Seco Island, Antique | Kruhay under the Sun

I couldn't think of a better way to commemorate last year's Independence Day than to travel to this remote island 27 nautical miles west of Panay. Seco Island was named after the shape of a human elbow;'siko' in Tagalog. It is distinguished by a curving stretch of sand bar encircling an area dotted with pockets of small trees and scattered shrubbery.

Seco Island in Antique
Seco Island. Ang island na ma-swerte

Worth the Long Boat Ride

The journey here is anything but laidback. We began our sea journey under darkness aboard a crowded passenger boat with just enough room for us to huddle on the roof of the captain's hull. I toiled for the duration of our three-hour sail over calm waters, sitting over protruding edges of wood. I tried to sleep amidst my numbing thighs and cramping legs, only to be jolted awake by the gleaming redness of the skies on the horizon a couple of hours later.

Bullet the beautiful Sky

I caught my first glimpse of the island from afar while stretching my hands and yawning myself to full awareness. The inconvenience of the long arduous sea journey was immediately replaced by an elated feeling as it revealed its lovely image hidden by the gleam of the early rising sun.

Wave the flag of 3 stars and a Sun

Slowly, as we docked in the shallow waters, the live corals became visible, and as one of the boatmen dove to plant the anchor, I recognized the exceptional scene that foreshadowing a fantastic trip in the making.

OK Corals. 

Smaller boats accompanied our party, which included fishermen, Tibiao residents, and LGU members. Months before, they had circled June 12 as a perfect day to visit Seco Island and raise the Philippine flag - not only to commemorate our more than a century of independence, but also to commemorate the inclusion of Seco Island in the province of Antique's tourism and nature preservation program.

Indie Day on Seco Island

As the twin drone cameras flew overhead and small fishing boats circled the island, a short program was held in which the participating stakeholders promised to promote the island while also implementing a set of measures to protect its natural beauty. The morning celebrations concluded with a flag raising, which was followed by a human chain forming the letters S-E-C-O as the drone camera captured it from above.

Koryn Iledan
I wouldn't mind becoming a castaway here with the beautiful Madi Ross
Along with Kara, Aleah, Marcos and Dave – fellow travel bloggers who have been to the best islands in the country, we all agreed at the distinctiveness of Seco Island. A naked island in its truest sense, we all established the need to weed out plans to build infrastructure on the island in order to avoid the mistakes made on other previously bare islands in the Philippines. It was something that the LGU and tourism staff both concurred on.

Bounteous Nature Surround

According to a local fisherman, the seas surrounding Seco Island are rich in marine resources, making it a popular destination for fishermen from all over Antique. Coral reefs may be observed up to five feet deep, and the wind that envelops the island is renowned to create ideal conditions for windsurfing and kiteboarding. "Every year, for 3-5 days, windsurfers come to this island to just ride all day," Katahum Tours' Flord Nicson Calawag told us.

Marky Ramone Go
I am bulkier now than this. Promise

Marine Protected Area

Seco Island is designated as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) by a local government ordinance due to its abundance of marine resources. All activities involving the use of its waters, such as fishing, camping, and visiting the island, are strictly prohibited. Before traveling to Seco Island, visitors must first coordinate with the local tourism office in Tibiao, Antique.

Cat Trivino
White Sands running in circle
Half a day on the island wasn't long enough for me, but it was the only time available in our hectic schedule traveling around Antique to visit this island. I spent the entire time walking around barefoot, enjoying the fine sand beneath my feet. When I needed to rest, I just chose to lie down under the shade of a small tree and gaze at the visual feast in front of me.

Mav Gonzales
Drone shots ©Tonzie Gay

We bid the island farewell shortly after lunch, and as our boat sailed away, I noticed the beautiful sandbar of Seco Island slowly sinking from the horizon, as the dark blue waters gradually obscured it from view. I reflected on the events of the morning and savored the pleasant memory. It was a wonderful time reveling in the concept of Kruhay (long live) under the sun.

Our trip was sponsored by the Antique Tourism and Kruhay Tours

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