The Philippines is a marvel. Being an archipelago, we have so many islands with its own rich diverse natural resources. We have so many popular destinations, but there are still more that are waiting to be uncovered. One such hidden gem is the Caluya group of islands in the province of Antique.
The Caluya Group of Islands
Caluya is a First Class Municipality in the Province of Antique, but it is actually separated from the mainland. It is a quaint, medium-sized island with close to 40,000 residents.
Its most notable natural attractions would be its pristine white sand beaches. Unspoiled, you can walk kilometers on the fine white sandy beach without a care and without getting distracted with noise pollution.
Furthermore, travelers will find seaweeds, deep caves, rocky mountain, and endless coconut plantations around the island.
Tatus (Coconut Crab)
But perhaps their most unique “must-try” would be the “Tatus”. It is a coconut crab that grows on dry land. It has a different flavor, too.
I really want to visit the island because of two things – beaches and crabs. We love crabs! Naturally, a seafood trip should be in order, to which I know that my husband would just easily concur.
Moreover, I think it would also be great to bring our whole family here, as the kids would enjoy frolicking on the pristine white sand beaches. And the eldest is old enough to appreciate snorkeling and seeing underwater scenes.
Streetlights in Caluya
Due to being an archipelago, our islands are not just physically disconnected. Many remote municipalities in the Philippines do not have to electricity because they are not connected to the power plants.
However, Caluya Municipal Mayor Genevive Lim-Reyes made a commitment last 2016. She wanted to see the entire island lighted up at night with street lamps. Moreover, the goal included major thoroughfares to barangay streets. She envisioned this expansive endeavor as part of their anti-crime measure.
Additionally, she believes that the lights will add to the romantic and picturesque scenes around the island at night. Mayor Reyes hopes that these vistas will be captured and shared on social media. These will then encourage more tourists to visit the Caluya group of islands.
The street lighting project is finally completed and people can now enjoy the most wonderful lighted street scenes in the Province of Antique—only in Caluya!
For a town that is quite a distance from the mainland, medical facilities are important to cater to the needs of locals as well as tourists.
On this note of Mayor Genevive Lim-Reyes told Vice Mayor Diosdado L. Egina and its SB Members to focus on the delivery of the best medical care possible to the Caluyanhons.
Moreover, this mandate covers all visitors to the islands. The mayor knows the need in times of disasters and emergencies and one of their moves is the purchase of the municipal ambulance. This project happened through the help of the Department of Budget and Management under the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF).
Tatusan Festival 2019
The best time to visit the Caluya group of islands is during the summer season, when the sun is out and the seas are safe for travel.
In this regard, Mayor Reyes is inviting everyone to visit Caluya in the event of the Tatusan Festival from May 29 to June 1, 2019. The pageantry is in honor of this unique crab variety that the island has been blessed with.
I believe that during the festival time, there will be an abundance of the Tatus that people will get to enjoy.
Please find the detailed events of the Tatusan Festival 2019 below.
If you would like to visit Caluya soon, read on for the travel details.
How to get to the Caluya Islands
Entry points to Caluya are from Iloilo City, San Jose in Antique, and Caticlan. Check out how to get to Caluya from different origin destinations.
From Iloilo City
From the Molo Terminal, Iloilo City, take a bus or van bound for Libertad, Antique. The travel time from Iloilo to Libertad may take about six (6) hours. Make sure to pack some snacks, water, and a neck pillow. These are some ways to travel with the least stress.
- Fare: Bus – PhP264/pax | Van – PhP300/pax (Approx. US$6)
From San Jose, Antique
From Dalipe Terminal, San Jose, Antique, ride a bus or van going to Libertad, Antique. Travel time from San Jose to Libertad may take approximately four (4) hours.
- Fare: Bus – PhP164/pax | Van – PhP200/pax (Approx. US$4)
You can ride a bus bound for Antique at the Caticlan Jetty Port. Instruct the driver to drop you at crossing Fullon. Then take another bus or tricycle ride going to Libertad, Antique.
- Fare: Bus A (from Caticlan) PhP50, Bus B (from Antique) PhP25 pesos
Crossing the Sea
The moment you’ve reached the Libertad Port, take a Ferry Boat (MV Express or MV Leonor) going to Caluya Island. Ferry trips are at 3AM daily. Travel time from the Libertad port to Caluya is approximately 3 hours.
- Fare: MV Express/ MV Leonor- PhP450 + PhP 20 Terminal Fee (Approx US$9.50)
Once you’ve docked at the Caluya port, take a tricycle ride going to the Town Proper where the hotels are located.
- Fare: Tricycle – PhP50 (Approx. US$1)
Caluya Island Accredited Tour Guides
Professional tour guides are also available in the island. It is best to arrange you schedule with them prior to your visit.
Below is the list of contact numbers of the tourism staff:
- 09123342555 – Gino Montaño
- 09301642437 – Amando Batad
- 09072849228 – Rejan Dela Cruz
- 09501113009 – Ernie Flores
- 09128057916 – Joana Marie Aguilar
Or you may directly message the Caluya Facebook page for your queries: Municipality of Caluya
Come and Visit
Visit Caluya Island in Antique and discover some more facets to our country that you haven’t seen before. Indeed, it is more fun in the Philippines. See you there!