaches.

Whatever time of year you come to Bantayan Island, depending on Amihan or Habagat, Low tide or High tide, the beaches and water can vary tremendously. Most of the beautiful pictures that you see of Bantayan Island that display clear aquamarine blue water, and clean white sand beaches, are taken during “Habagat” when the hotter winds from the West push debris out into the sea and keep the water and white sand free of garbage and debris. These photos are also taken during high tide, as any photo taken during low tide will show a beach emptied of blue water, and the sea floor exposed.

Personally speaking, I have learned to enjoy all the seasons of Bantayan Island and love the rapid, almost daily changes in the beach and water.

On those rare days when the winds are calm, the water is clear blue, and the white sand is pure and clean, those photo’s taken are pristine and priceless. Swimming in the beautiful water and walking on the soft white sand beaches is pure delight.

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