The Philippines’ Hidden Gem

The Visayas is often associated with beautiful beaches. The popularity of Boracay, however, sometimes over-shadow the other similarly beautiful beaches scattered in the area. Among which are the 16 hidden gems of Concepcion in the Province of Iloilo. Concepcion is just 2.5 to 3 hours away from Iloilo City, hence, a great place to visit when in Iloilo.

If taking a bus, it is best to stay overnight as the last trip in Concepcion going back to Iloilo City is at 3pm and 4pm for going to Sara (the next municipality where there are several bus trips by Ceres Liner going to the city). If bringing a private vehicle, one day of fun is do-able.

The maximum number of islands that one can visit in one day is three: Pan de Azucar, Agho Island, and Bolobadiangan Island.

Take a Leganes-bound jeepney and get off at Tagbak Terminal in Jaro. HPQ Liner has regular trips going to Concepcion daily. Take note, however, of the last trip which is at 3pm. Beyond 3pm, Sara-bound jeepneys are available and from Sara, there are numerous bus trips bound for Iloilo City.

The Philippines' Hidden Gem

Pan de Azucar is 40 minutes away by boat from the mainland. It is famous for Mt. Manaphag, towering at 573 meters and ideal for mountain climbing. As one approaches the island, one can already see the looming presence of the steep mountain. There are no resorts in the island. There are, however, several rest houses owned by the town’s prominent residents. Unless you know them, camping is the only way to go. The beach is not really a good place to swim anymore. One could check out an interesting rock formation on one side of the island instead.

agho island

Approximately 25 minutes from Pan de Azucar, is Agho Island. Agho Island is a paradise. One can have the island for the whole day without anyone else. Besides being private, the sand is white, the scenery picturesque, the breeze heavenly, and the water crystal clear. It is noted for different kinds of shells and Tabon birds. A word of caution though, there may be sea urchins in the area depending on the season. There are no resorts in the island. Only the caretakers inhabit the island. So, if one would like to stay the night, one should bring a tent and enough food and water. Do not fret, Malangabang Island (where a sari-sari store is available) is just a kilometer away.

Bolobadiangan island

Bolobadiangan Island is often visited by tourists because of its long and winding white sandbar. During low-tide, the sand bar extends as far as if it almost touches the next island. Owned by the heirs of the Eusala family, accommodations is available through the Sand Bar Beach Resort situated in the island. There are simple cottages that visitors can rent, which ranges from Php500-800. One can also rent or bring their own tents and pay a minimal amount. The island resort does not have a restaurant, so one should bring their own food and drinking water. Water for bathing is for sale at Php10/gallon.

Concepcion beaches offer world-class quality beaches. It would be a shame not to visit these hidden gems, when it is so close to Iloilo City.

Contacts:

Accommodations

Junbee Recreation Center – Concepcion

Mr. Augusto “Jun” Garilva: 09209021681; 3920371; hoteljunbee@yahoo.com

Sandbar Beach Resort – Bolobadiangan Island

Mr. Rex Eusala: 09207198042

Agho Island: 09296089830; 09155454616

Boat

Ronnie (boatman): 09072897111

Sandbar boat operator: 09129575002

Municipal Tourism Officer – Mario Lazarito: 09085929096; mariolazarito@yahoo.com

Rates

Accommodations

Junbee accommodation: P200/pax

Sandbar accommodation (big cottage): P800

Boating

3-island tour with Ronnie: P1800

Sandbar boat operator: P2000 (back and forth only)

Island tour arrangement with Municipal Tourism Officer: P1500 (small boat), P1800 (2-island tour), P2200 (3-island tour)

Entrance Fees

Agho Island: P50/head

Bolobadiangan Island: P25/head

Bus

P120 each way/head

for more photos

Pan de Azucar

Agho Island

Bolobadiangan Island

for a video

Agho Island

Written by Lagaw

Lagaw is a hiligaynon term, meaning to travel. The word aptly describes me. I love to take pictures and to discover the great sights and sounds of my country … and hopefully the rest of the world. I consider my pictures as my way of promoting the Philippine Islands.

I especially enjoyed the white sand beaches of Boracay, Puerto Galera, Guimaras, Concepcion in Iloilo, Honda bay in Palawan, natural bath tub of Taal Volcano, old churches of Vigan and Iloilo, rocky road of Capones Island, exhilirating beauty of Mt. Pinatubo, mystical mountain of Zambales, freezing shower baths of Baguio, beautiful stalactite and stalagmites of the underground river of Palawan, magnificent limestone cliffs & lagoons of El Nido and Coron, the ukay-ukay (bargain shopping) of hollywood, dark alleys of New York, high rise buildings of Chicago, grand memorials of Washington D.C., old dominion charm of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the tabing ilog (river) of Calinog in Iloilo.

Comments

  1. pinoy boy journals says:

    great post flip, will definitely be checking out concepcion on my next trip to ilo-ilo,, seeing the photos makes me want to book a flight already! but if i'm travelling alone, a three island boat trip for P1800 may just be a bit expensive.

  2. pinoy boy journals says:

    nice post flip, will be looking forward to going sa concepcion on my next trip to ilo-ilo. it seems quite a good place to chillax and get away from all the crowds and tourists. but the three island tour may be a bit too expensive since i might be traveling alone. thanks!

  3. yeah it might, but im sure you'll find someone to travel with or maybe you can hitchhike a boat (heard other people do it, havent tried it though)

    btw, this post is written by Lagaw

    if you're interested to be a guest writer in Flip you can write an article about your hometown and send it to me :-)

    thanks man!

  4. pinaysolobackpacker says:

    This is one of my must-see in Iloilo this year but 3 island would cost a lot pala..hmmm..I could probably go with pinoy boy huh? hehe thnx for sharing this flip! =)

  5. :-) sama! hehe

  6. Boracay Hotels says:

    I've heard so many things about boracay. And i believed that this place will be perfectly for relaxing…

    Tanya Gemarin

  7. Cagayan de Oro says:

    I have not been to these places you had featured, but I definitely want to visit them! Truly there's a lot to discover in the Phils.http://www.cdokay.com/

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