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Antique Province- Itinerary, Travel Guide, Places to visit

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I’m starting this travel story with a winning broad smile. A smile of relief and satisfaction that after years of numerous attempts I finally had set my food back in this province again. My roots are from Antique Province just to let you guys know, Culasi is the hometown of my parents. I first witnessed the enchanting beauty of the province back when I was 8 years old, that was 1997, and of course all I cared back then was how I will spend the entire day with my friends, I did not take notice of its diversed ecotourism. If my memory serves me right there's this local port operates in Culasi, back then it was the cheapest way to get to Antique though the trip takes almost 18 hours. I remember my gran brought me to the pier in several occassions to sell kamunsil (Camachile) and siniguelas (Spanish plum), I could still remember my first encounter to Malalison Island before other bloggers had their own stories in writings, I can still remember how I was astounded by the glass-clear water approaching the island of Malalison. I feel gratified that before it became the new attraction in the Western Visayas Region I already have my fair share of good memories there. I could still vividly remember my first time in Antique, how I fell in love to the simplicity of the life in our small community, once in a while I bring back the fleeting memories and hold these as my ticket to this lovely province.


Antique is a province in the Western Visayas Region, I have been eyeing to score a ticket to Iloilo since there’s no direct flight to Antique but I always fail. Luck was on my side this time, this trip was made possible in collaboration with Las Islas Travel and Tour, Air Asia Philippines and Local Tourism of Panay Provinces. The jump-off point is Iloilo City, from there we traveled by land around 2-3 hours heading to Kasa Raya in Tibiao, Antique, this is here we quartered in the course of our Antique trip.

Kasa Raya Inn and Cafe


Kasa Raya Inn and Cafe is a stilthouse accommodation situated in Tibiao with a very homey ambiance, it is a place where you will wake up facing the lush mountain range of Panay, also facing a rice field, this is my kind of dream when I retired (not too soon, I know). Strategically, Kasa Raya is situated accessible to the places included on our itinerary.


The next day we commenced to our planned itinerary. Our first stop was Malalison Island, it does ring a bell, a well known island stones throw from the Culasi Port. From Kasa Raya (Tibiao) it's roughly 2 hours to get to Culasi, on our way to the first destination I was mersmerized by scenic view of paralled mountain range, it's different from the ones in Luzon. If you're from Manila and used to see Mt.Maculot, Batulao, Arayat, Makiling, etc whenever you travel around Luzon I bet you will be spellblinded with what they have in Antique, you will see a long range of the Panay Mountains from both sides of your car.

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Malalison Island

We set foot to Culasi and proceeded directly to the registration area for our Malalison Island visit, aboarded the boat right after the registration. It was a quick voyage, probably around 20 minutes we already reached Malalison. Malalison is a 55-hectare island gifted with fine white sand, prominent hook shaped sand bar, pebbled shore line, magnificent rolling hills and indemic local plants. Malalison lies in Culasi, Antique. The island was still beautiful as I first saw it though there's signicifant increase of visitors this time around, we were welcomed by a sandbar that sits in a crystalline water. What I like about Malalison Island is its rawness, it doesn’t have much of big establishments and even though I noticed an increase of tourists visiting the island I think it's still not as crowded as other beaches around Manila considering that it was peak season when we paid a visit. After settling all our stuff we met the guide who assisted us to the Malalison Rolling Hills, gave us quick briefing and overview of the Island then we started the hike. I felt the thrill while doing the hike, the Rolling Hills definitely gave us the picture perfect view in fact we stopped several times just to take photos this somehow lenghten the supposed 45minute hike. Following the trail to the other side of the island we were greeted by Pitcher Plants, it’s rooted scatteredly along the trail.

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Antique

Antique
We finished the hike quarter past an hour, the trail led us down to a pebbled beach with a view of interconnecting islands, on the right corner of the island I saw this small cave opening which was very familiar to me, I realized we were at the side we stayed at 20 years ago (very nostalgic), I remembered the scene like a film without a sound.

Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines couple of years back, being part of Western Visayas, Malalison Island was greatly damaged and had the grip of it. Slowly, Malalison Island is becoming one of the leading destinations in the province.

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Malumpati Cold Spring/Blue Lagoon

Trekking into the deeper part of the forest was somewhat uncanny, this activity isn’t new to me, I had been doing this in several occasions but it felt different, I had this unearthly feeling. We were walking in the middle of immense woodland hearing only series of nature sounds, maybe this is one reason why I felt a little bizaare. Following the trail of the mountain river we reached a big basin of enthralling water of monochromatic shade of blue, we were all beguiled, funny that it's not even the main lagoon. Another ten minute walk we finally got to the main site, true enough the Blue Lagoon is an enchanting treasure of Antique. The guide didn't permit us to swim so we just enjoyed the amazing view of the lagoon and even if she allowed us I realized I do not know how to swim, me laughs.


We left the area with a notion that maybe ethreal creature is guarding the lagoon from the disdainful presence of humans, reason why we felt peculiar while we were doing the trek, until we came back to Kasa Raya we were still intriguegly enticed of our Malumpati Blue Lagoon visit.

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Kawa Hot Bath/ Blue Wave Tourist Inn


Back in manila, whenever I tell someone that I'll be visiting Antique they always say "Di ba dun yung may Kawa?", this has somehow became the trademark of the province, it established the desire and curiousity for prospective tourists especially these days that we have easier access to the virtual world. I have seen this place in different social media platforms, it circulates and shared by individuals and different groups in facebook. More than an hour drive from Malumpati Coldspring (Tibiao) is Blue Wave Kawa Hot Bath in Pandan, we arrived quarter to six so we had to scurry before the sun down. The staff were very accommodating and friendly, once we arrived they immediately filled the large cauldron with water and put some therapeutic flowers and herbs then lit a fire. We just had the best experience in the Kawa, I now know the feeling slowly getting cooked in large casserole. So far this is the best thrilling activity I had in Antique.

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I want to thank the people behind this awesome adventure. I want to thank our guide Kuya Noy for his patience and hardwork during our tour, Atty. Helen Catalbas of DOT Region 6, Aph and Alex of Las Islas Travel and Tours, and also AirAsia, this experience wouldn’t be possible without you guys. We had a great time in Antique! This province is one of the best I had visited so far, the eloquent soul of the province left me with the urge to comeback. I know this is a treasure trove of more delightful discoveries, as I explored the small piece of its vast wonders I know there's more to it than we can ever imagine.

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Our 1 Day Itinerary:

We had an afternoon flight from Clark to Iloilo via AirAsia, from Iloilo we drove 3-4hrs heading to Kasa Raya Inn where we spent the night and commence to the tour the following day.

7am- Kasa Raya Inn (Tibiao) to Culasi, Antique.

9am- Culasi (jump off point) to Malalison; Registration for Malalison trip. 20 minute boat ride, we reached the island 9:30, rest.

10am- Rolling HillasTrek, photo ops, swimming.

1pm- Back to Culasi town proper.

1:30pm- To Malumpati Cold Spring and Blue Lagoon

3pm- Swimming/Trekking at Blue Lagoon

5pm- We drove to Blue Wave Tourist Inn/Kawa Hot Bath

5:45pm- Kawa Hot Bath

-End

For bookings and inquiries you may contact:

Punta Dulog, Pueblo de Panay, Roxas City, Capiz
(just right across the Roxas City Terminal)
(G) 0917-709-3856 / (S) 0939-534-0828 / (L) 036-521-0725
www.lasislas.ph
https://facebook.com/LasIslasTravelAndTours
Or

Km 172 Iloilo-Antique Road
Tibiao, Antique, Philippines
0917 524 7875
Facebook page: Kasa Raya Inn





 


 


 


 

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