Kota Park in Madridejos is a destination that you shouldn’t miss when you are in the island of the “living paradise” Bantayan Island in the Northern part of Cebu. It is just a simple park yet marks the history and the humble beginnings of native Bantayanons.
Kota Park was built sometime in 1880’s. It was a Spanish fort that serves as watch tower of the natives in protecting themselves from the Moro Pirates during the Spanish era. After the Spanish times Kota Park became public cemetery where the departed love ones of the native Bantayanons were buried.
Since 1950’s it has been rehabilitated and converted into a beach resort that allows everybody to see the nice view of the Visayan open sea and the beautiful sun set panorama.
Inside the park is a concrete footbridge that connects to a floating balcony which enables visitor to under watch the different types of sea creatures. The bridge has a 187 meters length which was historically built in a period of 40 days and 40 nights. The construction of the bridge has been very significant for it was part of the natives sacrifice during that times.
Historically, Lawis is the old name of Madridejos. It was founded by a certain Loreto Mangubat, the very first person who decidedly settled in the island. He was believed to be the direct descendant of Lapu-lapu, a native Cebuano hero who kills the Fortugees explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the battle of Mactan.
Lawis was founded in the middle of 16th century and became the very first organized settlement in Bantayan Island. Along with the founding of Lawis is also the establishment of Kota or Fort in Spanish as it serves as the watch tower in the area.
It was in 1917 when Lawis became a town and was changed its name into Madridejos in honor of Benito Romero de Madridejos the archbishop then of Cebu. Madridejos is the third municipality in Bantayan island other than Sta. Fe and the Municipality of Bantayan.
How to get there?
From Cebu City, it will take you 3-4 hours travel by public bus or approximately 3 hours drive in private car going to Hagnaya port in San Remegio, northern Cebu. From Hagnaya port, need to travel thru ferry at about 1 and 1/2 hours going to Sta. Fe in Bantayan island. From Sta. Fe another 30 minutes ride going to municipality of Madridejos where Kota Park is located.