Although it is just an island away from our hometown (Iloilo), Lakawon Island Resorts and Spa was not in the list of our must-go-to places in the Philippines, at least initially. We’ve heard about it mentioned in passing by some of our friends who had been there and seen pictures of it in social media, but it did not occur to us to visit the place as soon as we could- again, at least initially. So what drove us to go and see this, as it turned out, a gem of the Negros Island?
Well, when one of our classmates in high school, who is a seafarer, spent his vacation with his family last November, he invited us to join him spend a couple of days in Lakawon Island.
The idea of seeing a new place and of course the sense of adventure that goes with it instantly made as agree to him. The next thing we knew, we were making room reservations with the resort and starting to stuff our (favorite) bags with stuff that would last us a couple of days in an island we barely knew at all.
Day 1: Iloilo to Lakawon Island Resorts and Spa
We took the first ferry trip from Iloilo to Bacolod and arrived in Bacolod pier at 7 in the morning. We heard from our friends that food and drinks are expensive in the resort so we decided to buy some bread, water, canned foods, “chicherias,” and a bottle of liquor.
Right after, we took a tricycle from a 7/11 branch to Ceres North Bus Terminal (travel time is approximately 10-15 minutes). We then boarded a bus headed to Crossing Burgos in Cadiz Viejo. Depending on the traffic, travel time is approximately an hour and a half. From Crossing Burgos, we took a tricycle going to the Cadiz Port which took us at least 25 minutes to get there. Upon our arrival at the port, we paid their imposed environmental fee and the fare for the “bangka” to transport us to the island itself.
When we stepped on the island, the five of us were lost for words to describe the beauty of the place. We never expected that it was unexpectedly beautiful! From a ramp where we alighted the “bangka,” we walked a long wooden bridge going to the dry land. We saw some other visitors walking like Victoria’s Secret model on the runway.
We went straight to an impressive and cozy reception area and confirmed our booking. Their friendly staff led us to our hut, passing through a spacious restaurant crowded by locals and foreigners alike.
After setting our things inside the hut, we took a quick look of the surrounding. Facing our hut are other huts that were mostly occupied. To our left is a stretch of coastline facing the north and to our right is the “center” of the island- center because it’s where all the major edifices located.
Once we got a bit familiar of our environs, we had a simple lunch composed of rice, corned beef, pork and beans, and a bottle of soft drinks. Simple and bland it may seem, but we were content and satisfied.
After taking a nap, we decided to explore more of the island. We took the road “less travelled,” meaning the parts of the island where guests are not encouraged to wander. But since nobody stopped us, we continued to see other spots that other visitors didn’t care to see. Our target was a long stretch of sand mounds half a mile away from the center of the resort. On our way, we met a local fisherman mending his net and collecting crabs and other sea creatures that were unfamiliar to us. After some time, a couple of locals joined us and tried to strike a conversation.
We took all our time taking pictures, jump-shooting, and doing acrobats in a crescent-shaped sandbar free from other rowdy tourists. After having so much fun playing like children in the sand, we went back to our hut and prepared to go to the floating bar.
Tawhai Floating Bar– The Biggest Floating Bar in Asia
We were actually arguing whether we go to the floating bar (which is a 10-minute boat ride away from the resort, and closes at 10 in the evening) or stay in dry land and cook our dinner instead (which was pork barbecue marinated the night before). Our plan was to spend a couple of hours in the floating bar and return to the resort to cook our dinner afterwards. Everybody agreed.
After we ate our dinner, we spent the remainder of the night in bouts of drinking session, stargazing, and a quick visit to the beach.
Day 2- Falling in Love with Lakawon
We woke up to the smell of freshly cooked crabs and a light pounding in our head. But the sight of delicious crabs and steaming cup of coffee made us forget the slight headache and instantly enjoyed a big, sumptuous breakfast. A solid head start it is!
After breakfast, we jumped into the beach and basked under the November sun. The water is crystal clear, warm, and not very salty (we are particular with the taste of the water, actually 😃 😜 ). The sand is almost as fine as the sands of Boracay, and the surrounding environs are picture-perfect.
After swimming, frolicking, and laughing to our heart’s content, we went back to our hut, and packed our bags to go home. For an instant, we felt an ache to the thought that we were leaving quite soon.
Lakawon Island, initially, was not the best prospect for us to visit. But perhaps it was Life’s guiding hands that led us to this slice of heaven here on earth.
It’s a place where you can allow yourself to fall in love for a moment and just let it pass, knowing that she will always be there waiting for you to come back anytime soon.