We all heard about the folklore story of how Gigantes Island was formed. A giant once fell in love with a local maiden; however, on the day of their wedding, pirates came to the town and took the lady and eventually killed her. The giant was so angry that he started throwing the wedding gifts to the sea – which became the islands that made up the Gigantes Islands, in Carles, Iloilo.
With lovely travel bloggers, Apple Alison (Sole Searching Soul) and Milet Miranda (Project Gora)
It was the same story that the boatmen shared during our island tour in the Gigantes Islands, also known as Islas de Gigantes. These folklore stories make travels to our country a lot more interesting, but historically, it was the coffins that contain huge human bones that gave birth to the island’s name. There are two main islands in the Gigantes Islands – the Gigantes Norte and Gigantes Sur.
The Gigantes Islands offer a different kind of island-hopping adventure – beautiful caves, interesting rock formations, serene lagoons and white sand beaches.
I would have wanted to take photos using my camera, but I chose to enjoy its beauty and took snaps using my mobile phone, and added photos from Out of Town Blog and Creativebox Photography.
A 1.5 hour boat ride from Bancal Port in Carles, Iloilo brought us to the first island – the Tangke Lagoon. This is a very popular spot in the Gigantes Island. A short hike around sharp, yet beautiful rock formations welcomed us to the sight of the lagoon. The water appears to be sparkling under the sun. You have the option to go down and experience the water (thigh-deep) or hike up the rock formations and just the feel the energy of the nature.
I am thankful to the boatmen who helped us go around the lagoon, and also to Creativebox Photography for taking photos during this trip.
Our next stop for our Gigantes Islands Tour is the Cabugao Gamay. According to our tourist guide, It is known as the “selfie island”, where tourists take photos to officially end their trip to the Gigantes Islands – and take home beautiful memories and photo souvenir to post on social media.
A festive lunch was waiting for us when we arrived, and although it rained, that didn’t dampen the mood and we enjoyed the fresh seafood offerings that Carles, Iloilo is known for.
Scallops are sold at Php 1 per piece!
I am not surprised why Cabugao Gamay is everyone’s favorite beach, think white sand and clear, blue water. We climbed up the famous spot where we had our photos taken. I appreciate that the local boatmen and tourist guides know exactly which spots to frame in the photos. It is so nice to see them so proud of their hometown.
Creative shot (photo on the right) taken by a little local girl who is a photo enthusiast.
We docked on Bantigue Sandbar located South of Cabugao Gamay and east of Cabugao Dako or Cabugao Grande. Even in the middle of the sea, you won’t miss the beauty of the Bantigue Sandbar. The boatmen reminded us which part of the sandbar we could swim (the left side), as the right side, even though has finer sand goes deep not far from the shoreline.
Our last stop was Antonia Beach. It is such a beautiful beach with fine, white sands, coconut trees, and interesting rock formations. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stay longer and explore the island; our boatmen decided to sail ahead as it was starting to rain. For those who wish to explore the beach, Gigantes Islands also has resorts and camping sites that you can book.
I am happy to tick Gigantes Islands off my Travel Bucketlist.
Philippines truly has a rich culture, history, and life underwater. I am so happy to be in this part of Panay Island, and I cannot wait to share stories about Capiz and Aklan.
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