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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Isla del Fuego: Siquijor Island

Siquijor is an island of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas between Cebu, Negros, Bohol, and Mindanao. The Spaniards called Siquijor Isla del Fuego or “Island of Fire,” because the island gave off an eerie glow. This glow came from the great swarms of fireflies that harbored in the numerous molave trees on the island. which forested most of the island.

The serene Siquijor is blessed with scenic beauty, archaic churches, and natural attractions. For most Filipinos, Siquijor is a mysterious other-world of witchcraft, sorcery, magic and the unknown. So much that older people from other islands are afraid to visit! However, Siquijor now offers a different kind of healing in modern times; the one that heals your soul. These days Siquijor’s most popular healing practice involves a cocktail and a deckchair at any number of its laid-back and wonderfully affordable beach resorts.

How to get there:

To get the Island the most common and used option is the ferry. There are connections from Cebu City (Cebu Island), Dumaguete (Negros Island) or Tagbilaran (Bohol Island) among others cities. There are two ferry terminals on the westward side of the island: Siquijor town and Larena. At the end of the pier of each, you’ll find some touts tricycles to bring you to your hotel or resorts.

There are several passenger boats daily from Dumaguete to Siquijor Island town and some larger RoRo boats. There are also several boats a week between Tagbilaran on Bohol and Larena. I advise you get hold of the RoRo because it’s more stable on rough seas.

Siquijor is not the party island. If you come here looking for a “full-moon” this is the wrong place but if you want to relax and unwind, swim into lovely water waterfalls and crystal clear aquamarine stunning beaches, diving or snorkelling, unforgettable sunsets, discover each nook by yourself, taste the best filipino food or just talk and share experiences with the local people, Siquijor is waiting for you.

The minute I landed at the port of Siquijor, I already fell in love with its unspoiled environment and the warm hospitality of its people. You can experience a coastal tour of the island in just one daytime. Here are few of the recommended place to visit:

Cambugahay Falls

One of the most exciting places to visit when in Siquior is the Cambugahay Falls. The waterfall consists of three tiered cascading falls with crisp and clean warm water originating from natural springs, rainwater, and watershed.

The Cambugahay Falls is situated just two kilometers outside the town of Lazi. Above the falls, there’s a paid parking bay on your left for your motorbike (P25). Steps just across the road will take you down a steep stairway to this series of popular swimming spots.

When visiting the place, one must try their Tarzan swing by hanging in a vine and drop yourself into the water.

Note: Bring a sarong or throw-over clothing as there is no change room at the falls. Never leave valuables unattended, as theft isn’t uncommon.

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St. Isidore Church and Convent

Built by Spanish priest in 1884 in Lazi, it is the biggest and among the oldest convents in Asia and recognized as a National Historical Landmark. The church was built of sea stones and wood.

Right in from the San Isidro Labrador Church is the U-shaped bahay na bato convent. This convent is said to be one of the largest convents built during the Spanish colonial era.  It now houses the Siquijor Heritage Museum which has collections of important church relics and paraphernalia.

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Lazi Church/San Isidro Labrador Parish Church
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Lazi Church/San Isidro Labrador Parish Church

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Convent

Salagdoong Beach

One of the best places to visit especially for the beach lovers when in Siquijor is the Salagdoong Beach. A few kilometres past the town of Maria, Salagdoong Beach is popular with rowdy day trippers. The place also has nice rock formations and a nice white sand. However, because the place has a very cheap entrance of PHP 25.00, the beach is usually flooded by locals during holidays. There’s a half-open water park that has seen much better days, and you can jump into the ocean from 6m to 12m concrete platforms built into the rocks. There’s a restaurant wherein you can have your lunch while doing the coastal tour. Nothing great about the food that they serve, though.

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Aerial Shot

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Balete Tree

Just west of the village of Campalanas is a tremendous Balete Tree (Banyan Tree), estimated to be 400 years old and has become tourist spot for curious tourists who are visiting Siquijor. The tree provides water to supply the village but locals believe that this tree is inhabited by other spirits.

In front of the tree is a spring fed pool filled with flesh nibbling fish. While at the site you can dip your tired feet into the water and enjoy the little fishes tickling  your toes.

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Balete Tree

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A nearby souvenir shop sells coconut water, coffee and bottled ‘love potion’ made from a mix of herbs.

Note: Visiting the enchanted tree is for free.The place has caretakers which maintain the cleanliness of the place and they have a Tip Box where you can give donations if you want.

Francis of Assisi Church

The moment you arrive the Island of Siquijor you will immediately see the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The church was built with stone and has the usual crucible form of the old Spanish churches.

End your day with Siquijor Sunset

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Allow yourself some days in Siquijor and it will give you a fresh and authentic perspective of the country. And probably the most memorable sunsets of your life!

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Have you been to Siquijor? It’s awesome right? Share your experiences in the comment section! 🙂

Guimaras Island: Sweeter Than Its Mangoes

Day Trip (Places Visited):

  • Jordan Manggahan Festival

Manggahan Festival is a month long celebration of Guimaras’ rich culture, and their feast of thanksgiving for having bestowed a rich land where delicious mangoes are being grown. 

  • Mango Pizza at Pitstop

Guimaras Island is home for one of the sweetest mango. Mango is the number one product of the island and Mango Pizza is a must try when in Guimaras Island. The only restaurant that offers it is the Pitstop Restaurant, located in San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras. 

Note: Bringing mango to the island is prohibited. 

  • Turtle Island

 Turtle Island which is known to be the sanctuary of sea turtles or pawikan. The island is located just across Ave Maria Islet but unlike it, Turtle Island is inhabited.  

  • Floating Cottage

The floating cottage was donated by Gina Lopez for the women of San Roque, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras for them to have livelihood.  It has been functional for over a couple years now and has benefited the association running and managing the cottage.

The entrance fee is only P50 and you can jump, swim, and fill your cameras with summer wanderlust photos.

  • Taklong Island

Taklong Island is the main island of the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve located in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras and off southern end of the island of Guimaras, in the West Visayas of the Philippines. During the day, visitors can just “hop” to Taklong Island for a tour of the island. There is a lighthouse on top of a hill, where visitors can see a great vantage point of Taklong Island from the top.

  • Other neighboring islands (Ave Maria, Magic Island, Cave)

 

How to Get to Guimaras

Iloilo City is the primary gateway to Guimaras. From Iloilo City, there are two main jump off points to Guimaras, which includes Parola (for ferries bound for Buenavista, Guimaras) and Ortiz Port (for ferries bound for Jordan, Guimaras).

There are ferries leaving Parola and Ortiz ports every 15 minutes and the trip lasts about 10-15 minutes. There are daily trips from sunrise to sunset, night trips are rare because of the danger of navigating the Iloilo Strait during nighttime. The fare approximately costs P10-P20.

 

Wanna bring your own car for a road trip?

The port in Brgy. Hoskyn, Jordan has been upgraded to accommodate the RORO (Roll-On-Roll-Off) Sea Transport System capable of transporting products, passengers, vehicles and buses. The system is presently plying the route between Iloilo and Guimaras having four round trips per day except Thursday.

 

Here’s the best of Guimaras Island! Enjoy 🙂