This photo essay won MovePH's #SharePH 2017 summer contest. This originally appeared on X, Rappler's self-publishing platform.
MANILA, Philppines – Gigantes Islands or Islas de Gigantes is located in the Visayan Sea. It is part of the municipality of Carles in the northern part of Iloilo.
Where to stay?
In Gigantes Islands, we stayed at the Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn. Aside from accommodation, they also offer tour packages. They will assign an all-around tour guide for the guests.
INN WITH A TWIST. One of the tree houses turned into tourist inn.
Here’s my story and itinerary:
6:00 am - 7:00 am - Gigantes Norte Lighthouse
We visited the Gigantes Norte Lighthouse early in the morning to witness the breathtaking sunrise. From the resort, we took a habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) that took us 5 minutes going to the lighthouse.
The lighthouse was originally built by the Spaniards but it has been replaced by the Japanese after it was destroyed by a typhoon.
Aside from the lighthouse, what I love about Gigantes Islands is the view of the sunrise, the sea waves, and the fresh air. How I wish I have this kind of view every morning in Manila.
7:00 am - 8:00 am - Caving at Bakwitan Cave
Before heading to the entrance of the cave, we had a 10-minute trek. It took us 30 minutes going to the center of the cave. It will take two hours if you continue along the path leading to the exit.
8:00 - 8:30 am - Breakfast
BREAKFAST. A taste of their simple Filipino breakfast.
8:30 - 11:30am - Island hopping
BANTIGUE SANDBAR. The Island is only accessible during low tide.
We headed first to Bantigue Sandbar. We were fortunate to see this island because the sandbar is only accessible during low tide.
CABUGAO GAMAY. A small island which can be reached by a 20 to 30 minute (chartered) pumpboat ride from Brgy. Lantangan in Isla de Gigantes.
Bantigue Sandbar is superb but the next island that we visited, Cabugao Gamay, blew my mind away. I was stunned by this little paradise.
EMPTY TANGKE LAGOON. A hidden spot behind the steep cliffs of Isla de Gigantes.
If we were fortunate to see the Bantigue Sandbar, we were unlucky to see the lagoon empty. In any case, we were very happy to experience walking around the lagoon that we even took a jump shot. According to Kuya Bryan, we were his first guests who did it.
This island is the most popular island among tourists. Antonia Beach offers accommodation. It is known for its rich marine life and fun activities. There are a few sari-sari stores in the island where you can buy drinks or snacks.
Just like the Antonia Beach, Bulubadiang Island also offers accommodation. The island boasts of a short sand bar and awesome rock formations. We had our sumptuous lunch on this island by the beach.
This island also serves as an extension of Hideaway resort wherein guests can choose to stay.
Food to eat
FRESH OYSTER. Sauteed, stir-fried or pour in boiling water, you can cook it in many ways.
Fortunately, the package offered by the Gigantes Tourist Inn already includes food.
How to get there via Iloilo:
Ride a jeepney to Tagbak Terminal
Ride a van at Tagbak Terminal to Estancia or Carles Port
How to book your tour:
Contact Joel Escalano of Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn at +63 918 468 5006. – Rappler.com
By Angela Nicolas Originally published under Rappler X