by Shayne Zalameda
Antique is a destination often set aside by travelers due to its more famous neighbors in the Western Visayas region. It’s not easily accessible; currently has no direct flights, no direct land transfer from Luzon, nor Mindanao, and has no direct ferry routes. It is not your ordinary tourist spot because of its location, which makes it deserving of a place on your bucket list.
One of Antique’s pride is Malalison Island, an emerging tourist destination located in the municipality of Culasi. Here, you get a piece of the island that is just as beautiful as its neighbors, but only with a promise of being away from the bustling crowds.
There are no bars, restaurants, or hotels in this 54-hectare piece of land —only clear waters, powdery white sand, a 360-degree view of rolling hills, and some locals who are eager to show you their hospitality.
An unspoiled getaway that detaches you from your urban ways of living, Malalison is a two hour bus ride from Kalibo and a 15 minute boat ride from the main town of Culasi. Activities here are the simplest of things —from snorkeling to trekking, to scuba diving.
According to a local legend, Malalison is one of the three children of Kanlaon and Madja-as, cast away by the gods as a punishment for being disobedient. Now in the form of an island, Malalison is considered to be the home of more than 150 families.
In November 2013, Malalison Island was struck by Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). Trees, school, and houses were heavily damaged. Communication was cut off; locals didn’t have mobile signals for weeks. They were disconnected from the rest of the world, but they remained intact with each other.
The water level permanently rose to one hectare but along with this fact is the reality that the people who call Malalison their home, have also risen against the difficulties. Today, they welcome guests more than ever, willing to show them what’s left on their island, and what changes they have adapted since that eventful storm.
Camping in Malalison Island is available on site but if you don’t have a tent, you could opt for homestay; price starts at Php 150 per head. You may contact Angelita Macuja at 0939 2668 849 for more info.
Contact person for brief background about the tourism of Culasi, Antique:
John John U. Sumanting
Culasi Tourism Officer.
Tel. No. : (036) 277-8077
Cell. No. : 09163245068
How to go to Antique:
Fly to Ilo-ilo and ride a bus bound for Antique, get off at Culasi. Travel time is 4 hours.
Fy to Kalibo and ride a bus bound for Antique, get off at Culasi. Travel time is 2 hours.