Panay Island is situated at Western Visayas which houses four provinces namely Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo and the home of the famous Ati-Atihan Festival. Its attractions will sweep you off your feet and make your hearts skip a beat for it is a home of various astounding must-see spots not to mention the renowned fine white sand beach of Boracay.
Just this year, I was able to see some and I’d say I’ll be back for more.
Just this year, I was able to see some and I’d say I’ll be back for more.
Backpacking wasn’t the original plan at all. Initially, we were only supposed to visit Boracay. But then, that was three days off and Antique and Iloilo were just out there. With that, the 3-day beach bumming was turned into three thrilling days of backpacking in Antique, Iloilo and Boracay.
DAY 1: TIBIAO, ANTIQUE
If there’s one thing that you shouldn’t miss in Antique, it’s the Kawa Hot Bath in Tibiao.
When we safely landed, we went straight to the van terminal and headed to Tibiao. It’s actually a two-hour drive from Caticlan. We alighted at Brgy. Importante and took a 10-minute habal habal trip for only 70php per head. We stopped at a registration area and paid 20php. From that point, it would only take you 3 minutes to Kayak Inn.
Signal for all networks is quite poor in that area so might as well inform the habal driver as to when can they pick you up. If you are to stay for only an hour or two, they would really wait for you.
It was raining so hard when we arrived at Kayak Inn – quite a perfect time to warm our bodies with the kawa hot bath.
The bath costs 250php and it takes 20-30min to prepare. You can enjoy it for 30-45min. But if there won’t be much guests during your visit, you may stay there for as long as you want.
Since the rain was extremely heavy on that day, we didn’t get to visit the other attractions in Antique.
From the arch of Barangay Importante, we waited and got into a bus straight to Iloilo. Since our friend who was with us has relatives in Jaro, Iloilo, we visited them and stayed for the night. It was a 5-hour drive from Tibiao to Jaro. When we arrived, they gave us a warm welcome and offered us a sumptuous dinner. After that, we retired for the night.
DAY 2 AM: JARO AND SAN JOAQUIN, ILOILO
We got up as early us 5am for we don’t wanna miss what Iloilo has in store for us. We said our goodbyes to the family and went to Jaro Cathedral which was just a few meters from where we stayed.
From Jaro Cathedral, we walked our way to the market where we can ride jeepneys to San Joaquin where Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort is located. It was a 2-hour drive from that point.
We passed by a lot of interesting points from Jaro to San Joaquin. There were old infrastructures like cemeteries, churches and the University of the Philippines-Iloilo.
We alighted at a tricycle terminal at San Joaquin, got into one straight to the resort for 10php per head. We didn’t waste time and chances upon our arrival to Garin Farm. We roamed around and got a feel of the place.
P.S. You should try the cream horn at the souvenir shop outside Garin Farm. It will send rainbow to your taste buds! It costs 19php per piece and 180php for a box of ten. They also have other souvenirs such as shirts, refrigerator magnets, key chains and others.
From there, we took a tricycle back to the highway where we waited for van/bus to Caticlan.
After 30min of waiting, we chanced upon a van which was a good thing because it’s faster than buses. Fare is at 250php. We headed to Caticlan and it took us 4 hours. We left San Joaquin few minutes before 12 and arrived at Caticlan Tabon port past 4pm. We just had our lunch in the van.
DAY 2 PM. BORACAY ISLAND, MALAY, AKLAN
Upon our arrival, we went straight to Tabon Port. We bought boat tickets and paid the terminal fee amounting to 25 and 100php respectively. We then headed to the boat. We sailed for 15minutes to Tambisaan port of Boracay Island. From that point, we took a tricycle for 150php straight to W Hostel in Station 2.
Time is quite precious as well as our visit so upon our arrival at Boracay and to the hostel at around 5:30pm we had our dinner changed to our swimming attires and headed to the beach. We really didn’t dare miss the chance to feel the fine white sand beneath our feet.
We spent quite some time enjoying the night life in Boracay and felt alive as we listen to and jive with 1lovetribe’s percussions in Hoy Panga Boracay. We stayed their for long mindless of the time.
When weariness took over us, that’s when we returned to our hostel to hit the hay.
DAY 3: PUKA SHELL BEACH, BORACAY
We all woke up at 5:30am changed to our swimming attires, packed our beach and photography essentials and headed downstairs to get a ride to Puka Shell Beach since it’s quite far from where we were. We chartered for a tricycle for 150php. It took us 30min I guess to get into Puka Shell Beach.
After an hour or two, we left Puka Beach and headed to W Hostel for our free breakfast. The squad freshened up a bit and joined the beach bummers in Stations 1 and 2.
Since our flight is at 3:30pm, considering the travel time from the island to the airport, we headed back to the hotel at 1pm to wash up and pack up.
We left Boracay via Boracay jetty port and hopped into an air-conditioned ferry through oyster ferry shipping line. We paid around 225php including the van transfer from Cagban Jetty port to the to Godofredo P. Ramos Airport. Luckily, we arrived just when the check in counters for our flight opened.
>Kayak Inn (Kawa Hot Bath)
>Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort
>White Beach de Boracay
>Puka Shell Beach
10:30am – 11:45am : Manila to Caticlan
12:00pm – 2:30pm : Caticlan to Tibiao
2:30pm – 2:40pm : habal to Kayak Inn
2:40pm – 3:30pm – waiting time (wait on the availability of the kawa and bath preparations)
3:30pm – 5:00pm : Kawa Hot Bath
5:00pm – 5:15pm : habal to Brgy. Importante arch (yes we didn’t wash up and we traveled to Iloilo with our clothes soaked wet due to the heavy rain)
5:15pm – 5:30pm : waiting time for the bus
5:30pm – 10:30pm : travel time from Tibiao to Jaro, Iloilo
10:30pm – 10:45pm : travel time to the house of my friend’s relative
10:30pm – 11:30pm wash up
11:30pm – lights off
5:30am – wake up
5:45am – wash up and pack up
6:00am – breakfast
6:30am – 700am : off to Jaro Cathedral and bell tower
7:00am – off to the terminal to San Joaquin
7:30am – 930am : travel time to San Joaquin
9:30am – 1100am : Garin Farm
11:00am – ETD Garin Farm
11:00am – 1130am : waiting time for the bus
11:30am – 445 pm : travel time to Caticlan
4:45pm – ETA Tabon port
4:45pm – 5:00pm : travel time from Tabon port to Boracay
5:00pm – 5:15pm – port to W Hostel
5:15pm onwards – explore the beach/ night life
12:00am – lights off
5:30am – wake up
6:00am ETD to Puka Beach
6:00am – 6:45am : travel time to Puka
6:45am – 8:00am : beach bumming/ activities
800am – 830am : Puka Beach to W Hostel
8:30am – 9:30am : breakfast
9:30am – 12:00nn : beach bumming
1:200nn – 1:00pm : wash up/pack up
1:00pm – 1:30pm : lunch
1:30pm – 1:45pm : McDo to Boracay Jetty port
1:45pm – 2:00pm: Boracay Jetty port to Cagban Jetty port
2:00pm- 2:10pm – port to airport
2:10pm – 2:20pm : check in to airport
2:20pm – 3:00pm : waiting for the bus service and travel time to plane
3:00pm – boarding
3:30pm – ETD to Manila
LIST OF EXPENSES
>PLANE TICKET 2-way (SkyJet airlines) inclusive of terminal fees – 2400php
>Tricycle from Caticlan airport to Tabon port – 50php /2
>Lunch – 60php (canteen in Tabon port)
>Tabon port to Tibiao, Antique – 125php/ head by van
>Habal habal (Brgy. Importante to Kayak Inn) – 70php/head x2 for the back and forth ride to Brgy. Importante – 140php
>Registration fee – 20php/head
>Kawa Hot Bath – 250php/ head
OVERALL EXPENSES IN ANTIQUE – 620php
>bus to Jaro, Iloilo (Ceres) – 225php/head
>taxi from terminal to the house – 100php/4
FREE STAY, DINNER AND BREAKFAST FOR DAY 2 ?
>jeep from Jaro to San Joaquin – 50php
>tricycle to Garin Farm – 10php/head x2 – 20php
>Entrance fee – 150php
>souvenirs – 220php
>van from San Joaquin to Caticlan – 230php/ head
>lunch in the van (bought during a stop over) – 60php
OVERALL EXPENSES IN ILOILO – 980php
>Tabon port terminal fee and boat ticket – 125php
>tricyle from Tambisaan port to W Hostel – (150php/4) 38php
>accommodation – 441php/head inclusive of breakfast (booked via booking.com)
>dinner – 100php
>tricycle from W Hostel to Station 1 – (75php/4) 19php
>tricycle to puka beach (150php/4 one way) 76php/head
>lunch – 100php
>tricy from W Hostel to Boracay Jetty Port – (120php/2) 60php
>boat transfer, terminal fee and van transfer – 244php
OVERALL EXPENSES IN BORACAY (less pasalubong and booze) – 1084php
OVERALL EXPENSES IN THREE DAYS INCLUSIVE OF PLANE TICKETS: 5,084php
There were four on us in the trip and our expenses vary from one another depending on how much we spent on food and souvenirs and other stuff. I don’t drink that’s why I kinda saved a little.
This was the first time I’ve done backpacking and I’d say I’d plan for more! It was quite extreme, and some may say, yes, tiring; but the sense of fulfillment, most especially when you get to see those attractions, is at its finest!
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