The Mainstays: Antique Episode

Social media saw the proliferation of weird and sometimes awesome barkada names and it took our group a while to figure out what we should call ourselves (and which instant messaging app should we use).

We call ourselves Tatlerettes in Viber but it was harder to think of a name when we migrated to WhatsApp. We started with “Bitches No More” (because Franz loves the word “bitch”) and then we decided to use “The Mainstays.” I think the last one is here to stay 😉

Some of our friends know that our friendship is weird. We have a sick, but mostly fun, belief that we are all characters in a television series (with fan base and followers). I couldn’t remember how it started but our group meets regularly and when there’s a “big thing” in someone’s life that is transpiring right before our eyes. I couldn’t explain it well but we know — all of us knows when it’s time to launch a new season or time to convene for the season finale.

Anyway. We’re currently on Season 5 of The Mainstays and one of the most important episodes happened about a month ago. It was our trip to Antique — Franz’s hometown. We always celebrate Gel’s birthday by eating pizza and travelling to a new place and this year, we chose that place. It took a while to convince Franz to finally join us. I actually think he just went with us because it was his home province. But that doesn’t matter. It was one of the best and beautiful trips I have ever taken. Antique was so underrated! You have to be there to appreciate its splendor!

Day 1 was spent waiting for our flight. It was our first time to risk it with AirAsia and we almost swore we’ll never do that again. We were supposed to spend the first night in Antique but the flight was delayed by almost six hours, we were left with no choice but to stay somewhere near. Of course, we opted for Boracay.

We were not so lucky with the famous Boracay sunset. Caught it at the Caticlan jetty port, while waiting for our ride to the island. Spent the night walking along the shores, eating, shouting, screaming and enjoying some music while the rain’s pouring. It ended well, despite the exhaustion.

Day 2: The real purpose of our side trip to Boracay was to parasail, so parasail we went! We went around to haggle the price because we were kurips like that. It was amazing! Scary at first but also very fun. It’s a one of a kind experience and I’m glad I did the best friends were there. 🙂

Around after lunch, we went back to Caticlan and rode the bus to our actual destination — Antique. The ride was bearable and the view was beautiful. So worth it. After we arrived in Culasi, we rested for a while and went to the “Boulevard” to experience the amazing sunset. The place was superb. It was surrounded by mountains we dream of hiking!

Before the day ended, Franz’s aunt invited us inside a school campus where we witnessed the moonrise. I was in tears. It was beautiful. It was my first time to witness that. No words! And then we capped the night by having a good time, singing our hearts out. It was also my first time to sing in a public place — a local restaurant at that!

We were jumping from one town to another so on day 3, we went to Tibiao in Antique. The place didn’t disappoint. We rode motorcycles prior to our nature hiking to the Bugtong Bato Falls. The muddy hike was exciting but so worth it. We hiked to the second tier of the falls as well, but that part wasn’t really swimmable. So we took a refreshing dip at the first tier.

Went for the famous kawa hot bath afterwards and then it rained hard. So we kind of got stuck there while waiting for the rain to stop. Since we didn’t bring any food, we just settled with whatever available food they had there (read: canned stuff).

The hike back to the base was more challenging because the trail was wet but it was worth it. Rode the motorcycles back to the where we could ride the zipline. It was another first time experience. It was surreal. I loved it so much. I would love to do this again.

Day 4 was spent to offshore Culasi. We went to the ever famous Jewel island of Culasi known as Malalison Island, which boasts of a wide stretch of white sand beach. The sandbar was comparable to the best ones in the country! The jump off point was a rocky part of the island, where there was a cave that was too scary to enter. We just colored our hair blue (because we’re crazy like that), took some photos, and went hiking. Yes, hiking. Because that’s how we roll. We hiked and trekked and walked and explored all those trails to experience beautiful views of the ocean and the endless mountains. It was tiring and hot (imagine hiking in swimwear and slippers!) but worth it to see the entire island and the nearby Nablag islet.

After this trip, we went to visit Franz’s relatives where we had dinner and fun chat with his relatives. It was also our last night in Antique, so it was some sort of send-off party for Franz.

The original plan was to spend our last day somewhere nearby but we couldn’t help it. Our itchy feet were still up for more adventures. Thanks to Google, we found a place to spend our last few hours before the flight. We rode the bus going to the town of Pandan and took a long tricycle ride to the Malumpati Cold Spring, which sources water from the Bugang River — the country’s cleanest river. It was amazing, surreal even to swim in waters so clean.

We took a rocky trek to the headspring because, duh, it wouldn’t be us without the extra challenge. It was challenging because some paths aren’t very accommodating. But reaching the headspring was amazing. It was magical. The sound of nature made me giddy. It was so deep and clean and… gad. Beautiful is an understatement!

Finally got our pizza fix at the Kalibo airport, before our flight. 🙂 Last stop was MOA, where we had dinner before ending that wonderful hiatus from work. 🙂


Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think. :)

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