Panay Island

Tibiao and Malalison Island, Antique, 3 days and 2 nights Budget and Itinerary

I heard so many good things about the province of Antique in Panay Island. Antique has rugged and varied land and has long stretches of white sand beaches and the home of the highest peak in the island of Panay, the most breathtaking view comparable to that of Batanes.

Antique was not on my list to visit this year but due to to the text message we received from our travel agent early morning, that our trip will be cancelled we need to change route straight away and Antique was the alternative.

We hurriedly packed up our things because this day will be more of travelling just to get to our destination.

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Tibiao has rapidly become popular to be one of the eco-adventurous destination in the island of Panay. Several activities are being offered to tourist seeking for an adventure with nature.

So here’s a few actitivites you can try on to give yourself a fun and memorable experience while in Tibiao.

Malakagat Hanging Bridge

Just a few meters away from the Inn is the swaying hanging bridge of Tibiao. Here you will witness a scenic view of the Tibiao River and the mountain of Brgy. Tuno.

Kawa Hot Bath

There is nothing more exciting feeling than steaming your own self on a boiling water of KAWA Hot Bath. Typically not boiling just making the water warm for you to relax and smell the aroma of the ingredients included in for your relaxing bath. This is one of the many reasons why we hit Tibiao just to experience their Kawa Hot Bath.

Since we arrived late afternoon in Tibiao we only had experience two activities because it rained the following day. But here are some other activities you could try on aside from the above mentioned.

the kawa hot bath inclusions

Other areas you can check on:

  1. Bugtong Bato Falls – you can ask for a tour guide on your accommodation to tour you around
  2. Tibiao Fish Spa
  3. River Kayaking
  4. Tibiao Bakery

Accommodations

Only a few accommodations I’ve known in the area while I’m searching the internet. The first and popular is the Kayak Inn and La Escapo located a few meters from Kayak Inn. But we choose to stay in La Escapo instead since I saw that they have bigger Kawa pot compared to the other. La Escapo Mountain Resort was owned and manage by Family Omar.

Room Rates

Kayak Inn - P250.00 per night
Contact Number - 0998 579 7412
Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/kayakinn/
La Escapo Lodge - P250.00 per night
Contact Number - 0977 470 8784

La Escapo river view
Nipa hut room good for 2

Day 1 Itinerary 

  • 09:00 AM – Bacolod City Port (2GO waiting Area)
  • 09:10 AM – Depart Bacolod to Iloilo City
  • 11:15 AM – Arrived Iloilo City Port
  • 11:20 AM – Mang Inasal near SM for brunch
  • 12:00 Noon – Jeepney going to Molo Terminal
  • 12:30 PM – depart Molo Terminal
  • 04:30 PM – Arrival Brgy. Importante Tibiao, Antique
  • 05:05 PM – Arrival La Escapo Lodge (took 20 minutes because we waited for their service to arrive)
  • 05:20 PM – Hanging Bridge, take pictures
  • 05:40 PM – Back to La Escapo
  • 06:00 PM – Kawa Hot Bath
  • 07:00 PM – Dinner
  • 08:00 PM – Rest, End of Day 1

Expenses

  • 2GO Fare – P270.00
  • Jeepney to Iloilo City Proper – P8.00
  • Lunch Mang Inasal – P100.00
  • Fare to Molo terminal – P7.00
  • PUV Fare Iloilo to Tibiao – P180.00
  • Tricycle fare to La escapo – P70.00
  • Environmental Fee – P50.00
  • La Escapo Mountain Resort overnight stay – P250.00
  • Trike/tour guide fee – P100.00
  • Kawa Hot Bath – P200.00
  • Dinner – P150.00

Total: P 1,385.00

Tibiao Travel Tips

  1. Always check your calendar  for a good weather condition trip. January and February has the most rainy days in the calendar accompanied by typhoons.
  2. The hanging bridge is quiet close, you don’t need a tour guide.
  3. Tibiao is a reflection of a farm life, from its environment to accommodation.
  4. When we we’re in La Escapo, typhoon was approaching, so at 12 midnight our nipa hut roof has holes that made our bed soak due to rainfall.
  5. They don’t have lights on the Comfort room, I suggest to put one.
  6. Our hut doesn’t have a padlock, but people there can be trusted but I still suggest to put one so that visitors feel secured while on their stay.
  7. Thumbs up for their served rice, really abundant since we ordered a platter and they served us good for 6 persons. lols

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Malalison Island, Culasi Antique

It was my first time to travel a place that has mountains and beach as the same time. Tagged to be the Batanes of Visayas Region, Malalison Island or Mararison as called by the locals, has an unspoiled 55-hectare hook-shaped island with a picture perfect mountain ridges that will enable you to witness all of Malalison’s splendid beauty.

We left Tibiao early in the morning to catch a boat trip while the typhoon has not yet landed. I kept on checking PAG-ASA weather condition the night before and despite the warnings of typhoon we still opt to pursue the trip to Malalison since we were already in Antique.

Getting Here:

From Tibiao, we ride a van to Culasi with P25.00 fare for about 20 minutes. The driver drop us at the nearest way and told us to ask locals where is the booking office going to Malalison.

Boat ride is P750.00 good for 5 people. If you are a solo traveler you may negotiate to the receptionist to give you a discount. Usually they will offer a solo traveler at the price of P550.00 for a round trip boat ride. The boat trip will take 15 minutes to arrive at the island.

Recommended Boatman: Kuya Mario Contact Number: +639-754-839-983 / +639-195-520-526)

Where to Stay in Malalison

The well known resort in Malalison Island is the Enrique de Mararison, though I find this resort quite pricey so we  switched to homestays instead since we are on a tight budget.

Contact Details:
Enrique de MararisonFacebook page
Contact Number – +63915-324-7575, +63908-472-6622

Tess Homestay – +639-097-636-316

EL Doroteo Homestay – +639-208-576-379

Aling Josie – +639-283-017-547

If you have no idea where to stay, you may ask Kuya Mario and he will recommend you the cheapest homestay for as low as P250.00.

We stayed at Aling Josie Victoriano’s Homestay, her place is in the beachfront fronting the sandbar. Aling Josies Homestay offers nipa hut (Kubo) good for 2 pax with shared comfort room. Since weather is a little bad she offered us the concrete house which is P300.00 per night. It has a private comfort room and a little sofa bed with dining table. The room is cozy and a little spacious for two people.

Electricity in the island is only limited from 6PM – 10PM only so make sure to charge your phone between that hours because at exactly 10PM electricity is cut-off.

Island Tour

The highlight of this trip is to explore the island of Malalison, and as the islands policy a visitor cannot trek the mountains unless with a tour guide. This is also a big help to the locals to support their families, you need to pay P200.00 good for 5 visitors.

You will be entering a forest before going to the mountain top.

It was one o’clock in the afternoon when we decided to go on trekking up in the mountains when the weather is still fine. You will pass by local houses that offers home stay, a forest full of pine trees, an elementary school, and hundreds of pitcher plants.

Pitcher Plants growing everywhere

The trek could be tiring but it’s manageable together with your bottled water. A trek along the rolling hills takes around an hour and this journey will take you to Nablag islet over looking western coast.

Day 2 Itinerary 

  • 7:00AM – Wake up Call
  • 7:30AM – Breakfast
  • 8:30AM – Depart Tibiao
  • 9:00AM – Travel to Culasi
  • 9:30AM – Arrival Culasi
  • 10:30AM – Depart Culasi Tourism Office
  • 11:00AM – Boat ride to Malalison
  • 11:20AM – Arrival Malalison
  • 12:00NN – Lunch
  • 1:00PM – Trek to the Mountains
  • 3:00PM – Back to the Sandbar
  • 4:00PM – Rest, End of Day 2

Expenses:

  • Van Fare fee Tibiao to Culasi – P25.00
  • Trike Fee going to Enrique Resort – P10.00
  • Boat Fee – 750/2 = P375.00
  • Homestay a night – P300.00
  • Food – P200.00
  • Guide – P100.00

Total: P 1,010.00

Nablag islet

Travel Tips

  1. Always check weather conditions before you pursue travellling.
  2. Always have your water anywhere you go especially staying on an island.
  3. You can bring your own food and the locals can cook one for you too.
  4. No ATM on the island, no restaurants and bars.
  5. Electricity is from 6PM to 10PM only, make sure to bring your powerbanks.
  6. Don’t pick pitcher plants, it is not for souvenirs.
  7. Don’t leave your trash, be a responsible traveller.
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