A week after the board exam, I was on the road again. This time, I was with Vince, one of my close friends and blogger of Explore Aklan. I tagged along with Vince when he returned home to Kalibo, Aklan. He had already planned on going to Libacao and Pandan, Antique and invited me to come along with him. So I did, since I don’t usually pass off the opportunity to travel and I’ve always wanted to go to these particular places.

Vince had told me to shut up about our real plans to his parents because he had only told them that we’re just going to go to places within the town. That means we had to limit our travel in the morning and make haste so that we could get back to his house for lunch. Isn’t that convenient? Vince told me that it reminded him of a Disney cartoon series called Phineas and Ferb. Here’s one of the songs in the series, just play the song while reading through the rest of my blog post.

December 12 2008 – Friday

We left for Kalibo from Tagbak Terminal in Jaro past lunch time. I had slept the entire time from Leganes up until the ride became a lot bumpy, I woke up and it was no surprise to me that we were already in Passi City. I have always known that the highway section there sucks! A lot of the passengers passing by Passi are tourists from/to Boracay and it’s disheartening to think that the major impression that they will be having of Passi is its bad roads. The highway section in Capiz is no exception but at least they are repairing the road, even though it seems they have been doing it endlessly with no significant improvement. There are signages along the road repairs saying “Gugma ni Castro” (Castro’s love). I surmise Castro is their congressman or governor. I find it funny because the only impression I have with Castro is the bad condition of roads, not his road projects. And why does he use the tagline “Gugma ni Castro?” Whos money does he think he uses to initiate those projects!?!

Anyways, we were able to arrive in Kalibo after 3-4 hours via L300 van. Vince stays with his parents (I made that sound like that’s a bad thing, didn’t I? … we’re fresh graduates so we still can’t support ourselves fully) and I’m grateful that they let me stay at their house for the weekend.

December 13 2008 – Saturday

Our first destination was Libacao in Aklan. Libacao is a bit less than 30kms or a 1-2 hour ride from Kalibo. It is famous for having the longest wild river in the Philippines, which attracts tourists willing to experience white river rafting on the great Aklan River. The town also has many highland attractions like waterfalls, a cool climate, mountains, pristine forests, endangered animals and the like.

Unfortunately, it rained during our trip, which made it a bit dangerous because of the dirt road becoming slippery (we were using Vince’s motorcycle during our whole trip) and the possibility of the river rising above the level of the road. Fortunately, we were able to reach the town proper safely. There, we had a quick snack at one of the shops and talked to some locals about the waterfalls there. They said it would take around an hour by motorcycle/hiking to get to the nearest one so we decided not to go considering our time constraint and the weather. Instead, we just went to the river and took some pictures.

They weren’t kidding when they gave it the nickname Wild Aklan River. The water was really turbulent when we went there.

Next time I get to visit Libacao, I’m going to make sure that I’d be able to see their waterfalls and mountain scenery. We returned to Vince’s house and acted like nothing happened. My stomach was treated to a whole plate of shrimp and crab Vince’s mom cooked for us. I loooooooooove shrimp, especially the big ones (Lukon), and Vince’s mom cooks the best shrimp. I usually don’t suck the shrimp heads (it’s an acceptable norm here), but it was just so delicious. Too bad for Vince since he’s allergic to shrimp. His mother had restricted him to eat more than one. I should have felt a bit guilty at that time but I was busy eating the whole plate up.

If the song “E-V-I-L B-O-Y-S” is still playing you can turn it off now and listen to this one instead. It’s “forest” by System of a Down.

December 14 2008 – Sunday

Our destination for this day was Malumpati and Phaidon Beach Resort in Pandan Antique. Pandan is located in Northern Antique, you will pass by the town if you go to Boracay from Iloilo via San Jose, Antique. Malumpati is a natural cold spring reputed to have healing properties. Its waters come from Bugang River, a hall of fame awardee of the DENR as the cleanest river in the Philippines.

The scenery going to Antique is great. In Ibajay, you’ll pass through zigzagging roads beside mountain cliffs and see great views of Campo Verde’s forests. In Nabas, you’ll speed through a sea of green rice fields with the towering mountains of Antique as its backdrop.

Before the trip, I had located Malumpati in Google Earth since Pandan already has a high resolution satellite image. I found out that there’s a shortcut that you can take if you’re from the highway in Nabas Aklan. We followed this so called shortcut, which led us up a mountain on a very terrible dirt/rocky road. The road was so aweful that we decided to turn back and go all the way around to the other more convenient coastal road.

I guess they called the place Malumpati from the root word lumpat, which means to jump. This section of the river is so deep that you can safely jump from the bridge you see in the picture, just be sure you know how to swim.

After taking a short dip we headed to Phaidon Beach Resort in Golden Beach, Brgy. Tingib, which is around 15 minutes from Malumpati. Entering the resort, we were greeted by these two friendly dalmatians.

Golden Beach is the only white sand beach in the long stretch of Antique’s coastline. The sand was beyond my expectations, it’s quite white but of course it’s not as fine as Boracay’s. Too bad it was cloudy that day so we weren’t able to get great shots. I’d definitely love to stay in the resort, if only I had the money. The prices are somewhat dollar rate but if you’ve got cash to burn, it’s totally worth spending it in Phaidon because the place is serene and peaceful unlike Boracay.

That concludes my post. Next time I’ll be posting the pictures that I took of Kalibo.