San Jose, Antique Province, Philippines

All about hotels, pension houses, restaurants and what to see and do in San Jose, Antique Province, Philippines (San Jose de Buenavista).

By the time you reach the Iloilo-Antique border (11.8 KM from Tiolas), the road is good and continues to be good all the way to Caticlan.  Near the border is Telegrafo Hill, a Japanese position during World War II.  There are supposed to be good views from the hill, but we could not find a sign or trail. A small parking area, sign and trail would be a good tourism amenity. From the border it’s all downhill to the intersection with the National Highway in Hamtic Antique.

Vista from Hamtic highlands to Sulu Sea

Vista from Hamtic highlands to Sulu Sea

At the intersection of the National Highway turn right toward San Jose, the capital of Antique Province.  You may wish to pause at a historic site commemorating (according to local legend) the landing in the 13th century of settlers from Borneo, said to be the Malays to arrive in the Philippines.  The annual Binirayan Festival celebrates the landing on the third weekend in April each year.

First Malay Settlement?  Malandog, Hamtic, Antique Province, Philippines

First Malay Settlement? Malandog, Hamtic, Antique Province, Philippines

Old Antique Provincial Capitol, San Jose, Antique Province, Philippines

Old Antique Provincial Capitol building, San Jose, Antique Province, Philippines

Evelio B. Javier Freedom Park, San Jose, Antique Province, Philippines

Evelio B. Javier Freedom Park, San Jose, Antique Province, Philippines

The park seemed a bit neglected. Time Magazine article on the 1984 murder of Harvard-educated Javier at the Antique Provincial Capital: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,960710,00.html

San Jose itself, an otherwise nice enough small city, has the curse of most smaller Philippine cities.  It’s choked with tricycles, giving its downtown considerable traffic congestion, a constant din, and bad air pollution. Away from the downtown area you’ll find many attractive areas.

Beautiful old house, downtown San Jose, Antique.

Beautiful old house, downtown San Jose, Antique.

Thanks to the owner for saving and maintaining this fine old building in San Jose, Antique

Thanks to the owner for saving and maintaining this fine old building in San Jose, Antique

Because we were traveling at a leisurely, lazy pace, exploring as we went, we decided to stay overnight in San Jose.  We stayed at the Centillion House.  We paid P1000 for our basic, but clean and spacious air-conditioned room with hot water.  Centillion seemed very secure.  There was a parking area for guests and a security guard at night.  We were worried that our pride and joy Toyota Innova be safe at night! A very basic breakfast (toast, juice, coffee) was included.  The hotel faces on two busy roads.  Also there was a small mall on the first floor so it was a little noisy, but we were not really bothered by the noise.  We stayed in room 208 which is toward the center of the hotel, as far away as possible from the traffic. Phone 036-540-9403

Centillion Hotel, San Jose, Antique Province, Philippines

Centillion Hotel, San Jose, Antique Province, Philippines

The Adelaide Tourist and Traveler’s Inn was almost across the road from the Centillion so we decided to take a look at it.  It is in a quieter location, down an alley from the main road.  We were shown a “VIP room”.  The VIP room was P850 without breakfast, with AC and HW.  It is similar but smaller than our room at Centillion, but likely quieter.  A full breakfast at the Adelaide is P130 per person. Both are very good options.  Here’s a link to the Adelaide.  We’ll explore and report on other San Jose lodging options on our next trip.

Adelaide Hotel (Pension House), San Jose, Antique

Adelaide Tourist and Traveler’s Inn, San Jose, Antique

Based on a recommendation in the Lonely Planet Philippines guidebook, we had our dinner at Regina’s Restaurant.  I had shrimp satay which turned out to be more or less BBQ shrimp on a skewer. Carol had lengua — beef tongue.  We especially liked the achara made of young bamboo which was served as a side dish with my satay.  Achara is a pickled salad which is usually made with grated green papaya or green mango. It was delicious made with young bamboo.  Service at Regina’s was excellent. With drinks our meal was P268.  Regina’s can be a little hard to find.  Just watch for the Chow King restaurant.  Regina’s is in a small mall immediately adjacent to Chow King on T.A. Fornier Street.  It’s walking distance from Centillion or Adelaide.

Friends gave a high recommendation to the Private Property Restaurant, about eight kilometers out of San Jose.  Call Jen Lotilla for information. 0906-726-8355.

We’ve also heard good things about the Piedra Restaurant on Gobierno St.

Nightlife can reportedly be found at Pharaoh, a karaoke bar.

After breakfast we continued on our way north toward Sibalom — or so we thought.  Actually we took the wrong road out of San Jose and ended up on a very pretty, but long and rough back road to Sibalom.  The countryside was enchantingly beautiful, but since we thought we were irretrievably lost, we did not stop to savor or photograph it.  We had to stop and ask for directions several times but finally made it back to the National Highway and Sibalom proper.  As we crossed the Sibalom River, there was evidence everywhere of the damage done to the area by Typhoon Frank (Fengshen).

Sibalom and San Remigio, Antique, are mountain and agricultural communities of tremendous natural beauty.  Exploring the backcountry of these places (and most others) will be a challenge to most foreign tourists and will likely require a local guide to navigate the unmarked roads and trails.  My Tagalog-speaking wife struggled to communicate with rural residents.

San Remigio is our our list for future exploration.  The official San Remigio municipal website tantalizes us with the following attractions: Igbaclag Cave, the perfect cave in the “Little Baguio of Antique”, Bato Cueva, Kanyugan Cave, Magpungay Cave; the crystal clear ice water falling from Pula Falls, Timbaban Falls and Batuan Falls, the lakes of Maylumboy and Danao; the legendary stone of Datu Sumakwel, Bato Bintana and White Castle Stone and the mountain ranges of San Remigio.

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/

Comments, corrections and additional information on San Jose, Antique appreciated.  Leave a comment below or e-mail to: hammerslag@gmail.com

Comments (18)

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  2. You are so kind to share your travel to Antique, i hope also i could do the same. the next time i can go home i will probably try.

    Antique is one of the best place to retire. i hope our politicians who are managing our beloved town will serve honestly and help make Antique or let me say San Jose in particular a progressive place.

    • Thanks for your comment. We were just in San Jose (on our way to Boracay). We were really impressed by all the changes, especially the new hospital.

      • Great for you, i have so much love for this town, so with a noticeable improvements like the hospital and a new commercial building keeps my faith alive that antique will improve.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! My mother who has been deceased for 9 years now, took me to see where she grew up in Linaban, Hamtic, in the province of Antique, when I was 14. She was an amazingly adventurous woman who eventually emigrated to the US in the 1960s, made her way from Hawaii to California to NYC, married my father and started a family. I was born in NYC and have always been fascinated by my mother’s ancestry which I am discovering is closer to Malaysian culture than I previously thought. I am now in my mid-40s and I can’t wait to re-visit the Philippines in 2014, as I have not been back since I was in my early 20s. I plan to take my husband along as he loves a great adventure!

    • I’m sure you’ll have a great time visiting Hamtic and will be welcomed there!

      Bob

  4. im also from antique..i have a family there but its been a very long time since i saw them i think almost 4 decades.. and i dont have any news about them.. i grow up in manila and have my own family..

  5. Hi, Jen just having a web search where to stay when I am going home for holiday. Me and my two sons is planning to go on vacation next year from England. We are looking for a place to stay, maybe for 2 weeks. But I need a place closer to the beach in Taringting. I love your place, but I think quit far? Anyway I know you don’t know me, I am one of the daughter of Macario Lotilla of Egana. I am really please to see how successful in life some of the Lotilla family. Anyway send my love to the family.

  6. Tom Hickson cmjttt@sbcglobal.net hide | delete 19-Mar-2010 21:54
    On March 24, 1945, Lt. Charles Rue and his Gunner, SSgt. Robert R. Stanton U.S.M.C. made an emergency landing on the little strip at the southwest end of Panay, near San Jose. They were captured and executed by enemy forces after refusing to divulge where the rest of their flight was headed. They were buried near the air strip. Bobby Stanton was my cousin. Does anyone have any photos of that little air strip as it appeared then, or any information. Thanks, Tom

    • what i heard from old folks is the presence (during their childhood in the 50s) of a submarine ruin off the coast of Bugtong Bato in Tobias Fornier town. If you’re looking for an airstrip, there’s only one airstrip in Antique..that’s in Dalipe, a barrio near San Jose. It used to cater local flights in the 60s and 70s. I dunno if it has existed way back in the 40s during the war.

    • the airstrip ur referring at is in San Jose, Antique [Panay island] do still exist… it’s now renamed as Evelio B. Javier airport (EBJ airport]

      about 2km beyond that airport is gen. camp fullon. the old folks call that ‘Cadre’.

      u can view them on google…

      • The airport, now paved with tower and terminal (unused due to no flights) used to be a dirt strip, occupied by the Japanese during their occupation.

  7. Hola Antique!,,,,..Antique is an alluring place to be with. a place where you can find peace……..for about five years not in Antique i feel empty the way that i miss every thing., the event usually held in San Jose, the Binirayan Festival and so forth.,..Somewhere in
    Tobias Fornier the place where i grew up.., I miss to witness the improvement of that district, on how the people strive hard just to attain their goals……Anyway Antique is improving on its own way……………..Keep up and Aim High Always!!!!!!!

  8. i miss many places in san jose antique.. i place where i grew up… and especially to my relatives who is very supportive in my studies and in other things… how i wish i could have my vacation there soon at sembreak..and immediately goes to “baybay” to swimmmm.. i miss everything there.. =( esp. the faces of antiquena’s,… im proud to be one…

  9. Peter,

    My guess is that there are a number of Americans there but I can’t back that up. Yes, There is an immigration office in Iloilo City. It’s in the beautiful old customs house which also houses the main Iloilo post office. It’s located on the river, downtown. San Jose must be a great place to live — so many places to explore — mountains, beaches, islands. Best wishes.

    Bob

  10. bednarczykpeter@yahoo.com | 207.62.209.99

    I would like to know if any Americans are living in San Jose, Antique? My wife and I intend to go back in November. I am a permanent resident. I was told that there is a BI in Iloilo. I don’t want to go back to Manila in January to pay for fees if I can do this in Iloilo; let me know. We live on Capadocia St., San Jose, Antique when we get back in November.

  11. Pingback: Hotels in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, Philippines at goILOILO.com

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