Antique: Cascading Waterfalls and Awe-inspiring Mountains

Longing for some taste of nature? Antique has been a good choice in the Visayas.

The province of Antique is situated in the western regions of Visayas. Historically, Antique was called “Hantik” which is the name of an oversized ant. Kinaray-a is the language spoken by the people in Antique. (that  is hard to comprehend) anyhow, that is one of the best essences of traveling for me. Meeting new people, engaging with their culture and learning a new language.

Thanks to my “dirtiest” (my endearment for him) friend Francis who planned the whole trip for the Apps&Dogs. The five of us wanted to have a unique adventure together so we decided to push through Antique. From Roxas City, Capiz,  we brought goods for our overnight stay. On our list were: Chips, Red Wine, Coke, Bread, Cup Noodles, Canned goods, utensils, Water, Gums, Candies, and Coffee. We also had a lunch box filled with cooked adobo chicken/beef, hotdogs and chorizo for our lunch.

The Adventure

Around 6:00am we departed Roxas going to Kalibo, Aklan. We arrived around 8am and decided to eat breakfast at McDonald’s. We then rode a van from Kalibo going to crossing Nabas, that took us 30 minutes to 1 hour. From Nabas, the bus going to Tibiao was very rare, so we stopped over in a small cafeteria and bought some rice for our lunch. Unfortunately, it rained. Not too heavy but it rained!!!! What we had in mind? RANDOM! So when the bus passed by and stopped, we hurriedly ran ourselves into the other street fighting the rain and the wind. (So many bloopers that remind us always) the bus ride would take 1-2 hours. This is our best opportunity to see the view of Antique and we witnessed how Mountains meet the Sea. It was mesmerizing and enchanting at the same time.

Arriving in Tibiao feels so relaxing and refreshing. If you were looking for a place to renew, this is the best place to be.

We arrived in Antique at around 11am, we then rode a habal-habal (₱80.00 each back & forth ) going to Tibiao. The road was so rocky, bumpy and a lot of muddy tracks surrounded by dense forest, plus it was raining that moment, lucky us because the drivers were very nice to lend us their “kapote”. We paid ₱50.00 each for the environmental fee, then headed straight to where were staying.

We stayed in Kayak Inn, Tibiao for our overnight. Isn’t it so native? Everything we had in mind were exactly what we got ourselves into. The ambiance were very soothing and inviting. They also offer a lot of nature adventures perfect for adrenaline junkies like us.

 THE RAPIDS OF THE TIBIAO RIVER

Very much excited to start our tribal adventures, we proceeded with White Water Kayaking first which cost ₱450.00 per pax. Across the greenery and calm atmosphere, this is a good place even for newbies like us to try our hands in paddling. The instructor said, the water is usually placid during summer month but since the rain just stopped, the current of the water is strong at the moment.

After we geared up, we headed to the river and started the demonstration. The river is so long and very tricky, lots of big rocks and the water current is telling us “break a leg”. We went Kayaking one by one, supporting each other.

Some of us fell and fell all over again but we actually managed to finished the track. We had the most wonderful feeling, right after as if we’re fighting for our lives and won the battle. Yes, we survived.

BUGTONG-BATO FALLS

In the wilderness of Antique there lies a beautiful wonder. We all love waterfalls. So we didn’t miss Bugtong-Bato Falls. Together with our tour guide, we trekked to the Mountain for almost an hour. We were really tested for our outdoor skill. More chikas, laughter and sightseeing on our way to the falls. The moment we got there, we felt heaven.

Back to our Inn, we were starving so we ate an early dinner. The ambiance, the atmosphere, and the smell were perfect. We heard the nature’s natural sound at night and to that, we celebrated life and friendship over red wine.

HANGING BRIDGE

We woke up early the next day to visit the hanging bridge near Kayak Inn. It was only a 5 mins walk. We took pictures and decided to cross the bridge, but the ending? I was the only one who survived the test. We even met a new friend. He’s kind of adorable you know. 🐶🐶🐶

KAWA SPA This is definitely a must try whoever goes to Antique. A soothing, relaxing and meditating spa-bath be like. Kuya said, it is normally done at night but since we want better pictures, we decided to do it early morning (vanity).

We basked in an early sunshine in an enormous kawa hot bath. It has herbs and mints which give us this feeling of serenity and bliss.

After our glorious Kawa Spa, we fixed our things and leave Tibiao. We rode habal-habal again and caught the early ride going to Pandan. We visited Francis’ aunt and eat our lunch there.

MALUMPATI COLD SPRING

The cold scenery, turquoise water, and astonishing aura made our heart smile the moment we got here.

For only ₱20.00 you could enjoy the resort as long as you want. The Malumpati’s water flows all the way to Bugang River. We were very mesmerized by how the place pleases tourists. We changed our outfits and dipped in the clear / coldest water we’ve been to.

Almost time to go home, we headed to the terminal and rode a van going to crossing Nabas. Then rode another van going to Kalibo. We stopped over again at McDonald’s for a quick snack and finally headed to Roxas.

Get a tan,  Go paddling, Scale a mountain, Get wet in the rain and Soak your stress away in one destination. Many have changed in Antique nowadays, it offers a whole lot as what we experienced a few years ago. I hope you’ll be tickled by your wanderlust and try to experience the fun Antique has imparted in our lives. Safe travels!

Siquijor: A Magical Island of Fire and Mystique

If you’re looking for a magical adventure, Siquijor is the place to be!

Siquijor is a Province located in the Central Visayas Region of the Philippines. It is mostly labeled as, the Island of Fire due to the glow it shows off during sunset as a multitude of fireflies gathers on the Molave trees surrounding the island. For the older generation, it has been said that Siquijor is a place of mystery, mystics, and magic; for they believe in witchcrafts, sorcery, and black arts. In a matter of fact, it is indeed practiced until today, but on a less prevalent than before.

 

Honestly, people find it very odd when they found out that I’m traveling to Siquijor Island. I know I’m going to like this place because it’s pretty bare, there’s not a lot of things to do, no noise, more trees trees trees and beach beach beach. It’s such a nice hideaway! But who would have thought that this island people used to be scared of going into, will turn out to be a perfect tourist destination? Apparently, this island is known to have witches and mythical creatures which are why for a while even the locals wouldn’t come here. But I think that was just an urban legend or something like that. I don’t know but maybe some people still believe it, maybe it’s true, or yeah hopefully it’s not.

 

 

More than that, Siquijor island is unexplored in terms of its tourist destinations, it isn’t the top destination people have in mind when travel popped in. That’s why we’re here because it’s honestly a hidden gem.

Basically, when you arrive at the port, you can buy your tickets there. There’s no need to buy your tickets in advance because there’s a lot of room, no worries needed. You show up at the Dumaguete, Port, buy your tickets for around 130.00Php, a terminal fee of 15.00Php, and you’re good to go. Of course, there’s a lot of choices, you could go fast craft for around 200.00Php or more. The travel time ranges from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on your chosen boat.

 

Getting around the island is quite easy especially when there’s a lot of tricycles available for tour, their rate is 1000.00php per day which is around $20USD. Usually, you could split that with 3 to 4 people depending on your preference. Each tour guide has actually a specific route to follow depending on where your starting point. But since I’m going to explore Siquijor for a day with my siblings, I made some arrangements with our tour guide. Cos, of course, I’m gonna take you to places that are must visit.

Sites to Explore in the Province of Siquijor

1. St. Francis of Assisi Church

In just a hop away from the seaport, this church is considered to be a warm opening feature of the province. This church was built in 1793 and was made of coral stone. Like most colonial churches, its belfry is separated from the church.

2. Lazi Church

Known as San Isidro Labrador Parish Church, a Roman Catholic founded and became an independent parish in 1857.

3. Lazi Convent

Lazi Convent is the biggest and the oldest convent in the Philippines and all of Asia. It is constructed around 1871 and declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. It is also nominated for UNESCO World Heritage. What a goosebumps! Amazing isn’t it?

  4. Capilay Spring Park

A public natural spring pool located at the heart of San Juan town. Capilay Spring Park provides a refreshing plunge to everyone as it has no entrance fee.
The pool has three chambers which are the spring area, the swimming, and the laundry pool. The flowing waters stream down to the nearby bay.

5. Old Enchanted Balete Tree

In the Philippines, Balete tree has been known to be a dwelling place for supernatural beings. This Balete tree in Lazi, Siquijor is centuries old and believed to be over 400+ years old; the most popular landmark in Siquijor is. Right under the tree, there’s a fish pond that is very popular for its “fish spa”.

 

6. Cambugahay Waterfalls

This multi-tiered waterfalls can be reached 135 steps down from Lazi main road. Enjoy the clean, refreshing, and cold waters that cascade all the way from natural springs. You will have the chance to jump using a swing, which is popularly known as the Tarzan jump. The water is so turquoise, no filter needed.

7. Salagdoong Beach

A very nice and secluded beach on the far side of Siquijor. This beach is popular because of its blue waters and endless skies. Salagdoong Beach is famous for its twin beach separated by the boulder rock. You can cliff jump, eat, party, and everything you want to do. It is quite a scenery!

8. Cantabon Cave

This is a must adventure in Siquijor, the cave is fascinating and extraordinary. There are plenty stalagmites and stalactites formations which will make you stare in awe. Exploring the cave, you will have to coordinate with the Barangay officials to get a tour guide and rent a flashlight.

Siquijor is a place that would amaze you with its natural and pristine beaches, astonishing waterfalls, lush hiking trails, serene environment, centuries-old churches, and the friendliest people. If you guys have the chance to visit this magical island, I so so so recommend it. Go to Siquijor and experience what I did or better yet, have more fun than I did. Let me know in the comment section below about your adventure friends, safe travels!