Thursday, July 21, 2016

Seaside Escape: Malalison Island (Mararison Island)

            Continue feeding your wanderlust by exploring Malalison Island, an emerging tourist destination in the municipality of Culasi, Antique. Malalison Island is a feast for the senses because of its grassy rolling hills which resembles the rolling hills of Batanes during rainy season and grassy summit of Mt. Pulag on dry months. Not only that, it also boasts stunning white sand beaches and a sandbar which are considered to be the prime features of the island.

            Malalison Island is a hook-shaped small fishing village off the coast of the town of Culasi with a land area of 55 hectares and considered to be the home of more than 150 families. According to a local legend, Malalison Island is one of the three children of Mount Madjaas and Mount Kanlaon, castaway by the gods as a punishment for being disobedient.

Now, are you wondering why Malalison Island is called Mararison Island by locals? Well, it is because of their distinct language called Kinaray-a. Kinaray-a is characterized by the predominance of r’s and schwa sounds spoken with lilting gentle intonation.


            There are plenty of activities available in the island that one can enjoy. Here’s some of the list:
  • Bask on its beaches
  • Swim on its turquoise clear waters
  • Snorkel and get a glimpse of thriving sea life
  • Trek going to Lantawan Peak for sunrise and sunsets horizons

  • Be entertained by its rich biodiversity (pitcher plant – a carnivorous or insect-eating plant usually found in the forest) while walking along the rolling hills
  • Experience the Pangluy-a Ritual
  • Lastly, be serenaded by the Mararison Children’s Choir

How to Get There:

            Culasi, Antique is approximately 3 to 4 hours away from Iloilo City and 2 to 3 hours away from Kalibo and Caticlan, Aklan. Buses and vans are available plying to Iloilo/Caticlan via San Jose Buenavista route likewise Kalibo/San Jose Buenavista can take you directly to Culasi, Antique. Alight at Culasi Town Proper; go to Culasi Boulevard where their seaport is located. Do not forget to register at the Tourism Office and pay the environmental fee (10php/pax) and terminal fee (20php/pax).

            The island can be reached by a motorized pump-boat and it will take 15 to 20 minutes or even up to an hour depending on the weather condition. Boats can be hired for 750php good for 5pax, round trip. Please take note that at times waves are rough, so it is better to waterproof your belongings in advance. 

            For those who would like to make a DIY-tour, I highly recommend:

Tour Guide: Mr. Ronald “Ona” Sarita (Contact Number: +63950-3156389)

Accommodation: Sally’s Balay Darayunan (Contact Number: +63909 841 0185 or +63927 293 1141; look for Ms. Lonady Quiape)
Boat: Joyfel Tours (Contact Number: +63998 399 1284 or +63935 171 4415; look for Mr. Pablo Guillermo)

For a hassle free tour, I highly recommend Zydrei Travel and ToursFor rates and tour packages, contact them at:

Landline Number: (036) 540 9787
Mobile Number: +63923 194 7452 or +63910 030 3332 or +63905 255 7036
Office: Stall No. 1, Cerdena St., Brgy. 8, San Jose, Antique
Official Facebook Page: Zydrei Travel and Tours

Travel Tips:

  • Everything is on cash basis. Stack up cash before heading to the island.
  • Bring enough food, drinking water and other necessities since only limited supplies are available in the island.
  • Electricity runs only at selected hours of the day (6PM – 10PM). Take note: Mostly of the homestay accommodations have generators however, one needs to pay for an extra charge.

  • Best months to visit are February to May.
  • Go there on a weekday because there are fewer people.
  • Always remember the traveler’s golden rule: “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, and kill nothing but time.”

Thank you Apple Pie – Karla May Villagracia and to her sister, Rechel Villagracia for joining me on this trip!

Thank you for reading and sharing!