Last July, I visited the beautiful (and very far!) Gigantes group of islands in Northern Iloilo. The following is our itinerary (a summarized version):
Instead of flying to Iloilo City, we chose Roxas City in Capiz as our jump-off point. There is not much to do in Roxas except eat tons of seafood at Baybay Beach and pray for the weather gods to cooperate (it was rainy season when we visited).
We stayed at San Antonio Resort, just a stone’s throw away from Baybay Beach. Location-wise it is a great choice. Price-wise, you’re better off picking a cheaper ho(s)tel because you’re probably going to stay for less than 24 hours.
We checked-out early and rode a tricycle to Roxas City’s transport terminal, where we hopped on a bus bound for Carles, Iloilo. We went down at ESTANCIA. The ride to Estancia was around 2 hours long.
Estancia Port only has 1 boat that leaves for Gigantes and it departs at around 1 PM daily. The boat ride is usually another 2 hours but it took us less because the current/waves swept the boat faster to shore.
If there’s a perfect time to use the word GETAWAY in this blog, it is for this trip. We literally got away and rode all kinds of transportation to get to Gigantes islands.
When we arrived, we immediately rode habal-habals (motorcycles) to Gigantes Hideaway Inn. The habal-habal rides were some of my personal highlights. They are extremely dangerous sans helmet but they were also exhilarating and gave me a good view of the surroundings and local life – idyllic, simple, covetable.
The first leg of the tour was the lighthouse area. By this time, I was already in love with Gigantes. For dinner, we were introduced to the islands’ specialty – SCALLOPS. We had loads throughout our stay. Lahat ng luto ng scallops, I swear, natikman namin.
The windy, overcast morning was spent visiting the other islands. Unfortunately, we were not able to experience the famous “tangke” because it was not accessible 😦
We went spelunking in the afternoon. I enjoyed that too! Caves are forever fascinating, also scary. Bow.
When we were not touring, there were a lot of idle moments spent at the resort or sitting outside. I went people-watching and breathed as much clean air as I could. I relished the quiet moments and appreciated the stillness because there’s a shortage of them in Metro Manila.
We had to say goodbye too soon. Spent the whole day travelling back to Manila… reluctantly. Island life is much more appealing to me.
From Estancia Port, instead of taking the bus back to Roxas City, we rode a shuttle/van and it was significantly faster.
Gigantes Hideaway Inn is highly recommended! They will assign a person who will take care of all your needs. Ours was Kirk and he did a great job!
Sir Joel Decano, owner of Gigantes Hideaway, can help arrange your transport and accommodations. You can reach him via this number +63 918 468 5006. Please note that he won’t be as responsive when he is in Gigantes Islands due to very limited cellphone signal. I had to contact him twice or thrice. When he is reachable, he is very courteous, responsive and helpful 🙂