Sicogon Island, Carles, Iloilo
Often overlooked for its more popular neighbors like Boracay or Cebu, Sicogon Island, a thirty-minute boat ride away from Estancia, Iloilo, is a piece of the Philippines that travelers and adventurers dream of: an island that’s pure and raw, and blessed with great vistas and spectacular terrain.
What Sicogon lacks in resort amenities right now, it more than makes up for in its natural wonders, as it offers a true sea-to-summit experience. Best explored via motorcycle, it’s the type of island you can leisurely circle within a day.
Reserve an afternoon for getting to know the lay of the land and meeting its friendly locals, then spend the rest of your time there sinking your teeth into any one of its outdoor offerings. It boasts 282 hectares of protected forest land, three still-untouched beaches totaling 4.8km in length with crystal blue waters, and a gorgeous sunrise and sunset view from Mt. Opao’s summit, the island’s highest point. You might even see a monkey or two hanging on one of the trees on your way up.
Sicogon Island is an experience for everybody, a diamond in the rough positioned to be the area’s newest tourism hub, with nearby tourist magnets like the Gigantes Islands, Guimaras, Bantayan Island, and even Boracay just a boat ride away.
While it was once the location of a private beach club in the 1970s, almost all signs of that past has eroded and given way to the rawness of the island. Nature is at center stage in the Sicogon of today, and this time, it’s opening its wonders to the public.
Musang the cat on Mt. Opao, Sicogon Island
Photograph by Fruhlein Econar
This cat is witness to the many sunsets and sunrises of Mt. Opao. The story goes that, after being taken up by one of the trail guides, Musang just never wanted to leave. Now he’s a “mountain cat” that roams Sicogon’s highest peak, and feeds on snakes and rats.