Concepcion, Iloilo in Two Days: A Photo Essay

bulubadiangan islandFind out how we spent a weekend in the quiet and charming islands of Concepcion, Iloilo.  Join me as I uncover this hidden gem of Iloilo, through 42 photographs.

 

Concepcion, Iloilo, located on the northeastern part of Panay Island, is a laid back town, in contrast to the world famous Boracay Island at its northwestern tip.  I first heard about Concepcion, Iloilo ironically from a female foreigner whom we met on a boat ride on our way back to Roxas, Capiz from Isla de Gigantes in Iloilo two years ago.

The old lady by the name we could not recall and which we tried to remember with every inch of our cerebral muscle (and failed), sold her belongings to travel the world.  She came to the Philippines and lived in village homestays during her travels.  Her next destination when we met her in Isla de Gigantes was Concepcion.  Here we are two years later, heading to the islands of Concepion, Iloilo ourselves.

 

Day 1 – Getting there

 

From Iloilo City, we rode a jeepney to Tagbak Bus Terminal in Jaro, Iloilo.  We then took a Ceres Bus to Concepcion, Iloilo.  Trips start as early as 6 AM until around 3 PM.  Travel takes about 2.5 to 3 hours.  We arrived past 10 AM at the Concepcion town.

These are the options on how to go to the islands of Concepcion:

1) The cheapest is to take the daily passenger boat, which leaves at around 10 AM daily from the Concepcion Fish Port.  Fare is Php 35 per person.  There is only one trip per boat per day.

2) Head to the Concepcion Tourism Office to arrange for boats to the islands.  Hiring a chartered boat is ideal for large groups of 5 to 10.

3) Contact resorts like Sandbar Island Beach Resort in Bulubadiangan Island, or Hotel Junbee in mainland Concepcion who also has cottages in Pan de Azucar Island.  They have their own private boats which can be rented at PhP 1,500 to 2,000 per boat (small motor boat, up to 4 or 5 capacity), roundtrip from Concepcion mainland to the resort, excluding island hopping.

We were lucky that a passenger boat is still available at the port even at past 10 AM. The boat ride took 45 minutes.   With no concrete plan on how to spend our weekend at Concepcion, Iloilo, we opted to get off and stay overnight at the Junbee Island Resort, along Tambaliza Beach, in Pan de Azucar Island.

Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo

We haven’t had breakfast yet at past 10 AM, so just imagine how we looked at those heap of bread with a twinge of longing.

Concepcion Iloilo

Tambaliza Beach at Pan de Azucar Island

 

Pan de Azucar

Concepcion, Iloilo is composed of 16 islands, none of these have hotels, only basic cottages, open or semi-closed cottages (photo below).  There are only a few accommodation options when you’re off the islands of Concepcion.  One is the Sand Island Beach Resort in Bulubadiangan Island, and Junbee Island Resort in Pan de Azucar Island.  We’ve also seen some visitors who pitched tents in Bulubadiangan Islands and the Junbee Island Resort where we “landed”.

Pan de Azucar This is our semi-closed cottage/nipa hut for a night at the Junbee Island Resort. You can close the door if you want “semi-privacy”.  Also don’t worry, they provide foam so sleeping on the bamboo slats is not that uncomfortable after all.

Pan de Azucar

Mt. Manaphag in Pan de Azucar Island is Concepcion, Iloilo’s most famous landmark

There is a common toilet and bathroom, the use of which could be quite challenging if there are a lot of tourists staying in the resort.  Electricity lasts from 6 AM until 10 PM.  As for the food, there were a group of 10 persons staying at the resort at the same time as us.  They have arranged for the food through the resort and the resort owner suggested that since it’s just two of us, we can just chip in our share to the group’s meals.  Perfect! No more fearful encounters of getting hungry.  (Note: Guests can actually bring or cook their own food but chipping in is the easier stint.)

Note: Sanitary treatment facilities for domestic wastewater is a concern that needs attention in the islands.  Untreated wastewater discharged to open canals pose significant risk to people and the environment. For tourism to become sustainable,a more sanitary environment in which both locals and tourists are able to enjoy the local biodiversity, is imperative.

After our late lunch, we had the luxury of time to explore Tambaliza beach.

Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo

Found these children selling halo-halo (Filipino dessert composed of shaved ice, milk and various ingredients like boiled sweet beans, coconut, sago, gulaman and other fruits). My first time to taste halo-halo with bits of chips.

Concepcion Iloilo

Concepcion Iloilo

Fisherman’s boat

Concepcion Iloilo

Short Hike to Hampangan Rock

 

We decided to view the sunset from Hampangan Rock, which offers an overlooking view of the Concepcion Islands and a close view of Mt. Manaphag, the second highest peak in Panay Island.  Crisha, our guide from the resort took us to Hampangan.  The easy hike took about 20 minutes.

According to Crisha, Hampangan translates to playground.  See the “sungka”-like rock formation in the photo below, lower rock level? (Sungka is a traditional Filipino Mancala game.)

Concepcion Iloilo

Our guide also told us that climbing the Mt. Manaphag involves a steep and dangerous ascent.  In fact, a climber already fell off and died in an attempt to reach the summit.  In the meantime, we’re contented with the views at Hampangan Rock.

Concepcion Iloilo

Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo

Concepcion Iloilo

We descended at sunset and went back to our humble nipa hut while anticipating what’s for dinner.

Day 2 – Island Hopping

 

Rise and shiiiine!!!  This is not too difficult at all to do if you’re sleeping in a semi-open hut in front of a beach, with the rays of sunrise waking you up.  I can just sit up from my “bed”, take a selfie while pointing my camera towards the beach, and instantly post a woke-up-like-this image on social media.  Selfies are not my thing, however, so I stood up, took my camera and enjoyed taking in and taking photos of sunrise views.

Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo

This side of Tambaliza Beach can be explored by foot during low tide

Concepcion Iloilo

This tree looks like a bonsai version of Balete. Interesting!

We arranged for the resort’s private boat to take us to the other islands after breakfast, then bring us back to the Concepcion town proper to catch the bus heading back to Iloilo City.   The last bus from Concepcion to Iloilo City leaves at about 3 or 4 PM.

 

Lumpatan Rock Formation

 

Our first stop for the island hopping is the Lumpatan Rock Formation, which is actually still within Pan de Azucar Island, which is the biggest among the islands of Concepcion.   The number one attraction in Lumpatan is the unique rock formations naturally shaped by the waves.  The barangay has built a walking trail along the cliff leading to the villages.

Concepcion Iloilo

The waves were rather rough that day and rocky where we docked.

Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo

Surfer’s waves-like rock formation

Agho Island

 

Agho Island in Concepcion, Iloilo is made of white sand beach.  The aqua blue water invited us to take a quick dip.  From Agho Island, you get an imposing view of Mt. Manaphag, while Sombrero Island seems to play the role of the defender to its king, Mt. Manaphag.

Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo

Concepcion, Iloilo

Concepcion Iloilo

 

Bulubadiangan Island

 

Our last stop is Bulubadiangan Island, which is known for its shifting sandbar.  From here, you can view the nearest island, Igbon Island and Mt. Manaphag from a distance.  The sandbar reveals itself in full form during low tide.  At the time we visited, the sea was already starting to shift into a high tide.  We still had the chance though to walk through the sandbar while the shallow parts are slowly becoming submerged in the water.

Concepcion Iloilo

Sandbar forms by opposing currents on both sides

Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo Concepcion Iloilo

That ends our weekend immersion to the wonders of nature.   Check below how much we spent for 2 days, one night in Concepcion, Iloilo.

 

Travel Cost

 

The following costs does not include air travel from Manila to Iloilo City.  Costs included here starts from our travel from Iloilo City.

Php (for one person)  
12 Jeep from Iloilo City to Tagbak Bus Terminal
125 Bus fare Iloilo City to Concepcion
35 Passenger boat, Concepcion port to Pan de Azucar Island
250 Cottage at Junbee Resort (actual cost is 500, divided by 2), one night
45 Entrance fee to Junbee Resort (actual cost is 90, divided by 2)
150 Guide to Hampangan Rock (actual cost is 300, divided by 2)
1,250 Boat rental for island hopping (Lumpatan Rock Formation, Agho Island, Bulubadiangan Island, back to Concepcion town, actual cost is 2,500, divided by 2)
200 Lunch, Day 1 (actual cost is 400, divided by 2)
200 Dinner, Day 1 (actual cost is 400, divided by 2)
150 Breakfast, Day 2 (actual cost is 300, divided by 2)
200 Lunch, Day 2
30 Environmental fee
25 Bulubadiangan Island entrance fee
25 Agho Island entrance fee

TOTAL per person:  Php 2,697


Did you like this post? Pin It!

Concepcion, Iloilo

27 thoughts on “Concepcion, Iloilo in Two Days: A Photo Essay

  1. Alice Chen

    Wow I had no idea this island existed in the Philippines! It looks like an amazing place to go visit. Those islands and the oceans are so blue and perfect!I especially love all those islands!

  2. yukti

    Nice presentation. Most beautiful part of your blog is the division of money.
    Detailed description of how to go there and all pricings are mentioned.
    Nice Blog

  3. Only By Land

    Concepcion looks like the perfect and laid back version of Boracay in the Philippines. You must have had a wonderful day on the boat visiting all the Islands. Your photos really show the beauty of Concepcion, very rarely do I see a sunrise photo, it was worth waking up for!

  4. Shannon

    I love places off the beaten path! I’ve never heard of Concepcion, Iloilo but it looks amazing. The beaches alone are worth the trek there! And seems very affordable. Adding this to my bucket list of places to visit .

  5. Julie Cao

    The beach on the Bulubadiangan Island is so pristine and walk on the sandbar is amazing. Concepcion, Iloilo is such an untamed and beautiful island and even the facility is very basic, the scenery is totally worth a visit. I would love to sleep in a semi-closed cottage or a tent and embrace the completely wideness.

  6. therainbowroute

    Those beaches are just incredible! Iloilo definitely looks worth the effort of getting there. I love that you can sleep in open huts. As much as I like a good hike, I wouldn’t put my life at risk either.

  7. Diana Chen

    I’ve never heard of Concepcion before but now I want to go! What a frightening story about Mt. Manaphag – I would be content with the view from the Rock too. Your sunrise photos are gorgeous, and I love the wave-like rock formations! I’ve never seen anything like it before.

  8. Tania Mukherjee

    This is the first time I am reading about Concepcion, never knew a place so beautiful exists! I would love to visit the shifting sandbars of Bulubadiangan Island! Thank you for attaching the price list at the end- it really helps out budget travelers like me!

  9. Bhusha

    As I always say, Philippines is so blessed with the bounty of Mother Nature! The so many islands and secluded beaches and greenery are so beautiful. I haven’t heard of Concepcion. So thanks so this post. Esp thanks for this price breakup so it givesan idea to new tourists.

  10. kemkem

    The beaches are absolutely stunning. Each and every one. That’s saying a lot for someone like me who doesn’t even swim :-). My hubby would be in heaven. I can see why people sing praises of the beauty of the Philippines. Thanks for sharing.

  11. gokulr27

    Looks pretty isolated. Would love to have the place all to myself. Lovely beaches and cliffs. This is a nice view to wake up to.

  12. Miranda

    To watch a sunrise from your bed sounds just lovely! Love the cute little huts! I’ve only ever stayed at hotels on vacation; it sounds like an awesome experience to be sleeping that close to nature (but still better than camping! lol)

  13. Sandy N Vyjay

    The pictures are wonderful! Seems like I am experiencing this, would love to go there with this wanderlust soul. The rocks and the beaches, give a soulful experience. you must have had a soulful experience in the boat rides

  14. Deb 'n' Kev

    Looks like a natural paradise, and the photos are wonderful for conveying just that. The boat ride itself appears to be an adventure and what a way to start a trip. Hopefully it will be developed in a reasonable way and the locals can benefit from clean water and economic benefits without losing what makes their community unique.

  15. sg

    What a gorgeous part of the world. I had never heard of Iloilo so thanks for introducing me to it. Mt. Manaphag and Agho Island seem like the stand out spots. They are just so beautiful. I wondered with the poor water quality if it’s safe to swim there? That water looks amazing.

    1. findingjing Post author

      Tambaliza Beach (fronting our huts) is still visibly clean. However, my concern is that with more and more people visiting in the future, the beach will potentially get affected if the wastewater from the kitchen and the houses gets discharged without proper treatment.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: