When I first landed in Iloilo I was so curious about the beautiful places that the province could offer to me. Until I encounter a blog post about the land of the giants. I was so fascinated about the place. Since then, I started dreaming of visiting the place. I become so busy with my life and forgot about this magnificent island.
Six years had passed and I accidentally come across with this beautiful photo on Facebook. I felt like crying. My lost dream! So, I tried to convince my office met to visit Islas de Gigantes for our summer outing. Without any hesitation, they agreed.
May 24, 2013 is the exact date. I woke up around 5:30 am to prepare myself. I am so excited and a bit nervous because I really don’t have any idea if the place looks the same after 6 years. Me and my team leave the city around 6:30 am going to Estancia, Iloilo. We arrived at exactly 9:00 am at Estancia port and ride a private boat for 2 hours.
Finally, we arrived at Brgy. Asluman, Carles. We checked in to a non-luxurious inn and had a delicious lunch. Sweet and sour fish, kebab native scallops, sizzling scallops and steamed crabs was served in the table. It was an outdoor lunch with a tree house beside the dinning table. We absolutely love the food.
We fixed our things before leaving the inn for island hopping. So I put my sunscreen on to protect me from UVR of sun. We head to the shore of the island to ride the private pump boat. After a couple of minutes of waiting we finally saw the giants. They are peacefully floating in the clear salt water and watching our humble boat.
The ragged shore of the islands tells us how nature perfect carved the solid rocks using the powerful waves of the sea. I am so happy that finally I met this gigantic rock formation. We now headed to sand bars. Me and my team went swimming and snorkeling. We didn’t mind the burning hot of the sun. After a couple of hours spending in the sea we went back to the inn to take a rest while waiting for the dinner. Us usual, my tummy was satisfied with seafood. Indeed, our first day was ended with contentment and joy.
It was 5:30 am and we are awake. We decided to fix our self for an early island tour. We went to a century old (or more than century) light house. Although the old light house was ruin due to rust and other natural elements, the building where the care taker is residing is still in good condition. The rust and antiquity of the wood brings a different shade of beauty. There was a new light house that was build as a replacement to the old one. After spending some time, we went back to the inn for our breakfast.
Our tour guide “Manung Paeng” is preparing our lunch while we are fixing our self again for our second day of island hopping. We are quite excited because this is the highlight of our tour – Swimming at Tangke. A natural lagoon surrounded by gigantic pile of rocks. After our tour guide confirmed that all things are set, we went to the shore again to ride our private boat. We wait for a couple of minutes again. A glance to the majestic giants! The rock formation are bigger and more ragged. My heart beats fast. I can’t believe it. Finally, we arrived at the docking part of the island. I feel in love when we reach the natural lagoon. It was so beautiful. At first I was so hesitant to swim. Honestly, I am not a swimmer but I am thankful to our guide because he handed us life vest. We stayed there for quite long.
We now moved to other island for our lunch. We stayed there until 3:00 pm and decided to go back to the inn for out last activity, the spelunking. We went inside the cave called Bakwit or Bakwet (the name derived from the word evacuate. The entire cave system become shelter of the locals during Japanese invasion). Although this is not the most extreme cave that I have encounter I can say that, it challenged me a lot. It’s been 9 years since my last spelunking. After a very exhausting spelunking we went back to the inn for our dinner. Again, we enjoyed our last dinner with seafood.
May 26, 2013, our last day in Islas de Gigantes. Time to leave the island. There is sadness in my eyes but I promised to my self that I will visit the giants again in the near future.