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Showing posts with the label Iloilo

The Enchanting Islands of Concepcion

The Concepcion group of islands is located east of Panay Island in the Visayan Sea. These 17 islands are part of the Municipality of Concepcion in the province of Iloilo. 

The sandbar on Bulobadiangan Island stretches across the sea toward Igbon Island. These islands have so far escaped the throng of sun worshippers. It was our only stop during our visit because Agho Island which is known for its white sand beach, was closed to visitors at the time and no one at the Tourism office knew when it would reopen. There is a P25 entrance fee per person to get off at Bulobadiangan and we had to bring our own food which one of the residents prepared for us for a P150 cooking fee. Cold drinks are available on the island.

Danao Island with its white sand beach looks inviting from the shores of Bulobadiangan. 
The peak of Mount Manaphag or Sugarloaf Mountain towers over Pan de Azucar Island and can be seen from the mainland. Pan de Azucar is the largest island in the group. Mountain climbing enthusi…

8 Heritage Houses of Iloilo

The province of Iloilo on the island of Panay has a rich trove of heritage houses, left over from the sugar industry boom in the 19th century. Iloilo also had the largest port in the Philippines at that time which facilitated the export of sugar to foreign shores and deposited money in the hands of the sugar barons. The barons dropped their earnings into the acquisition of properties in Negros and the construction of beautiful homes in Iloilo, many of which are located in the vicinity of the Jaro Cathedral.

The Lizares Mansion was built in 1937 by Don Emiliano Lizares for his wife, Concepcion Gamboa and five children. The family fled to safety when World War II broke out and the house was occupied by the Japanese military. The family returned to the house after the war but left once again after the demise of Don Emiliano. It was sold to the Dominican order in the 1960s and was converted in 1978 to a private school, Angelicum School. The mansion now houses the chapel. Andres Luna San Pe…

Historical Churches of Iloilo

The Miag-ao Church is a Unesco World Heritage Site together with three other colonial Baroque churches under the collective title, Baroque Churches of the Philippines. Please follow this link for my article on Miagao Church: 
https://travelswithcharie.blogspot.com/2014/03/miag-ao-church.html

The two belltowers are of unequal height and served as watchtowers following Islamic invasions in 1741 and 1754.
The gold-plated retablo is the original altar used in the late 1700s and was found during excavations in 1982. A fire had ravaged the church in 1910 and it was believed the retablo had been razed as well. 
Guimbal Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was built in 1774 and restored twice, once after World War II and after the earthquake of 1948 which also destroyed the Jaro Cathedral.
The Romanesque inspired walls of Guimbal Church have withstood the ravages of time.
The Molo Church is called the "feminist" church for the 16 statues of female saints on each sid…

Islas de Gigantes

This trip to Islas de Gigantes sat long on the planning stage. But one fine day in October, we finally made it there. And it was everything I had heard and read about. The image above shows our approach to Cabugao Gamay Island.


This is the iconic photo of Islas de Gigantes. We scrambled up a hill to get this unobstructed view of Cabugao Gamay and the Visayan Sea. It's a good thing we arrived early in the morning before the selfie crowd got in.


This is the hue of the sea taken from Cabugao Gamay. How it nurtures the blue mind!


The white sand beach of Cabugao Gamay is free from debris. 

Bantigue Island and its sandbar rises from the sea like a mirage. We stopped here for lunch of rice and fish.

The Tangke Saltwater Lagoon on Gigantes Sur is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. It was still low tide when we got there.

Scallops are only one peso each. But at Bancal Port in Carles, you can buy them by the bucket. And it is so succulent.
How to get there: The closest gateway to Islas de Gig…

See Sicogon Now

It was summer in the Philippines and we really wanted to go to the Gigantes group of islands. But we had no desire to join the throng of beach pilgrims who wanted to take the iconic selfie from the hill above the white sand beach of Cabugao Gamay. So here we were on Buaya (crocodile) beach in Sicogon, waiting for our lunch to be served, enjoying a cool drink under the shade of this old Talisay tree and looking at the Gigantes islands from our comfortable roost.
We could also see our motorized outrigger bobbing in the water and behind it, Tumaquin Island. You can swim to Tumaquin or wait until low tide and walk to it. There was a group of students learning to scuba dive in the clear waters offshore. The sun was mercilessly hot so we opted to stay put. We were happy campers under the tree.
And just about the time we were running out of snacks (which we picked up from the market in the town of President Roxas), Melinda brought our lunch to the table! I had ordered two platters of scallops …