Backpacking Visayas | Day 1 & 2 : Hello, Islas de Gigantes!

 

I have always wanted to try backpacking however just thinking about it makes me tired already. But, last year, I finally found the courage to try it. I tagged along with a friend and his officemates and finally made my “Backpacking dream” happen!

Day 1Hello, Gigantes Islands!

We arrived at Roxas Airport at around 6am. We then took a tricycle to the Ceres Bus Station, and rode a bus bound for Estancia.

12871471_10208458816860139_8101487343852256698_n
Estancia Port

We booked a package for 5 at Gigantes Hideaway for P2355 inclusive of the following:

  • Private boat for 2 days
  • Roundtrip transfer at Estancia Port
  • Island hopping
  • Island entrance fees
  • Environmental fee
  • 1 night accommodation
  • Local island/Cave guide
  • 4 meals (Family service seafood buffet meals/Unli-rice)
  • Motorbike fare for 2 days

Activities:

  • Island hopping, swimming, snorkeling
  • Natural cliff jumping
  • Trekking spelunking
  • Visit century old lighthouse
  • Watch sunrise and sunset

It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours from Estancia Port to Gigantes Hideaway so it was a good chance to catch-up on some sleep.

13307404_10208458819060194_3998382784699675072_n.jpg

Upon arriving at Gigantes, first order of business – Lamon! Lunch was amazing. Crabs, scallops and a delicious shell fish they call “Wasay wasay”.

After a little rest and some much needed charging of gadgets, we rode on the motorbikes to the starting point of our trek at Bakwitan Cave.

Bakwitan, which came from the word “Evacuate-an” or a place to evacuate, was one of the refuge areas during the war for many of the locals. Up to today, this place is where they go to during strong typhoons.

The first part was fairly easy. A little rocky, but after 15 minutes, we arrived at the entrance to the cave. It was a little dark and we did not bring flashlights, so we had to use our phones.

I have tried spelunking before in Sagada and I must say this was a little harder than I expected. It regret not bringing water, thinking that it was just a “walk in the park” kind of trek.

13315378_10208458819340201_5104625561607008348_n
The breathtaking view from the top.

Upon getting out of the cave, we saw a big Balete tree. I let out a big sigh because finally, we were almost done. Almost. The way down was harder. The rocks were sharp so we had to really be extra careful.

13330921_10208458819900215_4515183309005621638_n
The old balete tree.

13315650_10208458818500180_7275793494008579677_n

We were greeted by a sign that said “Congratulations, you did it!” which made me feel really good upon realizing how difficult the trek was. Then we hopped on the motorbikes and went to the nearby beach to watch the sunset.

13346983_10208458820100220_1273984830410825667_n

All the travelling, trekking and lack of sleep made me feel exhausted so I just laid on the sand like a starfish, feeling the water on my feet and some sand on my hair. But it was a great way to end the first day of a week-long trip with a beautiful sunset on the beach. (Even if the sun hid behind the clouds.)

13319840_10208458820300225_9202193258925061864_n.jpg

Day 2 – Gigantes Lighthouse + Island Hopping + Travel to Iloilo City

13335606_10208461169078943_1769797790728534515_n
Woke up earlier than usual just to see the sunrise. Totally worth it!

On our second day, we decided to visit the Gigantes Lighthouse at around 7am. It is one of the 27 major Spanish lighthouses built by Spaniards. The old lighthouse was destroyed during a typhoon a few years back. The new medium-sized, solar powered lighthouse was donated by Japan.

13307467_10208461169318949_1143674533375016643_n

The view was amazing!

13327357_10208461170278973_224160947199045154_n

13343151_10208461171519004_8133605065561218265_n (1)

We went back to the resort to have breakfast, then we started the island hopping!

First stop, Tangke Saltwater Lagoon!

13335699_10208464539923212_4360238202619041117_n (1)13339516_10208464540283221_7129987425197108338_n (1)

A dip in the clear waters of the Tangke was a great way to start the day. Tangke Saltwater Lagoon is walled by beautiful limestone cliffs. Too bad we weren’t able to cliff jump as the waters were a little shallow that day.

Next stop, (probably) the most photographed island in Gigantes Sur, Cabugao Gamay! 

13307278_10208464540723232_1023783351813625484_n.jpg
The view from the top.

Cabugao Gamay Island is simply gorgeous. It’s small, but the clear waters and white sand made me realize and understand why it is the most popular destination in Isla de Gigantes.

The last two destinations that we visited were Bantigue Sandbar and Antonia beach. Unfortunately I was not able to take more photos as my camera ran out of battery.

13418916_10208513015575073_5589952750941421008_n.jpg

We went back to the island, had lunch and then prepared to go back to Estancia Port. It was a little hard saying goodbye to the beautiful islands of Gigantes, but I shall return!

From Estancia Bus Terminal, it takes around 4-5 hours to Iloilo City.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s