“Go Ahead You Never Know What Could Be On The Other Side”
We did not have a plan to cross the sea and go to Guimaras. Our plan was to go back to Bacolod the following day after our long and tiring trip to GarinFarm and Iloilo City. But an unplanned road trip sometimes is the most thrilling part of adventures right? You don’t know exactly where are you going, just packed your clothes, go and get lost. It doesn’t matter where you go, it’s the experience not the destination that counts.
The last thing we knew, we already boarded a ferry heading to Guimaras Island after our breakfast in the hotel. Guimaras Island is one of the top destinations in the Philippines both by foreign and domestic tourists, especially for nature lovers and adventure seekers like me. The island of Guimaras always stands out as one of the travel destination in the Philippines because of its white sandy beaches, quaint little towns, bike trails, and off shore islets. Guimaras Island is known as the home of the sweetest mangoes. Just a short trivia. Did you know that Guimaras mangoes earned its reputation as the sweetest mangoes in the world after being served at the White House and Buckingham Palace?
Guimaras is an island province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. It’s capital is Jordan which is the gateway to Guimaras. The island is located in the Panay Gulf, between the islands of Panay and Negros.
Iloilo is the primary gateway to Guimaras. The island province is 15 minutes by motorboat or ferry ( Php14.00 per head) from Parola and Ortiz Wharf in Downtown Iloilo City.
Once we boarded and settled on the boat we took some selfie pictures. 🙂 It was a lovely smooth sailing boat ride. The views are very scenic, at a distance, I saw a large cross on top of one of the islets of Guimaras. I asked the guy setting behind me what it was. He answered “it is a church and you need to climb the steps going up to the top of the mountain and it would take you two hours to go up and another two hours to come down.” OH MY GOODNESS! I can’t imagine myself taking a trek like that.
After 15 minutes of sailing, we finally arrived at our destination. Upon disembarking, I saw the sign “Welcome to Jordan the gateway to Guimaras”.
At the port entrance there are tricycle drivers, jeepneys and multi-cab operators waiting for passengers. We were approached by a local as we disembarked from the boat and were told we needed to go to their Tourist Information Office to register. Inside there are maps of places you can choose to go and explore. After finalising where we would like to go, I asked one of the drivers if he could bring us to places where we wanted to see. You need to haggle the price for the transportation.
A ride for the day to see the island of Guimaras would cost you about PHP1,500.00, just try to haggle the price. If you do not rent the tricycle for the day, the fare would be PHP50.00 per head one way. Renting a tricycle one way may lead to no tricycles available when it is time to return to the wharf. The advantage of renting a tricycle as a group the driver would wait for you on your own convenience. I haggle the price for PHP1,000.00 and we both agreed on the price.
The adventure begins…we are on our road trip…yey!!!The road trip going to our destination is very scenic, beautiful dense trees with some opening in the trees along the road that provides lovely views of the surrounding landscapes.
Our first stop is their little plaza or the smallest plaza ever recorded in Guinness Book of World Records. Their little plaza is just a few minutes from the port. The modest statue of Doctor Jose Rizal, our national hero is standing at the center of their plaza surrounded by circular porches.
Our second stop is the San Lorenzo Guimaras WindMills. The trip going to the WindMills was quite long, passing lush green towering trees and large mango plantations. The scenery is quite impressive and the road is well maintained. I was impressed at how progressive the little towns of Guimaras is in maintaining their roads.
The San Lorenzo WindMills, measuring at 80 meters tall and 40 meters wide on the other hand, rise like a skyscraper towering over everything. Each wind turbine blade is capable of generating 2 megawatts of electricity giving a total of 54 megawatts, more than enough to cater 13-megawatts power supply needed for the province. The remaining energy is used to power the neighbouring provinces – Iloilo and Negros Oriental.
After taking pictures in San Lorenzo WindMills we headed to Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Monastery. This is a peaceful and sacred enclave in Guimaras run by the monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance. These monks follow the rule of St. Benedict and are best known for extreme austerity or strictness that characterises their discipline.
The Trappist Monastery in Guimaras was founded in 1972 and is the only men’s monastery in the Philippines.
The monks earn a living by selling souvenir items and food such as jellies, jams, candies and playa (is a muscovado-filled unleavened flatbread from the Philippines especially common in Negros Occidental where it originated. It is made by filling dough with a mixture of muscovado and glucose syrup) and more which are sold in their small shop within the monastery grounds. When buying their products you are helping them earn and sustain their living.
It was already noon and our hungry tummies started singing, our driver brought us to the Raymen Beach Resort where we had our lunch. Entrance Fee is Php20.00 per head. As soon as we paid the entrance fee we headed to their restaurant. It took us so long to call the attention of the waiters before we can order our food. The place was packed of people. The food is good enough to satisfy our angry belly he he.
Raymen Beach Resort, located in Alubihod Beach, is one of the popular resorts in Guimaras both for locals and tourists. It has a short white sandy beach surrounded by the inviting blue waters, pristine off-shore islets of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. This is an excellent jump-off point for Guimaras island hopping tours.
Our last stop is their Guimaras Provincial Capitol before heading back to the wharf in Jordan Guimaras where we posed on their iconic GUIMARAS touristy spot. I guess you really have to stop here for a picture.
A souvenir photo with our nice, friendly,, entertaining and smiley tricycle driver as we bid goodbye to him.
Till the next trip…we will see you again!!!