Hilotongan Island sits only a few kilometers from the mainland of Bantayan. Its livelihood are primarily fishing and gathering seashells for food and other sea products to be traded at the ports of Bantayan and the surrounding towns.
A private vehicle from Mandaue City would take you to the ports of Daan Bantayan in more or less 2 hours. From there, you’ll have to catch a ferry trip to Santa Fe port, east-side of Bantayan Island. Then, you’ll need another mode of transport – a Tricycle or a Multi-cab can be hired to take you to San Marcelino port on the other side of the island.
From San Marcelino port, the only way to get to Hilotongan Island is to hire a pump-boat. The trip would take approximately an hour during high-tide. Shallow waters during low-tide provide accessibility problems to residents.
During low-tide, the residents of Hilotongan who need to cross the waters can Swim-walk their way to Bantayan – an approximate distance of 8km from shore to shore. (see Photo above)
Hilotongan’s in-island school- Hilotongan Integrated school, along with many other schools in Central Visayas has been chosen to be one of the recipients of Colorsteel Family’s Adopt-a-School Program.
Basic necessities like food and fresh water are not local in the island. Drinking water has to be delivered from Bantayan every now and then by boat along with other supplies like rice, vegetables, and other food products.
A deep-well may not prove to be useful due to its closeness to the sea – making the water salty. Processing it for drinking takes too much effort. The area cannot sustain organic farming.
Despite the hard ways of living, the people of Hilotongan can still find their ways to live and ultimately survive everyday.
Hilotongan’s land in itself is owned by title by only a few families in the island. Majority of its residents are actually squatters coming from Bantayan and eventually allowed to stay by the families who owned the island.
Conveniently, Hilotongan Island is surrounded by abundant waters that can provide them with some fresh catch of fish and seafood. For the residents, the sea is the only place to make a living.
Colorsteel Family visited Hilotongan Integrated School during the annual Brigada Eskwela (Clean-up Drive) for the turn-over of roof donation for a two-classroom school building.
Unlike the rest of Central Visayas, Hilotongan wasn’t directly affected by the fore mentioned calamities. But due to the island being isolated, it has become a recipient of Colorsteel Family’s Adopt-a-School program.
Coconut lumber framings have already been fixed to hold the donated roof (Photo above). Hilotongan still needs help with some construction supplies and man power to complete the school walls for it to be usable on or before the beginning of classes.
Aside from the new classrooms that are being constructed, temporary huts have been built at the back of the school grounds in preparation for the coming classes (Photo Below).
It was anticipated that only the participating parents with their child can receive the loot bags so Mr. Jun Torre allotted the gifts to them and have them line up while showing what they have brought to be used for the school’s Brigada Eskwela.