Hopped into a Nasugbu-bound bus this Sunday to check-out Marcia Adams in Alfonso. Went down along Residence Inn and walked toward the arch to the right side of the road. From there, I walked down the road and found Marcia Adams. From Manila, this is after Antonio’s and before Sonya’s.
I arrived an hour earlier before their opening time, which is 11:30 in the morning. Obviously, I was the first customer, and I must say the staff were all friendly and welcoming. I chose this table by the window in the main dining hall. For the sunrise.
My most memorable story: I met Nanay Loida, Marcia’s 80-year-old Mom. When she knew I’m from Antique, we conversed in Kinaray-a. Before my lunch came, she offered me a plate of nilagang saba, and afterwards, brewed coffee. For free. But what delighted me most of all is this: when I told Nanay that I write in Kinaray-a, she replied: “So you’re like Magdalena…” Magdalena here is Magdalena Jalandoni, the considered grand dame of Hiligaynon literature in the early to the middle-part of the last century. Her novels were serialized in local magazines and Nanay had read them. Nanay also regaled me with stories about the Japanese Occupation in Sibalom, her hometown in Antique. Then Nanay walked me up back to the main road, and I was certain I will return – with friends.
I insist to call it in Kinaray-a, our language in Antique, where this island is located, a barangay of Culasi, a big town up north: Mararison. This means defiant, and according to legends, in relation to Mount Madya-as, the highest peak in the whole island of Panay towering the town of Culasi. My crew of siblings and high school buddy spent a night here, at Luyo Beach, in Enrique de Mararison Resort. It is solar powered and relatively new that it is advisable to bring your own supply of food, water, and other provision for your convenience. Our Fan Room costed us P350.00/head/night. We loved Manong Dodoy, the caretaker.
The whole island is perfect for camping. It is a 15-minute banca ride from the town’s boulevard where the Tourism Office is stationed. Roundtrip cost to date is P150.00. Then there’s the P30.00 entrance fee/head. Manong Dodoy took us to an island tour for additional P50.00/head.
Aside from swimming, there are hills to hike. Tour guide is for P200.00.
For a day and night, we were awed by the clear waters, fine rocks and pebbles, rock formations and rolling hills, and the fact we have this island in our province to protect beyond enjoyment.