My Hometown's Pride: Isla de Gigantes, Iloilo

There are hundred ways and reasons to express happiness, for me travelling, exploring and blogging are my few definition of enjoying life, maybe for some drinking coffee and having a good read would be a simple joy or a conversation with a friend might complete the day of a person. It varies, I must say but at the end of the day what matters most is you appreciated LIFE and thank you Lord for that.

I’ll start with saying “I really miss blogging”. Most of my time was occupied preparing for my “ultimate goal to date” to conquer half Ironman, a 70.3 miles triathlon race in Cebu and I’m happy to share to you Guys, I just did. Going back, as promised to myself, here I am blogging and let me introduce my hometown’s pride Isla de Gigantes.

The province of Iloilo would be the highlight of my first quarter escapade and my first blog entry for the year 2015, a quite late but worth the share.
Cabugao Gamay
THE STORY:
Same month, two years ago I was accompanied by my Aunt Vina to spent Holy Week in Iloilo and last March 17, 2015 I am really delighted to travel with my parents to be reunited with my Mom’s clan in the province of Iloilo and a few months back I informed my cousins there that we’ll be staying with them and they’re excited with the news.

Estancia is located in the northern tip of Panay Island two municipalities nearer in the province of Roxas, I chose to book a flight bound to Roxas City due to proximity reason – Roxas City to Estancia is just an hour and a half land travel compared to Iloilo International Airport bound to Estancia, an estimated three hours and a half exhausting rough road journey.
I'm Home
We arrived in Roxas Airport with the scorching heat of the sun and I immediately asked the locals in my full ilonggo twang and words to know about the bus terminal bound to Estancia and they responded politely and directed us in the integrated bus and van terminal off to different key cities in Panay Island.

I informed my Aunt Delia and cousin Boyet that we’re near the terminal of Estancia to fetch us, they’re also having their vacation there and we’ll be staying in one big home.

Upon our arrival in my Aunt Edna’s house we’re welcomed by my Aunt Edith, cousin to mom and they’re prepared sea foods and freshly picked veggies in the backyard for our late lunch. A few minutes then, more and more relatives came to see and share stories to us all, I am finally HOME.
I'm Back
ISLA DE GIGANTES:
It’s been a dream of mine to explore Gigantes Islands when my Lola Puca shared to me in her own words how grand the said place is. Since then, I am thrilled to set foot in the said Island.
Bluer than blue
Small Island in the middle of somewhere
Stopover anyone?
We finally arrived! so happy little brother.
Living my dream into reality. Boyet, Yanyan, Kuya Julie and I traveled to Isla de Gigante via a commuters pump boat stationed in port area parallel to the wet and dry market of Estancia. An estimated 2 to 3 hours journey, be mindful of the schedule. The boat departs the area at 1pm. Around 5 in the afternoon I set foot in the white powdery sands of the now famous island of Gigantes [del Norte] or you Guys could rent a boat for four thousand pesos to visit all the must see islands and spot, the more the better to divide the rental expenses. Going back, we immediately check-in in the near beach house [REJOHN Beach Resort] but our original plan was to set up a camp in a remote area of the island but one of my cousin disagree with the idea so we rented a room good for four for our overnight stay. Though my mindset was to sleep underneath the bright star and count it till I fall asleep.
Afternoon bliss
As a courtesy, Kuya Julie and Yanyan accompanied me and Boyet to roam around the island. My eyes was filled with wonders and I’m comparing the limestone formation of this island to El Nido and Coron in Palawan but this has a distinct feature. An appeal beyond compare with an inviting vibes to rest, sit back and relax.
Rock Formation
Low tide | Rejohn Beach Resort
Yanyan 
Yes, my skin tone is darker now :)
Triathlon break
Childhood memories flashes back as we walked in the shoreline while the tides are low, we’ve handpicked colorful starfish and small crabs, afterwards we’ve just set free of those little creatures.
The Shell | Literally haha
The Starfish | Yes, The Starfish haha
We spent the rest of our afternoon in the seashore with cold beers and good conversation waiting for the sunset to take over the horizon. Let’s call it day.
Playing with Shadows
Baron was here
With my second cousins :)
Longest walk
My view from the shore
Playing with colors
Just when I thought that I forgot how to take photos
Day 1 ends here.
I started Day 2 with a familiar sound of the pump boat, Island Hopping. I am so back in travelling, the salty smell and blazing heat of the wind that touches my skin. I am having the best times of my life and doing the things I used to do before Triathlon.
Journey starts here
I set foot in one of the best Island I’ve ever been to date. The crystal clear water matches the powdery sands, alongside with two rock formation as if two towering guardian stood to protect the island of Cabugao Gamay or also known as Antonio Island. Gamay is an Ilongo word for small.
The famous Cabugao Gamay Island of Isla de Gigantes
More View
Excited of me, I jumped in the boat and headed directly in the man-made view deck. I barely catches my breath as I finally arrived at the top! Amazing 360 degree panoramic view. Simply AWESOME!
Paradise, agree?

Markings
Wanna Jump

My favorite subject | The Boat
We owned the Island :)
After a short staycation in Cabugao Island our next destination is the famous lagoon called TANKE, the name of the place speaks for it because of its shape. My own interpretation, I’m in the middle of hidden paradise with towering limestone formation covering the mini lagoon. That was my first time to experience and see that kind of rock and water formation.
The Rock 
But before seeing the mysterious bliss, boats were in line outside a small opening side by side of sharp edges of limestone and deep blue salt water. One boat at a time and we just patiently waited for our turn to enter the lagoon.
Words are not enough to express the grandness of the place. here's my POV [Point of View]!!!
The Lagoon
View from the TOP | Amazing
Wanna stay longer here
The dark [complexion] blogger
Okay, enough of selfies
I swam back and forth, float and plunk in the water. What else I can wish for? This is the best trip of my 2015! Though this is first and the only official travel-leisure escapade I had as of my writing today, the rest triathlon related event in Subic, Batangas, Bataan and Cebu.

Jump Brother | Kuya Julie
We stayed in Tanke for quite some time before we headed back in the mainland, living some priceless memories in this trip and I found myself again with my first love, to travel and to write stories.

On that note, there are a lot of must see places in our own country and one of life’s goal is somehow explore all the gems of the Philippines and I highly recommend my hometown, Iloilo to be your next destination. Aside from the old churches and structure, Iloilo is beyond that. A walk through experience would be Isla de Gigantes. Now, the next big thing in Iloilo. I hope you guys like my comeback blog entry. Feel free to share and comment for feedback.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:
Since the Gigantes is far away in the mainland, prices of goods here are quite expensive. Bring your own water, snacks and/or foods to lessen the expenses when you’re in the Island. FYI, the whole island is powered by generator, sometime in the middle of the night the electricity is being turned off. Take note of the poor mobile signal here. Last note would be the resort, after you land in the port area of the said Island there are locals that will offers accommodation in the area feel free to check it yourself.

I will definitely go back here, due to time constrains I wasn't able to visit all the must spot in Gigantes. That's an oath to myself.

2 comments:

  1. lumabas din sa wakas! :) tagal ko inantay tong post na to hahahaha

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    Replies
    1. 5 months in the making haha. Babalikan ko to! di ko pa nalibot lahat! hayyy....

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