Monday, June 12, 2017

Gigantes Island DIY Trip

When Jami celebrated his 3rd birthday, his Tita's gift was a back and forth airline ticket for the three of us. Yeeeyyy!!

I was hoping she could do it again this year because I will choose it every time na magbibigay sya ng gift to Jami! hahahah. =D

Anyway, it was a ticket to Ilo-ilo so we could go to Gigantes Island. Later on, she said we'll go to Guimaras and Bacolod too. Talk about 3 provinces in 5 days. Love it! =D

So the long wait is over, we met in Naia Terminal 3. Daryl insisted to take jeep from Pasay Rotonda to airport. Since it was 4 in the morning and there weren't any traffic nor too many people riding the jeep, I agreed to it.

We rode a Jeep with Nichols signage that dropped us off in Terminal 3. I preferred it that way since its cheap and would only require minimal walk from drop off to Departure entrance. We were able to save Php 80-100 versus taking a taxi. By the way, Mader Belen lives in Pasay we usually spend the night there before our flight since it's really close to airport.

We met with my sister and Nanay in Terminal 3. Daryl decided not to go with us on this trip since he was waiting for job confirmation which may come up during our travel period. True enough, they were asked to report in Terminal 3 for final interview on the last day of our trip.

As we arrived an hour and so before our flight, I had my luggage checked in using Ate's baggage allowance, headed of to departure area and waited to board the plane. There were complete silence in the airport at that time. There weren't the usual announcement of flights that you hear left and right.

Kwento ko lang, we were actually on the wrong bay waiting for our flight. Since there was a complete silence, wala kaming ka alam-alam. Good thing, Ate tried to check the bay 116 and figured out that it was on the lower ground. Kumaripas kami ng takbo because it was our flight schedule already. Haha! Good thing, hindi pa naman pinapasakay ang mga tao. Lol!


During that time pala was the Resort's World Manila Chaos. Since it was across Naia Terminal 3 and the initial news that circulated was terrorism. We were actually talking about where to run in case they head off to airport. Kinda scary, since airport has a lot of people to begin with. Security was tightened during our arrival outside the airport, flights delayed for almost 1 and a half hours too while airport had their security measures taken.

Sabie and Kuya Jami walking hand in hand. Cuties! :D

At around 6:30pm (flight was scheduled at 0450-0520), we were able to board the plane and was told by the attendants that it was due to security of the airport which we understood anyway. However, due to delays, our itinerary would not be followed. See, we had a very tight schedule on our first day so we would have to make an adjustment to it. I bet it was just a guide and not to religiously follow it right? Lol. =D

Jami slept immediately after boarding the plane. It was a good thing because I was really sleepy too due to our early morning flight. But I prefer it that way since you still have plenty of time to do things when you arrived at your destinations rather than arriving late in the afternoon.

buckle up!

We arrived in Ilo-ilo International Airport before 8am. We were super behind the schedules and the boatmen were waiting for us in Estancia. By the way, we have relatives there so my sister and Nanay arranged a boatmen for our transportation to Gigantes Island along with Island hopping too. We were aiming to DIY our trip since it will be a lot cheaper compared to packages being offered by some of the resorts in Gigantes. We paid Php6,000 for the boat transfers and Island hopping.

Just outside the airport, there were locals who would convince you to rent either a private van and taxis. My sister and Nanay spoke to a lady who approached us first. She was offering a private van for almost Php3,000 but my sister and Nanay (who speaks Ilonggo or Hiligaynon) were able to lower it down to Php2,500. Initially, the driver wanted Php2,600, (Php100 goes to parking fee, he said) but managed to stay at Php2,500. To avoid the hassle of transporting with bags/luggages with kids in tow, my sister agreed to it.

Our rented van
With Mr. Sleepyhead
From Ilo-ilo International Airport to Estancia Port will be at least 2-3hours. Ours was a little longer! I don't know why pero parang ilang beses na din akong nagising pero  nasa byahe pa din. I was really tired I was sleeping sa sahig ng van, while Jami slept on the seats. Haha! After 10 years, we arrived in Estancia port were Brother-in-law and our relatives were waiting.

We rode the tricycle to bring us to where our boat's waiting. I lost track of how much the tricycle was because my sister paid for it. To make up with the lost time, we rode the boat after making sure our things were boarded.

Mejo maalon during the time kaya mejo nabasa kami ng very light. We passed by Tabugon Island where Nanay and our relatives from her side lives. I've never been there and I only have pictured it from how Nanay told stories about it.

We arrived in Gigantes Hideaway Inn at past 12noon. We didn't realize that we headed to their resort extension in Bulubadiang Island. We had lunch there which by the way isn't available in their extension since everything is on their main resort unless you've booked it ahead of time. Our relatives brought seafood so we asked the resort to cook it for us. We also ordered their "buffet meal" to add up to our lunch.

Around 2pm, we decided to head on to our Island hopping. We only allotted a day to Gigantes Island so we have to make the best out of it.


 Entrance fee: Php50 per head. 

We were on the other part of the island that has a lot of shells. Ang sakit sa paa, Bes! I was barefoot walking so I didn't get the chance to explore more in the island. This photo below was where the fine cream-white sand side which is perfect for beach bumming. I was looking to climb those rock formation but I didn't because there were a lot of people during the time of our visit plus Jami walks really slow. Although he was able to borrow his cousin's aqua shoes, he must've been tired since he didn't get enough sleep the night before.

I would say Antonia Beach is perfect in the late afternoon or sunset.

Beautiful rock formations
I love these rocks but I can't take pictures of it completely. There were a lot of people gathering on the left side of this photo. =(


Entrance Fee: Free

That part has a really huge waves!
We swam here for about 10-15 minutes only. Again there were plenty of other tourists on the farther side of the island. I noticed sobrang alat ng tubig! Jami was getting panicky and cries when sea water would get in contact with his eyes. I have been to different places naman pero eto talaga, masakit sya sa mata. Haha! 


Entrance Fee: Php50/head (adult); Php20/head (kids). We managed to pay only Php200 for our entrance fee (we were 11 in total including 2 kids and 1 infant) because of relatives know the resort owner. Haha! 

This island is the famous place that you see on the internet when you search for Gigantes Island. I really loved it. It was small but very inviting. White, fine sand, fresh air, wonderful view? What could you ask for. I guess this sealed off this travel for us. 

You have to climb/trek a big rock (the one in our background) where locals managed to create wood stairs to make it easier for guests. It's strictly 3-5 minutes per group to give way to other visitors who would want to see the lovely view and take pictures on their deck. 

Please be very careful when you bring small kids with you. The stairs are steep and this places aren't for playing. I was really scared for Jami since the rocks are sharp at some point, plus there were only woods that covers the view deck. I was really lucky to have my relatives who followed us on view deck. They helped me with Jami a lot. 

This photo wasn't my favorite but I have to post it for you to see how dangerous it is for the kids.So parental guidance is advised. haha!
Syempre di tayo papakabog! :D
 During our way up, I saw a rest place probably for people who are waiting in line while other visitors take pictures in the deck. I know I have to check out what's in there. 

 It was another picture taking spot. I guess it's perfect during sunrise or early morning.

We also spent some time swimming and feeding little fishes with bread. 

It was 5pm when we left. We were looking forward to go to Tangke Saltwater Lagoon but our boatmen said na malakas daw ang alon so we can't go there at all. Huhu! So sad. My sister said we'll go back there next year! Lol. It was another reason to go back anyway. =)

We headed back to our hotel, Gigantes Hideaway Inn for an overnight stay.Washed up and had dinner in the hotel. 

We woke up early the next day so we could leave the island and head back to Ilo-ilo for our Guimaras trip. We rode Habal-habal to reach the boat since it's low tide and can't get closer in front of Hideaway Inn. We have to skip the Bakwitan Cave and the lighthouse due to lack of time.
On our way back to Estancia, they have decided na dumaan sa Tabugon Island. Besides, I personally wanted to meet my Lola whom I have never seen. 

The tres marias and the queen! Lol.
We were back in Estancia around 12 noon and headed straight back to Ilo-ilo. My sister took their car from Manila thru Fastcat so we could save on van transfers. It was a good idea right? 

So there, stay tuned for my super pilit na travel guide hahaha! and our Gigantes Hideaway inn overnight accommodation.

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