Sicogon

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Sicogón
Sicogon and Clam Islands.jpg
A view of Tumaquin Island from the white sand beach of Sicogon Island. 2009.
Sicogón is located in Philippines
Sicogón
Sicogón
Location within the Philippines
Geography
Coordinates11°26′54″N 123°15′37″E / 11.44833°N 123.26028°E / 11.44833; 123.26028Coordinates: 11°26′54″N 123°15′37″E / 11.44833°N 123.26028°E / 11.44833; 123.26028
Adjacent bodies of waterVisayan Sea
Area1,160 ha (2,900 acres)[1]
Highest elevation214 m (702 ft)
Administration
RegionWestern Visayas
ProvinceIloilo
MunicipalityCarles
Barangays
  • Alipata
  • Buaya
  • San Fernando
Demographics
Population5.238 (2010)

Sicogón is an island in northern Iloilo, which is part of the municipality of Carles, Iloilo, Philippines. It is named after cogon, a type of grass found in abundance on the island. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 5,238.[2]

Sicogon was a popular tourist destination[3] during the 1970s, famous for its crystal clear waters and long stretch of white sand beach lined with coconut trees.[4] However, due to the situation caused by martial law, development stalled and Sicogon's popularity faded in favor of Boracay Island.

History[edit]

A disused CR, part of Sicogon's legacy as a tourist destination. 2009.
A "No Trespassing" sign on a tree. Sicogon Island, 2009

Sicogon Island was declared a tourist destination zone by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1976.

Modern development[edit]

On June 2012, a municipal ordinance that declared Sicogon Island as a tourist destination was recognized by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Iloilo Province. The declaration aims to revive the island as a tourist destination and to open it for commercial use.

A P10-billion development project was launched on May 9, 2013 by the Sicogon Development Corporation (SIDECO), with the intent of reviving Sicogon as a world-class tourist destination.[5] The project included constructing a five-star hotel and resort, seaport and an airport on the existing airstrip. This plan was not without controversy, as locals clashed with the developer, causing the town of Carles to send an eight-member police force to mediate between the developer, who claimed that residents had agreed to be relocated voluntarily, and residents who said the developer was forcing them off of public lands.[6] On 8 November 2014 a pact was signed between SIDECO and local residents to begin development, with the goal of transforming Sicogon into an ecotourism destination.[7]

Typhoon Haiyan[edit]

Typhoon Haiyan passed over Sicogon Island (along with the rest of Panay) on November 8, 2013,[8] damaging fishing boats and nets. Canadian Air Force troops arrived on Sicogon on November 26, bringing medical supplies to the islanders, many of whom were suffering from coughs and colds.[9]

Location and geography[edit]

Sicogon is 0.5 miles (0.80 km) southeast from Calagna-an Island. Other nearby islands include Canas Island in the north, Balbagon Island in the east and Panay Island in the west. Tumaguin Island is accessible by foot from Sicogon during low tide. East of the islands is the Visayan Sea, which is a rich fishing ground and source of livelihood for people living in the region. Sicogon's highest point is Mt. Opao, north-east of barangay Buaya, at 214 metres (702 ft).[10] The summit is accessible by trekking and on the summit the entire coastline that surrounds the island can be seen.

Barangays[edit]

Sicogon consists of the following three barangays:

  • Alipata
  • Buaya
  • San Fernando

Transport[edit]

Air[edit]

The Sicogon Airport (IATA Code: ICO) is the former airstrip that has been redeveloped and opened in 2018. Charter flights to and from Sicogon to Manila and vice versa will take place in late 2018.[11] It is located in Barangay San Fernando.

Boat[edit]

Boats can be chartered from Estancia for less than 2,000 pesos. A public passenger boat leaves from Estancia port normally once daily, at 1 pm. The trip from Estancia to Sicogon takes roughly 45 minutes.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ F. Allan L. Angelo; Tara Yap. "Ayala to bankroll Sicogon project". Daily Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  2. ^ Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: As of May 1, 2010 Archived November 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Sicogon Island". Exploreiloilo.com. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
  4. ^ JM Hotels (2012-06-26). "ILOILO, Heart of the Philippines - Sicogon Island". Iloilo.gov.ph. Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
  5. ^ a b "Sicogon Island -The Awakening"
  6. ^ "More cops sent to Sicogon to defuse tension"
  7. ^ "Agreement paves way for Sicogon dev't". PhilStar. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ destroys several towns in Iloilo"
  9. ^ "Canadian Air Force brings aid to Iloilo town"
  10. ^ "Sailing Directions (Enroute) Philippine Islands" (PDF). National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2008. p. 92. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Sicogon Island Airport Map | Philippines Airports". Maplandia.com. Retrieved 2013-10-07.