#GypsyDiaries: Aningalan, San Remegio, Antique

Last May 7, 2017, as our final class requirement, we made a video blog of our trip to Aningalan, San Remegio, Antique.

The town of San Remegio is about three hours from Iloilo city. Meanwhile, Aningalan is about one hour from the town proper. The bus from Iloilo will drop you off at San Jose terminal. If you don’t have a car, you can rent a jeepney at the terminal to drive you straight to Aningalan. Renting a jeepney is better than commuting because the jeep can wait for you until you go back to San Jose. The rate of jeepneys range from 1, 500 to 2, 000 pesos. You just have to talk it out to the drivers, just like what we did. 😉

On our way there, we were on the top bunk so we can take good shots of the road. Aningalan is the last mountain barangay of San Remegio, beside the boundary of San Remegio, Antique and Bucari, Leon, Iloilo. It is very elevated so the temperature continuously drops the closer you get to the area. And one thing you need to see on the way to Aningalan is the view overlooking the lowland towns, as well as the landscape, mostly of mountain ranges. It’s beautiful!

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Instagram: @mackybaggins

When you arrive in Aningalan, you have to register first. I’d prefer you take the package: 40 pesos for all four tourist spots, with additional 30 pesos for strawberry farm (because it is a private property), 20 pesos for horseback riding, and 10 pesos for the balsa ride. With that, you get to have a tourist guide.

Aningalan is famous for its strawberry farm. It is a private-owned area. Tourists can enter by paying 30 pesos. According to our tourist guide, the strawberry farm just opened last December 16, 2016.

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Instagram: @mackybaggins

The strawberry season is from January to April. Unfortunately, when we arrived there, we learned that the strawberries from the April harvest were all bought by delegates of Palarong Pambansa. So sad. We weren’t able to taste the Aningalan strawberry at its sweetest glory.

We also did horseback riding for 20 pesos which is a 20 to 30-minute experience of the hacienda life. Hahaha! The children who own and take care of the horses are the ones leading the ride. They are very strict about not standing behind a horse. I swear! When I got down from the ride, I was surprised because, as if by reflex, they pull you away if you’re standing behind a horse.

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The area where we did the horseback riding. @mackybaggins

The best part about our horseback riding experience is that we get to stroll the edge of the hill overlooking the vast expanse of the lowland. Think New Zealand and Sound of Music. That’s how beautiful the area is. You can see the clouds spreading its uneven shadow. The air is fresh and cool. It’s very refreshing.

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Photo from Ana Villagracia’s Facebook post

Then we went to Igbaclag cave. According to our tourist guide, the cave used to be a shelter during the Japanese occupation. It is now a developed tourist spot. Just a heads up: never wear sandals when you’re planning to visit the cave. It will give you a hard time because the path inside the cave is tight and slippery.

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Igbaclag cave has two areas. The first cave is what our tourist guide jokingly refer to as the “day mode” because light is still able to enter the cave. It is not that enclosed. The second cave is the “night mode” because, obviously, it is dark in there.

I’ll just have to remind you that when you go there, please make sure that you don’t litter because, I’ve seen trash in the cave and I’m not happy about it. 😀

Our last destination is Danao Lake. It is a naturally-formed lake and the main attraction there is the balsa ride. You just have to pay an additional 10 pesos for the ride. The balsa ride is about 10 to 15 minutes. You can just lay back and feel the refreshing air of Aningalan.

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Instagram: @mackybaggins

According to our tourist guide, the people who supervise the Danao Lake, such as the children who row the balsa, are not from the area so they regularly go home to the barangay. It made me realize that the barangay council was able to distribute the labor to the residents.

Also, the tourist guides work in shifts during the weekdays. But they work full time on weekends perhaps because more people go there on weekends. If you are planning to go there, it won’t hurt to give your tourist guide a tip at the end of the trip.

So, enjoy Aningalan! You can watch our vlog here:

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