Summer is definitely more fun with NIVEA SUN! My top summer wonder is Malalison Island

5 Reasons 
Malalison Island should be part of the 7 Summer Wonders in the Philippines

Situated in Culasi Channel off the western coast of Culasi, Antique. It is easy to see why Malalison Island is also known as the ‘Gem of Culasi Channel’. While Boracay has been the main attraction in the part of western visayas, the Malalison island retained its mysterious appeal, and left unexplored by tourists. With an area of 50 hectares, Malalison have a lot to offer to tourists and adventure travel seekers alike.

1. Adventure | For someone who seeks adventure, you can hike up to the highest hill or peak of Malalison Island for less than an hour. You can even cross your way to Nablag Islet, which is just adjacent to Malalison Cove. Not an extreme adventure but nevertheless, it still an adventure. 🙂

2. Culture | Try a native dish. They said, that the way to know the culture of a place is through their food. One of Malalison’s native dish is grilled fresh pugita/octopus. I can guarantee you, all sea food in this area are fresh.

3. Nature | Malalison has the best diving spot for divers who admire the nature underwater. Exploring the world under you is also one of the best way to appreciate nature. With Malalison’s crystal clear water, I’m pretty sure you’ll clearly see the different species living down there.

4. Sand | Malalison Island has fine white sand that can be compared to that of Boracay’s. This island have a magnificent sandbar that can be enjoyed by everyone, and also the best location for  a romantic date.

5. Sun | Summer wouldn’t be perfect without the heat of the sun. And here in Malalison Island, sun is everywhere.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your Nivea Sun block, head down to Malalison Island and enjoy your summer with the world’s no.1 sun care brand. 🙂

Join the on-going Nivea Philippines 7 Summer Wonders contest on FB and get a chance to win NIVEA Sun gift packs, Charina Sarte swimwear, SONY products or a trip for 2 to the Ultimate Summer Wonder! Just clickhttp://www.facebook.com/NIVEAPhilippines/app_180716052039522 to join and vote now!

Climb Itinerary | Mt. Madja-as

Mt. Madjaas, Culasi, Antique
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Alojipan, Culasi
Elevation: 2177m
Days required to summit: 3-4 days
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 8/9, Trail class 1-4
Features: Open slopes, Mossy forest, Waterfalls, Highest Point

DAY 0 (April 4, Wednesday)

1700H – Assembly at Pier 4 (Trans Asia Terminal)
1800H – ETD Cebu City

DAY 1 (April 5, MaundayThursday)
0700H – ETA Iloilo City
0730H – ETD Iloilo City Van/Bus Terminal
1030H – ETA Culasi, Antique (Last Minute Shopping and Buy Food for Lunch)
1100H – Drop by Culasi Municipal Hall and Secure Permit from Mayor’s Office (Login at PNP Station)
1130H – ETD Culasi Town Proper (Via Habal-habal)
1200H – ETA Brgy. Alojipan Jumpoff (Lunch and Meet Up with Guides and Barangay Officials and Gear Check)
1300H – Start Trek to Hangud Tubi Campsite
1900H – ETA Hangud Tubi Campsite (Dinner)
2100H – Socials
2130H – Lights Off!

DAY 2 (April 6, Good Friday)
0400H – Wake Up Call! (Prepare Breakfast and Packed Lunch)
0500H – Breakfast
0600H – Break Camp and Water Refill
0630H – Start Trek to Boundary Campsite
1230H – ETA Boundary Campsite (Lunch and Rest)
1400H – Start Ascend to Summit
1500H – ETA Mt. Madjaas Summit (Explore and Take Pictures)
1600H – Start Descend Back to Boundary Campsite
1700H – ETA Boundary Campsite (Prepare Dinner)
1800H – Dinner, Socials and Mountain Juice
2000H – Lights Off!

DAY 3 (April 7, Black Saturday)
0400H – Wake Up Call! (Prepare Breakfast and Packed Lunch)
0500H – Breakfast
0600H – Break Camp and Water Refill
0630H – Start Descend Back to Hangud Tubi Campsite
1200H – Lunch, Rest and Water Refill
1300H – Start Descend Back to Brgy. Alojipan Jumpoff
1900H – ETA Brgy. Alojipan Jumpoff
1930H – ETD Brgy. Alojipan (Via Habal-habal)
2000H – ETA Culasi Town Proper and Logout (PNP Station)

Options

  • Spend the night at the town plaza and travel back to Iloilo City the following morning
  •  Spend the night at Malalison Island which is 15-minute boatride away from the plaza (Depends on pumpboat availability) and travel back back to Iloilo City afternoon the following day
  •  Ride a bus going to Caticlan and spend the rest of the trip in Boracay (Estimated travel time is 1 hour)

Expenses
Boat Fare (Trans Asia Economy Accomodation) – PhP 810.00 (One Way)
Bus/Van Fare – PhP 200.00 (One Way)
Habal-habal Fare – PhP 150.00/head (One Way)
Guide Fee – PhP 350.00/guide/day (2 Guides)
Entry/Permit Fee – PhP 150.00/head/day
Barangay Fee – PhP 20.00/head

Contact Person
Mr. John John Sumanting (Tourism Officer) – (036) 277-8077/09163245068

Adonis (Guide) – 09286878128

Check out my other adventures in Antique:
* Mt. Madja-as | Holy Week Climb
Culasi, Antique | Mt. Madja-as Climb Video

Culasi, Antique | Exploring Malalison/Mararison Island

After a hardcore and strenuous climb in Mt. Madja-as, everyone deserves a relaxing side trip.  I personally wanted to relax in a place with a few people. And Boracay is out of the story. Since Malalison Island is the nearest island in Culasi, we decided to spend the rest of our trip there.
Malalison Island is also known as Mararison Island. It is one of the three island barangays of Culasi, Antique. A 55-hectare undeveloped island which can be reached  by a 15-minute ride off coast of Poblacion, by motorized pump-boat. This magnificent island is famous with its clean pebbled beach sand, coral reefs and crystal clear blue waters which are good for sailing, snorkeling, fishing and scuba diving.
After having our dinner in Culasi, a couple of my friends went to the shore to hire a motorized pump-boat.  Unfortunately, they were priced higher than expected. Mr. Sumanting of Culasi Tourism Office told us that a round trip from Culasi to Malalison Island will only cost P1,000. So we call Mr. Sumanting and asked for help.
(L to R) me, Jahbert, Mr. Sumanting, Jai-jai, Bojek, Bart, Bossing
He was generous enough to meet us again and introduce to Mr. Mario Fuentiblanca (Kap Mario), which is the Barangay Chairman of Malalison Island. Like Mr. Sumanting, Kap Mario is also a very hospitable man. He brought over to Culasi one of their pump boat for us. And like what Mr. Sumanting had promised us, the round trip of pump boat only cost us P1,000.
The long stretched sandbar welcome us when we arrived in Malalison Island. It was already 6PM when we reached the island. The magnificent sandbar was very apparent under the bright moon, which create a romantic ambiance to the people sitting in the sand. We planned to spend the night in the sandbar. Unfortunately, it suddenly rain forcing us to sleep inside the Barangay’s Multi-Purpose Building.
The next day, we all agreed to trek through the miniature mountains of Malalison Island. It was around 8AM when we started to hike towards the other side of the island, which the Nablag islet dwell. This islet can be crossed on foot during low tides, and we were just so lucky to have crossed it that day. We didn’t spend a lot of time in Nablag Islet because the water is getting higher. We even feel the current of the water when we crossed back to Malalison.
Kap Mario also mention a cave on the island. Since the cave was just adjacent to the cove, we didn’t have a hard time looking for it. There were a lot of groups in that part of the island. Most of the people who want to spend time with their families on Easter Sunday were there. It was also in that part of the island were fishermen dive for  octopus or kugita. This kid is holding one, ready to grill.
We saw Kap Mario near the cave, and ask him if we could hitch a ride back to the Multi-Purpose building. Since the pump boat that he brought can only carry 5-6 people, we were transported by batch. The girls were escorted first toward the pump boat. We can observe how crystal clear the water was from where we were sitting. We could see clearly the black sea urchin below us. So far, the water in this island is the clearest sea water I have ever seen in my entire life. I just hope this island will be taken care of and handled properly by the locals.
Malalison Island is such a paradise. If you happen to travel around Antique, spend a night in the island and explore its beauty. This island has a lot to offer. You can hike around the island for an hour or two. Walk your way to the island’s cove, and march towards Nablag islet. Just make sure to cross back to Malalison before the water rises. Check out their cave which is just adjacent to the cove. Snorkel through their crystal clear water and enjoy the heat of summer. Rock n’ Roll! \m/
How to Get There:
From Cebu, board on a boat bound to Iloilo City. From Iloilo Port, take a cab to V-hire terminal. From there, ride a V-hire to Culasi, Antique and ask the driver to drop you off at Culasi Municipal Hall. Walk a couple of blocks to the shore and hire a pump boat bound for Malalison Island.
Expenses: 
Boat Fare (Cebu-Iloilo) – 810 Php (one way)
Taxi Fare – 100 Php/head (one way)
V-hire Fare – 200 Php/head (one way)
Pump boat to Malalison – 1,000 Php(8 person-round trip)
Barangay Fee (Malalison) – 10 Php/head
Contact Person: 
Mr. John John U. Sumanting
Municipal Information Officer
Tourism Officer
Tel. No. : (036) 277-8077
Cell. No. : 09163245068
Email : johnjohnsumanting_mio@yahoo.com
Tips:
* Contact the tourism office before you go there. Mr. Sumanting can help you find a cheaper pump boat to Malalison Island.
*Bring tents if you want to camp in the shoreline.
* Print a map to guide you throughout your adventure.
Check out my other adventures in Antique:

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Mt. Madja-as | Holy Week Climb

Deciding to join a Holy Week Climb in Mt. Madja-as was easy. Climbing the mountain is another story.

 With an elevation of 2,177 meters above sea level, Mt. Madja-as makes the tallest mountain in Panay, and the second tallest mountain in Visayas following Mt. Canlaon. Located in Culasi, Antique, this mountain is quoted by some as the most challenging climbs in the Visayan islands.
I was so excited the moment I purchased my ticket bound for Iloilo. I never been to this place, but I heard a lot of great things about it. I text Kuya Jahbert regarding what to expect on Mt. Madja-as. Since he had been there last December 2011, he’s the best guy to ask questions about this majestic mountain. A second later, (Hardcore, and a lot of leech) a reply from him got me thinking, and doubt if I can make it to the summit. On the second thought, I already bought my ticket. There’s no turning back. Next thing I knew, I was packing my bag for the the climb.

We leave Cebu around 6PM, and arrived in Iloilo port around 8AM the next day. It was a long trip, but the good thing about it, is I got to meet a couple of climber on the boat. The bad thing about it, I forgot their names. I’m really bad at names. 😦 Well anyway, upon arrival, we decided to buy a ticket going back to Cebu, just to avoid getting stranded.
Since we haven’t had our breakfast that morning, we decided to eat in a carenderia just outside Iloilo port. Afterwards, we hired a taxi going to Iloilo V-hire Terminal. As far as I know, Iloilo has a separate terminal for their buses.
We were warmly welcomed by Mr. Sumanting from Tourism Office when we arrived in Culasi. A good-natured and hospitable that he is, he invited us into his office to sign some papers, and let us relax for a little. A 4-hour ride can be exhausting sometimes.
Since we arrived in Culasi at lunch time, we decided to have our lunch. This dish is the specialty of Culasi, which you can see in every eatery in the area. Can you guess what’s on this dish? 🙂 Fine then, the main ingredient of this dish is SHARK! Yeah, that’s right. The taste? Taste like tuna. This cost P25 per serving.

Have I told you that we forgot to buy a butane in Iloilo? The moment we jump inside the v-hire, we told our driver to pass by a Mall in San Jose so we could buy a butane. The problem is, our driver take a different route. When we checked my print-out map, we’re way too far from the mall. When we communicate with Mr. Sumanting, he mention someone selling a butane in Culasi. But when we get there, we realize that the butane he’s talking about is different from the butane we’re commonly using. We take the risk and sacrifice a little of our time to ask someone to buy a butane in San Jose, which is a 2-hour drive from Culasi. We pretty much don’t have a choice. We couldn’t push through with the climb without the butane. How the hell are we going to cook our food without the butane? We waited until 8PM, which means we’re already 1 day delay of our itinerary.

We arrived at our jump-off point in Brgy. Alojipan around 9PM. By then, we all decided to push through and night trekked our way to the forest line. We were thinking of chasing our itinerary. We break camp early the next day,  around 5am, and start trekking towards Camp 1. There were few open trails, but since we started trekking early, we were able to avoid the heat of the sun.

leech on my backpack

Leech is very abundant in Mt. Madja-as. So if your planning to conquer this majestic mountain, I suggest you wear a leggings, an arm guard/warmer and a pair of gloves. Thinking back, even wearing all these things   didn’t spare me with the leeches. A couple of leech find their way to my nape.  So disgusting. I really hate it, even though they look cool with their rasta colors.

flowers in Camp 2

After pitching up our tents in camp 1, we tried to summit Mt. Madja-as. We left all our belongings in the camp, and just bring with us our lunch and a handful of trail food. We believe we can do it. We’ll be able to go back at the camp before midnight. But the trail going to Camp 2 was telling us that pushing to the summit is impossible. We pass through a knife edge ridge, that with just wrong move, you’ll gonna be saying goodbye to the world.  There’s no trees which you can hold on to for balance. I was about to back-out by then, but most of my friends are so persistent in getting to the summit. So I tried to catch up with them, asking one of my friend to hold my hand as I cross the ridge. We arrived at camp 2 around 3PM. Our guide told us that it’ll take another 2-3hours to summit Mt. Madja-as. If we push through, we could arrived at the peak around 5PM or 6PM the most. Thinking back of the trail we went through, it’ll impossible to be back in camp 1 before midnight. It will also be very dangerous on our part to cross the knife-edge ridge at night. Right there and then, we decided to backtrack our way to camp 1 and call it a day.

Going back to camp 1 was difficult. We were blown by strong winds when we pass through the knife-edge ridge. Thank God we are all safe and was back in camp 1 around 6PM. We hit the sack early, so we could rest our worn out body.

We started to backtrack our way to Brgy. Alojipan the next day. Since we arrived early in Alojipan, we all went to the river to enjoy the clear cold water. A few minutes later, we find our way back to Culasi to catch a boat to Malalison Island.

Here’s a video from our climb. Enjoy!

Check out my other adventures in Antique:
Culasi, Antique | Mt. Madja-as Climb Video
Culasi, Antique | Exploring Malalison Island
Mt. Madja-as | Climb Itinerary