In going to Guimaras, what is commonly asked for a pasalubong is their sweet mangoes which is being exported worldwide. I’ve discovered that this island has something more to offer. Their stunning beaches, caves, yummy fresh sea-foods and verdant landscape made me say, “this is a holiday!”
sweet mangoes of Guimaras
Guimaras was once a sub-province of Iloilo City until it became an independent province on May 22, 1992. The primary gateway to the island province is through Parola and Ortiz Wharfs in Iloilo in a short and inexpensive boat ride.
I was so happy that my hubby was on break this Saturday from his provincial project in Iloilo. He had visited Guimaras last week with his colleagues, Jay and Bim, but he was still excited to go back there with me. I was so thankful to Flor, (my former office mate who is now based in Iloilo as a lawyer) for accompanying me yesterday on one-day Iloilo tour. Still relentlessly alive, she volunteered to go with us today in Guimaras.
at Cabaling Beach Resort
By seven a.m., Flor, with her best-friend Vic and Mat-mat fetched us in front of Amigo Hotel. We headed to Ortiz Wharf and bought ticket for P14/head. So affordable! We wrote our names on a logbook then we headed to our designated boat Sentosa. As soon as all seats were occupied, the boat moved in a sweeping motion. There was no overcrowding and there was a safety provision inside the boat. I was simply amazed of the organized set-up here.
Upon arriving at Jordan Wharf (pronounced as Hordan), locals approached us and offered a tour ride. Tricycle and “multi-cab” (a small jeepney vehicle) are means of transportation in the area. We chose the latter for a rate of P1,500.
Our first stop was in Guimaras Museum in Jordan, but since it was Saturday, it was closed for visitors. After picture-taking in front of the museum, we headed to Cabaling Beach Resort located in Sitio Cabaling, still part of Jordan. A friend of Flor referred the resort to us. She was excited to go there for it was her first time too.
closed on Saturday
The road was rough and there very few houses that we passed by. It was a remote but scenic route. Flor’s stories and the bumpy ride kept us so alive.
I got so excited seeing the sparkling blue water. We hastily hopped out from the van and went into the shoreline. The sand was ivory-white and the water was so clear. We passed by a little fishing area with lots of boats docked near the shore. We bought two kilos of fresh crab from a fisherman for P250 and he graciously offered to cook his fresh catch for P20 only.
our jolly jump in a creamy white sand
We were all awe stricken when we saw the resort. The water was clear and there was a short concrete bridge dramatically located in the middle of the little cove. It was so good to sit on the sand savoring the solitude and the tranquility that every nature lover would dream of. See the picture?
the dramatic sea view that took our breaths away
Entrance fee – P25/head. We were not asked anymore to pay for the wooden cottage (P500) on the beachfront for we will only stay for two hours. In return, we ordered grilled milk fish, rice and coke. We basked under the sun for less than one hour then we settled for lunch.
The crabs were so yummy and so the milk fish. It was a noisy lunch talking and laughing. Later, we were drawn into silence as we gazed into nature’s wonderful creation. The water was sparkling and the wind was gently blowing into our faces. Such a beautiful day!
the yummy fresh crabs
I was allowed by Elena, the caretaker of the resort to see the room on the ground floor. One night stay costs P3,500, good for two persons. Additional person is P150. It was so comfortable to spend the night in the room for it has nice bed, sofa corner, comfort room and window overlooking the beach.
There was an infinity pool uphill. But we didn’t swim for we skip paying another entrance fee of P100/head. We just walked around and watched the beautiful sea view.
the infinity pool with a nice view of the sea
Manong our driver referred a fisherman who was in the vicinity to bring us to Alubihod in our island hopping for P700 only. It favored us since the route will be shortened on water trip and we saved P800 from the regular rate of P1,500. Little did we know, the boat is not the regular pump boat used in island hopping but a small fishing boat with no life jacket, hence the price. I was a bit reluctant when we boarded. But the good weather whisked off that fear.
the affordable fishing boat but with no safety provision
It’s good to see various rock formations along the way. It was flickering hot but the wind was so calm and so the blue water. Later I saw smoke coming from below the boat. The boatman hurriedly turned off the engine and fixed the problem while his assistant pumped out the water.
nice rock formations as we went to Alubihod
The water was still but the boat was turning slowly to the right because of the wind. Alubihod could now be seen from the distance. I prayed silently for our safety. Later, the engine roared up. Thank God. We didn’t hop to the cave anymore thinking of another boat malfunction. We headed straight to Raymen Beach Resort.
nice creamy white sand Raymen Beach Resort
My hubby was here last week. He didn’t enjoy much because of rocks on the sea floor. This time he discovered that there was an area where sand was so fine and free from disturbing rocks. But it was beyond the rope which serves as the safe boundary. The resort with its creamy white sand was stunning, really. We didn’t pay for the entrance fee because we didn’t swim. We did picture-taking and some lazy walk along the shoreline albeit the blistering heat of the sun.
refreshing mango shake for P45
We bought mango shake (P45) then headed to the souvenir store and bought items like key-chains (P30), magnetic fish (P100) and t-shirts (P200 to P300).
Our next stop is in Camp Alfredo along the highway in Brgy. Ravina, Sibunag. Entrance fee is P30/head. Exciting activity is the canopy tour, making the primary use of zipline, then crossing a thin hanging bridge and will go down through rappelling (P425). I was used to riding a zipline, but the height of the hanging bridge made my spine shivered. No one from us brave this fear factor activity. hahaha!
Rooms cost P3,500, good for four persons, but only two had free breakfast. There was a small pool, restaurant and bar, camping grounds, cabin rooms, stations of the cross, prayer area located uphill and air soft ground.
the exciting canopy tour
Our next stop is in Trappist Monastery to buy sweet mango products. We tasted Mango Bar which costs P95. It was yummy. We met the gentle monk, Brother Peter outside the prayer house.
enjoying the serenity in Trappist Monastery
We passed by lots of mango trees which was scattered beside the road. It was so wonderful seeing this verdant landscape though there were no fruits hanging on each trees because it was off-season. We bought fresh mango (P70 per kilo) and mango sweets in a fruit stand in Buenavista.
the verdant mango landscape along the way
We were given half slice for free taste. It was so sweet. The local government prohibits bringing mango into the island as this will cross-breed their sweet mangoes.
fruit stand in Buenavista
We went back to the wharf around 4 pm through the boat Sydney.
our boat way back to Iloilo
Exhausted, but I felt so elated. As I looked back to the Island of Guimaras, I was overjoyed for I had again another wonderful adventure with nature, nice beach, friends, and with my husband.
my souvenirs of our Guimaras tour
Ask if I will go back? Surely, I will.
Good bye Guimaras!