「 Isla de Gigantes 2017 」 Antonia Island and Bantigue Sandbar

By Pearly Jane - September 04, 2017



To be honest, I srsly don't like road trips. I don't get carsick; I just really think it's tiring to be sitting on my butt for hours~ But anyways, this peeve hasn't stop me! For the record, going to Isla de Gigantes was the longest and most exhausting. It takes careful planning + timing to get there, especially if you've only got limited time.


From Cagayan de Oro City, we flew to Iloilo. For me, it was the first flight ever to have much turbulence - I do love my plane rides; just that time, not so much. Haha I was anticipating some sunset shots because it was around 4 - 5 PM but to no avail.

  

It was raining in Iloilo when we got there around 6 PM, which was disappointing, but that's what you get when you travel. You have to be ready for anything. What use will sulking do, right?

  

Now, here's the *struggle* of sorts. Going to the island requires you to take a bus from Tagbak Terminal in Jaro to Bancal port in Carles. This takes 3 - 4 hrs. The catch though is: bus ride schedules are LIMITED. That's right. The last trip is at 7 PM. We couldn't catch that. So I totally recommend that you get to Iloilo in the morning. For us, we couldn't do anything about it since it was the cheapest promo flight and the research came after the booking

Our remedy was this: from Iloilo International Airport, go to SM Iloilo. We were 11 people, so we fit in a van easily. It costed us 50 PHP each. In SM, we took our time to eat, shop, look around - good thing that the mall extended their opening hours to 10 PM. You may ask why we didn't get ourselves a place to sleep. Well, that'd be (1) not very economical because (2) we were gonna get on the first trip at 2 AM. Hmm, if only it didn't rain, we would've been able to use the time to go to some spots in the city, boohoo~

Come closing time, it was time to move to our next location, which is Tagbak Terminal. Cross the street via the overpass and ride a Leganes liner jeepney. To be sure, we asked the driver 

Overpass shot!
This was what the terminal looked like at 10+ PM 


It came as a shock to me because back home in CDO, at such a time, terminals are still bustling with buses and people. Then again, what can we do? *shrugs* I'm like a night owl so I was awake until the bus came. Of course, it was our first time there so I was a little scared we'll miss the bus...

  

Good morning, Carles!

From Bancal port to Isla de Gigantes itself, there are only 1 - 2 passenger boats per day. But that time, there was a single one at 10 AM. We got there around 6 AM, had breakfast, then had to wait for the time of departure. A-yo, honestly, you have to be patient. They say the boat leaves earlier when it reaches its maximum of 50 people though.

Our group availed a package with Gigantes Hideaway Resort through Mr. Joel Decano. Most of the blogs I read pointed to him and since this was a budget trip, we opted to book with him. For 1,765 PHP each (11 pax), it entailed:

 Passenger boat fare (back and forth)
 Private boat for island hopping
 Island entrance fees
 Environmental fee
 1 night accommodation (fan room)
 Local island guide
 Cave guide
 4 meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch)
 Motorbike fare (their mode of transpo there)
 Century-old Spanish Lighthouse visit

Loaded!  But if I / we were to redo things, it's actually better to just pay the 2,260 PHP per person package since you can use a private boat. No need to wait, so we'll get to the island faster and start on our itinerary earlier.

  

Not really very commercialized yet. The boat ride is simple, not even enough seats. You may end up sitting on mono bloc chairs provided. That's why I recommend the private boat for yall if you go~ We left at around 9 AM and arrived almost noon. So 3 hours?

  

And finally... FINALLY! ISLA DE GIGANTES!  

  

A shoutout to Kuya Darius, by the way, for assisting us until we boarded the boat from Carles. Kuya Ron-ron then greeted us and became our guide when we got to the island. We paired up and rode habal-habal to our accommodation.

  

After freshening up and eating an abundant lunch of seafood , it's time for island hopping!!!

  

These rock formations were everywhere~ I've never been to Palawan but they look similar to those there, yeah? Or not?

  
  

 ANTONIA BEACH / ISLAND
Our first stop is this private island. I don't know the exact entrance fee because it's already part of our package.


I thought this was the famous Cabugao Gamay because of excitement, sarreh

  

You can go on top of this rock formation but you have to sweat it out! At least I did. Wow, I'm officially unfit. Chos


See that!? It was hard but thankfully, I managed - I had to. Haha be careful though since there are sharp edges and you might fall!

NOT Cabugao Gamay 
  

 BANTIGUE SANDBAR
The weather started going gloomy then became sunny again. It even drizzled for a while.


We just took pictures then did some swimming. There was a rocky area at the other end of the sandbar and we wanted to go there but our guide told us it was off-limits. As in?? (A quick Google showed otherwise )

Just across is my most-awaited, Cabugao Gamay Island. I'll do a separate post about it!


Travel dates: August 18 - 20, 2017
Contact Gigantes Hideaway Resort / Mr. Joel Decano with this number: 09184685006.

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