Nogas Island, Anini-y, Antique Province, Philippines

nogasbeach

Here’s a digital photo narrative of our visit to Nogas Island, Anini-y, Antique Province, Philippines, including hiking, beaches, mangroves, birding, lighthouse, where to buy your s picnic lunch. Pack your lunch, your snorkeling gear, your camera and binoculars in a waterproof bag and head for a very special place.

We first saw Nogas Island from the Antique shore at Sira-an hot springs nearly a year ago. Nogas was an enticing prospect, an uninhabited marine reserve of an island surrounded by white sand beaches. So in January 2008 we finally had the chance for a visit. We left our home in Molo, Iloilo City before eight in the morning but our progress was not speedy as we stopped to buy the wonderful bibinkas (a coconut specialty) at the “Bingkahan Mohon” in  — highly, highly recommended. It is right near the junction with the road which heads to Mandurriao. The next stop was the always enjoyable public market in Miagao where we bought more fruit and snacks. We bought our take-out lunch at an eatery in Tiolas, where we also spied and bought a beautiful four kilogram speckled grouper to be picked up on our way back. The eatery is Magpatao-Hay. It’s on the left before Tiolas. It a real Filipino place with dirt floors but nice people and good food. They catch their own fish just offshore of the eatery. Full of provisions we got underway once again. We turned of toward Anini-y at Tiolas. Had we continued on the main road we would have crossed the mountains and ended up at Antique’s capitol, San Jose.

There is also a bus from Iloilo City to Sira-an Hot Springs and to Anini-y, jumping off point for Nogas Island While we haven’t ridden it ourselves, it looks to be a fast-paced adventure. We understand that it leaves from the bus terminal in Molo on San Pedro Street, a block or two east of Molo Plaza. It stops in Oton, near the plaza or you can flag it down anywhere.  You’ll have to find and speak with the Molo bus terminal manager to find the schedule.

Bus from Iloilo City to Sira-an Hot Springs and Anini-y (Nogas Island)

Bus from Iloilo City to Sira-an Hot Springs and Anini-y (Nogas Island)

The first bit of the road to Anini-y, through Tiolas, was paved and quite pretty. There are a few resorts, some just picnic shelters, one or two others offering overnight accommodations. We’ve gone to one of these, LSDC Dive Resort, which you can see at http://www.pbase.com/hammerslag/sanjoaquin.   This is a good stopping place on your way to Nogas.  You can stop for lunch and a swim or, if you got a late start, stay overnight here.

LSDC Dive Resort, Tiolas

After a few kilometers, paved roads disappear except for random stretches. The roads and bridges are under perpetual repair and very rough. We stopped at a family owned dive shack right where the rugged Cresta del Gallo mountain dives to the sea. It’s a spectacular spot. Finally we came to Sira-an Hot Springs (covered my another of my accounts) and proceeded to another basic but very pretty private dive camp on the mainland beach opposite Nogas. We enjoyed the lunch we had bought in Tiolas while the pump boat was being prepared for our trip to Nogas Island. The round trip fee was P500. The boatman we used can be found by turning down a dirt track immediately (on Anini-y side) beyond the old cemetery (see photo above) located between Sira-an Hot Springs and Anini-y.

TIP:  The boat service to Nogas Island and scuba lessons, equipment and accomodations can be arranged in advance through Boy Saldaña –  mobile numbers: 0920-952-8869 and 0917-305-0699. Saldaña’s dive center and boats can be found by turning down a dirt track immediately (on Anini-y side) beyond the old cemetery located between Sira-an Hot Springs and Anini-y.  The website is http://www.thedivehouse.com/

Anini-y Cemetary

Anini-y Cemetery – turn left immediately beyond the cemetery

You'll park near this pretty bahay kubo to take the pump boat to Nogas Island

You’ll park near this pretty bahay kubo to take the pump boat to Nogas Island

Leaving for Nogas Island (seen in distance) from Sira-an, Antique

Nogas Island Entrance Sign, Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

Nogas Island Entrance Sign, Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

Sad to say, on a subsequent trip we found this sign had been vandalized and there was lots of litter near where the boats go ashore.

 

Beginning of path to Nogas Island Light House, Antique Province, Philippines

Beginning of path to Nogas Island Light House, Antique Province, Philippines

The banca trip over was uneventful. When we got to Nogas we were the only ones on the island except for our boatman, his two kids and his helper. Although I do love the vibrant buzz of life in the Philippines, it was nice to get away to a quiet, green place where nature is the main focus. There’s an excellent report on birding on Nogas at: http://www.birdwatch.ph/html/trip/trip20041208.html
Fabulous Frangipani-lined Path to Light House, Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

Fabulous Frangipani-lined Path to Light House, Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

After unloading we strolled the path from the beach to the lighthouse. What a surprise and delight that path is! We don’t know who gets the credit but many years ago each side of the path were planted with fragrant Frangipani bushes, now near trees — locally called Calachuchi. The trees have grown to create a flowering bower over the entire path. Continuing on past the lighthouse we ran into an impressive and spooky balete tree and then impenetrable mangrove wetlands so we turned back.

Carol on Nogas Island Light House Path, Antique Province, Philippines

Carol on Nogas Island Light House Path, Antique Province, Philippines

Frangipani Trees and Nogas Island Light House, Antique Province, Philippines

Frangipani Trees and Nogas Island Light House, Antique Province, Philippines

Nogas Island Light Station

Nogas Island Light Station

Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalenis), known locally as "Balete", Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalenis), known locally as “Balete”

Also called Ficus or Banyan tree – Lunok in Ilonggo. Continue walking beyond the lighthouse and you’ll come to this tree. This tree is thought by many Filipinos to be a home to various spirit beings, mostly troublesome. Our urbane Ilonggo companions seemed a bit uncomfortable and repeatedly asked the spirits to excuse them (tabi, tabi, tabi) for intruding.   Having them pose by the tree was a no-go so It’s Bob under the tree.
Walking back to the Beach, Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

Walking back to the Beach, Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

Returning to the beach, some of us napped on a bed brought out from hiding by our boatman. My wife and I explored the beaches, up and down from the landing and trailhead.
St. John de Nepomuceno Church in Anini-y from Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

St. John de Nepomuceno Church in Anini-y from Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

Local divers say that the reefs at Nogas are the best ones accessible from Iloilo City.

Nogas Island - surrounded by white sand beaches and flourishing Mangroves

Nogas Island – surrounded by pretty sand beaches and flourishing Mangroves, Antique Province, Philippines

Carol Exploring Nogas Island Mangroves, Antique Province, Philippines

Carol Exploring Nogas Island Mangroves, Antique Province, Philippines

Mangroves Taking Root on Nogas Island Beach, Antique Province, Philippines

Mangroves Taking Root on Nogas Island Beach, Antique Province, Philippines

Is this pinapple-looking fruit a Bromeliad?, Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

This pineapple-looking fruit is a Screw Pine (pandanus)  Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

We say goodbye to our helpers.  Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

We say goodbye to our helpers. Nogas Island, Antique Province, Philippines

Comments, corrections and additional information on Anini-y and Nogas Island are appreciated.  Leave a comment below or e-mail to: hammerslag@gmail.com


As noted above, Nogas is a popular birders destination.
Arm yourself with a guidebook and help support myphilippinelife.com by buying this Philippine birding guide:

Comments (46)

  1. ive been in antique once and wed been in siraan hot spring the place was so nice i love to go back there my husband is from anini-y antique but unfortunately hes dead already,,,,,,,,,,,,, i love the place

  2. hellloooooooooooooo.. anini-y i was born in igtagobang anini-y antique
    i was in nogas island that was 1961 and still i love the island if iam a rich man i will not buy lots but i will buy the whole lots….. i love you im still im still proud as antiqueno from Itagobang…….

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  4. hi!everyone..im very proud that Anini-y,Antique is my hometown…
    Such a beautiful and bountiful place it be..
    “ang sarap tlaga maligo xa sira-an hot spring!!!!in its unique hot tubs and a swimming pool..sooooooooooooo relaxing. . . . .
    But most of all the Nogas island!!!esp during fiesta..I think it is may 17!!

    I L O V E A N T I Q U E ! ! !
    k r u h a y m g a k a s i m a n wa . . .

    U S W A G K I N A R A Y – A ! ! ! ! ! !

  5. Pingback: Trip Report: Sira-an Hot Springs Resort, Anini-y, Antique | My Philippine Life

  6. I came from the province of Antique and I only saw the island yesterday when i was in Siraan hot spring. It was really lovely and breathtaking :)

  7. There are no residents in Nogas Island, and therefore there is no fiesta there. Perhaps, the only people there are the caretakers of the lighthouse. Most of the visitors are only there during daytime and they return to the mainland before sunset.

    • Hello i’m from Anini-y, i grew up there. I just want to correct you that their is a fiesta in Nogas Island even though their is no resident in the island. The fiesta celebrated every 17th of May after the fiesta in the town. People there brought their own foods, its like having picnic with family and friends. They went their in the morning and leave the place before sunset through boat. their is also a mass in the morning.
      I miss the nogas island.. I miss my town.. KRUHAYY ANINI-Y.. :)

  8. halo. i wonder when the fiesta of nogas will be – i would love to see the celebrations and the local folks in costume as the diwatas…

  9. “Looking at this pictures makes me more proud to be Antiqueño.” I’m from anini-y. at tuwing uuwi ako di pwedeng di ako mkaligo sa sira-an.. Wish ko lang na sana mas lalo pang maimprove ung place nmin para lalo pang madaming taong pumunta at mging well known ito hindi lang sa mga karatig bayan kundi sa buong pilipinas pati na rin sa ibang bansa,… KRUHAY ANTIQUEÑO!!!

  10. Nogas Island is part of the town of Anini-y in Antique Province, Philippines. Anini-y is 90 km from Iloilo City.

    For those who want to go to Nogas Island from Iloilo City, justt go to the Antique Bus Terminal in Molo, Iloilo City. Trips to Anini-y are from 7am to 2pm daily by mini-buses. RORO buses for Manila that pass through Anini-y leave much earlier on a daily basis, too.

    The jump-off point by motorized banca to Nogas Island is at the beach of Barangay Butuan, just before the Anini-y town proper. The bus fare follows the prescribed rate on a per km basis, just multiply that rate by 90km to get a good estimate.

    The pictures posted here are enough to have a glimpse of Nogas Island.

    Enjoy your trip to Nogas Island.

  11. Ive been to the island for 50 times more or less and the last nogas island fiesta i was present. There so many people in the island that time and i love the contest about interpreting what was the looks of enchanting creatures that guard the island and the diwatas hahaha local antiquenos. I was so amazed by the fluvial bangkas parade that more than hundreds of bangkas participated specially the cebuanos fisherman… Snorkling in the island reef is the best activity for that time and we catch fresh fish using our pana as pulutan i was very drunk that time and so was any other people in the island that time. The biggest saddest part of my visit is that when i found out that the big Balete tree was wreck by the typhoon that pass the island but still nature will still keep its balance i guess .. peace out see you in the island this christmas vacation cant wait

  12. I am a resident of Anini-y and very close to Nogas Island if you see the orange house going to San Jose thats ours… Nogas is a very enormous place to explore with i’ve just visited it for how many times na,…i see your helpers and it was one of our family ‘kakilalas’ the girl one was my younger yaya when I was a kid, she was so very helpful that i didn’t want to hold her up…. i wish you visit again Nogas soon!!

  13. hellllllloooooooooooooooooooooooo……!
    musta kayo jan mga boooossssinggggg. ask lang po meron po ba jan lot for sale sa NOGAS ISLAND? interested to buy if ever.. thanx. here’s my email. secret_shadow1984@ymail.com

    • I believe that Nogas may be 100% government owned. Personally, I hope it stays that way!

  14. Hi! am from Cebu and wish to know how to get to Nogas Island..like the best route and time to fly to Ilo-ilo and the transportation in going to Anini-y then to Nogas island. I want the regular trip and not hiring a van just to get me there.

    Thanks so much and can you include the bus fare and the small boat fare.

  15. HELLO, IM FROM SAN JOSE ANTIQUE AND LOOKING FOR WHITE BEACH FOR MY WEDDING. I AM FASCINATED BY NOGAS ISLAND. I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS HIGH SCHOOLL WE HAD A FIELD TRIP TO THE ISLAND. FUN FUN FUN.. CANT WAIT TO GO HERE AGAIN.
    WANT MY WEDDING TO BE SIMPLE WITH MY FAMILY AND I FOUND THE PLACE.. HOPE WE HAVE A PLACE TO STAY HERE FOR 2 DAYS.

  16. hi… i’m from from the city proper of iloilo.. how much would we spend from here to nogas island(one way trip)… i would love if you could answer my question… thank you

  17. ..hi .. Im from Iloilo city.. I spent my vacation in Anini-y Antique.. Nogas island is one of the best spots I visited this summer 2010 .. The first time I visited the place , we had the clean-up (that was Earth Day then) , our group was assigned to pick up garbage and clean the area on the seashore and near the lighthouse .. The second time was , when the community people of Anini-y had the Nogas Island Fiesta last May 17, 2010 .. We really had a great and wonderful time in Nogas Island.. Hoping that I would spend my vacation next year again in Nogas..

    PS . my uncle’s friend actually made a song for Nogas Island ..” Nogas Isla nga Matahum ” .. I heard the song how many times before but I can’t memorize the lyrics cause it was written in Kinaray-a..

  18. Spend a very peaceful afternoon on Nogas a few years ago, actually we were going to the hot-springs but they where closed on the Monday for cleaning.
    Iloilo to Antigue has to one of the best unknown areas of beauty remaining places like Nogas and the other off shore islands and the coves around the tip of Antique are simply the best.

  19. hi… i’m from from the city proper of iloilo.. how much would we spend from here to nogas island(one way trip)… i would love if you could answer my question… thank you

    • Is this by bus or by private car? If the later I’d say four hours, but much depends on how you drive, sightseeing etc. It’s a great trip. Don’t spoil it by rushing!

  20. Thanks for the great shots of Aniniy and Nogas. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Aniniy many years ago and have many fond memories of the wonderful people, the beach, the mountains, etc.

  21. It’s been 28 years ago when I left from anini-y antique my hometown and since then I have no any views with regards to this place but from here I was surprised upon seeing the easthetic view of Nogas Island and Siraan Hot Spring today. These places may become another option for tourists in visiting panay island.

  22. Thanks for answering my questions. It will surely help us with planning our Nogas trip. We won’t be staying overnight on the island, it will just be a day trip.

    It’s sad to know that some people who visited Nogas aren’t responsible enough. Thanks.

  23. I’d like to ask if the beach on Nogas island is suitable for kids aged 6 and below. Would we have a hard time looking for a boat that would take us to Nogas and back to Anini-y? There are 9 adults and 3 kids aged 6 and below in the traveling party. Thanks.

    • You should be able to make advance arrangements for a boat using the information on the site. With that many passengers, just make sure the large boat will be available. The slope of at least one Nogas beach is quite gradual so you should be able to find a spot for kids to swim. There’s also lots of small pools with marine creatures kids should delight in. Just remember; no water, no toilets, no trash cans on Nogas so bring whatever you need and leave only footprints on beautiful Nogas. We were so discouraged by the amount of trash strewn about Nogas, especially near the boat landing.

    • We’re not sure if there is a legal restriction on staying overnight on Nogas. There are no accommodations, no toilets and no fresh water. On our last visit we were very disappointed by the amount of trash (including broken bottles, human waste, toilet paper, diapers) left by visitors.

  24. hi… nami gid man ang anini-y antique.. hindi q gid ra baylo ang lugar nga ginbhulan q.. bisan diin aq maagto.. mablik gid ako… for those wu want to visit agto dun kamu.. u would’nt regret talaga promiseu will enjoy the place esp the siraan hot spring,, nogas island is lyk a pradise.. all the view’s u love it tlga at ung fud..

  25. i graduated from st. andrew’s high school
    living in sira-an nato, anini-y antique
    message:

    anini-y is a one of the most beautiful town in province of antique. MABUHAY KAYONG LAHAT DYAN!
    PLS. SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT OF THIS TOWN
    I MISS TO STAY THERE!

    THNX A LOT!

  26. .place is so nice like seashore i want to visit Nogas island because i haven’t come there since birth……..

  27. Nice pics!
    I visited this tranquil island 6 years ago for our field research when I was still a History student in UP Visayas. I’m planning to bring my husband there next month..such a wonderful place to unwind….

  28. Pingback: Anini-y, Antique Province, Philippines at goILOILO.com

  29. Hi to everybody! me and my family was been in NOGAS island last 1995. it was very virgin island at that time. i saw lot of different kinds of fishes. for me its a paradise in a small town of Antique. i am “Antiquenos” from Atabay, San Jose. this October when i go home for vacation- from Italy, i want to visit it again. SEE YOU ALL SOON! Liza

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  31. hello….ang ganda talga ng ANTIQUE, gusto ko ng umuwi sa atin bayan….marami kayong nkktang mgagandang tanawing….see u n lng sa no gas island…..

  32. proud ako n taga anini-y..ang ganda talga,,,uwi n kau sa atin…antique…

  33. hi!

    can i use some of your pictures of your trip to nogas island? i am doing this montage with theme” comfort in strangeness”. i have posted a draft on my multiply account but i want more pictures to capture the eperiences of the people who have been to nogas island. thank you in advance

  34. Pingback: Trip Resort: Sira-an Hot Springs Resort, Anini-y, Antique at goILOILO.com

  35. Pingback: Trip Report: From Iloilo City to Boracay via Antique Province at goILOILO.com

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