Kruhay! Katahum Kang Antique! These words are completely stuck in my head the whole time. I was looking at those scenic spread of hills and mountains, spoiled with religious visits to century old churches and who would not enjoy the great extreme sport, kayaking, which I thought at first was boring until I tried for the first time. The province of Antique may be far from the Capital of the Philippines but certainly is closer to any adventure seeker.
Aside from the food, culture and history, the rich province of Antique boasts a lot to any adventurous soul. Getting to Antique province maybe quite long but the breath-taking view of hills and mountains along the way can be very relaxing to mind and soul. Visitors would be welcomed by the gorgeous sights as it’s covered by mountains and surrounded with stunning beaches. Antique province is far from being boring actually. There is something about the place that invigorates your hungry soul.
The rich culture and magnificent beauty alone, Antique province must be in any tourist’s bucket list. From the century old churches and the cultural heritage will surely invite a spiritual awakening and satisfaction.
The adventure started at the Zipline Inn in which the owners humbly showed us their place which is to me a perfect place to contemplate and experience the serenity and simplicity of life in Antique. Then followed by a short discussion of our trekking adventure in the small town of Tibiao.
Starting from the main road, visitors must have a 10-15 minute off road van ride to reach a small community. After getting there, one must go through another 30-45 minute trek, crossing a couple of short hanging bridges and lots of streams along the way before reaching Bugtong-bato falls.
Reaching the Bugtong-bato falls is a breath of fresh air. Once tourists reach the top of the mountain, one can really appreciate the scenery. Bugtong-bato is just one of the 17 waterfalls in Tibiao and stands at 33 meters in height which boasts tons of charm and character on its own. Bugtong-bato has its natural pool formed by its cascading waters. This waterfalls is an attraction that visitors should not miss.
For the extreme adventure seekers, the second and third level can be accessed however I find it too dangerous as the steps are stiff and one must grip a rope to climb the highest part. Perhaps I am more concerned about my camera and gadgets plus the fact that I am afraid of heights too. Bugtong-bato Falls can not be compared to other waterfalls I visited in the country but to sum it up Bugtong-bato falls looks incredible to me.
This is absolutely one of our favorite activities so far which is the kawa hot bath. After plunging in the freezing waters of Bugtong-bato falls, everyone’s on the look out for the availability of kawa. Kawa is a large pan or pot they use for their Kawa Hot Bath. Funny because instead of the conventional bath tub, this kawa [used for cooking muscovado sugar] is filled with spring water heated until it becomes luke-warm, garnished with aromatic herbal leaves [guyabano and guava] and boiled by woods and dried coconut leaves.This activity gives a tourist a total relaxation and therapeutic benefits to the body. I felt so good that my cramped muscles and tendons loosen up really fast.
One meal of tender-cooked stew of ‘hottie and meaty ‘ flesh coming. Lol! Treat yourselves with a relaxing Kawa Hot Bath after the exhausting trek. An excellent relaxation before heading to Tibiao River for white river kayaking.
White River Kayaking in Tibiao River
The real adventure is waiting for the bold and daring thrill seekers. White water kayaking in Tibiao river is a premiere activity for individuals looking for a different kind of high. Feed your adrenaline with this new kind of experience. The struggle against the water and the clash to get through the rapids which will leave an unforgettable memory to any adventure seekers. White water kayaking lets you imagine yourselves in an outdoor film.
Although white water kayaking is not easy one must conquer their own fear. Trying to balance yourself while swaying back in forth alone is just totally a mind blowing experience. The sudden slopes as the canoe is smashed by flashing tides in all sides keeps an individual’s adrenaline rush to its maximum.
The excitement continues after being hit by an agitated waves. The thrill there is when splashes of water continue to slap your face from both sides and then being thrown off and experiencing a wash out is extremely an ecstatic experience. Safety is definitely ensured by our guides for the total satisfaction of the whole kayaking experience.
Coastal beach sunset at Tiguis Beach
Feeling extremely tired of overwhelming activities, we ended it with a captivating sunset at Tiguis Beach. My whole experience in Antique province was amazing. That would be a serious understatement. The friendly locals, food, the heritage sites, obviously one of a kind destination. The proximity to beautiful Antique is just enough to indulge you to go exploring. I intend to see you again Antique Province, the scenic land where mountains meet the sea.
Smart Travel Tip:
Tibiao is an hour and a half bus ride from Caticlan or a four-hour bus ride from the province of Iloilo.Tibiao is a town passed Culasi. One can hire a habal-habal ride to Kayak Inn.
How to get to Antique:
Antique is accessible by plane via Caticlan (Boracay) and Kalibo Airports of Aklan or Iloilo International Airport. If you will be coming from Caticlan, there are terminals of buses and public vans traveling from Iloilo to San Jose.
Via Caticlan: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, TigerAir and PalExpress have flights to Kalibo from Manila while PalExpress and Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have direct flights to Caticlan. At the Caticlan terminal, buses and vans plying the Iloilo via San Jose, Antique route can take you directly to Tibiao, Antique.
Via Iloilo: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and PalExpress fly to Iloilo from Manila and Cebu daily, travel time is roughly an hour. From Iloilo airport, you can take a van to Molo terminal for P50-P70. Buses and vans plying the Iloilo-Caticlan or Iloilo-Culasi or Iloilo-Libertad route can take you directly to Tibiao, Antique for Php200.00 ($5), travel time takes approximately 2-3 hours.
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This Antique Familiarization Tour was made possible by the Katahum Tours headed by Flord Nicson Calawag with the support of the Department of Tourism Region VI and the Antique Provincial Tourism Office.
The entire experience to the Province of Antique completes all areas of human interest. Culture, heritage, eco-adventure. But what really fulfilled mine? Contemplation and self-realization. Thank you for the wonderful experience Antique. I certainly hope to be back in your arms once again.