Home > Placing Iloilo > Paradiso in Iloilo

Paradiso in Iloilo

pic2 The temperature hit 33 degrees in North Iloilo and people were hiding from the obnoxious sun rays that could curtail the dreams of  Americans in attaining a fair complexion. Yet no matter how hot the day was, the fact that summer is meant for escapades, my family decided to try island hopping in what I deem the most beautiful place at the world’s end- Isla Higante. It is even more beautiful and virgin than Boracay which I think is not worthwhile for an urban getaway.

The place was a couple of hours from mainland Carles in the northern tip of Iloilo, where you would be welcomed by white sand beaches and boobies perching on huge boulders.  The view of Sicogon Island alone could make you jump from the motor boat and savor the grandiosity where it had once been known as the haven of God.  As we neared the place of Higante Norte, we disembarked and immersed in cool crystalline waters that either refreshed my soul or healed my longing to be in union with nature. The sand was fine as silk which was fascinating for a mortal like me to experience. The place was indeed holy for the natives for most of them owe their lives to the abundance of the sea. And upon docking at the island, one would be mesmerized by gigantic sea walls engineered by divine hands themselves. You wouldn’t believe that this place exists in a parochial and bucolic place in Iloilo. Ahhh!, I say, “there is nothing more beautiful in life than to experience beauty itself! And this place is divine beauty!”


The place was extraordinary and the experience would not have been complete unless you explored its rocky mountains. My brother and my cousins trekked the rock mountain of barangay Granada for two and a half hours. And when we reached the top, Lo! The UP flag was there signifying that UP students had conquered this place before. Had I brought my marker, I would write “Uno ka? 100 Ako.” The beauty became more exhilarating when we started to sing the “Top of the World.”

But as a curious man, I didn’t limit myself in mere experience for I always wanted to know. And so I roamed the community and asked the people about the place, its origin and myth. The place was indeed fascinating as every island has its story to tell, yet people were more enamored by the tale of Higantes.

Higantes Islands are two big islands endowed with rich natural beauty. On the north, lies the panoramic barangay Granada and barangay Asluman as the fishing drop point of the island. In Asluman, you would find the most satisfying shells like scallops, diwal, oysters, budyong¸ and tuklap-tuklap which are gathered for exportation. On the south, barangay Gabi stands majestically with its wide span of white sand beach (Antonea) and barangay Lantangan on the other end which is very mysterious because of its rock formations that exactly looks like Minas Tirith in Lord of the Rings. Some folks claimed that this was once a fortress or a castle of engkantados where they have sporadically seen a golden boat docking. It had a multitude of caves and a blue lagoon inside known as Tangke. Also, there are said to be sea portals in the place where you will be transported to Masbate and Aklan. According to the natives, the caves and portals were beautiful window drapes and Turkish doors long time ago. But as time progresses and human civilization advances, the beauty of a place regresses. This only means that the ascent of human knowledge is also the death of myths.

But why Higante? When you look at the two islands from a distance, you would see forms of two sleeping giants The one is called Babayi, which is located in the south (Sur) and the other Lalaki in the north (Norte). In the between the two islands were two big boulders which were called Higantuna and Higantillo, also known as children of the giants. In short this is a family group of islands, exactly suitable for families who like worthwhile adventures. In this life, we only have a lifetime to spend, and it is just beautiful to experience a paradise right here, right now way ahead our own deaths. If Dante’s Paradiso exists, it can be found in Higantes.


P.S. If you like to evade this boisterous world, come to Higante Islands and not to Boracay. You’ll be surprised how Boracay can be more urban compared to some cities in the Philippines. Higante is completely opposite because instead of hanging with people and wasting your pocket to zero you will be partying with nature itself – crows, boobies and hawks; crabs, lobsters, shrimps; scallops, oysters and other shells; monkeys and wild cats; sea snakes and eels; rays and tunas; corals and urchins. And believe it, we only spent a quarter of our total expense in Boracay!

  1. April 7, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Grrrr… you’re just making me envious!

  2. April 7, 2009 at 10:56 am

    …but I’m glad you were able to partake of nature’s wonders and have your soul refreshed. =)

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. I hope to visit your paradise in the future. =)

    ¤ ¤ ¤

    Trisha’s even more pretty now!

  3. O
    April 7, 2009 at 10:56 am

    unsa diay nang boobies bai?

    • totomel
      April 8, 2009 at 7:56 am

      these are birds with boobs. hahah.jowk! boobies are birds like ducks.i don’t how to describe it. basta mao na na.

  4. totomel
    April 8, 2009 at 7:53 am

    hahaha.. you should come and visit this place mir. trisha would be ver glad to meet you. 🙂

    and yes i was truly refreshed.

  5. April 11, 2009 at 5:34 am

    thanks sir for dropping by my post…nahiya ako dun…i am a neophyte to this blogging thing and am just writing from my heart…malinao is one of the 14 barangays of the 4th class municipality of bukidnon, known as Kalilangan Bukidnon. The term kalilangan came from a Maranao native tongue which means “extreme happiness”. It is bounded on the North by the Municipality of Talakag, on the East and South by the Municipality of Pangantucan and on the West by the Province of Lanao del Sur.

    My family grandparents were one of the grantees of the land settlement provided by the government. It is an agricultural land.

    If you have heard of the LASEDECO (Land Settlement and Development Corporation) in 195I, it has become one of the settlement areas under that project. Christian settlers came and settled in this place. When LASEDECO was dissolved, it was replaced immediately by National Resettlement Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA) during the time of the late President Ramon Magsaysay. Another batch of settlers came composed of different tribes and other ethnic groups in the country. They were Cebuanos, Waray, Boholanos, Bicolanos, Tagalogs, Ivatans, Ilonggos, Ilocanos, Capangpangan and other tribes in the island of Mindanao.

    the tremendous influx of settlers had made this an independent municipality…so halo halo mga tao dito but in Malinao, medyo solid yong Ivatan tribe. Ito yong mga settlers from Batanes Island. Marami din Ilonggo doon pero mostly nasa Uao part of Lanao del sur pero doon din ang daanan papunta sa Uao. actually magkalapit lang talaga yan sila…a matter of boundaries lang…since agricultural land siya, walang mga buildings doon like malls and amusement parks…pero siyempre marami mayayaman doon especially those who own big hectares of land…there are more agricultural stores there and rice and corn mill…small enterprises din…

    valencia city is also part of Bukidnon. it’s parang situated in between Cagayan de oro and Kalilangan. and i guess, the center of trade in Bukidnon…it’s a 3-hour drive from Cagayan de oro to Valencia and perhaps another 3 hours from Valencia to kalilangan. nasa bukidnon din xa kaya lang naging city na siya like Malaybalay city (magkalapait sila…ang haba ng explanation ko ano…

    oy, by the way po, parang I have heard of your “Isla Higante” na last time. I guess it was Dr. Charry Lucero from UP (Ilongga din siya) who mentioned this in one of her lectures…parang she talked about its myth…anyway, we should really be proud of our own paradise…thank you for the comment…

    • totomel
      April 12, 2009 at 4:42 am

      wow… thanks for the info maam. Kalilangan is such a beautiful term. no wonder why only in the Philippines will you find the best genre of people laughing amidst crisis and destitution. you deserve that label, we all deserve that label 🙂

      as for Dr. Lucero, i know about her though i haven’t get acquainted with her.hehehe. student lang po kasi.hehehe

  6. my
    April 14, 2009 at 1:26 am

    good day.
    do you have any contact number on where we could stay there?

    • totomel
      April 14, 2009 at 4:45 am

      sir, ill try to coordinate with the Provincial Tourism Office regarding about the contacts. ill email you as soon as i get the details.

  7. April 20, 2009 at 1:28 am

    I am a nature lover and I really get ecstatic when I see pictures and read posts of people coming to these places, where it is quite near my town, but I am not able to visit. So to start, we’re planning a trip to Ajuy, then to conception and maybe later to Isla Higantes.
    Thank for sharing this interesting place.

    thanks for the comment on my site 😉

    • totomel
      April 21, 2009 at 1:21 am

      you ought to visit it krish. 🙂

  8. April 23, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Sure thing, dude. I’d be honored to exchange links with you.

    Anyways, I think I’ve been on this island. I went to Carles when I was four, because a long time helper of the family lives there, and I do recall riding a motor boat to go to an island.

    Also, our helper’s father is an “Albolaryo” (but I think he’s genuine though) and he have some “ikog sang pagi” drying out in their backyard.

    • totomel
      April 23, 2009 at 8:55 am

      you better visit it again, its a sure paradise. thanks!

  9. joy
    April 29, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I am definitely convinced! I would like to visit Iloilo if I can get away from Manila in June. The picture that you painted certainly seems glorious.

    Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come back tomorrow!

    A Pinay In England
    Your Love Coach
    I, Woman

  10. totomel
    May 4, 2009 at 9:20 am


  11. AC
    May 9, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I’ve never been to Iloilo but I love to go there.. sana SOON. hehe.

    love the pix! 🙂

    btw, thanks for dropping by my page. 🙂

    i’ll come back here after my short vacation. 🙂

    • totomel
      May 10, 2009 at 7:22 am

      no problem AC…i wonder that your name means 🙂

      thanks for dropping by also.

      • AC
        May 11, 2009 at 2:45 am

        hehehe.. AC stands for anna cecilia. hahaha. 😆

        sikret lang (uy sikret daw oh haha) 😉

  12. xen
    May 10, 2009 at 7:37 am

    elow to… ayos ah… Keep up the good work!!!! God bless!!!

  13. totomel
    May 11, 2009 at 10:40 am

    thanks te :0

  14. meryll
    May 22, 2010 at 3:27 am

    hi! how can i go to isla higante? how much is the fare?

  15. Rochelle Cuencia
    June 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

    wow!beatiful place..God is good.thanks for the beuiful photo of Isla Gigante,nka visit na ako sa lugar na ito pero i sad d ko na na enjoy ang place becaue of the bad weather that time.

  16. Rochelle Cuencia
    June 21, 2010 at 12:13 am

    wow!beatiful place..God is good.thanks for the beutiful photo of Isla Gigante,nka visit na ako sa lugar na ito pero im sad d ko na na enjoy ang place because of the bad weather that time.

  17. Jungie
    June 21, 2010 at 12:32 am

    thanks for sharing this beautiful photos of Isla Gigante..im a native of this place beacuse my parents both came from this place but we move when i was 5 years old.im currently working here saudi,im happy to see the place is still the same.my last visit in 2003 i really enjoy the same scenery,i wish nga maayo gihapon ang place.please help me encourage the people living here to take care of the Gods gift.thanks..

  18. Jungie
    June 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

    thanks for sharing this beautiful photos of Isla Gigante..im a native of this place because my parents both came from this place but we moved when i was 5 years old.im currently working here in saudi,im happy to see the place is still the same.my last visit in 2003 i really enjoy the same scenery,i wish nga maayo gihapon ang place.please help me encourage the people living here to take care of the Gods gift.thanks..

  1. May 4, 2009 at 7:11 am

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