EXPLORING PANAY (Part 3): Antique and Aklan

The region of Panay is a beautiful place brimming with splendid-looking beaches, amazingly rich culture and good-natured people all over. My trip there with my good kaladkarin friends made up for one very enjoyable trip! Join me as I recall our trip to this Western Visayas region.

Our trip lasted for five (5) days covering the whole region of Western Visayas. We came in at Roxas City, Capiz then flew back to Manila at Kalibo, Aklan.

Part 1 covers our trip to Capiz (Day 1)

Part 2 covers our trip to Ilo-ilo and Guimaras (Days 2 to 4)

Part 3 covers our trip to Antique and Aklan (Day 5)


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Follow me on Instagram: @karl_olivier. 🙂

The fourth province that we visited in the Western Visayas region is Antique. Antique covers a total area of 2, 729.17 sq.km and is located at the western side of the Panay Island, bounded by Aklan in the northeast, Capiz on the east, Ilo-ilo in the southeast and Sulu Sea on the west. It comprises of 18 municipalities, with San Jose de Buenavista as its provincial capital.


 We woke up early the next morning to prepare for our last day in Panay. We took a bath and ate breakfast in our inn (Kasa Raya) in Tibiao. We then walked a short distance towards the entrance of the road leading to the kawa baths (crossing). It’s also where the habal-habal drivers stay. We asked them to accompany us and so we rented three as we were three.


Kawa, which means large cauldron, is being used as a hot tub filled with therapeutic leaves. Meant to relax and ease the mind and body of the person receiving it, kawa hot bath now serves as one of the most popular attractions here in Antique.

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Brye, Carlo and I as we enjoy our hot bath together in one very large cauldron!

We chose Kayak Inn to have our own taste of the Kawa Hot Bath.


As you can see in our pictures, we (especially our good friend, Brye) really prepared for this kawa bath as we decorated it with beautiful flowers and leaves! Haha.


The kawa bath experience was good, however, it was also REALLY HOT, I’m telling you! They give a big stone for you to sit on if you really can’t take the heat anymore.

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I really had a great time in Tibiao. We somehow got to experience peace and quiet in this place even for a short while.

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It would be nice if you bring a book with you while you’re staying here. I brought my Stephen King book and it somehow matched the mood of the place. Btw, this was my winning entry during the last few weeks of National Book Store’s “My Book, My Selfie” contest in Instagram.


We opted not to explore more of the place (there were waterfalls and hot springs in Tibiao) as we were already running out of time. There’s so much more to do in Tibiao so when you go here, make sure you have enough time to explore. Allot a day or two. After going back to Kasa Raya to wash up, we then headed to Culasi, Antique by riding a bus. There are buses going to Culasi on the highway.

When we reached Culasi, we searched for its tourism office so we could head out right away to Mararison Island. Once there, we paid for the necessary fees then proceeded to the beautiful Island of Mararison via boat (travel time is 15 to 20 minutes). Look at these pictures and be the judge of how beautiful it is!



Mararison Island is a 55-hectare hook-shaped island found in Culasi, Antique. Mararison is an island like no other… it is blessed with white sand beach, crystal clear waters and amazingly scenic rolling hills. You’d have to trek the hills to appreciate the whole island.

My good friend, Carlo, as he walks along the rolling hills of Mararison.


The Legend of Mararison as told by our guide (with help from my friend, Carlo):

It is said that the islands of Culasi, Antique (Batbatan, Maningning and Mararison) are the offspring of the great Panay mother mountain, Madja-as, and the Negros volcano, Kanlaon. Growing up lazy, disrespectful and disobedient, the three children were banished by Kanlaon no matter how painful it was for their mother, Madja-as. If you stand up at the peak of Mararison and also if the weather permits, you could see the crystal-like falls found in Madja-as, which as the local legends say, are the tears of the mother mourning for her children. The three children, on the other hand, seem to be reaching out to their mother with the islands’ sandbars pointing towards Madja-as in mainland Panay.



AKLAN – departure from Panay

We originally planned to spend our last afternoon in the world famous beach destination, Boracay. However, because of unforeseen circumstances (remember the typhoon that caused our extended stay in Isla de Gigantes?), we were not able to do so. Instead of going to Boracay, we proceeded to Kalibo to catch our flight. We rode a tricycle towards Ceres Bus Terminal in Culasi then rode a bus going to Aklan. We went down in the junction and rode a van going to Kalibo International Airport.


Woooh. It was a thrilling 5-day adventure in Panay! Looking back, I have more than realized that the region has so much to offer. It would be awesome to go back here, enjoy the places we’ve been to and of course, discover more of its places!

Here’s a rough estimate of our expenses in our Panay journey:

DAY 1 – Roxas City, Capiz
Lunch in La Playa de Roxas in Roxas City, Capiz P245 Yes, that’s P245 each! Hehe. It was worth it because of the yummy seafood that we’ve had.
San Antonio Resort P95 This includes swimming all-day in their pools.
Drinks in San Antonio Resort P210 (group) I opted for a chocolate banana shake while my friends ordered San Mig light. 😉
Tricycle towards terminal P150 (group)
Tricycle towards Panay Church then hotel P200 (group)
Hotel P1000 (group)
Dinner in Spanggo P695 (group) Must try: their pizzas and pastas!
DAYS 2 and 3 – Isla de Gigantes and Ilo-Ilo City
Tricycle towards Lawaan (Ceres Bus Terminal) P10
Bus from Lawaan, Roxas to Carles, Ilo-ilo P68 It is said that buses start their ride at 4 am.
Tricycle from bus terminal to Balasan Port P200 (group)
GIGANTES ISLAND TOURS AND SERVICES P1400 This includes our overnight stay in the island with lunch, dinner and breakfast. The tour will take you to the different islands of Gigantes. Contact Rhett Bolivar in these numbers: 09157595000/ 09989816812
Socials, drinks in Isla de Gigantes P50 It was storming during this time. Haha.
Van from Balasan Port to Ilo-ilo City P200 This would take you about 5 hours.
Dinner in Ted’s Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy P139 Eating La Paz Batchoy is a must when you go to Ilo-ilo!
Taxi to hotel P80
Budget Inn P380 Comfy budget hotel
Taxi towards Smallville (party/night out place in Ilo-ilo City) P50
Karaoke! In Smallville P500 (group) Spend your night in Smallville when you’re in Ilo-ilo City!
DAY 4 – Guimaras and Ilo-ilo
Tricycle to Ortiz Wharf P50 (group)
Boat Ride P14
Guimaras Tour P200 Habal-habal or van drivers are just waiting for tourists in Jordan port. Make an arrangement for your tour, may it be half day or whole day. We were a group of 7 here, and our guide agreed for P200 payment for each person.
Lunch in Pitstop P190 You should order their mango pizza! It’s one of the best-tasting pizzas that I’ve tasted!
Tricycle from Ortiz Wharf to inn to get bags P10 The Budget Inn lets you leave your bags in their reception area
Taxi from inn to Ilo-ilo Convention Center (ICC) P100 (group) Probably closed during weekends. It was Saturday when we went here.
Taxi from ICC to Ilo-ilo Provincial Capitol P121 (group) Probably the most beautiful provincial capitol I’ve seen in the country
Bus from Ilo-ilo City to Miag-ao P44 Get here early so you can sit and not stand during the whole ride!
Bus from Miag-ao to San Joaquin P14
Snacks in San Joaquin P25
Bus from San Joaquin to San Jose, Antique P57 Ride the bus in their terminal.
Bus from San Jose to Tibiao P80 Tell the conductor and/or bus that you’re heading to kawa baths in Tibiao.
DAY 5 – ANTIQUE and AKLAN (departure)
Habal-habal ride to kawa bath P140 One person per habal-habal
Registration fee P50 We actually don’t what this is for but maybe it’s a way the local government thought of earning due to kawa hot bath’s popularity.
Kawa hot bath in Kayak Inn P250 Preparation time would take about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The actual kawa hot bath will depend on the number of people availing their services. We had ours for about an hour or so.
Kasa Raya (stay + dinner + coffee) P584
Bus from Culasi to Tibiao P20
Environmental fee for Mararison Island P30
Boat ride to Mararison Island P750 (group)
Guide in Mararison P210 (group)
Refreshments in Mararison P30 Prepare water when you go to Mararison. It really is hot there especially when you are trekking its rolling hills.
Late lunch in Culasi P58 The marketplace has a number of carenderias to fill your tummies.
Tricycle to Ceres Bus Terminal P9
Bus from Culasi to junction of roads leading to/ from Caticlan and Kalibo P57
Van from junction to Kalibo Internation Airport P150 We waited just for about 5 to 10 minutes when the van arrived. We were lucky then because not too many vans or buses were said to pass by at night.
Terminal fee in KIA P200


Expenses for pasalubong and other necessities (snacks, toiletries) are not yet included here.

Thank you very much for reading, guys! Spread this and share it with your friends!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. wow! found your blog through your instagram!
    Me and my friends also went round Panay last July 2016.
    It was indeed a great island. 1 island and you can visit 4 provinces already plus you can cross another 2 nearby provinces (guimaras and negros occidental).
    Very informative post BTW, with

    You can also check my blog

    I’m still migrating my old posts from my old blog though:


    1. Thank you for adding me up here, Junji! Yes, Panay is a great island indeed! I’ll sure be checking out your blog. 😉


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