Nogas Island (Antique, Philippines)
Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.
– Jerry Seinfeld
Robert Frost’s poem about taking the road less traveled never fails to inspire me in choosing my travel destinations. It reminds me that, instead of quickening my way to famous sites (where sea of people flock), I can always explore some less-traveled places that have their own inimitable charms and vista.
So, together with my interest in exploring and experiencing more of the Philippines’islands, I opted to visit a not so frequented tiny island in the province of Antique called Nogas Island.
Nogas Island is an uninhabited marine sanctuary located at Anini-y, Antique Philippines. Since it is a protected area, visiting Nogas Island is regulated. The most prominent feature of the island is its frangipani (kalachuchi) lined walkway that leads to an old lighthouse. I find it amorous (and maybe, poignant at night). It’s very picturesque even if it was almost leaf-less. (I wonder how it would look like when it starts to bear flowers and all).
The island is also a good spot for bird lovers and botany aficionado as it holds various vines, wild trees and shrubs. One of which is the Banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis), believed to be over 100 years. Moreover, being a marine reserve, colourful corals and diverse underwater organisms can be found (so make sure to bring your snorkelling equipment).
There are no ‘tourist facilities’ in the entire island. So if you plan to stay there all day, make sure to bring all your needed amenities.
How to get To Nogas Island:
From Manila, take a flight going to Iloilo. Then from Iloilo, take a cab that will bring you to Oton Terminal where Ceres buses, going to San Jose (Antique) via Anini-y, are. One may also ride a van from the Molo terminal wherein the drop-off point is at Dao aka Tobias Fornier. At the crossroad to San Jose and Dao, wait for a jeepney with San Jose – Anini-y – Casay route. The fare should be around 35Php/person. Ask to be dropped by Sira-an Hot Spring Resort. Travel time is around 2 hours.
Upon registration at Sira-an Hotspring, (where one needs to pay a P10 environmental fee), hire an outrigger boat that will bring you to the island. Nogas Island is just about 15-20 minutes boat ride. A medium size motorized boat can be rented for P500 and it can accommodate up to 10 persons. Also, a life vest is provided for safety.
So there! A perfect getaway sans locals and few tourists bumming around…