Monday, May 13, 2013


                                   The famous Tangke

Island hopping and sight seeing in Carles is not complete if you cant take a plunge in the cool crystal clear water of "Tangke"

Tangke in Hiligaynon means tank or a container.  Just like its name sake, Tangke is compares to a container with high rising karst stones around it. During high tide, the water in Tangke also rises, just like a tank being filled with seawater. On low tide, the water also recedes.

                                The entrance of Tangke.

Tangke is located in the Southern part of Gigantes Sur, Carles, Iloilo. The only way to get there is through boat and the best time is during high tide.

The Tangke during low tide

Welcome to the Beaches and Resorts of Carles

For all the persons who are wishing a one of a kind vacation, whether it will be a romantic getaway or just escape the hustle and bustle of city life, add the part of fun here in Carles.   

There are a number resorts overlooking the sea with beaches with gray sand, beaches with pink sand, those that seem to go on forever without any sign of human life, and others that hum with activity.

Below is  list of Carles' resorts and beach spots where you can unwind and have the great time of your life at the same time proving that beachgoing experience doesn't have to always look like what you see in commercials.         

Blue Lagoon Beach Resort. Located at Barangay Guinticgan, Carles, Iloilo.  Though currently on sale, the resort is still operational.
Dos Hijas Beach Resort.  Adjacent to Blue Lagoon Resort, Dos Hijas has several rooms that could accommodate a maximum of 100 visitors.  It has a pavilion for social gatherings. (contact number 09395641262)

Reception Area of Dos Hijas Beach Resort

Jeanette and Lovisa Resort. This resort has a two room building for overnight stay and open hut cottages for picinic goers.It is located at Barangay Guinticgan, Carles, Iloilo. (contact number 09218501787)

Shangrila Beach Resort. Located at Barangay Barosbos, Carles, Iloilo, it has two function rooms for social gatherings and several aircon and fan rooms for overnight stay. (contact number 33 3962081 and 33 3291360)

Palm Garden Beach Resort.  Just beside Shangrila, Palm Garden is famous for its nice landscape and pavillions for beach weddings and other gatherings.  The resort also has 4 bamboo and one concrete huts for those who love to stay overnight. (contact number 09081485653)

Round Pavilion of Palm Garden Resort

Beach Head Resort. A kilometer away from Poblacion Carles, the resort has 10 rooms that could accomodate a a number of visitors. It has a pavillion for meetings and other functions and a videoke bar to while away time.  It also offers island hopping to several islands of the Municipality. 
(contact number 09196895036)

Open Pavilion of Beach Head Resort

Punta Beach Resort.  Located at Barangay Punta, Carles, Iloilo, the resort has a dormitory type accomodation, a large pavilion for social functions and a number of nipa huts for picnic goers. (contact number 09228484028)

Nipa Huts for picnic goers

Chateau de Aow in Barangay Bancal is a situated with in the Mangrove area.  It has two airconditioned rooms and native cottages for overnight stay. It also offers island hopping. Food particularly seafoods is also available by order.

When staying overnight in the Islands, Rosewood Place at Sitio Tabun-ak Barangay Granada is the best palce to be.  It offers island hopping and food is readily available by order.(contact number - 09079551099) 

Other resorts in Gigantes are, Gigantes Hideaway, Rejohn Tourist Inn and Beach Resort, Arjan Beach Resort and Gigantes Tourist Inn.  

Enjoying the sun and sights of Carles would take a day or two.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

inspiring PAST

       Scanning through the yellowed pages of a typecript written by Andrada, I was facinated with the fact that Carles, a far flung municipality and the native home of my father has a very interesting and colorful past. 

       Before the said written chronological account of past events and development of Carles, it is believed that the islands of Gigantes have been the seat of ancient civilization as manifested by the burial and ceremonial jars excavated in the area.

Ceremonial Jars excavated at Gigantes Islands. It wascarbon
dated to be during the metal age or 200 BC

Wooden coffin also found in Gigantes Islands. It is believed tobe the casket of the Giant of the Island.

The recorded chonological list of historical events begun in 1846.

1846     Francisco Arriola from Jolo founded Punta Bolokawe and organized the early settles known as Bolokawe settlement.

October 15, 1850     Francisco Arriola and settlers celerated their first Thanksgiving Day.  Arriola was chosen as the first Teniente del Barrio.

1855     Barrio Bolokawe settlers transferred to Barrio Badiang ( Barangay Badiang is a flat lowland where wild giant gabi variety of plant was abundant)now Barangay Poblacion

January 1860     Arriola and settlers petitioned the change of status of Barrio Badiang into a municipality from the Spanish Governor of Iloilo, Jose Maria Dominguez Carles.

          Carles was turned to pueblo or municipality by virtue of an executive proclaimation of the the Governor General in Manila. The people of Barrio Badiang out of their gratitude to Governor for his benevolence approved and presented another petition to change the name Badiang to Carles in honor of the Governor.  This petition was approved, thus Carles became a town of Iloilo.

July 1, 1886  Carles was inaugurated as a new Pueblo and Alejandro Buaya was the first Gobernadorcillo del Pueblo.

1892   By operation of Maura Law, Pueblo de Carles was changed into Municipio de Carles.  The first elected Municipal Captain was Luceno Golingan.

November 1898  The title of Capitan Municipal was changed to Presidente Local.

1901 - 1903    First Presidente Local was ex-Capitan Municipal Luceno Golingan.  He was the last executive of Carles before Carles was transferred to Balasan on January 1, 1904.

1904 - 1919     Demotion of Carles to a status of a barrio of Balasan municipality.  Carlesanons abandoned their town and migrated to other places.  Carles then became a "ghost" town for 16 years.

          Few energetic sons of Carles took part in its administration in Balasan led by Casimero Andrada and Numeriano Bartolome.

       Carles Separation Movement from Balasan was headed by Casimero Andrada together with other Carlesanons namely:
  • Luceno Golingan
  • Tiburcio Betita
  • Carpio Borgonia
  • Anacleto Bellosillo
  • Moises Enojas
  • Catalino Solis
  • Liberato Guillen
  • Tomas Satiago
  • Venancio Zarceno
  • Bartolome Dionaldo
  • Fabian Deanon
  • Fruto Bartolome
  • Jose Abdallah
  • Gerardo Josue
  • Donato Solis
  • Fortunato Acolentava
  • Juana Golingan Villanueva
  • Felix Bullo
  • Filomeno Enojas
January 1, 1920       Carles was finally restored to its Municipal status. Federico Ramos was appointed as the first Municipal Preseident in Carles.

Barrios of Carles

Here are some trivial facts about how the barrios of Carles got its names.  (data in Spanish Language provide by Pantleon Acolentaba)

Barangay Binuluangan

Barangay Binuluangan was formerly named "Baliw".  It was once a down stream portion of the mainland but because of the alluvialaction of the water of two streams, it got separated from the mainland, thus the term "Buluang" or breach.  The sitio as it separated became known as "Binuluangan"

The first family settlers were Blas and Pedro Burangot (Boholanos) who were known to have died of gun shots.

As can be recalled, the Tenientes del Barrio (Barangay Captains) were: Sinforo Esca, Zacarias Betita, Benigno Tamayo, Nicolas Belosa, Ellias de los Reyes, Zacarias de los Reyes, Graciano Bas and Alojo de los Reyes.
Binuluangan Island

Barangay Pantalan (Binuluangan Island)

"Pantalan" is a Spanish term for port were merchandise are loaded and unloaded but the term was ascribed to the sitio where boats for one Spaniard Don Vicente Lopez were constructed.

The names of previous Tenienties de Barrio (Barrio Lieutenants) though not precisely and completely recorded were: Gil Bilaran, Feliciano Diel, Martin Dichuesa, Casimiro Bilaran.

Barangay Tabugon (Binuluangan Island)

Tabugon is separted from Binuluangan Island by a narrow canal of sea.  Its indigenous name was "Talabucan" or "Tabucon". It simply means crossing over because during low tide one can wade across the narrow canal tog et to the barrio from Binuluangan Island (main).

The first inhabitants were Boholanos and the Teniente del Barrio were Zacarias Adrias and Tomas Betita

Calagnaan Island

The name Calagna-an wa given to the island from the Visayan word or name Dagne or Lagns because of the various water springs that are located in different parts of the island, thus the name Dagna.

The name Calagna-an was given to the island from the Visayan word or name Dagna or Lagna because of the various water springs that are located in different parts of the island, thus the name Clagna-an

Calagnaan Island viewed from Mount Opao Sicogon Island.

Barangay Bito-on (Calagnaan Island)

The name Bito-an came from the name of a tree named Bitoon that is abundant in the area.  The early settlers are Feliciano Cabolleron, Feliciano Cabolleron, Apolonio Cabolleron, Candido Gratil and Victor Cabolleron.

 The list of Tenientes del  Barrio as can be recalled were, Feliciano Cabolleron, Nicolas Baricando, Candido Gratil, Claudio Dolor, Victor Cabolleron, Prudencio de la Cruz, Mateo Cabolleron, Anastacio Bullo, Vicente Pacheco, Estanislao Daroca, Civiaco Magbanua, Juan Lachica, Leon Doroca, Candido Solidum, Ambrosio Dias, Diego Arceo, Juan Bullo, Crispulo de la Cruz, Perfecto Villanueva,
 Sergio Bautista, Evaresto Zerrudo.

Barangay Tingiban (Calagnaan Island)

The actual name of Tinigban came from the instance when the people dug from the rocky place in the area a well where they extract or fetch water.

It was established in 1891 when people from the mainland was pooled to form the barrio.  The early settlers were: Hilario de la Cruz, Mamerto de los Reyes, Pablo Bangalisan, Juan Basilio, Vicente Sorsona, Saturnino Requinto.

Tiniente de Barrio from the time the barangay was formed was Hilario de la Cruz and the succeeding leaders were Saturnino Requinto,  Mamerto de los Reyes, Juan Basilio, Pablo Bangalisan, and Vicente Sarsena.

In the Barrio once ducked the ship "Mactan" in 1880 by the decision of the officers of the ship Chisrruca.  The ship entered Balili River (also known as Balili Bay) of the Barrio for the night, talked with the Monteses  of the sitio for direction to Sicogon Island.

Barangay Apad, Calagnaan Island

Barangay Apad was the first barrio established in Calagna-an Island simultaneously with Barangay Bancal.  Early settlers and barrio lieutenants cannot be ascertained because the old families and those that followed could not remember.  It is believed that Anastacio Bordan and Saturnino Bullos have been elected as Barrio Lieutenants.

Manigonigo Island

The actual name of the island is Manigonigo for the island resemble a native pan or bamboo woven tray.

Manigo-nigo Island

Talunan-an Island

Barrio Buenavista is better known as Talinan-an.  Known Barrio Lieutenants were Jose Dejusco, Placido Banes and Gregorio de los Reyes.

Balbagon Island

Actual name of the barrio is Balbagan.  The island is considered very disastrous because of sharks and boulders  in shallow waters.  Boats trying to dock in the island that were not familiar with the navigational way were destroyed.  Eventually, the island became deserted.

Navorot Island (Naborot)

The island's name was derived from the tuber "burot" which were abundant in the island.  It was uninhabited and those who frequent the island were the inhabitants of Tolan-an.

Agcolayo Island

The name Igkalayo is derived from the word "kalayo" or fire because it is made of reddish soil that looks like fire. The island was formely assigned to lepers.

Sicogon Island
(Data were provided by Simeon Arangat, Isidro abeng, Julian Adrece and Dionisio Moreno)

Sicogon is the name given to the island because of the abundance of cogon grass.

Sicogon Island

It could not be recalled but the island was inhabited before the establishment of the municipality of Estancia. The commune was founded by Spaniard, Don Candido Sanchez with the early family settlers. Known barrio lieutenants were: Oro N., Mariano Villaguilermo, Cayetano N.or Tanoy, Francisco Lengonor, Tomas Alicante, Ancelmo Lopez Dizon, Inocencio Danao, Placido Placido Tuner, Daoroteo Igancio, Victor Acodician, Semion Arangot, Primitivo Arceo, Narciso Colongon, Arispulo Danao, Isidro Serafino, Gabriel de la Cruz, Pedro Mahinay, Dioniseo Moreno, Evangelista N., Martin Danao, Roman Lutay-lutay and Patricio N.

Barangay San Fernando

Actual and official name San Fernando the Saint loved by the inhabitants.

Gigantes Islands

The primitive name of Gigantes Islands was Sabuluag or Salauag derived from a tree specie endemic in the area. It was changed to isla de Gigante because the first settlers found a mortuary box made of rock and measure 8 feet in length containing colossal remains of human being. In the Danao-danao cave at Gigantes Sur, the settlers also found mortuary boxes of this kind. This prompted them to believe that the place was the cemetery of the colossal person who inhabited the island.

Gigantes Islands

Gigantes Sur

Barangay Gave

(Data were facilitated by Clarito de la Vega, Feliciano Salvacion of Gigantes Norte, 
Santiago Gimena, Epifanio Magnate and Semion Rubrico of Gigantes Sur.)

Actual and official name of the barrio was Gave where the early inhabitants cultivates tubers with this name and was established approximately 40 years from the date Carles was founded in 1846.

Early settler was the family of Macario Francisco. Since the barrio was under the domain of the barrio of Gigantes Norte thus the Barrio Lieutenants will be that of the barrio in Gigantes Norte.

Barangay Lantagan
Lantagan derived from the Visayan term “lantagan” which means to rest or a point/place where the navigators make a stop over.

Early family settlers were: Garcia Guzman, German Guzman and the same Macario Francisco of Gabi. Like Gabi, Lantagan is under the domain of Gigante Norte.

There are three deserted islets under the jurisdiction of barangay Gabi. Two are known as Cabugao (Pomelo) as its shape resembles that of the fruit and Bantigui, as there exist trees of the same name. These islets are of limestones just like the texture of the main islands of Gigantes Norte and Gigantes Sur.

Gigantes Norte

Barangay Granada. The name of the barrio is insignificant.  Langub which is near Barrio Granada means lungib in the local dialect was more prominent.  It was established in 1871.

Near the island of Gigantes Norte are islets Way-Dahon and Bolobadyang suiter the same limestone and rock composition as those of Gigantona and Gigantillo.

Barangay Bancal
(Data were provided by Hugo Dequeña and Laurente Adrias)

Actual/official name of the barrio was Bancal for the tree of the same name. Early family settlers were Alejandro Carmen, Pio Borgos, Cabo Valerio, Garcia Guzman (Cambalatong), Domingo Guzman, Inocencio Bandojo, Panday Yano (Sitio Cabuguana)

The Barrio Lieutenants that can remembered were: Pio Borgos, Manuel Bensurto, Tomas Burgos, Fabian Deanon, Inocentes Bensurto and Hugo Dequeña.

Barangay Abong

Abong was established in 1887, during the administration period of Governor Don Ibañez and was named after the person in command of the Riachuelo River.

Early family settler were: Pantaleon Alarpa, Lozoro Bacoses, Juan Balinos (Tarong) and                         Gallardo Borgoño (Tarong)

Barangay Cawayan,

The name Cawayan came from the word kawayan or Caña Espina (bamboo) that was once abundant in the area  and was established in 1868, during the administration period of Governor Don Fernando Bulapo.

Early family settlers were:Lorenzo Botierres, Alejandro Miguel, Martin Bantillo, Francisco Desaca o Paran,  Elueterio de la Cruz, Abdon de la Cruz, Damazo Bandiez, Toribio Marcelo, Mateo Morales, Santiago Salmoren, Agustin Marcelo, Lorenzo Botierres, Francisco Marcelo, Lorenzo Bacanto, Ciriaco Bandiez,   Meleton N and Lucos Bacor.

The Barrio Lieutenant were Lorenzo Botierres, Mateo Montoles, Martin Bantillo, Agustino Marcelo, Eluetirio de la Cruz, Francisco Marcelo, Alejandro Miguel, Ciriaco Bandiez, Francisco Basaea, Toribio Marcelo, Abdon de la Cruz, Santiago Salmoren, Damazo Bandiez, Lorenzo Botierres, and Lorenzo Bacanto.

Barangay Nalumsan

Nalumsan is an Illonggo word that means a place where many unknown person drowned. Since there were previous incidents that relates to the tragic drowning of persons in the body of water dividing Balasan and Carles, the place was then called Nalumsan.

Early family settler was  Salvador Vicente. The names Barangay Lieutenants that can be recalled were: Mariano Salmorin, Narciso Navero, Fermin Gregorio, Baldamero Reducindo, Tomas Bales, and Lamberto Bales

Monday, May 6, 2013

The way to Carles

My hometown is 146 kilometers away from Iloilo City, the provincial capital.  It is the farthest northeastern town of the Province of Iloilo (it is located in the northeastern tip of Panay Island).  Going to Carles would mean to some as a something to bear or put up with.

Aside from its distance from the provincial capital, people always laugh when they hear that the name of my hometown is CARLES (when pronounced, its sounds literally means "no car"). Truly, Carles was in scarcity of land transportation a decade ago, but due to improved road network that homonym is now a myth.

In the 40's it would take eight (8) hours more or less to travel by passenger bus from Carles to Iloilo City.  At present, it takes barely three hours. Passenger jeepneys make a trip to Balasan (the nearest town, 13 kilometers away) and back every 15 minutes interval. A bus company have a regular trip to Iloilo and vice versa every hour.  Vans also transport passengers to and from the remotest barangays. 

Schedule of trips from Iloilo to Carles:

1st trip       3:30 AM at Tanza, Iloilo City Terminal
2nd trip      5:30 AM at Tagbak Terminal
3rd trip       7:30 AM and every hour onwards
Last Trip     5:00 PM

Carles to Iloilo

1st trip       3:30 AM at Bancal Terminal
2nd trip      5:30 AM and every hour onwards
Last Trip     4:00 PM

Fare varies on whether it is an ordinary or aircon bus at Php 165 to 198 respectively.

Crossing the seas to the islands is not difficult nowadays, but it is hazardous during stormy weather when the sea is rough.  Motorized medium sized bancas, locally referred to a pumpboats provide transportation from the mainland to the islands of Carles.  Some pumpboats ply from Bancal, Carles to Masbate as well.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Carles, Iloilo

Awaiting "re-discovery and re-exploration" of its enchanted wonders, scenic spots and nooks, Carles is full of pride for its topography suitable for tourism.

View Larger Map

Along the western shoreline of Carles, beach resorts with native cottages offer respite for the weary travelers. On the easternshore looms the Bancal Bay, now being protected to be a true haven of marine life.

The islands of Carles abound in facinating wonders,particularly, the Gigantes Islands, reputed the home of the giants.

Explore Carles and experience nature's caress. Be amazed with the sight of the long strect of white sand-beaches.  Have a walk. . . ponder on the horizon as the sun slips down the sea or take a plunge in the cool waters of Tangke.

Nothing is what you expect to be in Carles.  The rare pitcher plant of Mount Opao, the white crested sea eagle of Sicogon Island, or a group of monkeys harvesting the shells and clams during low tide along the seashore of Barangay Asluman.

Take a dip in the crystal clear se water of Tangke 

Clear water of Tangke
Enjoy the white sand shore of Balbagon Island, Carles, Iloio.

Powdery white sand shore of Balbagon Island.

Wherever you go in Carles, there is always a surprise worth remembering.