Monday, September 1, 2014

Enjoying the Bounty of Nature in Miagao

TINAGONG DAGAT, photo courtesy of Miagao Tourism Office

Miagao, Iloilo is a historic town known worldwide for its very ornate and unique religious structure. It is a well-preserved municipality where the artistic traditions of its local people were influenced by Spanish culture, and the result is brilliant.

But more than the church, watchtowers and bridges, Miagao is also home to several exciting natural attractions. Nature is very specific and unique in its beauty especially in the upland barangays with stunning cascades, unique rock formations, mysterious caves, a hidden lake and magnificent rice terraces. Though some are already well-known to local tourists but many are waiting for their discovery. Undoubtedly, this miracle of nature is among the most extraordinary natural attractions in Iloilo which is worth the visit.

DANAO SA MIAGAO known to the locals as TINAGONG DAGAT is a hidden lake situated in the forested area of Barangay Ongyod elevated approximately 3,000 feet above sea level. Getting there requires some hiking to be able to see this mysterious lake which is said to be ten times bigger than an ordinary swimming pool.  It is one of the most visited attractions of the town by local tourists especially during the Holy Week.

RICE TERRACES, photo courtesy of Miagao Tourism Office

MIAGAO RICE TERRACES in Barangay Cabalaunan is another attraction that will surely overwhelm sightseers.  Its panoramic terraces over its 500-hectare rice fields were carved in perpendicular of the mountain barangay with minimal equipment. Its mud walls beautifully contouring the slopes protects pond fields that are maintained through an elaborate irrigation scheme.

SINUHUTAN CAVE, photo courtesy of Miagao Tourism Office

SINUHUTAN CAVE In Barangay Onop is a 3-hour mountainous trek. The cave’s name coming from the Hiligaynon term “suhut” or “to walk below,” speaks for itself when entering the site. Tourists can access the cave by passing through its three entrances that leads to three prominent chambers such as the “Jacosi Tab” where a certain species of shrimp is found; the “Female Genital”; and “The Plaza or The Cathedral.” It is said that during the Japanese occupation, the cave became a fortress for the locals living in the area.

BATO LABOG, photo courtesy of Miagao Tourism Office
BATO LABOG in Barangay Olango is a mysterious elongated rock that is buried in the middle of the mountain. It has an estimated length that measures 400 meters with a width of 3-4 meters and a height of approximately 30 meters. The name originates from the local word “labog” which means long.

BUSLUGAN FALLS, photo courtesy of Miagao Tourism Office

BUSLUGAN FALLS in Barangay Dalije is surrounded by virgin forest. Its inviting pond creates a playful ambience irresistible for visitors.  BANOGON FALLS in Barangay Dalije is a cascade that resembles a smooth white hair falling gracefully. The word “banogon” may have come from the fact that the surrounding forest is home to “banog” birds belonging to the eagle family. BUSLOGAN FALLS in Barangay Tigmarabo is very popular during rainy season as its current is so tough that produces a thundering sound that can be heard even from afar. The name comes from the local word “buslog” which means strong current. Other falls found in the area include IRIK-IKAN and PARIGUSAN DIWATA.

Though these attractions have not been strongly promoted yet, the current administration under its very active and hard-working Municipal Mayor Hon. Macario N. Napulan is giving more importance to promoting its upland sceneries. This is one of the reasons Miagao is now giving more priority to developing tours, attractions and routes. It is a way to preserve the local culture and folklore, historical monuments and natural bounties. Go experience Miagao its hospitable warm people, and lovely land and seascapes . Because those are the memories you would want to keep.

Miagao is a peaceful town partly coastal and partly mountainous. The town is one of the seven towns comprising the First District of the Province of Iloilo and is situated 40.5 kilometers southwest from the city.  It is bounded by the town of Igbaras in the northeast, in the east is Guimbal; the town of San Joaquin in the west; and in the northwest by the town of Sibalom, Province of Antique. It has a land area of 13, 286 hectares subdivided into 119 barangays, of which 22 are in the urban area of the town and the rest are rural. Its coastline stretches 16 kilometers and covers 22 barangays. Its town fiesta in honor of St. Thomas de Villanova is annually celebrated every September 22. Market day is every Saturday.

Know more about Miagao and this historic town can offer on the 10th TUMANDOK celebration on September 18-20 at the fountain area of Robinsons Place Iloilo. For more information, please contact Mr. Arli Nim – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09332124066.


14 comments:

  1. Your article contains misinformation about the Tinagong Dagat, which happens to be located in Lambunao, about 50 kilometers away from Miagao. Please correct. Thank you.
    https://goo.gl/maps/NigFg

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    1. nope. the one located in lambunao is also called Tinagong dagat but its different from the one located in Miagao. Im a resident of this town and we had visited it a few times.

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  2. Hi, willy, I do appreciate you viewing my blog and your comment but we have three (3) Tinagong Dagat in Iloilo Province; (1) Lambunao which we don't promote anymore since its an 8 hour trek going there. LGSP-LED training on sites informed us that more than 3 hour from main center which is the poblacion (town center) should not be promoted and included in the brochure; (2) we have Tinagong Dagat (Danao-Danao) in Miagao which is just around an hour medium trek from Bgry. Ongyod (now very accessible by vehicle since the roads are well-paved going there); (3) we have Tinagong Dagat in Calinog which is around 3 hour trek from the poblacion. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi bombette, thank you so much for the clarification; very interesting! Could you perhaps pinpoint the locations of the latter two on a map? I like to explore such places, but the one in Lambunao is just too inaccessible for a single day tour. Thank you :)

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    2. Hi bombette, yay, I think I've just found the one in Miagao on the map. Next hiking destination settled :-)
      https://goo.gl/maps/XtLG3 (landmark already added to Google Maps, pending review)

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    3. Hi, sir Willy, let me know if you are around Iloilo, i would love to bring you to our upland barangays, there are more unexplored valleys and forestlands especially in the 2nd district. my mobile nukber is 09205603018. Godbless.

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  3. hi willy, yes, the one in Miagao is really the nearest to its town center. been there a few months ago. I suggest you go with a local guide from Brgy. Ongyod, there is more to see than the lake, you need to go to the cave its aroung an hour an a half though from the lake but its worth the trek. You will stop by Gui-ob ni Tidoy (the rock on the ricefields. The community around it is so helpful to every visitor. take a rest in a nipa house they will prepare their native coffee. Goodluck! there is more to see in Miagao and in Iloilo.

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  4. Hi. I would like to know how to commute to the Rice Terraces? Is it open for tourists? Thanks.

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    1. hi, rhods, the trek going to the the terraces is almost 3 hours. there are areas not accessible by jeepneys.Let me know when you are around Iloilo, i would love to help, my mobile number is 09205603018. Thanks for viewing my blog

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  5. Hi! My friends and I would love to visit the lake and as well as the valley of ferns and sinuhutan cave. . we don't know how to get a guide to take us there though and we want to know how much we would have to pay to visit these places. Can you help us?

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    Replies
    1. hi, please let me know when you are around Iloilo already, i would love to help and probably arrange the tour for you, my mobile is 09205603018. The lake is very accessible and had become a favourite area for day trips. sinohutan cave is beautiful. the giant ferns are amazing. thanks for the view. Godbless

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    2. Hi again. . we're from Oton actually. . I'll try and contact you as soon as we set a date. thanks. .

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  6. thanx for your help: from #travelbuddies
    we love to go for adventure, thanx...

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  7. Hi, Bombette! We just went up there yesterday along with my running family, the Iloilo Running Buddies! The trek going there was really worth it. Once you have climbed the highest peak above Tinagong Dagat, all of your stress and tiredness will be gone away!

    I also have a blog of my own and it's all about our escapades while running. I'm still about to make a new article regarding our adventure yesterday and will be posting our vids and pics, too! Hope you can visit it any time most convenient to you.

    I really enjoy reading your blog! There are lots of information that anyone can learn from it! Keep them coming!

    Kind regards & more power!

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