You must have probably seen dozens of photos of Islas de Gigantes also known as Gigantes Islands as you sift through some destinations in the Philippines over the internet. Tagged as the Scallop Capital of the Philippines, its postcard-like immaculate white sand beaches and astounding karst formations have caught the attention of many and had urged them to come and spend a day or two, or even more in this so-called Paradise.
I took a break from soloing and dragged my folks with me on a 9-day journey in and around Panay. To kick-off our Panay Island escapade, we sought for Roxas City, the capital of Capiz, as our first stop. We’ve spent 3D/2N in Exploring Places in Roxas City on DIY. Roxas City is an emerging economic city, 460 kilometers southeast of Manila. Also known as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines, it supplies the nation with most of the freshest seafood.
The Caribbean region is known to be a first rate tourist destination because of the island’s tropical weather and pristine beaches with crystal clear waters. One of the most sought after island by holiday seekers is St. Maarten (Sint Martin).
I was thrilled to go island hopping and see more of Coron’s prized wonders. We were to stop at CYC Beach, Siete Pecados Marine Park, Hidden Lagoon, Calachuchi Beach, Calachuchi Coral Eden, and Kayangan Lake. More sites tantamount to less time spent in each location but that was a not a problem, the more the merrier!
Having read tons of blogs and good reviews about Coron in Palawan and having seen those nothing but alluring photographs posted by those who have been to the paradise, made me more envious to go there and experience it firsthand. And so I did. Yes!
Since most island hopping tours start in the morning, I have nothing booked for my first day. I was looking for a bike rental shop that I read on an article but unfortunately the shop had already moved someplace else. The locals told me that there was a new bike rental shop near the hospital so I headed there.
I know that it’s not that easy to plan a trip and it’s not at all CHEAP to travel. Airfare would consume a huge chunk in my budget, plus my accommodation, then I have to spend for the tours, of course I need to eat (A LOT!), and not to forget the souvenirs. But I have to start somewhere to make it happen…Coron seemed to be a great place to start.
I have had the pleasure and the privilege to set foot on Batanes just recently and it left me in awe since then up until now. And I’m already missing it. Wow! is definitely an understatement.
I haven’t done biking a great distance like that in my life that’s why mountain biking in North Batan was a whole new experience for me. It was fun, physically possible, and quite strenuous but it was absolutely worth it.
Sabtang is the smallest of the three inhabited island municipality in Batanes. Thirty minutes away from Batan, it can be reached via a Faluwa, a type of boat which is its only public transportation, it is docked at Ivana Port that leaves at 6:30H and comes back around 14:00H every day. It was day two of my Batanes journey and I was looking forward to what I was about to set my eyes on.
I stayed in Batanes for four days and three nights and our tour guide said that it was the ideal length of stay in the province to be able to get around the islands of Batan and Sabtang. If you are extra adventurous and want to sojourn in Itbayat, a week-long stay would suffice to have ample time in case you get stranded due to inclement weather. First on my list was the island of Batan, it is where the capital of Basco is found. Batan is divided into two regions, North and South. On my first day, I rented a bike for PHP60/hour to explore North Batan on my own. I took off and sought for the famed landmarks in the region.
The larger part of the Batan Tour is South Batan. It was my third day in Batanes, I didn’t rent a mountain bike this time but instead, I joined the same group that I was with on my Sabtang tour. Unlike its northern counterpart, some of the sites in this region are distant from each other. Most of the roads leading to the landmarks are along the coast; I was already in for a treat with the beauteous view of the hills, cliffs, blue skies and the big blue Pacific Ocean and South China Sea even before we get to our journey’s end. They say that if you have been enthralled by North Batan wait until you see the South.