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Consider Antique, “The Land Where Mountains Meet the Sea”

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Antique Travel Guide

In one of the main lands of the Philippine archipelago lies the province of Antique. Antique is located on the entire western end of the Visayas group of islands, west of Iloilo and southwest of Aklan.

San Juan Nepomuceno Church of Anini-y  Antique
San Juan Nepomuceno Church of Anini-y Antique


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For many years now Antique has been underrated for its slightly disadvantageous location—it is located near tourist hotspots Boracay and Iloilo, and is thus oftentimes overlooked by vacationers and travelers. After all, it’s only normal to want to go where the majority are going. We should, however, remember to appreciate those left unnoticed—because there are always some things that we don’t see in them that have yet to be explored.

Consider the things that you are missing. Consider Antique.

Getting to Antique

To get to Antique you may choose to travel by land, air, or, yes, even by sea depending on your point of origin. The popular entry point to Antique is either from Aklan or Iloilo. To get there by land you may ride a bus from Molo District, IloIlo to Antique’s capital city, San Jose. This type of bus trip would take about 3 hours of travel time.

Handicrafts from Antique
Handicrafts from Tibiao Antique

Staying in Antique

Before anything else, you should consider looking for a place to stay in while in this province. There are a lot of things to do and things to see here in Antique, so you can’t expect your trip to be short. Of course, where you stay should depend on what exactly you plan to do in Antique, but for first-time travelers, it is recommended that you stay in La Parola Beach Resort. The ambience here is really peaceful and it is guaranteed that your stay will be as satisfying as it gets. Air-conditioned rooms here start at Php3000, with hot and cold water, cable TV, and a view of the beach.

Patadyong Weaving in Antique
Patadyong Weaving in Antique

Pandan Beach Resort is also one of the top-rated hotels in Antique because of its amenities and its proximity to some of the best diving sites, hiking trails, and land marks in the province. Here they offer Php1500 for an air-conditioned room with hot water, and 24/7 internet access. You may also book your tours here.

If you’re looking for relatively affordable rooms, you may try booking one in Centillion House 2000 (Php1000 for a simple, air-conditioned room with hot water). It’s located along the busy road of the city and in front of a mini mall.

Things to do, things to see

The province of Antique is located on the westernmost tip of the main land, so there are plenty of beaches and island groups to explore here.

Island Hopping – The Caluya group of islands, for instance, not only serve as a diving spot, it’s also teeming with diverse marine life. The islands of Caluya are also heavenly white-sanded beaches, and if you’re clever enough you can find the perfect spot for a romantic date by the seaside.

Discover Seco Island – While island hopping you should also opt to go to Seco Island, yet another white sand beach Antique has to offer.

Lambaklad Fishing
Lambaklad Fishing

Experience Lambaklad Fishing – Lambaklad fishing is one of the largest fish traps in the country. It is located in Brgy. Malabor, approximately 3 km. from town proper. Lambaklad, is derived by fusing the dialect, “lambat” or net and “baklad” or fish corral, hence “lambat-baklad” or in short, “lambaklad”.

White Water River Kayaking in Tibiao
White Water River Kayaking in Tibiao River

Try White Water River Kayaking in Tibiao – The Tibiao River is one of the best white water rivers in the country perfect for kayaking. In fact, it hosted the first “International Kayaking Cup,” which was initiated by Tribal Adventures, Inc. in 1997.

Kawa Hot Bath
Kawa Hot Bath

Relax at Tibia Fish Spa – Tibiao Fish Spa’s first facility was right in owners backyard in the quiet town of Tibiao, Antique where they first observed the characteristic behavior of the fish that the company now call TheraFishTM. The first customers of the fish spa were neighbors, fishermen, and farmers who took advantage of the extremely affordable rates. The news spread by word of mouth and soon busloads of students and thousands of guests representing over a dozen nationalities dropped by Tibiao Fish Spa conveniently located along the national highway.

Experience Kawa Hot Bath in Tibiao – The giant vat or kawa, in the local language, was originally used to cook muscovado sugar. Now that sugar production is no longer a popular livelihood in Antique, these kawas were converted them into these chill tubs.

Hike Mt Madia-as – If you’re not a fan of the sea there’s always Mt. Madia-as in the municipality of Culasi. It’s a dormant volcano with 14 waterfalls and is believed to be the abode of a local deity.

Sira-an Hot Springs – Antique is also the home of many hot springs which are believed to be medicinal. The hot springs of Sira-an are numerous, and some are even located underground. You don’t even have to do anything here. Just stay in the water and the heat will detoxify and rejuvenate you.

Coin purse from Antique
Coin purse from Antique

Malumpati Cold Springs – And if Antique has hot springs, it also has a cold spring—Malumpati Cold Spring. The water of Malumpati runs directly to the Bugang River. The area is the ideal place for swimming and picnicking.

Visit Bugtong Bato Falls – Another wonder of nature that should be worth visiting while in Antique would be Bugtong Bato Falls in Tibiao. Getting to the falls is one tough hike, but you’ll love it when you get there. Also, there are plenty of things to do once you get there—zip-lining, swimming, more hiking, picture-taking, or, just, admiring nature.

See Rafflesia – If all these are not enough, Antique is also home to the world’s largest flower—the Rafflesia. See it for yourself in Sibalom Natural Park.

The list of natural wonders here in Antique goes on—as expected of the province that is oftentimes called “the Land Where Mountains Meet the Sea”.

Tired of Antique’s natural environment? Stop by at the capital city San Jose. Visit the marketplace to see local products, or, travel from there to the province’s famous land marks. There are several churches there which were built way back during the Spanish Colonization Era in the 1800s, and there’s also the famous Old Watchtower in Libertad which witnessed the war.

Gastronomic adventures await

As a province located directly beside the sea, Antique has been known for its marine products. But where should you eat?

There are, of course, a lot of restaurants to eat in, but for first-time travelers you should try Seaview Restaurant in Pandan. Like the name of the place itself states, Seaview Restaurant is strategically located in the seaside, so the ambience here is relaxing, and peaceful. Also, you’re guaranteed that the ingredients of the restaurant’s specialty (which are obviously local Antique seafood cuisines) are always fresh.

Peanut Brittle from Antique
Peanut Brittle from Antique

Tay Inggo Manokan and Seafoods Restaurant in San Jose de Buenavista is also highly recommended. Dishes here are home-made and the cooks specialize in adding that unique Antique twist in its seafood and poultry dishes.

If you’re the explorer-type there are always plenty of small food stalls around to try.

Pottery Making in Antique
Pottery Making in Antique

Of course like all vacations, your stay here in Antique will have to end, eventually. So before you go make sure to buy yourself or your loved ones some souvenirs.

What to Buy?

The province of Antique is known for its muscovado products. Mucovado sugar mills can be found in almost every municipality. Buy yourself a bottle of sweet muscovado or buy your friends muscovado candies.

Tibiao Bakery Products
Tibiao Bakery Products

Grab some bread at the famous Tibiao Bakery. A popular pasalubong shop in Antique, Tibiao Bakery is the first bakeshop in Tibiao. Established in 1953, Tibiao Bakery has spawned out numerous branches mainly in Iloilo City, and to the whole Panay Island and you’ll be surprised, there’s even one in New Zealand.

Other products Antique is known for include coal, marble, copper, and gemstones. You can buy handcrafted products in the marketplace of San Jose de Buenavista.

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