March was an eventful month for the family, following the last week of February for our marriage anniversary. The family always look forward to a meaningful and memorable weekender somewhere in the Visayas or Mindanao regions. We don't usually top off last years vacation, because all of them were experiential and personal for all of us. Last year was at Davao and we told ourselves we needed to save up as our family is getting bigger, by the size not the number that is. That means more budget for transportation, food and travel miscellany.
Well. last time I heard we still have two kids with us, now we only have one as one of them turned a teeny this year. Jeezz, where have the time flown by, now we have three almost grown up kids.
So, this year without so much ado and thinking about, we decided to go on island hopping yet again, instead of flying out the country. To tell you upfront it is much cheaper to go to Korea or Hong Kong than take this tour with a family as big as ours, we're six you know!
After getting our tickets from the travel fare under Cebu Pacific, which by the way departed right on time, thus getting us there 15 minutes ahead of time (which happened to a first for ut).
My husband had been reading a lot about Isla de Gigantes which belonged to the Panay group of island specifically Carles, Iloilo. Carles tourism office told me that the nearest jump off
Let me now share you our itinerary for an afternoon flight from Manila to Roxas.
3 PM: Depart from Manila to Roxas
4 PM: Arrival at Roxas Airport
4: 30 PM: Check in at Walabies
5 to 6 PM: Dinner at Cafe 1927
7 PM: Look for Paseo de Roxas, and ask about the bus or van going to the jump off Carles port for Islas de Gigantes.
7:30 PM: Back to the hotel for rest.
6 AM: Wake up and get ready to check out
Travel to Paseo de Roxas to catch van going to Carles port
7 AM: Depart from Roxas to Carles port (fare costs P 200 each)
You can also access by bus, but you'll be dropped off at Estancia and you need to travel
back to Balasan via tricycle
8:30 AM Expected arrival at Carles port
10 AM: Expected time for the boat to leave
11 AM: Arrival at Isla de Gigantes Norte
10 minutes travel by motorbike to Hideaway Resort
11:30 AM Check in at Hideaway resort and lunch
2 PM: Start of inland tour
*caving at Bakwitan
*visit to Parola
*sunset watching at the north beach
6 PM: Back at the resort for shower and dinner
7 AM: Breakfast and ready for Island hopping
Click link below for our island hopping adventure (five of 10 islands only)
Islas de Gigantes' Five Famous Islands in Photos
12 PM Back at the resort for lunch and check out
2 PM Depart from Isla de Gigantes to Balasan
3:30 PM Arrival at the port
Depart from Carles back to Roxas City via bus
*Bus ride from Carles port to Balasan
*Van ride from Balasan to Roxas City
*Tricycle ride going to Espacio Verde Resort
5 PM Arrival at Espacio Verde
7 PM Rome around Roxas capitol and look for authentic La Paz Batchoy
9 PM Back at the resort
7 AM: Breakfast
9 AM: Enjoy the pool
12 PM: Lunch at RML Manokan, Rizal Ave.
Rome around the capitol and buy Pasalubong
2 PM: Back at the hotel for checkout
3 PM: Go to Roxas Airport
5 PM: Flight back to Manila via CeBu Pac.
6 PM Expected arrival at NAIA airport
OUR PHOTO DIARY
Dinner at Cafe 1927
Cafe 1927 specializes in both Ilongo and what tourists want for a meal.
It's has that homey ambiance but needed some touch ups on their interior and wall painting.
A lot of memorabilia and perhaps collections from the owners are decorated around.
The staff were very friendly too.
See how happy we are to find this resto.
Roxas City is such a small town, it's easy to navigate around however, no taxis are available so unless you don't have a car, all you need to rely on to are the tricycles.
I don't know but this tour gave me a hankering for local noodle soups so I had the meryenda size Molo soup.
The kids had mushroom soups for starter. Not that bad I guess, it's just a simple open the can kind of.
Of course the pack needed some fiber so we also had Ceasar Salad.
Dana had Pesto, which she felt a bit disappointed at, as it does not measure up to my Pesto pasta.
The one thing on the menu you should not forget to order is their potato balls or croquette. It's mashed potato with cheese stuffing made into balls, rolled in panko breading and deep fried. It was amaze-a-ball!
Bunso had half a slab of their baby back ribs with rice.
Danielle had Beef Salpicao..
Darren had Pepper Steak and he loved how tender the beef was and it's gravy, it was served with mashed potatoes.
Last to came, after we were almost done with ours, is Daddy's Baby Back Ribs, it was their best-seller and I guess, it pays to be last and the wait was worth it. Too bad, I didn't get to try it. But diners have been raving about it.
It was a great dinner after all, the price is very affordable compared to Manila's and serving is hefty.
With a tricycle ride, we made our way to Paseo de Roxas, their newly developed central business district where we would have our ride going to Carles port early tomorrow.
It's not his first time to ride a tricycle ha, maybe he's just happy to alone with me.
People in Roxas are really kind, and same goes with their tricycle drivers.
The next morning photos...on our way to Islas de Gigantes.
At the island we were greeted by local tourist guides working for Hideaway Resort. We were assigned with one tricycle each.
After the bumpy and quite scary ride from the beach to the resort, we were greeted with a rich seafood-endowed table.
This is their oyster, bigger and cleaner than the usual we have here in Manila.
HIDEAWAY TOURIST INN
After lunch, we waited for our tourist guide, frolicking at the tree house in front of the entrance of the inn.
We then headed off to Bakwitan cave via motorcycle ride. Read my post about it HERE.