May 26, 2012

Iloilo-Concepcion's Hidden Paradise, Southern Iloilo, Panay Island

Concepcion town is located at the southern part of Iloilo in Panay Island, Philippines. It can be reach through a private van or a public bus from Iloilo City, Roxas City and Kalibo for an approximately two hours drive. Major airlines has a regular flight schedule daily. A perfect combination of Island and Mountain escapades. Climb Mt. Manaphag's 600 meters above sea level and be amazed with the breathtaking view of the neighboring islets that this mountain can offer, and do not forget to taste thier local crabs and various sea foods that will for sure make you fell in love with the island.  Considered as the steppest mountain in the Philippines. As you climb vigorously, a rewarding-magnificent views will make your senses awaken plus the 180 degrees panoramic view of various pristine islets that lure's you for an island hopping escapades-take a refreshing dive or a snorkeling perhaps on a crystal clear blue water. You can follow the links below for more photo references. Below is my suggested itinerary for your convenience if you want to explore this hidden paradise in Panay Island. 

For more photos: follow these links below:

Day 1: In Iloilo Airport/Sea Port:
  • 7:00 AM: At Iloilo Port/Airport, taking a metered taxi would be a very convenient way & fast to reach Tagbak Terminal, estimated fare around 200-250 pesos. (please tell the driver to take via coastal road coz it faster)
  • 7:45 AM: At Tagbak Terminal, please find the orange bus HPQ Transit bound to Concepcion Town, fare is estimated at 100-150 pesos. Travel time is about 2 hours. (please take note that you need to catch up the 10AM passenger boat only trip to Tambaliza-foot of Mt. Manaphag fare is about 35 pesos one way. Other option is to charter a bangka for 1,500 pesos cruising along various islets.          
  • 9:45 AM: At Concepcion Town, you need to register at the Tourism office, no fees will be collected then buy your pack lunch at the market.
  • 10:00 AM: The passenger bangka depart to barangay Tambaliza, estimated travel time is 1 hour.
  • 11:00 AM: At barangay Tambaliza, the jump off to Mt. Manaphag. Rest for 30 minutes while waiting for a guide. Rooms available for rent at 500 pesos per fan room good for 4 persons at Barangay Kagawad's place. To those who would prefer to pitch a tent at the beachfront. You can pre-order your menu for the night, option would be "lambay/Crab and Fish for PHP 150 per kilo inclusive of cooking already.
  • 11:30 AM: Start trek-ascending to Mt. Manaphag- light pack with trail foods, water and camera-dont   forget. Clothing: must be long sleeves, a thorny trail because of the presence of so much wild rattan on the trail.
  • 02:30 PM: At Mt. Manaphag Peak including rest and picture taking along the trail.
  • 03:30 PM: Start descending, one stopover to taste thier fresh buko at the shoulder of Mt. Manaphag. You have the option to see a real eagle in one of the barangay during your decend. Then a coastal trek back to barangay Tambaliza.
  • 05:00 PM: Back to camp.
  • 07:00 PM: Socials at the beach front. Lights off at 9:00 pm.
Day 2: At barangay Tambaliza:

Option: To those who opt not to go with the island hopping. There is a bangka trip at 6am going to Concepcion town for Php 35.00 fare.
  • 06:30 AM: Breakfast, you can cook or you can order from the small resort, they charge very cheap price (Lutong bahay) owned by a Councelor of Tambaliza.
  • 07:30 AM: Break camp and start island hopping. Bangka is available for charter for Php1,500 pesos good for 10 to 15 persons.
  • 08:30 AM: First stop, Agho Islet
  • 09:30 AM: Second stop, The Sand Bar
  • 11:00 AM: Back at Concepcion town for lunch.
  • 12:00 NN: Heading back to Iloilo City via HPQ bus.
  • 02:30 PM: At Iloilo City