Panay is the sixth largest island in the Philippines and is inhabited by around 4 million people, is located in the Western Visayas province. Our tour started in the busy capital Iloilo, coming by RoRo ferry from Guimaras, to end in the North-Western tip of the island in Caticlan, around 300km in seven days.
Down below is the detailed map of our itinerary in Panay, with elevation profile. It's the GPX track recorded by our GPS during the whole journey.
Panay south coast
Proceeding east the situation doesn't improve so much, the road is a little busy with not a lot to see but plenty of fighting-cocks breeding farms and the usual arena for the fights.
About 40km east of Iloilo is the town of Miagao with is beautiful and very interesting Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, also known as the Fortress Church.
Riding this road it's easy to notice that Panay looks more wealthy then the average of Philippines, the houses are mostly brick and concrete and you will see some big villas.
Panay west coast
In Tibiao we advice to look for Kasa Raja, a guest house owned by the super-nice Alex, an artist and an interesting person to talk with. He can organize for you trips to the nearby beautiful islands, we went with him to Malalison island, just off the coast from Tibiao, the beach has nothing to envy to Boracay, white coral sand and crystal clear water, with the advantage (at least for our tastes) to be the only tourist on the island. There is a fishermen village with a basic homestay if you want to spend the night there, just few hours a day electricity, perfect for a real break.
- the Kawa hot baths, huge pans where water and leaves are put, then the water is heated by a wooden fire and you can bath in, like you are being cooked by some cannibals.
- Kayaking down the Tibiao river, that cannot be done during the dry season
- the 1km long (two ways) zipline. For 300P you can fly, harnessed to a cable, over the river and the rice terraces.
Our plan was to go from here to Mindoro, but the island was still under a strong typhoon, so we took a 12h RoRo ferry to Manila, very funny, especially when all the crew began to dance(?). It's more fun in the Philippines.