Tourism experts would always say that the spirit of adventure is alive across the land in Antique’s adventure capital.
In Tibiao, a town located in the heart of Antique in Panay Island, Western Visayas, Philippines, adventurers have so much to do. They can take a dip in a hot kawa. They can laugh out loud while little fish clean your feet. They can pull large fish straight from the sea. They can rapel down thundering waterfalls and challenge the white waters of the ensuing river.
Yes, Tibiao offers you the near perfect mix of nature and adventure to get your adrenaline pumping and take your breath away with awe-inspiring sites. Tibiao is fast rising as an eco-adventure destination in Western Visayas. Various exciting activities were unveiled to the delight of thrill-seeking and nature-loving tourists.
The place is also famous because of Tibiao River, one of the best white water rivers in the country perfect for kayaking. Records reveal that it hosted the first International kayaking Cup which was initiated by Tribal Adventures in 1997. Because of its growing popularity, the Tibiao Eco-Adventure (TEA) Park was opened and now offers the canyoonering, 1-km zipline, mountain biking and more.
According to Flord Nicson J. Calawag, the town offers a complete set of nature and adventure destinations and activities. “From the sea to the mountains, there is always something exciting to do.”
Calawag established the Katahum Tours to give tourists an adventure they will cherish for a lifetime. Katahum is a Visayan word that means beautiful. The name echoes the desire of Katahum Tours to reveal the beauty of the many hidden destinations in the Philippines. Its pet project, the Katahum Eco-Adventure offers a guided one-day tour for only Php999 per person for a minimum group of 15 people or 1,499 for a minimum of two persons.
WHAT TO DO IN TIBIAO
Start your day in this town with a motorbike ride, locally known as “habal-habal” to Tuno village then prepare yourself for a nature trek through rice paddies, lush forests and over bamboo suspension bridges to the water falls. When the sun gets into your skin, you may cool down at the refreshing 7-tiered cascades of the Bugtong-bato Falls.
If you’re hungry, you may take a break and have lunch at the Tibiao white-water River. Afterwards, soak in Kawa’s award-winning Jungle Hot Tubs, Inventions of Kayak Inn. This unique kawa hot bath will surely relieve the stresses in your body.
Don’t forget to experience the beauty of the mountain by going through the Malakagat and Tigbaboy Hanging Bridges. Then, you may go swimming and rock-diving in Butong River. At the end of the day, you will have all the time to go for a sunset-viewing in Tiguis Beach. The place provides nature lovers with the exotic blend of big white rocks under the roof of thick “Lunok/Balete” tree.
On your second day, go for a Lambaklad fishing with local fishermen in Malabor. This unique fishing technique involves laying down a huge stationary fish trap being considered as one of the biggest in the country to collect migratory fishes such as tuna, sailfish, mackerel, moonfish, barracuda, and mobula rays passing through the western border of the Cuyo East Pass, also known as a tuna highway.
Then, try the sea-boating along the Malabor coast. You will also have the once in a lifetime opportunity to learn a new skill in Barangay Bandoja, a village in Tibiao known for its excellence in pottery and brick making. This place is blessed to have 450,000 metric tons of clay reserve for pottery and brick making.
Take a load off and experience the relaxing sensation of hundreds of little fish nibbling on your feet like little masseurs at Tibiao Fish Spa. The town boasts of the most affordable fish spa in the world using locally bred “TheraFish.” At the end of your visit to this amazing town, please buy at Tibiao Native Products and buy local souvenirs for friends and loved ones. By doing so, you will never forget you did spent one of the best times of your life.
WHERE TO STAY
The Hometel in the University of Antique Tario-Lim Memorial Campus in Tibiao is open to accept guests under the management of the school.
From Manila, a tourist may take a 45-minute flight via Cebu Pacific to Iloilo International Airport or to Kalibo International Airport. From Kalibo, air-conditioned vans of Kalibo International Airport Transport Association (KIATA) will bring you directly to the gates of Tibiao Fish Spa.
THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, speechwriter and publicist who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.