After a roller coaster of emotions at Guimaras, we we're still hopeful that there's something good in store for us before we head home. Off we go to location # 2.1 before we finally close this chapter of our trip and head on back to Cebu.
We passed by a plaza on our way to Jordan Port. We were so amazed by this unique Rizal Monument. We couldn't help but stop for a quick group picture. The difference? Let the picture speak for itself.
|With the oh-so tanned Rizal.|
It was about 10:00 AM when we reached Iloilo Proper. I read somewhere that Iloilo's known for their batchoy. We couldn't pass that chance to pig out and try the famous Ted's Batchoy. (Only to find out weeks after that Ted's has a branch in Cebu. lol)
Food was okay. I wasn't that amazed of the batchoy, or was my expectation too high. It was tasty, yes, but I found their batchoy rather ordinary. I think they should work on more on customer service. The staff looked bored and out in space. I kept repeating my order with them verifying multiple times. It's either I sound weird or I didn't really pronounced batchoy right.
After getting our stomachs filled and a quick stop over at SM Iloilo for supplies, off we went to Tagbak Terminal, Jaro District to catch a bus going to Concepcion. [Timecheck: 1:00PM++] 3 hours later, we arrived at Concepcion Public Market. [Timecheck: 4:00PM++] This was to be our starting point to Sandbar Island Beach Resort. It was gloomy when we arrived at the drop off point. We moved quickly and went to the tourism office to register.
|Filling up the tourism travel log, like a boss. :)|
We wasted no time as we feared that the waves might become challenging once it got too late. Full of excitement and hopes that the whole trip gets turned around by this final side trip, we boarded the resort's charter boat.
|SS Queenie: Tara na, byahe tayo!|
|Pia, spell EGGSIGHTED. :)|
Photo courtesy of Osang
|Pan de Azucar from a far.|
|Isang tumbling na lang talaga...|
Touchdown Sandbar Island Resort, Concepcion
Sandbar Island Beach Resort, located in Bolobadiangan (or Bulubadiangan) Island, is a popular tourist attraction in Concepcion, Iloilo. Not just local but also foreign tourists visit Sandbar Island Beach Resort as it is known for its clear waters and, of course, the long white sandbar, which, as they say, would shift from left to right depending on the direction of the waves.
It is a beach resort but not the 5-star kind. Their room accommodations do not include air-conditioning, hot-shower bath, and other lucrative amenities because the island does not have a steady supply of electricity. Their huts are made of light indigenous materials giving the whole stay a feel of seclusion. Among the activities you can do in the island are swimming, snorkeling, fishing, trekking the island's circumference and other water recreational activities. The island offers a great view of the other islands of Concepcion, including the majestic Mt. Manaphag in Pan de Azucar Island.
Kuya Sonny, the caretaker [slash] owner, showed us our
5-star accommodation as soon as the boat docked. There was no time to waste as Mr Sun was starting to go into slumber. Kaya, swim and explore agad-agad ang show ng mga peeps.
Our nipa accomodation. with Photo bomb Bulingit.
|1st time to see a sign that prohibits acquisition of corals, shells and sand. |
Good job! #NaturePreservationStrategies
Photo courtesy of Tabian
Parang ghost city, more of ghost island, ang Sand Bar Island kasi walang ibang bisita. We were the only visitors when we got there. We had the whole place to our own! Woot woot!
I read about reviews by bloggers talking about a bed of corals in Sand Bar Island. I got fixated with that idea so I put it upon myself to search for it. We snorkeled and snorkeled some more to look for the bed of corals yet found nothing but sand, usual bottom feeders, sea urchins, more sea urchins, and sea cucumbers. #Bummer. But that won't let us down. :)
|Mandatory jumpshot. #Booyeah!|
THE SAND BAR.
|The famous sand bar, where the resort got it's name;|
|The main island, photo taken from the sand bar.|
It was a bit disappointing but we were all hopeful. We were bound to go back to Cebu the next day, but the trip wasn't over just as of yet. We still have an island hopping squeezed in the next day. We ended the night with a bit of booze, a little bonfire, and a lot of laughs. \m/
The island already has electricity, but not enough for an airconditioned room. Lights out at around 10 or upon request (with additional fee). The signal for Globe and Smart were strong, while Sun was a bit weak. Fresh water for rinsing was sold per big water container or pail, but quite scarce. Drinking distilled/mineral water were sold per 5 gallons. The resort had a store so basic supplies are readily available. You may borrow some cooking utensils, or even cook at their dirty kitchen. But for convenience, you can also ask them to cook your meal for you (with service charge).
How to get to Sand Bar Island Resort Concepcion Iloilo from Guimaras?
- Catch an outrigger from Buenavista or Jordan Port, Guimaras bound for Ortiz or Parola Port, Iloilo.
- From the port, take a tricycle to the nearest jeepney stop. Tip: Tell the driver you are heading to SM Iloilo so they can get you to the jeepney stop bound for the mall.
- Take a jeepney going to SM Iloilo. From there, hail another jeepney or cab bound for Tagbak Terminal.
- From Tagbak Terminal, look for the bus bound for Concepcion. Ride the bus and ask the conductor or driver to drop you off at the Public Market or Police Station, which is where the drop off point is for Sand Bar Island Resort.
- Make sure to contact Kuya Sonny prior to trip so he can arrange a charter boat for you guys.
Sand Bar Island ResortKuya Sonny
Sand Quality: almost white with light yellowish/brown color, not so fine
Snorkeling Wow Factor: ???
Prior to this trip, many were the blogs that I've read which featured the Sand bar Island Beach Resort. Positive and promising views were what they've written, which made my excitement grew fonder. They talked about how hospitable the caretakers are; they were right about that. But the island wasn't what I pictured it to be. Sure it seemed comparable to Kalanggaman Island, but it was never close. It's not that I'm stipulating that the bloggers were lying, it was just that I didn't know where the heck bed of corals were. This was the main reason why we decided to endure a 3-hour bus ride. Even Kuya Sonny didn't know where it was exactly. Plus, the weather wasn't cooperating with us. The skies were gloomy and cloudy, while the sea was too wavy [?!] causing the water to go unclear. It was, to be honest, a disappointing afternoon. But, we were still hopeful. The next day was our last day in Ilo-ilo. And, it was still bound to get better. :)
Guimaras Series: of sweet mangoes and memories
Check out the video we made just to stop that damn Nicki Minaj from ringing in our heads. Talk about LSS.