Concepcion Iloilo: A Truly Natural Experience

Concepcion, a small town in Iloilo that hides a beautiful gem. The town of Concepcion is blessed with one of the most scenic seascapes in the whole Province of Iloilo.

How to get there:

For commuters, it would take around 2 hours by Bus from the Ceres Bus Terminal in Jaro. To see the scenic and enchanting islands from Concepcion town proper, visitors can take a 25-minute boat ride to Bulobadiangan Island.

Note: You must coordinate with the Tourism Office located at Conception’s fish port to book your boat transfer to any of the Islands.

There are six islands of interest when you visit Concepcion Iloilo.

1.) Bulobadiangan Island (Sandbar Island)

– The long stretch of white sand composed of pulverized corals and seashells.

Entrance: 25php

Day Tour Cottage: 400php

Overnight Cottage: 1,500php

2.) Badiango

-Your next Island resort

Actvities: Kayak, Jetski, Banana Boat Ride

Entrance: 25php

Day Tour Cottage: 800/1,000php

Overnight Cottage: 2,500php

3.) Agho Island

-It is a small Island with an area approximately eight hectares with a long stretch of powdery white sand. The waters surrounding the Island is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, boating and even diving.

Entrance: 30php

Day Tour Cottage: 500php

Overnight Cottage: 1,500php

4.) Bago Sipol

-Astonishing and almost indescribable. The water ranges form the palest aquamarine and turquoise to the deepest sapphire match with its sparkling white sand.

Entrance: 25

Day Tour Cottage: 500php

Overnight Cottage: 1,500php

5.) Lumpatan

-Mainly made up of granite rocks. You will probably want to walk its 300-meter trail that frames almost half of the island.

Entrance: Donation

Day Tour Cottage: None

Overnight Cottage: None

6.) Pan De Azucar

-Your visit to Concepcion will not be complete without visiting its most popular island, Pan De Azucar. It is the biggest among Concepcion’s 17 Islands and home to One of Panay’s highest peaks and town’s famous landmark – Mt. Manaphag. Travelers can tell if they’re near Concepcion because the peak of this steepy mountain is visible from neighboring towns of Ajuy, Sara, and San Dionisio.

Decided to hike Hampangan Rock, which offers an overlooking view of the Concepcion Islands and a close view of Mt. Manaphag, the second highest peak in Panay Island. The easy hike took about 20 minutes.

Concepcion is full of exciting places that many of us do not remember to visit.

Contact and Guide: Hallel Passenger Boat- 09108531398. Thanks Jerson 🙂

Have you been to these destinations? Let me know your experience.

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Boracay Island, Philippines

Boracay is a small island in the Philippines. Philippines truly paradise island. Apart from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also famous for being one of the world’s top destinations for relaxation. I have been to Boracay for few times and I will not  get tired of coming back. My journey started from small and inconvenience airport in Kalibo. The nearest airport in Boracay is at Caticlan but it has no international flights. From Singapore you could fly to Kalibo via Tigerair (3hrs and 15mins) or fly to Iloilo via Cebupacific (3hrs and 15mins), from Kalibo I need to get the small chartered van to the jetty terminal (2hrs), if via Iloilo (6hrs). And then I took boat from Caticlan Jetty Port, where there is a 10-20 minute boat ride to Boracay.

Like many other international tourist destinations, Boracay now charges an environmental fee of P75.00 per visit to the island. There is also a P100 terminal fee when arriving at the Jetty Port as well as a P200airport terminal upon departure from Caticlan airport.

Stayed two nights at Nami and had to say it was just amazing. Our personal butler took care of us really well – offered us beach towels when we told them that we’re going for island hopping. The amenities is great, comfy beds, big space, nice bath tub and not forgetting the view which overlooks the Diniwid Beach. Suggestion – request for rooms situated in the middle. We got room which was slightly off to the left, there are some antennas blocking our view. Nonetheless the view is STILL amazing. Breakfast is great too they have a few varieties. Try their nami breakfast!! Only downside is the location. Nami is situated in which is quite isolated and far off other touristy areas. lt is a tad inconvenient if you want to go out to have dinner/shopping as all the buzz is in station 2 and 3. That being said, if you prefer to have quiet time, stay in room and relax and away from the noise and party, nami would be perfect. Transportation (tricycles) are cheap anyway.

Here are the few things you must prepare yourself for this heavenly paradise!

  1. Island Hopping- One of the most popular activities in Boracay. Hire a boat for a half-day tour around the island’s many beaches including Puka Beach, Crocodile Beach, and Tambisaan Beach.
  2. Ariel’s Point- A favourite among the adventurous. Leap off a cliff and make a big splash in the cerulean waters below! Ariel’s Point has five cliff diving platforms, with the highest at 13 meters. “The lower ones at 7 meters, 6 meters, 5 meters, and 3 meters,”. Guests who prefer not to jump from any of the platforms can use floating dock to enter the water.
  3. Parasailing- Zoom on a speedboat off and then soar high above the island! Get a fantastic view while you’re at it. Don’t forget to bring a camera!!
  4. Beach Sports- Get your balls ready and bring them to Boracay! There are shops that can rent you some but I suggest that you just bring your own volleyball, frisbee, or soccer ball to play with your friends.Whether you’re into beach volleyball or soccer, you’ll find the wide bed of sand in Boracay the perfect playground.
  5. Snorkeling- View the underwater flora & fauna of the Marine sanctuary of Crocodile Island or Angol Point while snorkeling around the boat.
  6. Beach Massage- The stretch of White Beach is full of massage shops that are relatively cheap and it’s the perfect day-ender for you after all the arduous activities that you have been through.
  7. Tattoos- If you’re not into the real permanent tattoos but still into the idea of marking your body with some temporary ink, then a henna tattoo is the option for you! You will see a lot of beach-goers who have these marks on their body and if you find it cool enough, join the craze and display that art on your body. The beach is speckled with small stands of these henna artists so just take your pick, choose a design, and then flaunt it all for the rest of your stay.
  8. ATV Riding- Drive to the island’s highest peak, Mt. Luho!
  9. Crystal Cove Caves- Experience breath taking views while trekking to the coves and caves, and get a chance to explore the natural beauty of rock formations and crystalline sea waters. A must do adventure when visiting Boracay!
  10. Sunset- Ask anyone who has been to this island and they will surely tell you about Boracay’s breathtaking and extraordinary sunsets! It’s a view that will really mark its spot in your heart and mind, it’s wonderful. And it’s FREE!
  11. Boating and Sailing- A paraw is an outrigger boat with two sails. Get onboard, control it like you control some of your friends, and let the wind take you to the best sites and sights around the island. Best done during sunset.
  12. Swimming- Do you want to have the sea all to yourself? Then why not a night swim, right? Try it at least once!
  13. Puka Beach- Named after ‘Puka‘ shells (shells of cone snails that are bead-like objects that is normally used in making beach anklets, bracelets, and necklaces) this beach is the next crowd favorite in Boracay.
  14. Willy’s Rock- Probably one of the most recognizable attractions in the island of Boracay, the Willy’s Rock is an oddly shaped volcanic formation with a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary on one corner.
  15. Hair Braiding- Hair braiding is one of the things that every woman or man has to experience when they visit Boracay.
  16. Beach- White Beach is by far the biggest and most popular beach in Boracay.
  17. Diving-There are over 15 dive sites around Boracay waters, all waiting for your curious presence. Be blown away by a trove of corals, underwater tunnels, caves, and other interesting spots!
  18. Fishing- Guaranteed fresh catch all the time!
  19. Windsurfing/Kiteboarding- Try and enjoy the wind and waves in the sea. The lagoon at Bulabog Beach is one of the most outstanding spots in the world for windsurfing and kiteboarding
  20. Glass Bottom Boat-  A nice way to see the island from the sea.
  21. Bar, Club and Pub- It’s that one thing Boracay has that most other local beach destinations don’t — the party vibe! Wait until the dark takes over and the island transforms into a giant outdoor club — loud, vibrant, and intoxicating. Get a drink, make new friends, and dance the night away.I personally think that if you were to ever ask Filipinos as to why they visit Boracay, their answer would be because of two things: (1) the beach and (2) the nightlife                                                                            NOTE: The country in general has cheap alcohol so if you’re a foreigner (who holds a stronger currency) take advantage of this! In fact, there are ‘happy hours’ in each and every bar in Boracay wherein during off-peak times, most drinks will be at a half price.Or if that’s not your thing, you can always watch the firedancers entertain the crowd in many spots along the beach.
  22. Mermaid Swimming- The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy offers monofin swimming lessons with a unique twist—students get to wear not just monofins, but also mermaid tails.
  23. Standup Paddling- White Beach’s placid and shallow waters on a fine day make this activity perfect for beginners.
  24. Fly Fish- An exhilarating ride that is not for the faint-hearted! Ride a giant inflatable fish and get pulled along by a speedboat! It’s one hell of a bumpy (sometimes bouncy) ride that is perfect for barkadas. Hang on to your soul tight, for you might leave it behind! Not recommended to 18yo and below.
  25. Zorb & Zipline- You know the drill! You get inside a giant bubble, it rolls down a hill with you in it, and you’re taken to a spin! Or, zipline from 80 feet above sea level down to the beach.
  26. Marvel at professionally-made sandcastles or make one of your own – there was a time when White Beach had lots of magnificent sand art displayed every day, however the local government decided to minimize this activity for some reason. Anyhow, this practice is still there so just explore the length of White Beach and you’re bound to see one; or better yet, make your own!
  27. Food Trip-We know you’re probably working our so hard to get that perfect beach body, but prepare to say goodbye to it immediately. Boracay is a perfect pigging out paradise! But if you really want to enjoy true Filipino fare and dishes, follow my advice and tips:
    • Go to D’Talipapa – because a beach trip is NOT complete without seafood! For sure there are a lot of seafood restaurants in White Beach as an example, but if you want the true-blue way of eating like a local, drop by Station 2 to find D’Talipapa — a wet market that sells fresh seafood ingredients! Once you are done shopping for the food that you would like to eat, simply go to one of the nearby restaurants and have them cook it for you.
    • Go to Filipino Restaurants – and try local dishes! Other than gaining the chance to experience our hearty food, these are typically priced cheap too so it’s quite a steal.
    • Try street food – To start, taste the local BBQ sticks, pork fat crackers (chicharon), balut (famous fertilized egg), and of course the Chorizo Burger!
    • Take advantage of the fresh local fruits – what else but mangoes?! I promise you, we might just have the best mangoes that you will ever taste in your whole life! Other than this, indulge yourself with coconut juice that is freshly picked. And while we’re in the topic of drinks, take your time in enjoying all the kinds of fresh juice mixes that every establishment serves. If you want to try another favorite, go to Jonah’s Fruit Shake & Snack Bar at Station 1 because the drinks here are absolutely addictive! They are even served in such big quantities apart from being cheap; therefore, it’s going to be worth your money.

 

READY TO GO?

I hope this blog post convinced you to visit Boracay, at least once in your life!

Cheers to one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Embrace Solitude – Summer Getaway at Aseania Resort, Pulau Besar

Its all back to nature. Pulau Besar is an easy getaway to relax on a beach and is one of the islands of Mersing that you can access from Singapore via car and boat. To reach the island you first need to get to Mersing, then your resort will arrange a boat transfer (it is usually included in the accommodation package). The boat ride lasts approximately 25 mins. Regular boat transfers time schedule is not great (Going at 12.30 PM, coming back to Mersing at 1PM).

You need to book your accommodation before you go, I suggest to get a package as you have to take into account the speed boat transportation in addition. I stayed 3D2N at the resort and booked sea view room. The sea view room got stunning scene of beach side view. The room is big and clean in kampung (village) style design. The chalets are generally well maintained with good heated shower and air conditioned room.

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When we arrived the staffs greeted us and served cold welcome drinks. The resort locates itself along a blinding white sandy beach and lapped by crystalline waters. The island is a small but interesting place. Lined with coconut palms, oozes a tropical paradise feel.

Lunch was served shortly and buffet spread was delicious. The meals are included in the package. I had buffet for all meals and the restaurant kept a good variety of choices every day.

There are places to explore especially the beach and the mountain tracks. A couple huts and wooden swings made by the locals can be seen along the beach. Several beach activities are available. Snorkelling, biking, beach volley ball, kayaking and island hopping trip. Not forgetting their wide range of board games, billiard and dart.There was a jacuzzi and 2 pools too. All these are well maintained.

In the afternoon I rented a bicycle to look around the area, enjoying the slow breeze from the sea and indulged yummylicious chocolate shake in their beach hut. Sad thing is they don’t sell snacks, so must bring some snacks especially when you got kids around.

On the second day, I amplified my whole beach expedition with an island-hopping voyage. Undergo a whole new adventure by hopping onto other neighbouring islands. I joined a group for an island hopping and snorkelled. Escaped to a quest by taking a trip to the underwater world. Feed, swim and play along with the fishes, and at the same time enjoying the calming sensation while floating on the sea surface. After the island hopping I planned to go for Jungle Trekking to enjoy with Mother Nature sadly it is raining and they don’t allow for safety reason, so I just relaxed at the in-house swimming pool then rented a kayak.

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Last day of my stay in the resort I tried to connect on the internet but the wifi signal is poor and can’t load at all. So forget about bringing any devices to connect to the internet. Just help yourself to the numerous books at their common bookshelf near the restaurant area. I spent my time playing billiard, having fun under the warmth of the sun and the clear blue sky. Washed away all my worries and stress in little water haven.

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All-in-all, I had such great time staying here with Aseania Resort Pulau Besar. A very chillax and hospitable place to be. Strongly recommended if you need a short get away.

Tip: The resort do not arrange boat transfers at night. Avoid the rainy season. There is no ATM on the island so you need to bring enough cash to pay for your accommodation and drinks. ATMs are available on the mainland at Mersing, Kota Tinggi or in Johor Bahru. Credit cards not accepted.