River Tubing and Kawa Hot Bathing in Tibiao | Antique

As my companion’s “ooohs” and “aaahs” synchronize with the sloshing sounds of the rapids of Tibiao River, I would stare at the blue sky while my tube swirls me endlessly. Lying relaxed, I then just let the movement of the water send my consciousness to a Zen state of mind. Occasionally, I would look ahead to see the nearing rapids. Our guide would holler “hold on” up ahead the stream to let us know we were approaching what they refer to as “washing machine zone”. Every time we pass a rapid, I would hear my friends Karla and Erica’s crescendo voices—this time in a chorus of joyous yell.

River tubing location in Tibiao, Antique

River Tubing in Antique

River tubing is a water activity where an individual sit on a donut-shaped inner tube, riding un-tethered and left to the control of the river's current—except for a few occasions where the rider can use their hand to paddle. Using the International River Grading System; Tibiao River is given a grade of 4, making it in ideal river tubing and white-water rafting spot.

Karla Ramos and Erica Villa enjoying a river tubing session in Tibiao, Antique

The popularity of this water activity in Tibiao started after a group of Australians organized a kayaking event a few years back. Since then, it has snowballed into a province-wide tourism draw when a National Extreme River Tubing Race was held in 2018.

Three travel bloggers enjoying the river tubing in Tibiao, Antique

Katahum Tours owner Flord Calawag says "We have been bringing many tourists—both foreigner and locals—to this river as part of our eco-tour package. Americans, Australians, Russians coming from Boracay visiting us to experience river tubing in Antique"

Erica villa enjoying a river tubing in Tibiao, Antique

Calawag also manages Calawag Mountain Resort where river tubing sessions usually starts. Here, guests can also enjoy a pre-tubing boodle meal and a kawa hot bath by the river afterward. Asked if the said tourist activities may interfere with the river's eco-system, Calawag assures that "all resort-owners situated near the river are taught to uphold sustainable practices and proper solid waste management".

Karla Ramos having fun while river tubing in Tibiao, Antique

After more than an hour of spinning over the cold waters of Tibiao river, we finally rested on still waters downstream. Despite being drenched and feeling cold, we were all stoked and even wanting to ride more—but a series of huge boulders ahead would make it extra difficult for us to ride the current further.

Stirred-up by the activity we return to Calawag Mountain Resort for some relaxation.

Kawa Hot Bath in Antique

Many centuries ago, being placed inside a big cauldron on top of a fire, would mean you're about to get cooked alive and to be eaten by cannibals. Fortunately, today, you won’t end up as human stew because these giant steamers are now used as pseudo-bathtubs, where one could experience a very therapeutic soak known as “Kawa Hot Bath”.

Hunk guy relaxes while having a kawa hot bath in Tibiao, Antique

Already a popular nature indulgence and tourist draw in Antique, the Kawa hot bath is the Earth-friendly version of the jacuzzi where you sit inside a firewood heated cauldron filled with water and picked flowers and herbs. You can opt to tinker with your Kawa bathwater by selecting additives like milk, sea salt, coffee, turmeric or even wine and beer.

Following a few days of adventure in the province of Antique comprising of chasing waterfalls, hiking and river tubing, I felt like my body needed a much-needed pampering, so I opted for the beer-themed Kawa Hot Bath. After half an hour of submerging my body, I felt the invigorating effect immediately.

Three friends cozy up having a nap on a hammock

Changing to dry clothes, I joined Karla and Erica on a four-tiered hammock tied on top of each other. We reminisced about the day’s adventures we shared. Recounting every topsy-turvy incident we had at the river earlier and the various spots we visited the previous days, we all came into a conclusion that the province Antique is an underrated adventure destination.

How about you, have you tried the kawa hot bath and river tubing in Antique?