Can’t get enough of Antique

The hardest part of moving on is when you know you could have done much more if only you stayed a little longer. I wish I did. Five days were still not enough to discover the beauty of Antique.

I remember waking up in the highlands of San Remigio, Antique.

Houses were far from each other and what you’d see mostly were the green landscapes, the blue sky and the beautiful flowers swaying slightly with the cold breeze of the morning. There was a bowl of hot soup, rice cake, muscovado sugar and coffee.

While Lala, our tourist guide, was there pressing her wet pants with an old charcoal iron, we were sipping our coffee by the porch. There wasn’t any television or radio. Mobile phone signal was impossible, too.

But thinking back now, what seemed to be an adversity was actually providential. We were forced to disconnect from our online world and, for once, live the moment.

Everyone was up and, around that small table by the porch, we gathered and started eating our breakfast like family—petty conversations included. We talked about how our first night went, laughing at those silly horror stories we had that night.

The scent of coffee, the breath-taking view and that warm feel of the morning sun touching our faces—if I could only freeze that moment. I’ve always dreamt of a life by the prairie. It came true for a day.

I could spend the day just sitting back and drinking my coffee but we had to get ready for our next destination.

There was still so much about Antique that we needed to explore so we started packing up and off we went to Danao Lake. It was only a few minutes away from our inn.

The lake was still, and there were rafts and cottages where we could stay. There was a tree bench, too. I can imagine a sound nap under that tree, by the lake. It was just an amusing sight.

I wished there was a lake near our house where we could have real talks—pour our hearts while we drink and play the guitar.

Some more tourist arrived shortly. We wanted them to feel its serenity as we had, so we decided to go and head to Icbaclag cave. We weren’t all geared up but we made the trek up anyway. What seemed as an easy sight was stunning when viewed by a drone.

Everything seemed fun to discover! The destinations, the culture and, oh yes, the food! I still drool over that Kinilaw na Tuna they served in Aningalan’s Strawberry Garden on our first night. I swear it was the best of its kind I’ve prolly ever had because everything was fresh or, maybe, each food was served with so much love and passion.  

We had fresh salad, Chicken Binakol and a fresh strawberry juice for that lunch.  We savored the panoromic view, the cool wind blowing on our faces and the gram-worthy spots as long as we could for, in a few hours, we’ll be leaving the mountains and head for Mararison Island (Malalison for the locals).

We travelled over land and water to get there and to watch the sunset while approaching the island was a beautiful thing.

We had our dinner by the seashore that night. On those mountains we watched the stars in the midnight blue sky while having few drinks around a bonfire.  

I was caught between enjoying the moment and getting excited for tomorrow.

They say that you’ve never truly been to Antique if you’ve never seen the white sand and dipped into the waters of Mararison, so, that morning, we headed to the other side of the island.

It was a shiny day. Everything was accented by the sun and the moment I had the perfect sight of the beach—blue water, blue sky and mountains—I stood still, stunned.  

I was picturing everything in my head. I wanted to remember everything. I needed to remember that moment and that scenery.

We moved back to the mountains after a few hours to see the falls and rivers of Tibaio, Antique. We began tackling the 20-minute hike to Bugtong Bato Falls, the terraces, streams and steep slopes. The struggle was real but still a little price to pay for what was waiting for one at the top.

We stayed there for a couple more minutes and, when everyone decided to go, I intentionally slowed down. I couldn’t afford to leave it just like that so I waited for everyone to leave and took all the time in the world dipping in that little water falls.

And I thought that was already the highlight What was instore after was even more exciting. The recreational activities of Calawag Mountain Resort were a must!

After our trek, we braved the river for extreme tubing. Carried by inner tube, never knowing when you’d hit those enormous rocks, my heart skipped a beat each time we fell on those tiny streams. Floating in that river, we’d totally forgotten the scorching heat of the sun. It was one heck of a ride! And the loveliest part? A boodle fight by the river that was waiting for our lunch!

Experience this majestic destination. Fly through Philippine Airlines thrice a week (Sunday, Tuesday & Monday), via Clark International Airport.