When we travel, we always set a plan a month or a year before the travel date. Yet, this planning always comes with disappointment. When the day comes there are a lot of problems you have to encounter, either one of your friend got important things to do or the weather will not cooperate. This is why when my friend Jeff posted that he will be going home to Antique; I tried contacting him if he will be going for a trip to Mararison Island. He said yes and I told him if I could tag along with him.
When my fiend said the “OK word”, I pack my things and early in the morning I take a trip going to Culasi, Antique. The place was far from our town Ajuy, Iloilo. It took me almost 9 hours of travel. I rode a bus from Ajuy going to Ceres Bus Terminal Iloilo. From the terminal I rode to Molo Terminal where you can find Buses and Vans going to the south of Iloilo and Antique.
It was an exciting trip regardless of the time, while traveling you can see great scene along the road. There are a lot of long bridges with such magnificent scene. Antique is a place with so much unspoiled beaches. Along the road to Culasi you can see clean seashore adding with great green scenery. Even though my trip is almost 9 hours and I didn’t eat any lunch (Except a pack of peanut and bottled water) I don’t feel any hunger because of such great scenery (A worthy road trip!). I arrived 5 in the afternoon at Culasi Antique. Jeff picks me up over the terminal and tours me over the town of Culasi. He shows me the port area where tourists ride a boat going to Mararison.
The next morning I, Jeff and his friend Alfred went to Mararison Island. Before going to the island you should go to their Tourism Information Center and pay for the Environmental Fee of 20pesos and Terminal Fee of 10pesos. The boat rent going to Mararison depends on how big the boat is or how many person will hire the boat. Since my friend Jeff lives in this town he rented a boat (Yes! My boat ride is free! That’s what you get when you have a good friend!). In the information center you can buy some souvenirs and local made delicacies such as banana chips, peanut butter, etc.
After paying the required payments and buying some souvenirs we go to Mararison Island. (It’s a great trip because the night before the rain is pouring nonstop but going to Island we have a great sunny day! And I thank God for that day!). Arriving at Mararison the only word you can say is “WOW!” with its crystal clear turquoise water and clean seashore. This is a good place to relax. We rented a hut for 300pesos and rest for a while then hire a tour guide to tour as over Tuyong – tuyong hill. Take note we went trekking at 11am in the morning where the sun is hotter but nothing can stop a traveler. The mountains have little trees and no trees to take a rest over the top, yet the view from the top is breathtaking. Speaking of breath taking I almost fainted when I reach the other top of the hill. I almost lost my breath (Lesson learned that on hiking a mountain you should catch your breath and never go for a faster pace). Thanks to the concern of my friend and tour guide and I overcome the situation. We rested for a while and continue the tour to Nablag Island (means “Nag bulag” or in English “got separated” due to this island is separated from Mararison hills. We also got to explore the mini Cave on the back side of the island. We went back to our hut tired but have a great experience. The fee for the tour guide is 200pesos and thanks to our guide Rose Marie she helps us a lot.
We bought some sea shell that is known as Pasyak. It was delicious regardless you will need a needle just to eat the inside of the shell. After that I went for a swim on its crystal clear water (This is what I came for!). They also offer some snorkeling for 250pesos per person. While swimming I notice a waterfall over a big mountain and ask Jeff. He said that the mountain is known as Mt. Majaas. Legend says that this mountain is crying (that’s the waterfall) because she got separated from her children Mararison, Batbatan and Maningning (that is the 3 island over Culasi, Antique). Majaas is the tallest mountain over Panay (wish I could hike it someday!). Legend also said that her husband is Mt Kanlaon over Negros. It was a great trip over Mararison but time goes by so fast that we have to say goodbye to this beautiful island.
Arriving at Brgy. Lipata Culasi Antique where my friend home, we rested for a while and he tours me over their barangay and told me place around Antique. Antique is an amazing place where the mountains meet the sea as they always say! I will be back over Antique because there are a lot of great places to explore. Thanks to my friend Jeff for showing me the wonder of its home province Antique.