Weekend trip to Antique

Me and some college friends decided to go to Antique last February 11-12. One of my friends have been inviting us to her hometown in Sebaste, Antique since college and we only went there now (two years after graduation!). After planning and some who backed out due to schedule or budget, there were six of us left who went around Pandan, Sebaste, Mararison Island, and Tibiao.

My last out-of-town trips in 2016 was in Cadiz City, Bacolod last November for a family reunion and in El Nido, Palawan last June with my brother. Its great to get out of the city once in a while, visit other provinces, and see the beautiful wonders of our country. El Nido deserves to be named as one of the most beautiful places in the world, with crystal-clear waters on white sand beaches. No wonder it has been the location of movies such as Bourne Legacy whose last scenes were shot there.

Sebaste is a 5-hour ride from the city (by private car, if you commute it would take around 6 hours or more due to stop-overs and the speed limit), and most of us just got around to Antique for the first time. We never realized how big Panay island was! Sebaste is in the northernmost part of Antique, and its nearer to Aklan than Iloilo. Thanks to Gold for giving us a warm welcome! On to the rest of the trip...

Malumpati River

Our first stop was the cold river in Malumpati, a one-hour tricycle ride from Sebaste. We enjoyed the cool, clear, fresh water in the river, though it could be freezing-cold and may take awhile to get used to. Its the place to be during the summer heat, when we went there we were lucky there was still space. The place could get crowded during the summer season.

Mararison Island

Mararison is a 15-minute boat ride from Culasi, depending on the wind and sea. Its a 55-hectare island with white sand and many hills. The electricity in the island is powered by a generator, its only on from 6-10 pm in the evening, so be ready with charging your gadgets if you plan to stay overnight.

#HugotLines under the light of the fullmoon

Good morning, Mararison! 

My friends bought a bottle of Carlo Rossi (just light white wine) and since we didn't have a corkscrew to open it, we just asked a local fisherman to open it with a... fishhook! But the alcohol is enough to make your head swim a bit. At least it gave me a deep, good night's sleep! In the morning, we hiked on the hills.

Hiking in the hills

The first summit

On the way down... look at how far we've gone up.

Hiking is pretty tiring and difficult, but its true that if you reach the summit, all the tiredness is gone when you see the beauty of everything! The view was breathtaking. Just keep in mind that you should step on the solid rocks and not the loose stones that may send you rolling down if you're not careful (which almost happened to me).

The hiking ended on the other side of the island, where there was a cave (but the entrace is too small to go in) and stone formations.

My friends don't get tired of picture-taking! 📷

We rode another boat back to the other side. Then, we went back to Culasi and had lunch: Batchoy-sa-Paya with native chicken, a must-try when you stop by Culasi.

Our last stop before going back to Iloilo City was the hot-bathing in the kawa in Tibiao. The water is heated in the huge kawa with fire and wood. While waiting for the water, we swam a bit in the clear river below.

Its relaxing to sit in a hot kawa (like you're being cooked by aswang!) with green leaves and colorful flowers, with the sound of the river below and all the green. After all the tiring traveling, it was the perfect place to end the trip.

About to get cooked

We went our separate ways and rode home by bus to Iloilo City. It was a stressful trip, the longest vehicle ride I've ever been while living in Panay. We left at 4 pm and reached Molo, Iloilo City at 9:30 pm! It was worth it, thanks to Gold that we had a lot of discounts in transportation and accommodation since she knew a lot of people around.

I really don't like taking lots of pictures during trips, I prefer to enjoy the surrounding first but my friends don't get tired of it! As for me, I just slip out of the camera range because smiling can be tiring for your face.

Looking forward to our next trip together! ❤

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