Tibiao, Antique: Starting Rough
Typhoons and I have been traveling side by side recently. And due to its bold and blatant presence that afternoon, I was forced to take the long way down to Caticlan instead of taking the 8-hour direct trip. Thankfully, after being stranded twice, a mild ship-to-ship collision, spending a night at the terminal, and another long bus ride, I made it safe and dry, alive and well. The journey is the destination after all, but the real fun and adventure all began here in Tibiao, Antique.
Perched above the banks of Tibiao River stood a couple of Kayak Inn‘s native-style cottages obscured by enormous age-old trees of the lush mountain forest. Kayak Inn host Edwin Endrico and family cordially welcomed me into their humble abode with a cup of warm coffee. They showed me to a huge bamboo cottage installed with a veranda and equipped with a private comfort room. Moreover, Kayak Inn has a placid atmosphere that would certainly delight nature-lovers.
My day started early that morning and trekked the banks of Tibiao River still enveloped with cool and crisp mountain mist. I sat by the river with a pocketful of hope and a bag full of optimism for a river kayaking adventure but the relentless rains provoked forceful rapids which forbid beginners like me to try the activity due to safety purposes.
Bugtong Bato Falls
Fortunately, Tibiao wasn’t only limited to river kayaking and has more in stored for thrill-seeking intrepid travelers. A 45-minute trek through Tibiao’s rice terraces and deeper into the mountains lead to a multi-tiered waterfalls called Bugtong Bato, referring to the unnoticeable huge chunk of rock smothered with moss and a lone tree that grew on it.
While Bugtong Bato‘s first drop can be easily accessed, #2 and #3 requires visitors to climb steep steel staircase. The rope installed will give you enough leverage and support to ascend the ladder. Steps were very slippery so be extra careful.
Kawa Hot Bath
Reward yourselves with a relaxing Kawa Hot Bath after the exhausting trek. Instead of the conventional bath tub, a kawa, a large wok used for cooking a particular type of sugar called muscovado, is filled with water, garnished with aromatic herbal leaves, and then blazed underneath by firewood. Feel those tight and cramped muscles loosen up, oh it felt so good – a perfect way to cap my visit in Tibiao.
The journey started rough, but, as they say, we will always find our ways. However, this trip taught me that, amidst the unfortunate incidents we encounter in our travels, sometimes, it is the way that finds us, and points us towards the right path. That’s why I don’t believe in “misadventures” – these mishaps are just a part of the whole adventure. We fall down, we stand up, we continue our journey, and follow our hearts towards our destinations – same thing goes with life.
Some fast facts that may help you on the road trip:
1. Tibiao is more or less a two-hour bus ride from Caticlan or a four-hour bus ride from Iloilo. I took a Ceres bus from Caticlan bound for Iloilo then told the conductor to drop me in Brgy. Importante in Tibiao. Tibiao is the town passed Culasi. From Brgy. Importante, take a habal-habal ride (single motorcycle) to Kayak Inn.
Ceres Bus from Caticlan to Tibiao – P100.00
Habal habal to Baranggay Importante – P70.00
2. Kayak Inn’s cottage cost P500.00 only, and it’s good for 4 persons. But I think even 7-8 people could fit. It’s a very nice and cozy place to stay.
3. For further inquiries about Kayak Inn, contact Edwin or Shiela Endrico via the following numbers.
0928 779 0776
0921 570 19 47
4. Guide to Bugtong Bato Falls costs P100.00 but that’s until #2 and #3 only. The rest of the falls takes a far longer route.
5. You could bring food and ask them to cook it for you.
6. Kawa Hot Bath costs P200.00
7. This is the beginning of my two-week long backpacking journey in Panay Island and Guimaras. Next stop is Anini-y, Antique.
8. More Antique destinations.
9. Please Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.
10. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter.
11. Happy travels and be safe.
Thanks to the hospitable and very accommodating family of Kayak Inn.