182 kilometers away from the city of Love, there’s a place where I always want to be – Antique. It might not be as famous as Boracay or Palawan (yet) but it is on its way to becoming the country’s premier destination. As what its tagline announces – Antiques is geographically located where the mountains meet the seas.
How to Get There:
For commuters like me, you can ride a bus or van from Molo Terminal. Travel time is around two hours depending on your exact destination and traffic flow.
Sheiladvice: Commuters with heavy motion sickness like me should bring necessary remedies – San Joaquin road (last town of Iloilo) is quite challenging.
As you travel along, you can see the gradient of the blue seas to your left and the gradient of the green mountains at the right. Because of its promising location, there are a lot of new activities you can try. Here are some of my personal preferred spot (which can later become your personal favorite as well).
Fusion X Buko Batchoy
After a long trip from the city, head to Bugasong – where the warmth of the Buko Batchoy sooth every nerve in your body.
The sweet-salty taste is enough to prepare you for a day-filled of activities. For a very cheap amount, you can enjoy a coconut bowl of Batchoy where the pancit is mixed with stripped coconut flesh.
Sheiladvice: We brought our own pandesal and drinks so we can cut the expenses more.
For the menu, pricing and eatery location, please check out: WHERE TO EAT IN ANTIQUE: DANDANZOY BUKO BATCHOY
Hindsight: Step out from your comfort zones. Living in Iloilo, we are Batchoy people and it was my first time tasting the fusion dish. It’s like a reminder that we shouldn’t fear to try new things out. Kill monotony from day-to-day home-office route to something different – enroll to Zumba or Yoga classes to de stress and meet new people or start your own blog!
Water Form X Bugtong Bato Waterfalls
You can ride a habal-habal but you still need to walk for 30 to 40 minutes to reach the falls. The way is little challenging. You will cross narrow paths, bamboo bridges and rocky roads.
Sheiladvice: We brought our own lunch – adobo so it will not spoil too soon. You can also bring your snack. They have a kubo where you can eat your baon while you rest.
It may be a tiring journey up but it will be all so worth it as the beauty of the falls fill in your senses. It is always a good feeling to come back to nature as the rushing waters strike your back as if it is a giant massaging machine – oh so relaxing!
Hindsight: Don’t give up. The roads may not always easy but it will lead you to beautiful destinations. There are bumps and setbacks but keep on going no matter how small your steps are it will take you to your goals.
Selfie Spot X Kawa Hot Bath
Kawa is used by our grandparents and parent to cooked delicious valenciana and suman but here you are the one being cooked. For P100, you can stay in the kawa for an hour. (Feb 2015 Rate).
Sheiladvice: You can request the habal-habal drivers to wait for you while you are still enjoying the hot bath.
There are various sizes that can even fit 4-5 persons so you can chat while enjoying the warmth of the water.
Hindsight: Slow down and rest. We are all busy. From being a school girl to having your own job, every day is bombarded with heavy duty tasks. We are always excited to finished everything in a snap but it seem to be difficult to compress and do them immediately. Take a deep breath and continue the unfinished tasks the next day. Rest if you must but don’t quit for we are still human.
Reach the Top X Malalison Island
You have to take a 30-minute motor banca ride from mainland to reach the beautiful island of Malalison.
Here’s to another trail as you set your feet to the proud mountains. Ups. Downs. Turns. Stops. Walks. Repeat. It was the summary. Then you’ll reach its peak where you can everything you passed on.
Sheiladvice: Eat beforehand. You can also bring water, light snacks and candies with you. There are also sari-sari stores in the area in case you needed some.
Don’t forget to give yourself a path on the shoulder for reaching the top when you think you can’t.
At the other side of the island, there is a mini cave and awesome beach to swim. Let me share with you one of the funniest conversation we had while we were there.
Cherrie: Baka may manahap tayong treasure dito.
Cheira: ‘Wag ka nang maghanap. Andito naman ako. Parang treasure na rin ‘yon.
Cherrie: EH DI ILIBING!
(Delivered in Hiligaynon)
Hindsight: Don’t wait for the top to reach you – chase it. Similar to good things come to those who wait and better things come to those who hustle. Sure we all work our simple ways to success. Struggle is always real to accomplish it. There were times you may want to give up because it is difficult or you doubt yourself; worrying you might not able to do it because of too much insecurities. But definitely along the way, you will realize how awesome you are that you can surpass the expectations you have set. And there are people along the way who will inspire and encourage you to do everything you can, squeezing every inner talent out of your creative juices to becoming a better version of “you”.
Beautiful Endings X Sunsets
Picturesque view from our inn as the sun kisses the horizon. We were able to capture romantic shots for our lovebirds as I sipped a cup of coffee. Nobody can script a better ending than this.
Hindsight: Know who to thank to. Sunsets are reminder that a new beginning is starting sooner. Don’t forget to thank everyone who made every travel trip a success. From the drivers of public transport, the people who prepared the meal, the tour guides, your friends who are with you and God who is in charge of everything.
Every trip is magical. It is our escape from temporary reality and along the way you may realize that every trip is actually the reality.
More than just taking pictures for documentation, we should also cherish what life lessons we will take home.