Islas de Gigantes, Carles, Iloilo – Part 6

Our third stop for our second day’s island hopping was Cabugao Island. Yes, we were here the day before, so we did not take new pictures. We just spent a few minutes swimming.

We swam first on the spot where we swam the day before but the waves were big on that side so we transferred to the other side through a passage we had not gone to the day before. The water was calmer on the other side so it was a great time for me to practice more on my swim.

Raisa told me to relax so I could easily float. The problem with me in the water is I get tensed which causes me or my feet to sink. With that in mind, I practiced how to move my feet and I was now able to move without exerting a lot of effort. Raisa suggested that I practice my breathing next time and once I nail that, I can practice moving my hands. I can now see a future in triathlon. If only I could bike! Ha!

After honing my swimming skills, we headed straight back to Tangke Lagoon. I was hoping that we would be there first so I could take pictures of the lagoon without anyone there but there was a small group that got there first, so I only took a few pictures of the rocks around the lagoon.

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Then out of the blue, I asked Nong Jofer about the cliff diving. He mentioned it the first time we were here but the previous day was not the best time to do it because it was low tide. But today, one could dive from a rock outside the lagoon.

I only wanted Raisa to not miss this. I never imagined in a million years that I would do it. I don’t do heights. I don’t do deep water. Heck I just learned a few swimming tricks that day. But Raisa was relentless in insisting that I do the cliff diving. After she threatened that we would not leave until I jump, I decided to jump. But she went first.

I wish I could have captured Raisa closer, but I also wanted to capture the view in the background to make it more dramatic.
I wish I could have captured Raisa closer, but I also wanted to capture the view in the background to make it more dramatic.

Then it was time for me to jump. We had to climb to the cliff first which was a bit tricky but the spelunking I did earlier made climbing seemed easy for me now. When I got to the top, I was really scared. I felt my palms and the soles of my feet were sweating big time. While I was on the top, four boats full of students from UP started arriving so I had a lot of eyes on me. This pressured me more. Nong Jofer promised that he would grab me as soon as I was in the water.

 

 

The look of fear!
The look of fear!

After Raisa finished counting to three (or maybe that was five), I jumped. That was the scariest second I ever had. I was thinking while I was briefly on the air that I would not survive this and why was I doing this?

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Nong Jofer, true to his words, grabbed me immediately after I was able to float back to the surface on my own and gave me a life jacket for safety. That was the most daring thing I ever did in my life. I was really happy to get to experience that. I’m not sure if I would ever do it again. Probably I would. I just need to practice further on my swimming skills.

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After our brief celebration, it was time for us to go back. Manong Jofer suggested that we could make another stop on another beach near Antonia. But I was concerned that Raisa would not make it to her trip back home. She was joining a group leaving at 2pm and since it was already around 12:30pm and she still had to clean up and eat lunch, she might not have enough time.

I wanted to join her too but the timing was not good. If I left at 2pm, I would arrive in Iloilo City around 6pm so I would not be able to make it to the ferry’s last trip to Bacolod City.

After Raisa left, there was nothing much for me to do. Since I did many things that day, I was too tired and fell asleep despite the lack of ventilation in the room (the islands do not have electricity during daylight). When I woke up, I transferred to another room closer to the dining area. This room only had one mattress laid on the floor, but I saw there were four people occupying this room the night before so the resort staff must have added more mattresses for them.

Unlike the day before when the resort was filled with big groups of people, my second night was quiet. There were only three other small groups. Although I loved the serenity, I found myself missing the crowd.

Dinner was served around 7pm. While everyone else had crabs (the seafood), I did not have any. I’m not allergic to crabs. I just don’t eat them. I already told Nong Jofer about this during lunch so he did not bother to serve me crabs during dinner. After a few bottles of beer, I retreated back to my room, wrote a few paragraphs for this blog, and went to sleep.

There were still a lot of mosquitoes during the course of the night so I just to cover myself with blankets. I woke up fresh and took a few pictures of some of the cool features in the resort – the resort and the coffin.

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Nong Jofer said that Islas de Gigantes used to serve as the burial grounds of the ancient people of Panay. This coffin displayed at the resort is one of those artifacts that had been dug up. It is now illegal to dig and collect artifacts in the island.
Nong Jofer said that Islas de Gigantes used to serve as the burial grounds of the ancient people of Panay. This coffin displayed at the resort is one of those artifacts that had been dug up. It is now illegal to dig and collect artifacts in the island.

I left the resort around 8:20am so I could make it to the passenger scheduled to leave at 9am. Nong Jofer took me to the shore where the boat was docked. I was sad when we parted ways.

Because it was low tide, we had to get on a bamboo balsa first that would take us to the boat. I was scared at first because we had to stand on the balsa while it was moving and I might fall. I didn’t fall thankfully. That would have been really embarrassing.

The passenger boat left at 9:12am. I did not pay the fare of P70 because it was already in my package.

When I got to Estancia port after two hours, I took a tricycle and paid P15. I then took the van going to Iloilo City that left at 12:10pm. The fare was P150 and we arrived in Iloilo City around 2:30pm. In case you’re wondering where the passenger vans’ station is, it’s just in the gasoline station right in front of Tagbak Terminal. I then took a taxi to Lapuz port for P150.

I purchased a round-trip Supercat ticket a couple of days before, but I didn’t want to wait for their 5:10pm trip. So I purchased a one-way ticket for P280 at Weesam which was scheduled to leave at 3:30pm. We left the port though at 3:50pm. It was already past 5pm when we arrived in Bacolod. No taxi would take me to the Ceres north terminal so I rode a “chartered” jeepney from the port to the terminal and paid P25. At 7:30pm, I was home in Sagay.

If it was not obvious yet in my previous posts, let me say it one more time. I love Islas de Gigantes! I never thought that a place like this existed in Iloilo. Iloilo was never on my must-visit province because it’s just way too near to me and since the people there speak the same language as I do, it doesn’t really feel like “traveling” when going there. But what I thought of Iloilo quickly changed when I got to Gigantes. My pictures might never justify the beauty of Gigantes so I encourage everyone to go there. I might be back there soon too. If you ever go there, please don’t spoil the place.

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