Isla de Gigantes (Island of the Giants) is located at the Northern tip of Iloilo in Panay Island, Philippines. Considered as one of the unspoiled and less traveled beach in Iloilo, only a few have dared to travel in these parts since it is not as accessible compared to the towns along the main highways of Panay Island, to the lucky ones that have ventured here, an ultimate tropical paradise awaits to the travel savvy sojourner’s. Legends has it that the Gigantes Islands are reigned with “giants” way back then, and this is supported with artifacts such as “8 ft Coffins” found in one of its many caves.
The first stop for the island tour is the Gaket- Gaket Island a sandbar with two coconut trees and small huts for fishermen who are out at sea. Because of its ideal location, fishermen stop here every so often before continuing their journey or going home.
“Tangke” as the locals called it. It is a salt water lagoon formed by a surrounding wall of monolithic cliffs. The lagoon is one of the most beautiful spots in Isla de Gigantes yet also the most mysterious its like the lagoon is shrouded in concealment and mysticism, it is surrounded by lush greens and trees inhabited by monkeys if you ask a local why the lagoon is so clean that no single leaf scatters the water, locals will tell you that theirs someone keeping the lagoon clean and that creature is cannot be seen by the naked eye some sort of a “Diwata” or “Nymph” (creepy). When we got there we immediately immerse ourselves in its emerald green waters. c’mon who can resists this beauty? Just imagine dipping yourself in the serenity of nature…ah divine!
Cabugao Island is composed of “two” beaches and beautiful rock formations, this is our favorite beach among all. Its inviting waters is perfect for swimming, while you can choose your sunbathing spot on its spacious soft sands. Do not miss climbing the rock formations for a great view of the beaches and the vast ocean.
“Gigantes Island Hide away” the only resort in the island owned and managed by the Tourism officer of Carles, Mr. Joel Decano. The rate is 200 pesos per person per night, regardless of how many rooms you want to occupy.
We spend a night in this “Bahay Kubo” style house, im in love with the place its like a you’re in a Robinson Crusoe’s island plus we have our own mini pool in front of the house. How awesome was that? The water they use is “Spring water” fresh from the mountain springs of Gigantes Island.
Tinago Beach or Hidden Beach is an island secluded from the rest of Gigantes group of islands because it is at the back of the islets and mostly unnoticed by many island hoppers. Well, supposedly that was what going to happen but Mr Joel our tourguide showed each and every island as a part of our Island itinerary. The best time to go there is during low tides for the sand is generously wide.
Our main goal why we got here is to take the Engagement-session of my sister and her fiance’. Mr. Joel told us that my sister and her fiance’ would be the first couple ever to take prenuptial shooting in Isla Gigantes (how lucky we are to hear that). I swear the island is so perfect in prenuptial photoshoots every view is just breathtaking. Im the lucky guy who made the ‘Save the date’ video while Dirk Pasquin is the Photographer. (I’l post the link of the e-session output at the end of the blog).
Antonia Island a small island composed of beautiful rock formations, white sands, coconut trees, azure waters and a family of dogs ready to welcome you anytime.
The sand bar is just perfect for video shoots, like a post card of natural beauty the sand bar is a complete package; the clash of waves, the gentle blow of the ocean breeze, tropical coconut trees and the wild birds that patrol the island. These perfect combination makes the whole video so surreal… wanderlust!
The lighthouse is located in Barangay Asluman, Gigantes Norte. At the top of the lighthouse the vast ocean and the neighboring islands can be seen. If you’re in Gigantes don’t miss going here, a panoramic view of the islands can be captured by your camera.
The island is bountiful in marine lives, freshly catch seafoods are up for sale to tourist. We bought 2 large squids from a local fisherman for just 100 pesos (its super cheap) these large squids could have even cost 300-500 pesos if bought outside Isla Gigantes.
We had an amazing time visiting Isla Gigantes, Thanks to Mr. Joel for the best accommodation, (that’s him wearing white shirt and brown-striped shorts). I must say the island is one of Philippine’s best unexplored and less traveled beach. I hope Isla Gigantes wont be a commercialize beach like that of Boracay and let it remain virgin and serene: an ultimate tropical paradise!
There are no real giants in Isla Gigantes; what I saw instead are hospitable people standing tall and proud with their prized possession: the islands itself.
A hidden paradise of the Philippines ripe for the world to see – Isla de Gigantes!
Click here to see the “Prenup Photoshoot”
Click here to see the “Save the Date Video”