A week in my Lola's province of Antique can go by really fast. First you sit, then you eat the most delicious homemade food, and before you know it, you have to go. You realize you never left the dining table and all you did was sit and talk and eat.
Good thing we had a goal. Our beloved island, Boracay was in hyper summer party mode, so our plan was to celebrate the end of Amihan season the opposite way, with total peace and quiet.
So after spending dangerous hours at my Lola's dining table, Arnaud and I decided to explore dear old Antique. We borrowed my Lola's car and drove around. We stopped by beaches, rivers, drove into rice fields and dry river banks (by accident), got lost, found our way, got lost again, met the town lunatic, took photos, drove again. It was nice.
Then we reserved one day for Malalison a.k.a. Mararison. An island we've been eyeing from Google Earth since let's say, October. We heard it was beautiful. My late Lolo Julit talked about this island to his kids but none of them have explored it. Here's me listening to you, Lolo.
After talking to the Tourism Officer John John (because you have to see him before you can go to the island), we learned that there were only 2 other tourists in Malalison, a Russian couple on honeymoon. We didn't even see them until the last minute of our visit.
You could tell that Malalison isn't used to tourism yet. We could feel curious stares from the locals as we walked past their houses. Our guide waved to his friends proudly announcing that he was a tour guide for today. He basically showed us the path across the hills from one beach to another. Apart from that, we were on our own. Really on our own.
We packed our own lunch because like I said, there aren't any resorts or restaurants. But we thought maybe we could get a cup of 3-in-1 coffee from the sari-sari store. We asked our guide if there was a store we could buy from. He looked hesitant, fished his phone out of his pocket and made a call. In a few minutes the Barangay Captain came with mugs, sachets of coffee and a thermos of hot water, all from his own house. Wow.
So after a late merienda and exchanging stories with the Barangay Captain we decided to go. But as we were leaving, I was already thinking of my return.
Photos 5, 10, 12, 14 & 16 taken by Arnaud Mahe