TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs
Country > Philippines > Antique > Pandan
Date > 2016 > Dec
Section > Traveling

Traveling

Exploring Pandan, Antique Dec 4-6, 2016

Exploring Pandan, Antique

Location Google Map: Pandan (municipality), Antique (province), Philippines

Basing in Pandan
I could have gone straight to Malumpati and taken lodging there. But I like town life - the culture, choice of different dishes at different price points, and the beach. I decided to stay in Pandan itself, the town proper and just do a daytrip to Malumpati. Lodging-wise, it would be cheaper too.

Accommodation
In Pandan, I talked to a few resorts/hotels for deals, but the decision makers weren't there. The only affordable option was a hole-in-the-wall transient house with galvanized sheets as my ceiling. It's been awhile since I went spartan with my lodging. I usually get lucky with hotel deals. So, from a US$279/night at SandCastles in Boracay, I now stayed 2 nights at this P100/night room. The sharp contrast appealed to me. I'm still a mountaineer by heart and can rough it guerilla-style.

Exploring Pandan, Antique
morning coffee by a sari-sari store in Pandan

Neighbors
There were other long-term transients staying there, mostly medical representatives from Pampanga. I got into conversation with one of them and got insight on how they live their lives, geting stationed 3 months at a time in one province to develop a marketing base for the vitamins they were selling. They get a 3-week break and get relocated to another province.

Curious
I was a new face in town and people were naturally curious. When they get the chance, they ask me the usual probing questions - where I come from, what I'm doing there, my job, why I'm traveling alone, etc. I try to be transparent. I give them info that suits them - that I'm a teacher on a vacation. If I tell them I have no home, no job and no property and travel with very little money, they wouldn't believe me and I would look suspicious to them.

Nature Laughs Cafe, Pandan, AntiqueNature Laughs Cafe
There is a new hotel that just opened up with a trendy cafe inside, the Nature Laughs Cafe owned by the amiable Lucille. I go there for my coffee and internet. The staff are young and the ambiance is chill. One wall is all windows to allow natural light - nice touch. The cafe and its chic appeal is a good refuge away from the staid town life.

Town Life
Walking around town, I would stop by the halo-halo place (P68), buy bread from the many bakeries lined-up, eat batchoy (P40), etc. Food is cheap. The beach is just a few steps away. The market is right in the heart of town. Surprisingly, bananas and fish are expensive in Pandan. The argument is that it's so close to Boracay. There is no movie house. I usually use a movie house or McDonalds as a benchmark if the place has come to an economic level beyond 'sleepy town'.

Pandan Beach ResortPandan Beach Resort
Pandan Beach Resort is the only beach resort in town - another place I go for internet and food. Its resto is alfresco by the beach and its wifi is reliable. The resort has full amenities and ideal for beachfront accommodation that's stone's throw from the town proper. The place is professionally managed and run.

Local Politics
It's odd that the buses are passing through the heart of Pandan, but passengers can't get off there (or to board in town). They have to get off at the bus terminal, about a kilometer south of town, which necessitates a P10 tricycle ride to town. The low-income locals were privately crying foul but the ones who drive claim it decongested traffic on the main road. Either way, the tricycle drivers are happy. So much for politics.

Phaidon Beach Resort
I was already on my way out of Pandan after staying 3 days, but I still had to meet up with the owner of Phaidon Beach Resort on the outskirt of town. Little did I know what was to happen next.

Ending Thoughts
Pandan is a sleepy town a little smaller than Culasi...probably a little less progressive. Why? There is no Tibiao Bakery! But it's bigger than Sebaste or Tibiao town. It is flanked by the sea and mountain like most of Antique's coastal towns. With the exception of the new hotel and Nature Laughs Cafe, it seems stuck in a time warp with local politics shaping the way things happen. My lingering thoughts? I hope the town comes up with an innovative solution to the loading and unloading issue. As I was leaving Pandan, I could have stopped any of the buses cutting through town but they won't stop - they're not allowed. I had to take a tricycle to the designated bus stop a kilometer away - that wasn't fun.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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Beach Life at Phaidon Beach Resort traveling
Beach Life at Phaidon Beach Resort
(Dec 6-8, 2016) After spending 2 nights in a P100/night room with galvanized sheets for a ceiling, I was already on the way out of Pandan with no more than P400 left in my pocket. But I needed to stop by Phaidon Beach Resort to briefly talk to its owner. Little did I know I'll be spending the next 2 nights in pampered luxury plus having some loose change...more »»

Google Map Pandan, Philippines

tourist attractions in Pandan tourist attractions
  • Malumpati Spring in Pandan Malumpati Spring - clean, clear and cold spring water
  • Pandan Pandan - main town and municipality for Malumpati
  • Sto. Rosario Junction in Pandan Sto. Rosario Junction - this is the landmark for the turn to Malumpati from the main highway
  • Bugang River in Guia Bugang River in Guia - alternative swimming with same Malumpati Spring water
hotels in Pandan beach resort hotel
  • Phaidon Beach Resort - white sand | beach house | scuba diving | resto and bar | house reef
    Pandan, Antique, Philippines
  • Pandan Beach Resort - packaged tour to Malalison Island, floating gazebo, beachfront resto, hammocks, souvenir shop
    Barangay Dionela, Pandan, Antique

How to get to Malumpati Spring

  1. from Boracay - take the Ceres Bus bound for Iloilo (via Pandan and not via Capiz). Get off at the Libertad Junction. There should be tricycles there to take you to Malumpati Spring
  2. from Pandan - you may have to take a tricycle to the bus terminal or better yet, take a tricycle bound for the hospital and wait for the bus there - same P10 rate but you're closer to Malumpati. Take the northbound Ceres Bus bound for Libertad (not Kalibo) and get off at the Sto. Rosario Junction (P10, 10 mins). At Sto. Rosarion junction, take another tricycle for Malumpati Spring (P50, 15 min). There is a paved road all the way to the resort area.

How to get back to Pandan from Malumpati Spring

Take a tricycle to the main highway (P50, 15 min). You can take another tricycle bound for Pandan which locals take (P15, 15 mins). On the highway, you can also wait for the Ceres Bus bound for Pandan (but you may have to overshoot Pandan and get off at the terminal - this means you take another tricycle ride back!). The local politics of Pandan is mired in self-interest!

Tips

As a cheaper alternative, try swimming instead at Bugang River in Guia. It's the same river spawned by Malumpati Spring. This is where the locals now go for a free swim on the river. Go there on the high tide - the spring water and the sea water combine to make it swimmable, otherwise, it would be too shallow.

Malumpati Spring Fees

Pandan Blogs by TheLoneRider

  1. Exploring Malumpati Spring in Antique Dec 5/7, 2016
  2. Beach Life at Phaidon Beach Resort Dec 6-8, 2016
  3. Exploring Pandan, Antique Dec 4-6, 2016

Suggested itinerary on the WEST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Pandan - Malumpati Spring
  5. Libertad - Maanghit Cave, Ati Cave and Bungan-Bungan Spring
  6. Sebaste - Igpasungaw Waterfall
  7. Culasi - Malalison Island
  8. Tibiao - hot kawa-bath, white water river rafting, Bugtong Bato Waterfall, rice terraces, Tibiao Bakery, pottery, fish spa
  9. Anini-y - Nogas Island, scuba diving

Suggested itinerary on the EAST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Kalibo - Bakhawan Eco-Park, Tigayon Hill
  5. Tambak - oysters
  6. Capiz - Roxas City
  7. Carles | Estancia - Gigantes Island Boat Tour, Lighthouse of Gigantes Island and Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island
  8. Iloilo - Batchoy Indulgence
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