Mesmerized in Gigantes Norte
2016. It was the year when I started reading a lot of stories and saw countless pictures of this group of remote islands in the northern part of Iloilo called Isla de Gigantes or Island of Giants. Most of the blog posts I read have the words "mesmerizing," "majestic," and "beautiful." in them. And that made me curious. How beautiful is it? How mesmerizing is it? How majestic is it, really? When my friends and I visited last February, I finally understood.
Visiting Isla de Gigantes is a challenge, especially if you're coming from Cagayan de Oro. The journey will require so much patience from you. You'll go on 10-hour boat rides, 1 hour and 45-minute plane rides, 1-hour van rides, and 2-hour bangka rides — and that's just going there. But when you finally see turquoise blue water and small islands surrounding you, it's all worth it.
After we arrived and settled in our resort (our choice of accommodation is Gigantes Hideaway Resort, more on that in a separate post), we were greeted with plates of crab, fried fish, and scallops for lunch. EVERYTHING. WAS. SEAFOOD. And it was great.
We started our tour with a challenging hike to get inside Bakwitan Cave. It was my first time to actually go inside a legit cave and to be honest, my anxiety levels went up. Sure, I was smiling and looking amazed at all the rock formations, but on the inside, I was freaking out. I'm not a big fan of caves and tight spaces so this activity was stressful for me. When our guide told us that if we want to go through and finish the tour, we have to crawl through tight spaces and hike up. That was my cue to leave the f out of there. He was kind enough to lead me and my friend out of the cave first, through the way we came in.
The next place we visited was the Spanish Lighthouse, which was quite far from the resort. There isn't a lot of things to do there except for snapping photos and taking in the gorgeous view. You get to see the neighboring island too, which I think is the Bulubadiang Island.
We capped off our day by watching the sunset on the other side of Gigantes Norte (I think it was in Barangay Pilar). It was the only part of the island where you can witness the sky's incredible light show while sitting on the beach or swimming in its clear waters.
Ending the day like that made me love the island. I don't always get to sit on the seaside with a view of another island on one side and the sunset on the other, you know. The feeling was indescribable. We haven't even spent a full day on the island and I'm already smitten. I'm sure my friends were in love too.
Wait for the next post and I probably can't stop myself from gushing about how this place has taken up a huge space in my heart!