The 2nd Antique Marathon: A Short Race Recap

Proving that runners would go out of their comfort zones and travel just so they could experience running in a different exotic venue, runners from far-flung places trooped to this event in the province of Antique, a few hours away from Iloilo City. Antique welcomes you with its soaring rugged peaks, green-covered landscapes and an insatiable small population yearning to welcome visitors for its 2nd Antique Marathon which was held last Sunday, November 15.

I left Manila Saturday morning at 5:40am via Cebu Pacific and arrived in Iloilo City just before 7:00am. I was hustled to a van for the two and a half hour drive to San Jose, Antique’s provincial capital where i was to stay at the relatively new Rose Travellers Inn, a budget-friendly lodging inn. The room was small but it was clean, homey and cozy with very helpful staff who were always ready to assist you.

A welcome banner at the Rose Travellers Inn in San Jose, Antique

Off to my misfortunes first, when a few days before the race while still in Manila, my left heel was slightly throbbing in pain which i thought would just go away. The pain relievers i took was of no effect as it got worst the morning i arrived in Antique that i was slightly limping so i had to ask Race Director Manie Magbanua, Jr. to downgrade my category from the Marathon to the shortest distance of 12k which he graciously obliged.

With new found friends during the race kit claiming at the Black and Yellow Carwash in San Jose, Antique. (L-R) Cecil, me, Mark and Joseph.

This 2nd edition of the Antique Marathon is certainly low-key and allowed runners a lot of elbow room. The route started from the town of Sibalom (at a large Plaza fronting the Sibalom Municipal Hall) going towards the town of Hamtic then to the provincial capital of San Jose then back to Sibalom for the finish. Except for stretches inside the town of San Jose, this is a rural race…just you, the roads and the teeming rice granaries as backdrops. This route reminds me of the 1st Camsur International Marathon where they had vast open fields and small towns where townsfolk greeted the runners as they passed by.

The overly scenery is refreshing though, with bright green rice fields on both sides of the road, long mountain ranges that seem to envelope the province and almost dry river beds that makes you want to go down those long bridges to explore. The relatively flat terrain makes it easy to concentrate on the vistas of the vast towns of Antique although the scorching heat was a major hindrance and an obstacle to be conquered.

With my misfortune of having an injury a day before race day itself and as a result downgrading to a shorter distance, i didn’t have much to reflect on, except that i still felt the immense satisfaction of being part of this race, to at least document this experience and hopefully encourage the others to line up at the start next year. And thank God, the pain on my heel was generally tolerable and it only got a little bothersome during the last 2k of the run!

The race event was very well-organized and it appeared like everyone had a grand time. Volunteers and marshals were extremely helpful and did an amazing job providing runners with heaps of encouragement and never ending smiles and cheers. Although this was just the second year of the Antique Marathon, i was impressed with the pre-race organization, given the lack of time and resources this group had and it was obvious that the event had been created by dedicated runners, led by Race Director Manie Magbanua, Jr. that had a first hand understanding of what runners need and want from a marathon race.

It’s a great race for beginners running a marathon as the route is largely flat, with ample hydration and a post race breakfast of unlimited rice and bulalo. Interesting to note that the Bulalo was through the courtesy of co-race organizer, Jun Villasor who happens to be the owner of the famous Bulalo Fiesta and is a member of the Fairview Running Club in Quezon City. There were a couple of foreigners who joined this race and runners that came from neighboring provinces like Iloilo, Aklan and Capiz and the usual suspects from Manila were also there to grace the event!

Thank you, Manie, Mark Bergantino, Atty. Shyr Dubal, Tonsie Escano Gay, Nelson Arriola, Boogie Millamena, Jun Villasor and to the rest of the Antique Marathon organizing team for the hospitality and the opportunity to run this race.

Leaving you with some of the pictures taken at the race routes which covers the 42k, 21k and the 12k distances.


Last minute tweaks being made by Race Director Manie Magbanua (standing) before the start of the race

Breakfast was being prepared while the Bulalo was being cooked!

Beef Bulalo being prepared courtesy of Jun Villasor of Bulalo Fiesta

With  Swedish runner, Astrid Helene Strand who was running her first half-marathon

A view along the route

There’s this tiny hut-shaped cover situated in the middle of a rice field. A water pump is beneath that shade.

Literally means scissors but I assume this means “Gupit” or haircut…

One of the main roads of the 21k and 42k route

A bridge near the turn-around point of the 12k and 21k runners

The entrance to the 5km rough road/trail

Part of our history and history books!


The Panay settlement landmark

More of the rough road between rice fields

Trees provided shade during the latter part of the race

A bamboo bench to rest those weary bodies

Affluent residences along this route

Pangpang Bridge in Sibalom

Sibalom’s Pangpang River

Tree-lined road

An irrigation system

Waiving with the other runners

Taking a break with these kids!

The Boracay Running Team

During the awarding ceremonies

RD Manie Magbanua with a Podium finisher

RD Manie with the 12k Female Winner

Manie with a German Podium finisher

With the race organizers


Saw this while exploring San Jose, a day before the marathon. Their version of street food! Yummy!

The 2nd Antique Marathon: November 15, 2015

RACE Date – November 15, 2015
Distances: 42K, 21K, 10K

The 2nd ANTIQUE MARATHON is a 3-town race in the province of Antique, Philippines. The province has a storied history, arresting landscape and exhilarating views.  Its beautiful scenery and the centuries-old structures  have attracted visitors from around the world for years.

The marathon will take off from the town of Sibalom and will pass through the capital town of San Jose de Buenavista and the historic town of Hamtic. The route is relatively flat which is friendly to first time marathoners. It consists of 37 km asphalt and concrete with a 5Km dirt, sand and aggregate road.


Now on its 2nd year, it is the biggest in Antique which takes place in a rural setting, and brings lots of opportunities for the towns people to showcase the best of their province. Runners will never run out of fresh air that flows from the nearby mountains, rice fields to the sea.

Participants will pass through historic sites in the province – the Pangpang bridge, the Evelio Javier Freedom Park, the place where Evelio B. Javier – the local hero of the province was gunned down in 1986 that triggered the start of EDSA Revolution. Also along the route is the Malay Settlement site believed to be the first settlement of the 10 Bornean Datus in the 13th Century.

Pangpang Bridge

Whatever your reasons for running, we invite you to join us on the start line and become part of this exciting athletic event. The 2nd Antique Marathon provides fantastic sights, challenges to suit various abilities, lots of fun, and the chance to achieve something memorable in one of the most iconic parts of the country.

42K – 50 Slots
21K – 60 Slots
10K – 30 Slots


Early Bird Registration – June 8 to September 6, 2015
42K – Php800.00
21K – php550.00*
10K – Php350.00*
* Early bird registrants for 21K and 42K will have a personalized race bib with their name printed on it.

Regular Registration – September 7 to October 30
42K – Php900.00
21K – Php650.00*
10K – Php450.00*
* Regular registrants for 21K and 42K will have a personalized race bib with their name printed on it.

Late Registration – November 2 – 13
42K – Php1,200.00
21K – Php750.00
10K – Php500.00

Assembly Time:
42K – 2:30AM
21K – 4:00AM
10K – 4:30AM
Gun Time:
42K – 3:00AM
21K – 4:30AM
10K – 5:00AM

10K – Singlet, Race Bib and Certificate
21K – Singlet Race Bib, Finisher’s Shirt, Finisher’s Medal
42K – Singlet Race Bib, Finisher’s Shirt, Finisher’s Medal

• Top 3 for Male and Female Categories will receive a trophy
• We are still working out for the cash prizes


We have 3 types of registrations:

Register online and pay using Paypal or Credit Card. Visit Additional Php60.00 will be charged as processing fee.

Deposit registration fee thru Bank of the Philippine Islands
Acc. # 3056 4064 39
Acc. Name: Manuel Magbanua, Jr.
Email scanned deposit slip with your name and category to:
Bring deposit slip upon claiming of race kit.

Evelio Javier Freedom Park

Malay settlement site

We have registration sites located at the following:

San Jose:
-Black & Yellow Carwash
Trade Town, Brgy. Dalipe, San Jose
Call/SMS: Mark (0926) 7168791

-ALM Party Needs
Fenete cor Maza St. Sibalom, Antique
Call/SMS: Boogie (0927) 7786286

For other Inquiries call/SMS:
Manie (0917) 7260899

Part of the race route

Visit and like: for updates.

More on Antique:

If you’re searching for quiet shores, then Antique is for you. Charter a boat from Culasi to take you to hook-shaped Malalison Island. Its sparkling waters hug a powdery white-sand shore. Snorkel in Batabat Coral Reef, and you’ll see a bunch of fish and aquatic animals.

Malalison Island

A local favorite is Malumpati Cold Spring, whose waters flow into the Bugang River. Get a cottage near the pool. This place is ideal for swimming and picnics.

Malumpati Cold Spring

Other good spots for diving and snorkeling in Antique include Batbatan Island off the coast of Culasi. This tropical island has natural caves and white-sand beaches. Maniquin Island, also called Hammerhead Island, is for divers. Then there’s uninhabited Nogas Island off the coast of Anini-y, which is a marine sanctuary with a beautiful stretch of frangipanis. Sira-an Hot Spring is a tiny sulfur pool overlooking the sea. The majestic white sand stretch of Seco Island is a sweet spot for kitesurfers.

Siraan Springs and Hot springs

Antique is also a place full of pristine falls. Go chase the seven-tiered Bugtong-Bato Falls in the wilderness of Brgy.Tuno, Tibiao. Its refreshing waters flow into a basin ideal for swimming. Hop into a kayak and paddle your way through the white water rapids of the Tibiao River. Enjoy swimming in the cold emerald basin of Pula Falls. In the town of Carawisan, you’ll find the towering Batwan Falls.

Tibiao River

Scale up the peak of Igbaclag Cave, or take in a stunning view at the summit of Bato Cave in the town of La Union. Marvel at the lush mountains, green farmlands, and fields. Hike up Mt. Igtuog and catch a Rafflesia lobata in full bloom, if you’re lucky. The gigantic flower is endemic to the mountains of Antique and Iloilo, and is picky about blooming.

Rafflesia Lobata Flower

End the day by taking a hot bath in an enormous kawa. This vat was originally used by the locals for cooking brown sugar. But now it’s for your pleasure.