Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Around Looc & Aglicay Beach Resort

The boat from Carabao Island/Hambil arrived in Sta. Fe port of Tablas island shortly past 7:00am. Tip: apply sunblock before you ride the boat. A row of motorcycles at the port await for possible passengers. I chose a relatively bigger motorcycle (I think it was bigger) and negotiated the fare going to Aglicay Beach Resort. We settled at Php 200. I’m not sure how much is the “standard local price” because Aglicay Beach Resort is not a standard drop-off point. I am not good in haggling anyway

Sta. Fe port

It was a smooth ride going to the resort. I knew that it was quite far but I didn’t think it would take us around 40 minutes. I was already feeling the numbness in my butt and my shoulders were aching from my backpack. I also packed my laptop in my handy shoulder bag so that contributed to the pain. Boooo.

The Resort Manager, Kristine, was all smiles as she greeted me. I chose a beachfront room which costs Php 900/night. She offered the room first, so I can rest. I probably looked so tired from that habal habal ride.

Rest vs. Food. I prioritized food. I ordered a Fried Daing from their Breakfast Menu which costs Php 140. Food preparation took a while but that was understandable. There’s not a lot of people in this resort. I had the time to take some photos of this peaceful beach.

Oh yeah. Breakfast. ‘Twas a hearty breakfast.

An additional plate of fruit was also served to me

There was a storm in Manila during that time, but it was mildly drizzling in the resort. I dozed the morning away. 

The resort has a single/habal-habal contact. I asked him to take me to Looc and Back and the trip cost me Php 300. Okay. Looc is around 10km from Aglicay Beach Resort, which translates to a 20-25 minute ride. Some parts of the road is just paved dirt but we got by.

The afternoon in Looc

I arrived at Looc Fishing port, excited to meet some fish. UNFORTUNATELY, my timing was off. It was Independence Day and there was a tree-planting activity of students where the Looc Fishing port guides were the ones in charge to handle the activity. They had to turn me down. I think they were also more excited to tour guide the kids. Oh well. I was told that there were two persistent foreigners who were already there. When the weather cleared during lunch, they were allowed to go there. Not me. Unlucky me. Oh well. They told me to come back the next day but I didn't feel like going back anymore. I didn't want to pay another Php 300. I saw the waves as well, and they were quite rough. And the boat to be used was just small. I am adventurous, but I am not a buwis-buhay type of adrenaline junkie.

I watched the paragliders have fun.

That looks like fun

Some locals were curious about me. Solo female traveller here. Alone. I want to tour. I cannot be entertained. They asked where I came from, how I got to Romblon, and why was I in Romblon. I asked the question: Why is the airport closed? I lamented that the province can be more accessible to the outside world (both tourists and locals) if the airport was operating. Turns out that one in a motorcycle is an LGU official. He seemed to like my question. He invited me to hang out with a couple of locals. In some other populated and heavily crowded provinces, I would have turned down this invitation but 1) I was in Romblon, a pretty safe province and 2) I had nothing to do. Having the afternoon off, I decided to give it a try. For an hour, I was entertained and amused (or was it the other way around?) by a happy group of locals.

Chilli out in a resort in Looc with the locals and starfish

An hour later, the foreigners who were in the fishing sanctuary walked down our path. The group waved them hello and they waved back. The locals took this an opportunity to invite them. They were French students doing internship in the Philippines. I thought it must be an outreach program, I met a med student from Ireland in Batanes who was doing internship here. They were students majoring in microfinance and they were in the Philippines for two months doing their internship. They said that Philippines is quite “advanced” in microfinancing. Imagine that! Some provinces in France are not as wealthy.

The afternoon passed in beer and laughter. I didn’t really drink a lot, I just held the bottle and laughed. At sundown, we all parted ways. The French students planned to visit Ferrol's fiesta and invited me to tag along. I already drank a bit during the afternoon and I wanted a quiet evening by myself. Sorry, di na ko bagets. :P

Aglicay Beach Resort

The staff recommended that I do some sunrise viewing the next morning. The sunrise view is right in front of the beach, so that's quite easy. The big problem was getting up early.  I am not used to waking up so early anymore, after I changed jobs. It was an effort getting up at 5-ish in the morning. 
Pretty nice sunrise in Aglicay Beach Resort

I only had the opportunity the next day to fully explore Aglicay Beach Resort. The pristine waters were inviting that morning. Slathered with sunblock, I swam in the peaceful waters. The waters in this side were more peaceful in this side of Tablas during this time of the year.

Daydreaming in pink
This is a perfect spot if you want to get away from the maddening crowds of Boracay. It does not boast of a 5-star super accommodation, but its beachfront accommodation costing Php 900/night is cozy enough.

Beachfront cottages

The room is airy, it has windows on three sides. The resort has their own generator that they turn on during the night. Just open the windows and you'll be fine. The island has rotating brownouts and the schedules are erratic.

I hiked at the top of the hill. The trail was easy, and there was a railing if you need support. 

I was rewarded with this breathtaking view. I haven't encountered such a beautiful view of the whole beach ever. Comparing this to Anawangin Cove's view, Aglicay Beach can confidently boast that they have this view.

Breathtaking view on top

Such a nice piece of paradise tucked in this quiet side of Tablas. If you've been dreaming about chilling in some beach and have some personal time to write that novel, this is the place!

The staff invited me for a boat ride around the cove. I forgot to reapply sunblock. The result: sunburn. -.-

The waters recede during low tide.

The staff was very nice during my stay. They knew that I was alone, so they made sincere effort to chat with me, without disrupting my alone time. I learned that there are mostly locals during the weekend for a daytrip. Since I had the resort all to myself, I went around

View from the hillside

A cottage at the back side of the resort

I had time in the afternoon to still roam around. The waters receded to reveal this landscape.

The abundant marine life revealed itself.

The seabed during low tide is peppered with starfish!


A jellyfish who didn't swim fast enough

I considered gathering  all the starfish and spelling my name (ang vain lang no) but my habal-habal ride already arrived to take me Odiongan. 

Lots of photos there. I really enjoyed the place! Aglicay Beach Resort definitely made my Romblon trip unforgettable. I'll definitely stay here again someday. :)

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