I have been travelling mostly with friends on the northern part of Iloilo. But this time my friends from college invited me for a get together over the south of Iloilo. It will be a great experience since I have just started my travel blog. “Yes!” That’s the only thing on a travellers mind! Never say “NO” on a trip. Right?!
Mostly when you go to the northern part of Iloilo you will ride a bus; going over the south, jeep is the most popular way of transportation. There are also buses going to Antique but they are limited unlike jeepneys that populates the southern part of Iloilo. This time we go to the town of San Joaquin. San Joaquin is the last municipality of Iloilo before you reach Antique.
There are a lot of great beach and wonderful diving spot in San Joaquin. The town has more than 20 marine sanctuaries. Some of them are under developed but if you want to go diving in Iloilo then San Joaquin is the best place that I will surely recommend.
We went to the most well-known marine sanctuary in San Joaquin; The Kulyatan Marine Sanctuary. The place was amazing! It was at the mountain side of the beach. They have some cottages where you can stay and it varies depending on your stay over the place. You can also rent life jackets if you don’t know how to swim because the place is deep and if you want to see the fishes under water there are snorkels than can be rented (sorry I don’t have images underwater because I woke up late and I forgot to bring my underwater camera).
The water is cold, clean and crystal clear. The place has a good scenery of the horizon and a truly great place to relax. We take our time to swim on the water and relax our body. This is truly a paradise over the south of Iloilo.
At nightfall, we stayed over at one of our friend’s aunt marine sanctuary the “Balabago Marine Sanctuary”. Unlike the Kulyatan Marine Sanctuary, Balabago is still under its development. You can rent a cottage here for a night ranging from 500php to 1500php or depending on how much you like the place, since some of the money also goes to the development of the place.
We arrived at San Joaquin around three in the afternoon and yet roaming around the place is truly great. However, if we’re amaze about what we see over that afternoon, what’s more amazing is the scenery at dawn. You’ll be able to witness the most beautiful sunrise in Iloilo. Balabago Marine Sanctuary has the great view of the sunrise. If in northern part of Iloilo you can see the beautiful sunsets, in the south you will experience great sunrises adding some good coffee and you’ll morning will surely be amazing.
We also swam in the coast of Balabago Marine Sanctuary and a few step over the coast you can see fishes swimming along with you. Unlike other place where you can only see sand for the first ten steps on the water, this sanctuary is truly a safe haven of the fishes because you can see corals just a few steps over the water.
When all the marine sanctuaries are fully develop, I’m sure San Joaquin will be the paradise of all kind of fishes in the world. Let’s make it happen by visiting these places and spreading the beauty of these marine sanctuaries. I will surely be back over San Joaquin because I’m planning to finish visiting all those beautiful sanctuaries in the area. San Joaquin doesn’t only have these beautiful marine sanctuary but they also have a great tourist destination known as “Garin Farm”.