Traversing Western Visayas

Western Visayas: Travel Guide

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Aklan is the most visited place in Western Visayas because of the popular tourist destination, Boracay. So one has to think what the neighboring provinces near Aklan has to offer?

Last December 2015, we booked a Manila-Iloilo flight as our entry point and Kalibo-Manila as exit point via Cebu Pacific. Almost 1 year ang preparation ng trip na ‘to. Hahah! Supposed to be, dalawa lang kami ni Moo ang aalis, pero yung mga friends namin, gustong sumama kaya join na din sila. Sinama ko na din ang anak ko and mom ko dahil sobrang hilig nya sa seafood.

First day – Going to Guimaras from our dormitel is very accessible,  paglabas namin sa One Lourdes Dormitel, sumakay kami ng jeep pero hindi ko maalala kung ano yung signboard basta tinanong lang namin kung dadaan ng Ortiz Port, nag-oo naman si manong kaya sumakay na kami. hahah! Php6.50 lang ang fare and in less than 10 mins, nasa Ortiz Port ka na, your gateway to Guimaras. Haha! Php14.00 ang boat fare and 15 mins. travel time.  Nagrent kami ng multicab ni Kuya Cherald, sya na din yung guide namin sa Raymen Beach Alubihod, Trappist Monastery, Smallest Plaza, Guimaras Provincial Capitol and The Pitstop.

img_2886Guimaras: The Mango Capital of the Philippines!

img_9876Mango Pizza and Mango Spaghetti at The Pitstop. Winner ang Mango Pizza! 😀

After our halfday tour in Guimaras, nag explore naman kami sa Iloilo. We opted to rent a van para sa 5 hours tour, hassle kung mag-commute kami dahil may kasama kaming preggy, bata at senior citizen, san ka pa?! hahaha! One of the highlights of our tour is to visit the historical and  one  of the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Church of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva also known as Miag-ao Church.

img_9908-1Miag-ao Church

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Next stop: Iloilo River Esplanade, photo ops at IAM Iloilo. 😀

We had our dinner at Netong’s La Paz Batchoy in La Paz Public Market, then nag take-out kami ng siopao sa Roberto’s Siopao. Sayang kasi late na kami dumating, sold out na yung Queen and King size siopao nila, must try din yun!

Busog! Ready na for another 3 hours travel to Northern Iloilo. After ng city tour and dinner, bumaba kami sa SM Delgado para lumipat sa isa pang van na ni-rent namin going to Carles. Yung last trip kasi ng mga van or bus sa Tagbak Terminal hanggang 5:30pm lang daw, sayang naman kung hindi namin ma-maximize ang time sa Iloilo City.

Second day – Island hopping in Isla Gigantes – The Scallops Capital of the Philippines! 1st day palang namin, maulan na. Sobrang malas nung 2nd day kasi bumabagyo na! hahaha! Pero hindi pa din kami nagpa-pigil, wala naman advice ang coast guard na cancelled ang island hopping, so, push! We chose to stay in Carles kasi sabi nila, mas maiksi ang boat ride from here to Gigantes Island, 1.5 hours lang. While 2 hours naman if from Estancia Port. We got our island hopping package tour from sir Paul of Gigantes Island Tours and Services , sobrang bait nila at ang tiyaga sumagot sa mga inquiries ko. 😀

The rain won’t stop us from island hopping kaya yung ulan, hindi rin nagpapigil sa pag buhos! Hahah! We went to Cabugao Gamay Island, Bantigue Sandbar, Antonia’s Island and Tangke Saltwater Lagoon then had our lunch at Gigantes Island.

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The unusual photo of Cabugao Gamay Island! hahah! (GoPro shot, no filter)

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Bantigue Island, this is where you can buy Scallops for only  Php1.00/pc.

img_9958My mom and my son, another unusual photo of Tangke Saltwater Lagoon (no filter)

We went back to New Beach Head Hotel to wash up and to pack our things. From our hotel in Carles, sumakay kami ng tricycle to Balasan Terminal, dito yung terminal ng mga van to Roxas City and Iloilo. 5:30pm ang last trip ng van to Roxas City, travel time is 1.5hours.

Pagdating sa Roxas City, checked-in agad sa Wallabies Hotel then dinner sa Baybay Beach, pero iba yung pinagdalhan samin ng tricycle. Hinahanap ko yung Dampa style nila gaya dito sa Manila hahah! Sa Seafood Court at Peoples Park Plaza pala located yun. Okay naman dun sa waiter na nag-assist samin na lumipat kami dun sa Peoples Park, kaya lang nakakahiya na din umalis. Inenjoy nalang namin ang food, sa sobrang enjoy, nakalimutan namin magpicture. haha!

Third day – Finally, the sun is up!! Ready to explore the Seafood Capital of the Philippines-Roxas City. From 8 pax, now we’re down to 6 pax, mauunang umuwi sa Manila yung dalawang friends namin. Nag rent kami ng 2 tricycles for Php500 each para mag tour samin, we visited Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Santa Monica Parish Church, Cafe Terraza in Er Ciculo and Pasalubong Center. Sila na din naghatid samin pabalik ng hotel then to Roxas City Terminal.

img_0016 Biggest Catholic Church Bell in Asia

img_0022Baked Scallops and baked Oysters for brunch! Yum!

 DCIM100GOPROGOPR0382.at Roxas City Intergrated Terminal

and for our last stop, Antique! Walang van na direct sa Roxas City to Antique, kelangan mag dalawang sakay pa talaga. From Roxas City take a van to Kalibo 1.5hrs, then from Kalibo, ride a Ceres Bus with San Jose signboard and alight in Culasi Antique 2 hrs. 6:00pm ang last trip going to Culasi.

Late na kami dumating ng Antique, sa Anna Sohpie Hostel kami nag-check in, kasi malapit lang sya sa sea port papuntang Mararison Island. Pumunta kami agad sa Tibiao Antique para ma-try ang kanilang famous Kawa Hot Bath, ito yung parang niluluto ka ng witch sa malaking kaldero. hahah! Ang sarap nito, nakaka-relax talaga matapos ang mahabang byahe.

img_0071-1Ready for Kawa Hot Bath experience! 😀

The next day, we woke up early para sa Mararison Island. 15 mins boat ride lang ‘to from sea port of Culasi. Kahit maaga, medyo maalon na din yung dagat. Sabi nung guide namin, Mararison talaga ang original name nitong island, may mga taga LGU lang dati na hindi mapronounce kaya naging Malalison. Sabi din nila na si Mararison ay isa sa mga anak nila Mt. Kanlaon and Mt. Madja-as. 😀

img_0169-1Little Batanes of Antique!

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Mararison Island with clear waters and blue skies; photo from Jae Beltran of No Jaewalking

After exploring Mararison Island, we went back to Culasi, bought some pasalubong in Tibiao Bakery, then pack-up! Konting kembot nalang, back to reality na. Before going to Kalibo Airport, nag side trip muna kami sa Malumpati Cold Spring in Pandan, Antique. Huling hirit bago umuwi. hahah!

Sobrang ganda! Parang tinatawag kami nung river, pero hindi na pwede maligo kasi uwian na kaya nag-trekking nalang kami papunta dun sa tinatawag nilang Blue Lagoon.

img_0278Malumpati Cold Spring – Bugang River the cleanest river in the Philippines. Sa sobrang linis, pwede inumin yung tubig sa head spring 🙂

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0448.After 20 mins. of trekking, we reached the “Blue Lagoon” – Head spring of Malumpati

Pagkatapos ng pag explore sa Malumpati, diretso na kaming Kalibo Airport and that’s the end of our 4-day Western Visayas adventure.

I would like to thank my bestfriends – Jae, Wilson, Blanca and Janrey sa pagiging cooperative! Hahah! Hindi natin magagawa ‘to kung meron mabagal satin kumilos. hahah yehey! I love you, guys! 😀

img_2845KeepingUpWithTheH

Most specially to my son and mama na kinaya yung itinerary ko, kinaya ang mga boat rides, trekking at palipat-lipat ng pupuntahan. Nakaka-proud! Haha! Age doesn’t really matter when it comes to traveling/adventure. 😀 I love you two!

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My son, mom and my forever travel buddy, Moo. ❤

Sabi ko nga, ito yung first travel namin ni Moo na madami kaming kasama. Ang saya ng feeling yung masunod halos lahat ng nasa itinerary na ginawa namin. Thank you, Lord for keeping us safe in traversing Western Visayas. See you in our next adventure, thanks for reading! 😀

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