It was 1997 when I first visited the Island together with officemates doing our monitoring of our CIDA assisted projects in the province of Antique. It was not a “to go” place yet, in fact it is just of the the islets that is accessible to the mainland Antique. We had only a few hours to spare so we went there in the early morning, rented a pumpboat and went straight to the cove at the back of the island. We can see from the boat that were only a few houses near the sandbar area. The waters around the island was so clear that we can see beautiful corals. I do not know if the conditions of the corals are still the same as we were not able to go on a boating trip. The so beautiful cove where we swam in 1997, is so different now..maybe because the tide was so low and the stony beach was revealed.
It is not attractive or even safe to swim as there are sea urchins.
This time, its a different experience as we will be spending the night in the island. The “kids” in the office planned the trip and I just went along with their plans. They left early morning via RORO (Roll On Roll Off) from BREDCO in Bacolod to Dumangas port in Iloilo. A Kinglong hired mini bus picked them up and passed by our town to pick me up and my niece. We drove up to Miagao, Iloilo via Cordova Road in Tibauan. We had our breakfast in Miagao at the house of an officemate, visited the famous Miagao Church for prayers and picture taking.
From Miagao, we proceeded to Antique, and dropped by the house of another officemate to pick up cooked rice. We did our CR break, had snacks and proceeded to Culasi. In Culasi, we registered at the Tourist Center before boarding our hired pump boat to Mararison Island.
We arrived in the island and went directly to the house we will be staying. Most families in the island accept homestays. The area is a bit congested with houses very near each other. It is not a very comfortable lodging area but since we will be staying for only a night..we have to make do as we are paying only P2,400 for the whole house..there are 18 of us in the group.
We brought cooked food for our lunch and everybody was hungry. After lunch, some ventured to explore but it was too hot. We decided to rest and go trekking mid afternoon when it is not too hot anymore.
We hired two guides to take us trekking in the hills of Mararison. I was surprised that despite my age, I did not really feel tired during the trek. There were areas where it was so high and I felt my far of heights.
We were not able to complete the whole trek as our older guide decided to cur it short..anyway it was a good thing as I do not think I can handle the height.
We immediately proceeded to the sandbar area and enjoy the dip/swim.
We had breakfast and prepared to leave the island. It took quite some time for us to board our hired mini buas as we were looking for the original driver. We proceeded to Sibalom again as we were expected for lunch. Enjoyed lunch at Raizza’s house. Then we were ready to go back to Iloilo…the rest proceeded to Dumangas to take the RORO back to Bacolod.