Digital photo narrative of our visit to Culasi, Antique Province, Philippines including information on natural and heritage sites, such as Lipata Point, beaches, hiking, festivals, accommodations and dining.
We had our binoculars with us when we had lunch at Neil’s (below) and were able to give take a good look at Mararison Island. It looks like a great place to visit with lots of white sand beaches and a considerable settlement on the easterly shore. Unfortunately, it’s also where a cargo ship MV Ocean Papa sank on June 21, 2008 on it’s way from Manila to Iloilo City. While the ship was salvaged, its cargo of sixteen metric tons of toluene di-isocyanate was not. While the vapors of TDI are hazardous to workers, we’re not sure of the impact of the liquid on marine life. Phaidon Resort in Pandan (see below) is said to offer snorkeling trips to Mararison. Also check with Panay Explorers.
Places to dine between San Jose and Boracay are scarce. We stopped at Neil’s Resto Grill twice. It’s located just beyond milepost 176KM, right on the shore. It offers traditional Filipino fare such as grilled fish, nilaga (boiled pork with cabbage and potato), KBL (kadyos, baboy, langka) boiled pork with beans, and young jackfruit plus rice, beverages and chips. We enjoyed the food. The prices are very reasonable. We paid a total P135 (less than $3) for grilled fish, two other dishes, rice, buko (coconut) juice and coffee. The owner and workers were very friendly. Bob left behind his prized Nike baseball cap. The pretty waitress ran after us to return it. Neil’s is popular with buses traveling the route but this is not a problem. I was surprised that most passengers did not get off the bus when it stopped at Neil’s. There is good parking if you’re driving your own vehicle. There’s a public restroom (CR). It’s basic Filipino — no toilet seat or toilet paper but it’s kept quite clean.
Our next stop was Culasi, Antique (KM 188), a town back-dropped by Panay’s highest mountains and having several islands arrayed offshore.
If you’re interested in diving in the Culasi area contact: Panay Explorers: http://www.panayexplorers.com/index.htm
North of Culasi proper, watch for the turn-off to Lipata port.
There are ferries to and from Manila and perhaps other destinations such as Semirara Island and Mindoro and the Cuyo Islands in Palawan. You might try contacting Mr. Florentino Egida, head of the Antique Provincial Tourism Office, 540-9765, firstname.lastname@example.org for up to date information. You might also stop by the Culasi municipal offices as Lipata Port is one of the few ports operated by the municipality rather than the Philippine Ports Authority.
There was a very active anti-Japanese guerrilla movement on Panay Island and elsewhere in the Pacific during WW II. Douglas MacArthur supplied the guerrillas by way of submarine drops of personnel and supplies. In all, nineteen submarines delivered 1,325 tons of supplies to Philippine guerrillas between 1943 and 1945. Lipata Point was the one site where where drops where made. You can download an excellent overview of guerrilla activities (“Guerrilla Summary”) in the Pacific as well as an account of of the USS Narwal’s tragi-comic mission(“The Panay Narwal Incident”) to deliver supplies at Lipata Point, Culasi at http://www.chickparsons.com/downloads.htm.
Note: this post is a section of a longer narrative about a trip from Iloilo City to Boracay. The full narrative can be found at: /iloilo-city-to-boracay-via-antique-province/
We very much welcome any suggested corrections or additional information about the Culasi, Antique area. Please leave them as a comment at the end of this post or e-mail them to email@example.com