2 Days Backpacking Western Visayas: Antique - Iloilo - Guimaras Route

by - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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My 3 days Western Visayas trip cut short to 2 days because of heavy rain. The initial plan is to visit Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, and Capiz in the attempt of visiting all the provinces of the Philippines. (see here for the Project 81 I am currentlyinto)

It was raining hard here in Bulacan and in Manila but I never thought that it was pouring hard as well in Western Visayas. I am not watching any news lately because I am so busy with other stuff, I did check online for the weather but it says a bit rain forecast but not that hard so I shrug it off and went anyway.

Saturday morning comes my flight I head to NAIA terminal 3. Our flight was delayed due to some congestion. When I arrive at Caticlan at lunch time it was already raining. As I board my way to Ceres bus going to my first destination: Mararison Island in Culasi Antique the rain is terribly mad and seeing the sea while inside the bus I know my pursuit to Mararison Island is unattainable. I don’t want to take chances and head anyway with the fear of getting stranded because who knows when the storm will subside. Since my bus ticket is only at Culasi and I haven’t informed the conductor that I will be alighting at another stop I alighted at Culasi just to ride another bus going to my next destination in Antique.

What supposed to be a bum time in an island turns into night thrilling experience in one of the secluded part of the province in Tibiao where Kawa Hot Bath is so popular. Getting to Tibiao is not as hard as you think. You can ride any bus going to Iloilo and tell the conductor to drop you at Tibiao in Brgy. Importante, from there, there are habal-habal that will take you to Kayak Inn, one of the resort that offers Kawa Hot Bath.

Given the time of my arrival at Kayak Inn I decided to spend the night in the resort. Good thing they accept walk-ins for I don’t have any prior reservations. Once I arrived, one of them asked me if I am going to try the Kawa Hot Bath when I said yes they prepared it immediately, it was still raining hard so dipping in a hot water is a good idea plus I am already chilling. But I guess I’m wrong. Once they’re don, they called me and I immediately dip in. The water is not that hot maybe because there are rain drops pouring and they find it hard to make fire. The warm water easily turned cold in a matter of minutes plus the rain is still pouring and I end up chilling even more so I decided to rise and change to warmer clothes. The hot bath would have been so relaxing if not with the heavy rain, plus the aroma of the water is so soothing I want to fall asleep while in the water but too bad it doesn’t turn out to be that way. But it was a great experience still.

I had the most thrilling night. I never stayed in a more secluded place let alone by myself. Honestly, I felt terrified over some wild scary imagination. Blame it to my deep fascination with anything horror-like and with all the scary Filipino movies I saw from the past that it plays over and over in my head. But still, I slept okay :P

The habal-habal driver who happens to be part of the resort is kind enough to take me back to the main road at 3 am the following day to catch the first trip going to Iloilo for I tend to visit Garin Farm. I woke up 2 in the morning but rain starts pouring so badly that we end up leaving around 3:30 am. When we reached the mainroad in no time the bus came and off my adventure to Iloilo.

Garin Farm is located at San Joaquin in Iloilo. It will take you for about two hours from Tibiao Antique but if you are like me who sleep so deeply you will miss your drop off. HAHA Yep, I missed the town of San Joaquin so I decided to just visit the city of Iloilo. Inside the bus, there are married couple who are also going to Guimaras, my initial plan is to visit this province but was put on hold because of heavy rain. I’m kind of hesitant because as I’ve mentioned earlier I don’t want to get stranded. Good thing when we arrive Iloilo City the weather is calm and I joined the old couple going to Guimaras.

Guimaras is so peaceful and untouched! Good thing it was so far away and isolated for the beauty of the place will be maintained and kept well. It only took me about 20 minutes boat ride from Iloilo City to Guimaras. From the port the tourism office is situated there already and you need to logged in. They will give you a map and you can ask for the fare of the tour from them to avoid overpricing from some locals who wants to take advantage.

Tour rate for whole is 1500, since I only have limited hours the dispatcher told me that it is 800 pesos for a tricycle tour back and forth. I declined. For me it is too much costly, plus it will not took me even half-day, they decided to drop it to 600 pesos but limited spots only. I agreed. I only wants to see some spots and I am fine with that. Plus, this is just backpacking trip and I don’t plan on staying longer in the province for I need to visit some other place too.

The tour ended well and my guide is so good in photography and I love all the pictures he took. By 12 noon we are back in the port and I bid Guimaras goodbye. Upon arriving back in Iloilo City, I dine in because I haven’t eaten anything decent since last night and take the chance to call Cebu Pacific. If you remember back at the opening of this post, I mentioned that the three days adventure turns into two days only.

My flight to Caticlan was dated October 14 2017 to October 17 2017 in the morning. So I did not count the last day since my flight back to MNL is 7 am. I received a message from my friend who supposed to be joining me (this trip was supposed to be a girlfriends out of town trip in Boracay but they cancelled) that the flight back to MNL was cancelled by Cebu Pacific and I was like “WHAAAAT THIS CANNOT BE”. I didn’t call CebuPac right away when I’ve heard the news, I think and think and think of a better take on this matter plus I really want to go home because the weather is not helping and I cannot roam around with continuous rain. What I have in mind is to rebook the flight as early as my departure date. Good thing cebupac allows it. So around noon time I asked the agent for the last trip going back to MNL and voila I am reboked.

Since I wasn’t able to tour around Iloilo City, I make a quick tour in the Cathedral and took some photos before I leave for Caticlan since my flight will be at 8:45 in the evening. It was a risk really. We left Iloilo around 2 pm and I was so nervous that I will not make it on time. I even asked the conductor if we can arrive at Caticlan at 8 pm and he was so sure that we will. And yes! We arrive around 7:45 :P

I really want to visit Capiz esp Roxas City but wasn’t able to. But I will visit the place next month during my Boracay trip with my childhood friends. I have extra day and booked 4 days instead of 3 days like they did :P

You can visit other tourist spots in Antique, Iloilo, and Guimaras if you have enough time. There are a lot of places to go to. List all the places you want to visit and make a thorough research about the place. This is just a quick getaway and is part of and attempt on completing all the provinces in the Philippines. I will make a detailed itinerary and travel guide for each of these provinces. Stay tuned!

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Thanks for the wonderful message!