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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Irresistible Iloilo (Part 2)

Iloilo Golf and Country Club in the town of Santa Barbara is the oldest golf and country club in Asia built in 1907 and opened to public in 1913.

Agony Hill in the town of Alimodian is a popular destination of pilgrims during the Holy Week. It is so called to commemorate the passion and agony of Jesus Christ before and during the crucifixion and his resurrection.

Tinagong Dagat in Lambunao is said to be teeming with bountiful marine resources.

Mt. Salihid in Barotac Nuevo has a cave that is so tidy and pleasant looking that it more looks like a grotto than a cave.

        Next stop is San Joaquin. From the outskirts entering the town can be seen is the coral stone walled cemetery of San Joaquin with an iron gate. Before you enter the cemetery and go beyond its gate with its intricate design, you will be caught in a catchy phrase attached to the arched iron grill above the main gate confronting everyone with the inevitability of death. It says “What you are I was, What I am you will be.” The two pillars supporting the decorative archway were ornately carved with flowers and tendrils showing the influence of Gothic architecture. Ascending the 20 steps staircase, it was flanked on both sides with a stone balustrade. One can then reach the main entrance of the hexagonal chapel on top which is ornamented by a rose window. The chapel is made of coral rocks and built in 1892. San Joaquin was formerly called “Soaragani,” “Suiragan” and “Suaraga” based on the name of the river Siwaragan which, in turn, was named after a poisonous snake “suiraga.” It was the former “encomienda” of the Spanish king under the stewardship of Esteban de Figueroa. It was also the place where the Jesuit scholar and historian Fr. Pedro Chirino was first assigned. San Joaquin was once a “visita” of Hamtic, Antique. It became an independent parish known as San Joaquin only in 1801. The popular San Joaquin parish church facade commemorates the 1859 Spanish victory over the Moroccan forces at the Battle of Tetuan, North Africa. Considered as the most militaristic church in the Philippines, the pediment’s bas relief sculpture entitled “Rendicion de Tetuan” which reveals the cavalry and infantry led by St. James, the Moor-slayer, breaking the Moorish defenses under a minaret tower against a landscape of date palms. The sculpture was so intricate that even the expression of wounded soldiers is visible. The original pigments of blue, yellow and red have remained unfaded on the stone through the years. The mural portrays beautifully and graphically the triumph of good over evil.
          Father Tomas Santaren, a Spanish priest, built the church with himself as master architect, assisted by a layman engineer, Don Felipe Diaz, and with an array of skilled masons, famous sculpture, celebrated painters and craftsmen from Spain and Mexico. The church is made of gleaming coral stone called “sillar,” shaped rectangularly into a given dimension and was quarried from the mountains of Igbaras. When Father Santaren was half-way through the construction of the church, the news of the victory of the Spanish forces over the Saracens in Tetuan reached the Philippines. Feeling patriotic, he immortalized the event in the stoneof the church pediment. The church was completed in 1869. On February 4, 1896, Father Santaren died and was buried right under the altar of the church. In 1974, the church was declared a national shrine. In 1982, reconstruction and restoration of the church was initiated by the National Historical Committee.
         Cataan cove is a popular spots for tourists located in San Joaquin. Underneath the depths of the cove’s dark-blue, almost imperceptibly motionless waters is a beautiful marine garden which is a favorite hunting ground of the scuba divers and other marine sports enthusiasts. This place is also a favorite hangout of picnic goers and hideaway of vacationers during the hot summer months. A historical marker has been placed near the bridge in Siwaragan River. It reads, “On this place landed the ten Bornean datus in the middle of the 13th century and bought the island of Panay with a beaten gold hat and a long necklace of gold called manangyad from the Negrito or Ati chieftain Marikudo, long before the Indians sold Manhattan to European settlers.”A town next to San Joaquin going to the city is Igbaras where the famous Nadsadjan Falls in Barangay Passi is located. The falls with its roaring, sparkling, and gushing cascade of water booming as it hit the foaming basin below, is hidden by tall cogon grasses and trees only reachable by a long winding trail. The falls’ cascade drops at a height of 50 feet into the cauldron-like basin below. This basin serves as a natural swimming pool on which everyone could enjoy swimming.
          Three towns in central Iloilo past the perimeter where the former Iloilo Domestic Airport is located in Mandurriao is the ALEOSAN area which stands for the towns of Alimodian, Leon and San Miguel. A town in ALEOSAN area, Leon can be reached by passing through the towns of San Miguel and turn left at the intersection in Barangay Bancal, in the town of Alimodian.
          Leon’s former name was “Camando.” That is why most people who are natives of the place have surnames beginning with letter C. On April 4, 1903, a law was enacted by the Philippine Commission which fused the towns of Alimodian, Leon and San Miguel with Leon as the “cabecera” (capital) and Alimodian and San Miguel as the “arabales” (territories). It was only on January 1, 1916 when San Miguel was given an independent status as a municipality. It was much later, on December 31, 1918, when Alimodian was granted the full-fledged status as a municipality. The famous destination in Leon known as the Little Baguio of Iloilo is the Bucari mountain ranges. Upon reaching and walking through the wide, grassy, and flat surface on the side of the road, one can climb on the edge of the precipice and get a commanding view of the breathtaking scenery offered by the mountain range. Here you can see the panorama of stair-like rice terraces similar to the Ifugao Rice Terraces at Benguet, the lush vegetation of the virgin forests of the surrounding mountains and hills, the verdant fields of the valley below interspersed with the glistening rooftops of the houses in the distant barangays beyond and below. The forest in Bucari is the Bucari Forest Reservation. Historically, on this place, the former Governor Tomas Confesor organized the civil resistance government on June , 1942 on instructions by President Quezon.
          Once you return on the concrete road of Barangay Agboy, Leon turn left at the intersection at Barangay Bancal and you racing through Barangay Binalud approaching the town of Alimodian. The Alimodiananon traced back their ancestry to Datu Paibare’s tribe of Datu Paiburong’s clan. The town was formally established in 1754 by Capitan Agustin Magtanong. It was named such according to three versions: one, that it was named after Magtanong’s first-born son, Ali Mudin; second, that it was named after the Cabudian Creek upon its bank the founding fathers decided to establish the poblacion; third, that it was a result of the miscommunication between the natives and the Spaniards who were told “halin kamo dyan” (go away) by the natives for fear that they will be hit by the falling coconuts they were gathering.
         Reaching Barangay Balabago, one can tell the story in that area during World War II. On the spot, the men of the 61st Division, G-3, of Lt. Col. Macario Peralta Jr., staged the first ambush ¬¬on the Japanese convoy of trucks killing its occupants including the one belonging to an imperial blood. The incident that took place on May 3, 1942 sparked the start of the guerilla warfare in Panay.
Going further one can reach Alimodian’s town plaza¬¬ and towards the sloping Nichols St. (formerly Don Fernando Lopez St.) crossed the Aganan River and follow the access road of Sitio Taba and reach a historical marker where the infamous, horrifying Taban Massacre took place. Ascending and trekking further, one can reach the chapel of Our Lady of Fatima at the foot of Igcaras Hill just below the life-size first Station of the Cross of the famed Agony Hill. You can trek along the rocky, winding trail, intermittently coveredby sparsely growing yet tall cogon grasses and some trees and you will pass each and every stations of the Fourteen Stations of the Cross and as well as you can have a breath taking view at the edge of the precipice the long and winding Aganan River and the whole town of Alimodian. Upon reaching the niche-carved fourteenth station, you can ascend the bulging hill top to the wall-less, chairless chapel and from there one can see the gigantic statues of Christ and the two thieves crucified on the towering concrete crosses which were impaled on concrete pedestals over a concrete flooring bordered by low concrete benches. This was erected on a small bulge, a little below and east of the chapel.
        Another center of attraction is the centuries old coral stone church with its ruined belfry showing prominently its bells. The whole structure of the church and convent and about two-thirds of its belfry collapsed during the titanic earthquake called “Lady Kaykay” on January 18, 1948. Tinagong Linaw at Sitio Bina, Barangay Bugang of this town prides of its tranquil, absolutely calm waters and fits for someone who wants to commune with nature. Descending the trail down to the river below, you will be greeted on its bank the crashing sound of its rushing waters as it cascaded down into a raging rapids beneath the gigantic granite rocks which rose loftily along the river bed of Sitio Ugnong, Barangay Tugaslon.
        Moving further traveling through the long, bumpy and dusty trip at a levelled rough road of Barangay Bagumbayan crossing the Aganan River, one can reach Barangay Siwalo of the Municipality of Maasin. Following a narrow, graveled trail which ended on a concrete path that lead them to a secluded nook of a forested hillside shaded by thick mangrove and undergrowth, one can be lead to the famous Paet Mineral Spring, a tourist attraction in Maasin, Iloilo and it is so called because of its salty spring. The place is cool because it is covered with thick trees. The water squirting from an underground spring into the twin concrete tubes above it is salty and is said to have a healing effect on some illnesses. Maybe it is brought by Our Lady of Lourdes whose statue inside the nearby grotto could have blessed the sick ones. Another breath taking view to behold is the Daja Irrigation Dam at the outskirts of the town proper. One can watch with fascination the strong water current as it went through the check valve and rushed out in a gushing stream into a bubbling cauldron-like basin below and observe how calm and placid it is until it is until it spilled over the second lower spillway over there. I heard that the waters of the dam came from the mountain springs in the watershed area of Maasin called “Linea.”
          Next is Cabatuan with its century-old coral stone church as its popular destination for the religious. Cabatuan church is a neo-classical in its architectural style and was built in the early 1880s. Its sidewall is a facade itself. While the main facade is decorated with the Augustinian symbol of a transfixed heart, its rear facade has three circular windows. You will note also that all its walls are in bricks. Roman Catholic cemetery of Cabatuan is also a point of interest but not morbid enough to be feared. This cemetery is built in 1886 on a two-hectare lot. Its walls and chapel are made of coral rock and sandstone. Its Campo Santo or chapel has six sides with a Doric column attached to the walls and an altar in the middle. The World War II hero Tomas Confesor and the noted Ilonggo poet Flavio Zaragoza Cano were buried here. After Cabatuan is the municipality of Janiuay where the town’s church located on a slope facing the town plaza.
          Janiuay church retains its old ruins even if it undergone renovations. Inside its lofty belfry are the bells of the JD Reyna Foundry in Iloilo of the 1871 and 1898 vintage. Janiuay was founded in 1770 as “Hanioway,” later hispanized as Janiuay. The town’s cemetery is located on a sprawling hilltop and one must climb its coral stone steps of one of the stairways to reach its massive gates. This famous Hispano- Filipino cemetery was built in 1875 of shaped stones and fossil rocks. Its two wide, arched gates have two huge columns which were decorated with carved seraphs and cherubs in Gothic design. The chapel at the center has six Gothic windows and two Gothic doors. This hilly cemetery took ten long years to be completed. Conceived in January, 1874 by Fr. Fernando Llorente, it was finished on November 5, 1884 and was inaugurated on November 20, 1884. Leaving Janiuay for Lambunao, one can cross the Janiuay bridge where two concrete pillboxes were seen at both ends. The two Japanese concrete pillboxes built during the Second World War. One of them is about 25 feet tall with a diameter of 9 feet. These pillboxes were manned and defended by Japanese soldiers who were later flushed out by the Filipino guerillas.
         Lambunao next to Janiuay is a town surrounded by evergreen valleys, rolling hills and silent plateaus. The present site of the poblacion of Lambunao is a plateau called “Daraiton.” It was established there in 1879 since its transfer from the old site because the former site was always flooded with the overflow of the Ulian River. The famed “Tinagong Dagat” is located at Barangay Daanbanwa. On this barangay, Lt. Col. Macario Peralta Jr. Organized a guerilla force called the Free Panay Force together with Lt. Col. Leopoldo Relunia, Captains Jose Alvior, Francisco Offemaria, Pedro Serra and Jose Castigador. Tinagong Dagat or Hidden Sea can be reached through a hilly trail and takes about an hour to walk. The placid lake is situated at the mountain top near the Iloilo- Antique border, about 2,000 feet above sea level. This Tinagong Dagat lies on a 40 hectare highland of ridges and cliffs. This tranquil and unruffled lake, besides being picturesque, is also bountiful of eels, edible snails, carps and other fish. The famous Marikudo Hill is situated between Lambunao and Calinog. It was believed to be the last hunting ground of Marikudo after he sold the island of Panay to the Bornean datus. It is a natural landmark reminding the Ilonggos of Marikudo. The distant towering peak of the colossal Mount Baloy has a base where rain forests are thick and vast. It was at its foot, Sitio Dila-dila, where on April 18, 1942, the Japanese forces were repulsed after a two-day fierce battle with the elements of the 1st Battalion, 63rd Infantry Regiment, USAFFEE, under Capt. Julian Chavez. Its lofty, nearly vertical peak stood as a challenge to mountain climbers. It was only on June 4, 1977 at 4 p.m. when a 28-man safari team scaled its height after a gruelling 12-day trek on tortous and perilous ravines and deep gullies which no man has ever trodden before.
          The town of Duenas is next. Duenas, formerly named “Laglag” was founded by Fr. Fernando de Morales in 1590 under the name Sumandig. It was only in 1854 that Fr. Florencio Martin relocated the town to its present site and changed its name to Duenas in honor of his hometown in Palencia, Spain. The massiveness of the facade and of the bell towers is of Baroque influence while the dome is of Romanesque influence. Heavy Doric columns are mounted on rectangular sections divided into three equal segments. The roundness of the front columns contrasts with the flat rectangular pilasters of the side walks. The exterior of this church follows the Doric order of architecture while the interior follows the Tuscan order of architecture. The next town after Duenas in the southeast is the town of Dingle with its yellow sandstone church as its main point of interest.
          The church of Dingle was built in 1800s. Dingle Parish was formerly a “visita” of Pototan with a former name of “Baong,” a name taken from the site where it was originally located. This church was built when it was an independent parish in 1829 with a Baroque style of architecture. Its interior architecture is characterized by the Corinthian order of architecture as engraved in its massive columns. Moroboro Springs located at the outskirts of Dingle, is a favorite picnic area for tourists because of its hot springs, pools and natural locations suitable for scouting and camping. That is why it is the usual location of activities for provincial scouting jamboree. Another location in Dingle related to scouting is the Camp Pasica, the permanent camping ground ¬¬¬of the Iloilo Girl Scout Council, which was named after the three barangays – Pandan, Sinibaan, and Calicuang. Camp Pasica is a verdant rolling hills dotted with shady treees where the girl scouts used to construct their tents. On a gully carved between the two hills is a concrete stage and beside it is a huge, towering flagpole. Farther east is another though smaller stage a few meters away facing the larger one and constructed for a special ceremony during the jamboree. Next town is Sta. Barbara with its popular neo-classical church as a point of interest in that town. Here in the parish house of this church, Gen. Martin Delgado of the Visayan Revolutionary Government convened the “junta” that raised the first cry of revolution of Iloilo. Because of this and the fact that Sta. Barbara was designated as the seat of the revolutionary government in Western Visayas and headquarters of the Filipino revolutionaries under General Aguinaldo, both the church and the convent were spared from destruction during the hostilities of the revolution. Even during the Japanese Occupation, they remained untouched. They were not damaged even by the earthquake of 1948.
         Santa Barbara was a former “visita” of Jaro named as “Catmon.” Its name was changed to that of its patroness Sta. Barbara Virgen y Martir after it was declared as an independent parish in 1760. The church was built in 1849 with a Baroque-Renaissance style of architecture. The large stone blocks used as construction materials were quarried from the mountains of Alimodian and transported by carabao-drawn carts through the almost impassable roads especially during the rainy months. It took almost 30 years to be completed.
         Sta.Barbara Golf and Country Club with its terrain consisted of undulating hills and wavy fairways is another famous attraction. This 37-hectare golf course which was built in 1907 and opened to public in 1913 is the oldest golf course in Asia. Organized originally by 13 British and American employees of the various businesses in Iloilo City, it was first named as Polo Golf Club. During the war, it was razed to the ground with all its houses and cottages. It was subsequently used as camp site of American forces during the American Liberation. After the war, the foreign members and golfers regrouped and reorganized the club, renaming it as the Iloilo Golf and Country Club where it is presently located with its white and green rustic club house. Its original 9 holes were expanded to an 18-hole course which since then earned a distinction as one of the best in the country.
Cadagmayan Norte Camp site, 65-hectare camp site with rolling hills and lush vegetation. This camp site was the venue of the Boy Scouts National Jamboree in 1987. Its rolling hills and verdant fields fringed with tall ipil-ipil and other trees, coupled with abundant underground springs made it the most suitable site for a national jamboree.
          Pavia is next famous for their church with its red-brick facade. Pavia was founded as an independent parish in 1862 but the church made of bricks and wood was built between 1864 and 1873 by Fr. Policarpio Minayo. It was only between 1898 and 1899 when it was fully completed by Fr. Lazaro Ramirez and officially opened for public worship. During the war, the church was used as a garrison by the Japanese causing the guerillas to conduct occasional raids on it which pockmarked and defaced its walls. The convent was destroyed and never rebuilt.
          Leganes is a town nearer to the city just 20 minutes from Iloilo City. First stopover is the Neo-Classical church of Leganes with its white-stucco facade. Every year, this church of St. Vincent Ferrer is being flocked by pilgrims from near and far just to fulfill their vow to the patron saint of Leganes. That is why Leganes is called the “Mecca of Iloilo.” Originally a “visita” of Jaro, Leganes was established in 1858 as an independent parish while the construction of the church started in 1874 by Father Andres Haves but it was totally destroyed by the earthquake of 1948. This church was reconstructed by Msgr. Menelao Braganza with its nave and two aisles following the Doric architecture. After Leganes is Dumangas passing through the towns of Zarraga and Barotac Nuevo with another red brick church. This church is considered as one if not the oldest of the churches in Panay . In fact, Dumangas earned the distinction of being the first town to have received the faith and the first to have a chapel built. The Augustinians who accompanied the first Spanish expeditions to prevent any harm to be done to the natives, landed first in Dumangas, formerly named Jalaud, where they built the first chapel. The old church made mostly of bricks was constructed in 1887 but time and wars caused severe damages to it.
          Another attraction in Dumangas is in Barangay Ermita and into the Lacaran beach and upon reaching the shores, one can see from the distance bulges of islands in the midst of the sea which are called Siete Pecados and one can notice a gleaming speck on top of a smaller island called Roca Encantada.
         Next town is Barotac Nuevo, the football capital of the Philippines with a national football training complex built there. Barotac Nuevo is called the football capital of the Philippines because almost all people there loves to play football because football for them is life. They already produced national players, coaches and they even exported players to other football clubs in Europe and coaches to other Asian countries. Another point of interest in Barotac Nuevo is the Lamintao beach where viewing the vast expanse of the beach from a vantage point, one can be convinced that the place is really ideal for picnic and camping with its grounds covered by creeping grasses and shaded by uniformly grown coconut trees. Its clear, dark-blue waters were gentle as they reached the sandy shore. Mt. Salihid cave can be reached by ascending a winding and rocky trail bordered by tall reeds and cogon grasses under the tall shady trees and fronting above the verdant hills and plains. Mt. Salihid Shrine is confined in the cave of Mt. Salihid. Occasionally, a priest holds a mass there but the most crowded days are those during the Holy Week when a flock of devotees congregate there for a pilgrimage. This cave is neat and pleasant-looking, not eerie or weird, for it is well-maintained and cared of because of the frequent visitors to this place. In fact, this cave looks more of a grotto than a cave. What makes the environment comforting to see is the lush vegetation surrounding the whole mountain of Salihid.
          Next town is Banate where a historical landmark can be found at Barangay Carmelo with a rectangular shaped concrete monument thats serves as a marker. This historical landmark marking the spot used as a hiding place of the Spanish authorities from the marauding Moros during the Spanish regime and was formerly called the Spanish bailiwick. Barotac Viejo is a town famous for its Nagpana Falls with its great waterfall cascading radiantly in all its splendor. Moving closer to the edge of the falls, notice that the site is elevated and one can see the beautiful scenery below, the vast verdant plains, the rice terraces, the round hilltops of the surrounding hills, and the winding streams and creeks. In the innermost portion of the virgin forest around this falls are abundant wildlife. Thus, it is an ideal hunting ground. Near this place is the settlement area of the Aetas who learned to improve their way of living with the presence of the elementary school constructed there. Balaring beach at Barangay San Francisco is about 9 kilometers away from Barotac Viejo town proper. The beach is tree studded with beautiful rocks, colored stones and peebles scattered along the lengthy stretch of the beach. Colored peebles and stone are even plentiful under the water. Just a few kilometers away from Barotac Viejo is the Camp Higher Ground where one can see from afar the island of Negros particularly the town of Victorias. One can also stroll along the sloping, grass-covered grounds shaded by thickly grown mahogany, ipil-ipil, and pine trees which totally hid the spacious building standing at the center of the site. This place is the favorite venue for seminars, retreats, conferences or excursions. In fact, this building here houses the participants to various seminars and training programs of the government agencies, private entities and religious organizations.
            After Banate, the next town is Ajuy where a very relaxing resort called Hilltop will allow anyone to see the islets between Negros and Iloilo. Dangulan Camping Hill can also be found in this town where you can stroll along its shaded, grass-covered grounds and is suitable for picnics, excursions, camping and jamboree with its location overlooking the scenic view of the sea beyond. Santa Ana Waterfall is the favorite bathing place of excursionists from the town proper and the neighboring barangays. What is distinct in this waterfall is its cute natural basin which invites even the little children to swim without endangering them to be drowned.  The small cave beside it serves as a shelter for the farmers and strangers who are unluckily caught by sudden downpour. It is also a place where picnickers cook and eat their meas after swimming at the pool.
           Darangkulan Waterfall is a secluded spot surrounded by tall trees where a waterfall is found on its rock walls. It can be reached only by a long, winding rocky trail. This fall is located at the foot of Mount Manyakis, the highest peak in the town of Ajuy. The place is exceedingly cool and relaxing. The smooth and flat boulders bulging around the rim of the falls are used as seats by the bystanders who would be contented of watching only the swimmers enjoying their swim. 
           Another attraction in Ajuy is the noted Dumingding Cave. Following the path towards the interior, one can find a small stream gently flowing from the inner portion which came from a spring beneath the rocky walls. Though the interior of the cave is not totally pitch dark because of the sun's rays streaking partially inside its mouth. Calabasa Island is a government-owned island in Ajuy but only a few people benefited from it. This island has a great potential as a tourist attraction if it is converted as a beach resort. On the depths around this island is a vast underwater playground for scuba divers and marine sports enthusiasts. Following a winding, ascending, rocky trail , one can plod to a grassy plain at the upper portion of the island. This part of the island is suitable as playground for any athletic game. 
         Only 450 meters away from Calabasa Island is Nasidman Island another famed island ideal as potential beach resort. It's most distinctive feature is its immaculately clean waters and shore. Reaching the topmost portion of island, they viewed the whole area which they felt is ideal for relaxation and meditation. Punta Buri is 6 nautical miles from the town proper of Ajuy. One can take the winding, ascending trail after disembarking from the pumbboats to reach the topmost portion of the island. This area is frequented by picnickers and excursionists for their day and night swimming. Tagubanhan Island is the biggest and farthest island of Ajuy. The island is composed of two barangays. This Barangay Tagubanhan is the larger portion of the two. The smaller, eastern portion is called Bagongon. This portion is a part of Ajuy while the other one is a part of the town of Concepcion. The whole stretch of the beach surrounding the island is covered mostly by white sands while the depths of the sea are the best side for scuba diving. The town next to Ajuy is Concepcion.  
     Igbon Island in Concepcion has a long stretch of white sand beach. A lighthouse can be found in the nearby island and was erected to guide fishing boats and other shipping vessels in order to avoid any mishaps or accident. This island is part of the cluster of islands serving as protective cover of fishing boats and other vessels which were caught offshore by a raging typhoon. This group includes the big islands of Malangabang and Botlog and smaller other islands. The waters on this island is also ideal for scuba diving. This is also one of the richest fishing grounds in Northern Iloilo. In fact, most of the fish caught in the surrounding waters of this island are sold to Estancia. Once there was even a big whale caught in the waters off this island.
      The famous Pan de Azucar Island is aso found in Concepcion town. The white sand beach of this famed island is mixed with various seashells of the kind and shape like the ones in Igbon Island. The two peaks if viewed from the mainland seemed to look like one because they are adjoined by each other. The highest peak in the island, Manaphag resembles a sugar loaf like the Sugar Loaf Mountain of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil with its steep, tapering, rocky summit. In fact, the name itself of the island Pan de Azucar is Spanish for "sugar loaf." The virgin forest surrounding these two mountain peaks remained unexploited and unspoiled and its lush vegetation served as a shield concealing the rare fauna and exotic flora in its bosom. This island is actually consists of five barangays or local villages namely: Tambalisa, Talutoan, Looc, Macatunaw and Baguntao. 
            The people of these villages benefited much from the large scale mass production of dried fish found in nearby Malangabang Island which also serves as docking area of fishing boats from the neighboring islands. Also found in the island of Malangabang is cape-like point of the island which extends to a few meters into the sea. This scenic spot is a favorite rendezvous of promenaders, especially in the late afternoon when they could see the picturesque seascape by sunset. 
           The next town after Concepcion is Sara. San Juan Falls is a popular waterfall in Sara. This fall  consist of a series of smaller cascades falling on top of each other  forming each time a pool on a natural basin. The stair-like form of this fall is so attractive and refreshing that once you started bathing on one of those pools, you will feel that you will not like to leave the place anymore. The thickly growing trees and the lush vegetation around contributed greatly to the coolness and the abundance of the clear water of this place. This is a favorite picnic ground of the people in this town and neighboring towns. Another popular waterfalls in Sara is Puruguan Falls. Barangay Ardemil is a hilly barangay or village perched prominently atop a rocky plateau. This barangay is located on a highly elevated site overlooking the wide plains and smaller hills below. During sunset one can see the whole panorama of ricefields with the surrounding trees, hills and mountains bathed in the golden glow or the amber shade of sunset.
           Next stop is the town of Estancia where the famed Sicogon Island is found. One can reach it by the wharf on the waterfront just a few meters away from the market. Sicogon Island has a whole long stretch expansive beach fully covered by as thick mantle of white sand fringed only on the far outer edge by thick rows of coconut trees. This island consists of three barangays namely San Fernando, Alipata and Buaya. It was on the white sand beach of San Fernando where the former Miss Universe 1969, Gloria Diaz had her location shooting of her first film "Ang Pinakamagandang  Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa" in 1974. Besides this white sand beach, the island boasts also of numerous natural springs and some unexplored mammoth caves with underground streams and nature-carved walls. With properly maintained cottages and improved resort facilities, this 1,104 hectare white sand, palm-fringed island resort could be made more alluring to tourists in the years to come. 
           After Estancia is the town of Balasan and the last and the northeasternmost town in Panay and in Iloilo Province is Carles. Carles is a town with several islands and islets that not only the town can be proud of but the whole Iloilo province. Once on the coast of Calagnaan and Sicogon, en route to the famed Gigantes Island of Carles there is a sharp, rugged promontory jutting on the northern tip of the island of Sicogon can be found thousands of seagulls perching on the tip of the pointed rocks and on the branches of the trees growing on the rocky walls of the ravines thus, it is called Molupulo or Seagull's Point. This is the area where the seagulls flock because the waters around this area are bountiful of fish. Gigante Islands in Carles consist of several islets where there are long stretches of white sand beaches with shiny, tiny and white washout pebbles. The expansive white sand beach was fringed on the upper portion with a high, rugged, pointed coral rocks serving as a cliff and seawall. The island of Gigantes popularly called "Islas de Gigantes" is divided into two - the North and the South Gigantes where the latter is the larger of the two. These two islands are called Gigantes or giants because they looked like sleeping giants as what we can see at a distance while approaching these islands. The upper part of the island has a damp ground before which was partly dug by a wide excavation exposing  an inner layer of the thick, viscous, clammy, light-colored clay, some of which spilled over the rim of the shallow digging. The moist, viscous clay  is the rare and costly ceramic clay used in making expensive ceramic products.From among the nooks surrounding this damp area are numerous natural springs which provide natural, icy-cold water for people's consumption. There are also some caves in the island where several bats live. In the inner portion of these caves  are numerous chambers some of which cavernous while some are small. In one of these cavernous chambers, some huge broken antique jars containing some decayed skulls and broken bones of human beings was found here several decades back. The cave in this island is one of the numerous caves which  served as the burial ground of the 15th century early inhabitants of the islands. The cave was discovered with lots of antique pottery and crude tools.
      Beneath the small forest with a well lighted though cavernous mouth is a mammoth cave. The cave's floor is below sea level so certain amount of seawater is flowing freely into the inner portion of the cave through the depressed portion at the entrance of the cave so one will be cautioned to walk slowly along the narrow pathway beneath the sidewall so as not to get wet. In the innermost portion of the cave, the stream flowing in from the sea was joined by the fresh water coming from the underground spring inside the cave. Thus the combined waters formed into a natural swimming pool inside the cave. In one of the cave's chambers, one granite stone was carved into a monstrous shape of an elephant. The cave is called Langub Cave and was one of the abodes of the ancient cave dwellers. The stone elephant was perhaps carved out of stone by the cave dwellers a long, long time ago using their stone tools and implements. The natural swimming pool inside this cave is now used as a favorite swimming pool of those who are not good swimmers at the beach. Here, they could swim all they want without fear of being carried off into the middle of the sea by the gravitational force of the low tide. 
      Other islands in Carles are Balabagon, Naburot and Binuluangan which are also equally beautiful and proud of its tranquil islands and white sand beaches.



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