We left Bantayan port and took a four and one half hour pumpboat to the town of Estancia, located in the province of Iloilo. The town of Estancia is famous for its good seafood and has been nicknamed Little Alaska because of its abundant seafood.
Estancia is a good jumping off point for travelers from Bantayan Island traveling to Roxas or Illio City and beyond to Boracay. Estancia has a huge wholesale wet fish market where the workers are often paid in fish who they give to their familes or sell. Estancia is a typical Filipino town with many small shops and eateries and motorized tricycles to take you to your resort destination or bus stop.
There is an excellent island excursion approximately one and half hours by pumpboat which is primitive and hasn’t changed much for centuries. You can arrange to take a public pumpboat or hire a tour guide to deliver you directly to Gigante Island. As accommodations are very limited it is important to make arrangements ahead of time to ensure you have a place to stay. Reportedly, you’ll find no resorts beyond simple beach huts, no restaurants or stores so you’ll have to bring what you need. But, you will find unspoiled white coral beaches, climbing and hiking opportunities and great photos just waiting to be taken.
We chose to stay at the Paon Resort and Beach club just on the outskirts of town. It has a great restaurant and large swimming pool with many accommodations to handle large groups, conventions, weddings and the like. The staff was very friendly and helpful which certainly helps any traveler have a memorable stay and the fresh seafood meals were exceptional.
From there we traveled to our next resort Villa Consorcia about 25 minutes from Roxas and settled into a great vista and large swimming pool with the largest sliding board in the province. They also had several good restaurants, a local bar and a friendly staff.
We took a bus to Roxas City deemed the Seafood Capital of the Philippines where we elected to shop, take photos of historic churches and try out a few eateries. We headed to restaurant row along the seaside famous for it’s seafood. Baybay Beach is where you could dine and eat fresh seafoods from the restaurants by the beach. They have a wide array of fresh seafoods to chose from. There were Diwal (Angel’s wing), Talaba (Oysters), Scallops, Tahong, Blue Marlin and many others. The beach is very rugged and has fine gray sand. While, the People’s Park provides a very nice view of the beach and the nearby island of Mantalinga. It would be best to visit it during sunset as you could just watch the sun simply disappear in the horizon while the sky turns into multitude of colors.
From Roxas at Banica wharf there is a remote island only one hour by pumpboat, Referred to as the “Mini-Boracay” and named Olotayan Island. The island is blessed with serene shores with white sand mixing with corals washed ashore by strong waves. Olotayan beach offers a tranquil and relaxing setting ideal for adventurers, honeymooners, or businessman who want to get away from the hustle and bustle.
We then traveled from Roxas City to Culasi Port approximately 20 minute tricycle ride past the airport which is the jumping off point for one of the most undiscovered islands in the Philippines. It is called Sibuyan Island, also well-known as the Galapagos of Asia because of all of its diverse fauna and flora and has a myriad of natural wonders. Located in the Visayas, in the heart of the Philippines and is described also as green ‘pearl’ in the center of the Sibuyan-Sea. Be prepared to go on a pumpboat during good weather… approx five to seven hours and make sure you have made accommodations ahead of time as they have very little in resort facilities.
So there you have it. If you want to see and learn about the Real Philippines… why not spend some time traveling around some of the most undiscovered areas and natural wonders and if nothing else capture the moment!
QUOTE:“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” —Dalai Lama
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:The abundance of marine life makes Roxas City the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines.” This environment-friendly city is home to one of the richest fishing grounds in the country. Being a recipient of the Cleanest and Greenest Component City in Western Visayas Award in the Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran (GPK) Cleanliness and Environmental contest is a clear testament of its people’s commitment in ensuring a healthier and brighter future for all its residents and visitors as well. Recently, Roxas City has been a recipient of major awards from various government agencies. The Department of Health (DOH) awarded this city with the Red Orchid Award for being “100 percent tobacco-free.” It has also gained the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Seal of Good Housekeeping and lauded the Best Police Station in the region by the Philippine National Police.
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Save the Planet! Plant a tree: It’s good for the air, the land, can shade your house and save on cooling and they can also improve the value of your property. Make it meaningful for the whole family and plant a tree every year for each member.
ZENTRAVELER SAYS:If you got the travel bug…bug spray won’t help you.
From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.
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