You’ve probably seen drone photos of it — a small, elbow-shaped island surrounded by clear, green and blue waters.
It basically looks like a clump of fine white sand dumped in the middle of the ocean, with just a handful of trees and shrubs somewhere on the side.
The first time I saw pictures of Seco Island (“seco” means elbow in the local language), I knew I had to get there before I leave the Philippines again.
Compared to the other islands in Antique, however, like Mararison Island, getting there isn’t so convenient. To get there by sunrise, one has to leave Tibiao at 3am, and waves can get big.
I was glad, then, when I was invited to celebrate Independence Day (June 12th) on Seco. An initiative by Katahum Tours in cooperation with local government offices, the event brought hundreds of people to commemorate the important day.
I went together with a few friends and learned that the island is indeed all that it promises to be in its pictures, and more.
Located around 50 kilometers west of Panay, Seco Island is more popular for kite surfing than for swimming. I was told it’s perfect for that sport; the flat waters and strong winds have attracted kite surfers for years. Most come from Boracay for a day trip or even for overnight trips; they either bring tents or if well-heeled, hire a catamaran.
When we went there for the Independence Day celebration, however, we only stayed half a day. We left Tibiao at 2:30am on two big boats, bleary-eyed from lack of sleep.
It was a good thing the boat had a roof; if you’re not scared of falling off it and into the sea, I would suggest sitting there; or rather, lying down. Minutes after the boat left, my friends and I were all snoring!
When we woke up around two hours later, we were told that the island was near. We couldn’t see it though; Seco was almost flat and if it weren’t for the trees, you couldn’t see it at all until you get there.
Since the corals extended several hundred meters from the shore, docking the big boats on the shore wasn’t possible. Several smaller boats (banca) took four people at a time to the island itself. I wanted to swim all the way, but I was cautioned about the current and the distance.
The Independence Day celebration started with singing of the national anthem and a brief speech. Afterwards, all the guests formed the word #Seco to be captured by the drones.
Pretty cool pic, isn’t it? Then we got on to the business of the day: snorkeling and swimming!
Truth be told, snorkeling isn’t the best thing to do in Seco. There were only a few corals and plenty of sea grass. I did, however, spot a couple of clown fish, and there were parts deep enough for swimming.
The best thing about Seco is its white sand beaches. It’s perfect for picture taking, beach bumming, and generally just relaxing after a long boat ride. If you’re a kite surfer, you would love it, too.
After lunch, we packed up and left, and not too soon, as the rains poured hard after an hour. Those of us on the roof got drenched, but it didn’t take away the wonderful experience we’ve had in Seco.
Remember, if you want nothing but sun and sand, go to Seco Island. As there’s nothing else there, you will definitely experience going back to basics!
How to go to Seco Island
Contact Katahum Tours on Facebook if you want to visit Seco Island.
They have tour packages that include a guided tour, round trip boat ride from Tibiao to the island, breakfast and lunch at the island, entrance and environmental fees, and snacks from Tibiao Bakery. They might even throw in a session at the Tibiao Fish Spa for free!
This post is part of #ExperienceAntique. Many thanks to Katahum Tours for making me realize how beautiful this province is. As always, all opinions are my own.
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