Mararison Island
Malalison Island or locally pronounced as Mararison is one of the must visit islands in the Province of Antique. It can be considered as a fishermen island because most of the resident’s are in fishing, as their livelihood. Its breathtaking beauty captured the attention of the travelers after being hit by the Typhoon Yolanda. Aside from the world class beauty of the Boracay Island, in Aklan, Mararison can also be the next frontier or Panay because of its fine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters with a diversity of aquatic flora and fauna – it is truly a perfect diving paradise.

Mararison Island 2020
How to Go to Mararison Island: My solo-backpacking started from Roxas City, Capiz. At Pueblo Terminal, I rode in a van to Kalibo and alighted in Ceres Bus Terminal. From there, I rode in a bus bound for Ilo-Ilo and alighted at Ceres Bus Terminal in Culasi, Antique.  At the terminal, I asked the locals the exact location of the Port and the tourism office. Followed their instructions and finally reached the tourism information center after 15 minutes. For your convenience, tricycle can also be an option. At the tourism information center, I paid 10 pesos terminal fee, 20 pesos environmental fee.

Kuya Rey, my contact, arranged everything. To save money, instead of renting the pump boat alone for 750 pesos, he instructed the receptionist at the information center to let me join the locals at the last trip. Therefore, I only paid 100 for that trip. The locals are really kind; they even brought me to Kuya Rey’s house, which is 10 to 15 minutes from the sand bar. 

Mararison Island DIY travel guide
Upon arrival at Kuya Rey’s house, again, to save more money, he let me join Ate Shirley’s trek to the summit of the rolling hills, together with the other group. Trekking is simple, first part is an uphill concrete stairs until the elementary school, then, another uphill trail to the summit. Pine trees, shrubs and pitcher plants are visible by the trail. Of course, the ambiance was relaxing and the wind was cool.

Malalison Island

Malalison Island 2020

Mararison Island

Mt. Madjaas
On the summit or the view deck, there is a 360 degrees view of Mararison, with the perfect view of Mount Madjaas from afar. The shape and the slopes of the mountains are similar to the views in Batanes. The mountains and hills are covered with green grass, accentuated by the trees. In between of the sky and the water is a line that added a perfect backdrop with the help of the sunset. I just can’t hide that fact that this scene is a magnificence of nature that needs to be shared.

On the other side of the mountain, an NGO is on the process of installing solar panels and solar system to provide enough power needed by the residents.  During my visit, electricity is still produced by generator sets, so the power is being turned on from 5PM until 10PM. The installation of solar system will be a great help to everyone.

Mararison Island

tourist spots in Antique
Our descent from the summit was at around 5PM, then, finally met Kuya Rey Lorenzo, with proper introduction. If you are planning to visit Malalison Island, I strongly and highly recommend him as your contact. By the way, his house is open for home stays. The interior of his house has a typical Filipino ambiance – so there is a really home-y feeling. During my visit, I only met two of his sons because the others were at the mainland for school. The warm welcome they bestowed upon me was unforgettable!

Kuya Rey’s wife, I forgot her name, was also accommodating. I met her at around 7 PM because she cooked our dinner in the house and then she went back to her stall for her business. Aside from being a housewife, she also buys and sells kilos of fish from the locals and bring it to Culasi we market. Around 7 PM, I was alone in the house, having a dinner while watching TV. Then, rested!

Mararison Island
The next day, I met Ate at the kitchen preparing for our breakfast. She greeted me: “GOOD MORNING, SIR!” with that refined Ilongo accent. She told me to go to the sandbar for a golden sunrise – which I did. I stayed there for a few minutes; however, the weather was unfriendly. The cumulus clouds started forming on the sky and rain drops started falling. Still, I took photos, with the dark skies on the background. With tears on my eyes, just kidding, I hurriedly ran back to the house for breakfast. Before entering the door, I easily noticed the sumptuous smell spread on the terrace – a clear proof that the table is now open for our breakfast. 

Mararison Island resorts 2020

Mararison Island itinerary 2020
During breakfast, I was facing Ate with her son. We had a great talk about their lives during and after the devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda in the island. Honestly, I am a cold hearted person, but, when I saw the tears on her eyes while enumerating what happened, my heart just pounded for whatever reasons. Ate is such a very vocal and honest person! My overnight stay in Lorenzo Residence was extraordinary because of every story I heard.

After breakfast, it was still raining cats and dogs and I was a bit worried because we’ll be crossing the water to the mainland. I packed everything up while waiting for the rain to stop. Ate and Kuya Rey were outside preparing for their commodities. The rain did not stop, so I had no choice but to use my huge transparent plastic, placed my bag inside it and we proceeded to the sandbar to get on the boat. Travel for about 15 minutes and reached Culasi mainland.

Ate proceeded to the wet market for her fish business, while Kuya Rey and I proceeded to the Municipality of Tibiao on a motorcycle. That transparent plastic and my dry bag were helpful because it was still raining hard. After 40 minutes of motorcycle ride, we reach La Escapo Mountain Resort in Tibiao and next will be my Day 3 – Hot Kawa Bath Experience.

Mararison Island Expenses