Sailing Through the Gigantes

December 12, 2018

An enchanting retreat on the northern part of Iloilo, the Gigantes Islands is a chain of ten postcard-perfect islands and islets. The islands are known for their captivating rock formations which surround their respective topographies, almost comparable to the scenic features of Coron, Palawan. Reaching the place was an adventure on its own, taking up almost three hours of land travel from Iloilo City to the port of Carles and more than an hour of boat ride to the first island stop.  Known to be dwelt upon by mystic creatures, the Gigantes Islands will allure anyone who visits as each island has its own charms to be reckoned with.

The breeze of the morning dawn dandled us as we headed to our destination. The municipality of Carles can be reached from Iloilo City by a public transport bus or by a rented van. The convenience of a rented van, however, provided us with the convenience to take a halt wherever and whenever we want, that we even had the favorable circumstances to capture the beautiful sunrise and sunset of the countryside. We arrived at the port at exactly 7:30 in the morning. While waiting for our departure, we prepared ourselves over a “silog” breakfast (There are a lot of shops around the port which can cater to the needs of the travelers, from dining places and island-hopping needs to shower and toilet services).

The weather worked perfectly fine to our advantage as the calming sea and the beaming sun welcomed us to our first destination. Definitely, the ambient was calling forth a summer in November. And, we had to make the most out of it since out visit to each island is timed for only 20 to 30 minutes to really ensure that we can visit everything in the itinerary.

The itinerary we booked for encompasses six stops among the islands group. We first headed to Pulo Pandan, an uninhabited islet sheeted by abstract rock formations along its shore, perfect for those Instagram-worthy shots. Second destination was the Cabugao Gamay. If you have googled about Gigantes Island, its landscape might probably be familiar with you. It is where the famous viewing deck is located, offering a breathtaking 360-degree view of the the island itself and surrounding vicinity. The island is also identifiable by the rock balancing figures laid on its coast. After the long lines we had to endure just to get a photo op on Cabugao Gamay, we sailed to our third, Bantigue Island which is known for its breadth of white pebbled sand stretch and clear calm waters that are suited for swimming. Peddlers are situated in the island selling popsicles and souvenirs. We then proceeded for a quick halt at Antonia Island. It is a private resort where one can impel for a water sport and activity or for a hearty lunch break. At nighttime, the resort accommodates visitors for overnight stays. Fifth, we went to Tinagong Dagat, a secluded cove. It is also colloquially named as Little Boracay for its impeccably fine-grained white sand and turquoise lucent waters. This is where most of the tour guides encourage the visitors to take a fleeting dip in its waters. To end out tour in this majestic chain of islands, we went to mainland Gigantes Sur to partake a sumptuous lunch prepared by the locals, themselves. Talk about an array of native chicken soup, fresh-catch fishes, and unlimited scallops and oysters.

Pulo Pandan

Cabugao Gamay

Bantigue Sandbar

Antonia Beach

Tinagong Dagat

As we sailed through the Gigantes Islands, I could not help myself but be thankful of how beguiling my country is. Truly, such wonders are worthy to be chased as these are true testaments of how nature projects its beauty through its most au naturel elements and attributes. 

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