Tibiao Bucket List: Top 15 Reasons to Visit Tibiao Antique
Guest post by Flord Nicson Calawag
Antique is fastly becoming one of the tourism hot spots in the Visayas. Recently, Tibiao and the Province of Antique was listed as one of the 5 must-visit provinces in the Philippines.
Tibiao offers a perfect mix of nature and adventure. From adrenaline-pumping activities, beautiful beaches, and exciting food trips, you will never get bored in Tibiao. Here are the Top 15 reasons why you should visit Tibiao soon:
A taste of the very first Tibiao Bakery
Tibiao Bakery is the first bakeshop in Tibiao, Antique. It provides affordable yet outstanding quality food products to Antiqueños. Established in 1953,
Tibiao Bakery has spawned out numerous branches, mainly in Iloilo City and the whole Panay Island, and there’s even one in New Zealand.
It is a landmark in Iloilo and is well known for its pandesal, ensaymada, and pan de coco. Its product ranges from bread, biscuits, cakes, cookies, sweets to short orders like puto, siopao, pancit Molo, spaghetti, and hamburgers.
Tickling experience at Tibiao Fish Spa
After an adventure in Tibiao, take a load off and experience the relaxing sensation of hundreds of little fish nibbling on your feet like little masseurs. The town boasts the most affordable fish spa globally using locally bred “TheraFish.”
Tibiao Fish Spa stands out from conventional fish spas because of its affordable rates and novel offerings. While most fish spas use imported Garra Ruffa fish, which are expensive to acquire and maintain, Tibiao Fish Spa uses several species of fish sourced from the highlands of Tibiao in the province of Antique to provide the fish spa experience in a uniquely Filipino setting.
Tibiao Fish Spa’s first facility was right in the owners’ backyard in the quiet town of Tibiao, Antique. They first observed the fish’s characteristic behavior that the company now calls TheraFishTM. The fish spa’s first customers were neighbors, fishermen, and farmers who took advantage of the highly affordable rates.
The news is spread by word of mouth. Soon, busloads of students and thousands of guests representing over a dozen nationalities dropped by Tibiao Fish Spa, conveniently located along the national highway.
Kawa Hot Bath
Enjoy a unique relaxation experience in Tibiao by bathing in a hot kawa (large vat or frying pan), just like a local jacuzzi. This amazing kawa hot bath will surely relieve the stresses in your body.
Just imagine yourself dipping in a kawa filled with warm water with local herbs and flowers. This kawa was used before cooking muscovado or organic brown sugar, but later on, it was developed for only one of its kind purposes.
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.”
It consists of four main parts: the leader, playground, the inner and outer slopes, and the bag. The leader blocks the path of the school of migratory fish that lead them to the playground.
The fish enters the outer slope from the playground utilizing the pointed nettings. As the fish passes through the hill, it enters the inner slope or non-return valve dropping into the bag where they are trapped and hauled.
Tibiao has a good fishing ground, and it is believed to be the highway of migratory fishes. Having productive water, Tibiao produces commercial species of pelagic and migratory fishes such as tuna and tuna-like species, caranx, marlins, Spanish mackerels or tangigue, barracuda, swordfishes, cavallas, red tail scads, and sardines.
Nature Trekking to Waterfalls
You will be hiking along murmuring streams and hidden rice terraces to Bugtong Bato Falls. The Bugtong Bato Falls belongs to Bandirahan mountain – a place used as a hiding place by Japanese Soldiers during WWII.
Trivia about Tuno:
- Tuno comes from the local tree named Tipuno.
- Tuno River is part of the Tibiao River, with its source from Mt. Madja-as and Bugtong-Bato falls.
- The distance from Poblacion or town proper is 7 km.
- Livelihood: farming and tourism
Experience life at the cascading Bugtong-Bato Falls
Bugtong-Bato waterfall is a seven-tiered waterfall located at Brgy. Tuno, Tibiao. Once you reach the barangay proper, it requires a 1.5 km trek for at least 35 minutes before you reach the waterfalls.
Only the first three falls are accessible because there are no trails to the other falls, which is still quite risky. You will rappel in the cascading 2nd fall to reach the third fall. This would be another unique adventure for nature lovers. We recommend you wear closed sandals or shoes while we trek to the falls.
The 1st fall has a height of 135 ft. or 41 meters. This is one of the highest waterfalls among the seven-tiered falls. Enjoy swimming in the lagoon and try experiencing a water massage through the fall’s current.
The beauty of the 2nd fall is that you could rappel from this place to the third fall in the cascading fall. Rappelling to this fall is like climbing a stairway while holding the big rope. For first-timers, local guides will be assisting you with the climb. Just take one step at a time because the stones are slippery.
The 3rd fall has the most bottomless lagoon, with more than 4 meters or 13 feet. It is also great to experience the water massage in that area.
Pottery and Brick Making
Learn a new skill in Brgy. Bandoja – a village in Tibiao known for its pottery and brick making. This place is blessed to have 450,000 metric tons of clay reserves for pottery and brick making. Get hands-on in making the pots and bricks.
Discover the art of creating hand-made pots and bricks as you mold chocolate-brown soil into marvelous masterpieces.
White Water River Kayaking
The Tibiao River boasts crystal clear waters suitable for white water rafting/kayaking at various complex grades. Courses are available for those interested in experiencing this challenging recreational outdoor activity.
For Grade 1, the introductory kayaking course introduces first-timers to paddling a kayak in calm waters. The grade 2 course fits those kayakers who want to experience a higher skill paddling through the rapids and big stones.
Grade 3-4 courses are for those professionals who want to enjoy an adrenaline rush adventure in the strong currents surpassing the big boulders and complicated maneuvers.
The Tibiao River is one of the best white water rivers in the country, perfect for kayaking. It hosted the first “International Kayaking Cup,” initiated by Tribal Adventures, Inc. in 1997.
Sunset-viewing at the Tiguis beach
The beach faces the Cuyo East Pass, a part of the South China Sea. Tiguis beach is famous for its white cliff, the canopy of trees, and the fantastic blue sea. This area is also a perfect place for sunset viewing.
Soon investors will be putting up a giant water slide to the sea as part of the adventure package for Tibiao.
This Butong river is named after the most abundant bamboo species along the river, the Butong bamboo.
What makes this place unique is the presence of the biggest boulder in town, wherein tourists can experience rock climbing and boulder diving. The deepest area around the boulder is 8-10 ft., ideal for boulder diving.
This area is part of Brgy. Tigbaboy. The barangay is named after the two local things abundant before the ‘tigbaw’ (a local grass) and ‘baboy’ (a wild boar).
Tibiao Eco-Adventure Park Zip Trip
Tibiao’s newest tourism destination, the Tibiao Zip Trip, is the longest in Panay Island. It is a two-way zip line with a 500-m cable each.
Malakagat Hanging Bridge & Tigbaboy Hanging Bridge
Malakagat Hanging Bridge can be found near the Ever Land Park and Kayak Inn. Before typhoon Frank, this suspension bridge led to Sitio Malakagat, Brgy. Tuno has a rigid and strong structure.
The high water level that reached the bridge and the strong current during the typhoon made the bridge a swaying hanging bridge and a tourist destination. From the hanging bridge, you will have a perfect view of the white water river of Tibiao and the perfect cone shape mountain of Brgy. Tuno.
The 1st hanging bridge in town is the Tigbaboy hanging bridge, a 65-meter suspension bridge. Another experience awaits you because you will experience passing over the bridge while riding the habal-habal. This bridge leads the way to the barangay proper.
Buy Tibiao Native Products
Located at Centro Sur, Tibiao, all native products such as banig, bayong, native products, hats, gift boxes, bayong bags, hat, abaca, and clay products are available. All of the native products are made in Antique.
Zorbing down the Tibiao River
Zorbing in Tibiao is operated by the newly opening Ever Land Park located at Brgy. Tuno, Tibiao.
The process involves rolling downhill inside an orb, generally made of transparent plastic, down the Tibiao River.
The harness orbs used are suitable for two riders. You will experience a 21-m rolling or a 7-seconder zorbing.
Riding a habal-habal or Sky-love
Like in other parts of the country, Habal-habal is also famous in Antique because it is the fastest transportation route to the mountains.
Sky-love is derived from the two words ‘sakay’ and ‘love,’ just like how the driver calls for passengers, “Sakay na Love.”
This type of transportation is famous in provinces in the Philippines where jeepneys and tricycles cannot stand the rough, steep terrain and narrow roads.
About the Author
Flord Nicson Calawag is the owner of Tibiao Fish Spa and Katahum Tours. He is a marine fisheries graduate from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV) in Miag-ao, Iloilo.
He discovered a kind of fish from a friend’s mountain, and he later utilized them in their first-ever fish therapy spa in the town of Tibiao.
Tibiao Travel and Tour Packages
To help you plan out your visit to Tibiao, we listed places to visit and other unique Tibiao Antique activities. We also listed some of the best travel deals, tour packages, and excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of cheap Tibiao hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.