Aklan, Aurora Province

Hot Baths: It's More Fun In The Philippines and Other Tibiao, Antique Stories

It’s not fair to call Antique as nothing but a side trip if you’re in Boracay.

Antique has a lot to offer, if only, we had the time.

Antique in Panay Island
Antique in Panay Island

After googling Antique, little is known about it, was my conclusion. All I found out was that it was about 2-3 hours away from Caticlan, the jump-off point to Boracay Island.

And so my friends and I boarded the lone bus parked outside the jetty port of Caticlan that would then bring us to Antique. Our destination? Tibiao Eco-Adventure Park.

Tips: the buses that ply this route are non air conditioned, so wear light clothes, bring your gatorade bottles and prep up your abanico! Plus don’t forget your stories. The waiting, and the trip, is looonnggg.

So we got off the bus where motorcyclists waited. Yep, if you just commuted, there’s no other way to get there but by back-riding one of those. It is a 5-km ride to the eco-park where you’d see 3 falls and get the chance to kayak.

Backriding 101 in Antique - a daring selfie while backriding the
Backriding 101 in Antique – a daring selfie while backriding the “habal-habal”

The fare was PhP 140.00 per head, back and forth. Affordable. And seriously, there was no other choice. Mind you, 95% of the time, the road was paved. So it wasn’t difficult to do a hands-free back ride (not holding the driver) selfie as you can see. 🙂

Registration at Tibiao Eco Park - Joy fills the forms out for us
Registration at Tibiao Eco Park – Joy fills the forms out for us

We stopped to pay the entrance fee of PhP 20 per head and arrived at the small community of guides, drivers and workers.

Backriding 101 in Antique - Brennan's back ride
Backriding 101 in Antique – Brennan’s back ride

The trek took us about 20 minutes.

Another tip: wear sturdy slip ons or sandals. A trek means rough road.  Should have brought my sandugo sandals.

Trekking 101 in Antique - for the love of Joy. My Joy (ayee)
Trekking 101 in Antique – when the flipflops give up

There were 3 falls to trek and by the time we reached the 1st one, it was already a little past 3pm, and from what we gathered, the last ride heading back to Caticlan is before 5pm. But we just got here! was our complaint, but we had to comply.

There we were, 4 young (?) adventurers, out to experience Antique.

The cold water coming from the falls, the picture-taking poses, and Brennan and Joe-B’s brave attempt to reach the base of the falls. Water massage at its finest.

Of falls and fun in Antique - Brennan and JoeB enjoyed the water massage. =)
Of falls and fun in Antique – Brennan and JoeB enjoyed the water massage. =)
Tibiao, Antique
Tibiao, Antique

After some underwater shots (the battery ran out on me when we were snorkeling in Boracay), we headed to the KAWA 

It’s a unique way of relaxing, like a sauna, or a hot bath. Only that, you’re in a kawa. Still can’t envision it? Think Hansel and Gretel. No, not the witch. Think about them about to be cooked. There. Exactly.

Cooking - it's more fun in the Philippines - Meet the KAWA
Cooking – it’s more fun in the Philippines – Meet the KAWA

This costs PhP 150 per head, and we could have stayed there as long as we wanted, but time wasn’t a luxury then. So after about 10-15 minutes, we headed back to the starting point, sad not to not have the chance to try the very affordable kayaking (PhP 200).

We were at the waiting area 10 minutes before the bus came. Yes, we were still wet, but we didn’t mind.

On the ride back home, as I always do, I chased the sunsets of Antique, one which I didn’t see in Boracay.

Chasing Sunsets in Antique - I didn't sleep the ride out because I wanted to catch some of these
Chasing Sunsets in Antique – I didn’t sleep the ride out because I wanted to catch some of these
Chasing Sunsets in Antique - taken while aboard the bus back to Boracay
Chasing Sunsets in Antique – taken while aboard the bus back to Boracay

Here’s more goofing around:

Cooking and being cooked - it's more fun in the Philippines
Cooking and getting cooked – it’s more fun in the Philippines
Your shades look awesome, JoeB - another underwater shot
Your shades look awesome, JoeB! – another underwater shot

Here are other stuff we could have done, but due to time constraints, failed to:

Kayaking

More falls exploration

Rappeling

Zip-lining

Dirt-Biking

If you’re somewhere in the Panay Island, please visit Tibiao and other municipalities in Antique. Do yourselves a favor and do the things we were not able to!

Tibiao Eco Park in Tibiao, Antique
Tibiao Eco Park in Tibiao, Antique

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