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Guimaras For A Day ♥

Over the Christmas break, I accompanied my brother, his girlfriend, and two other friends in paradise, a beautiful island called Guimaras. :) 

I'm still no expert but since it has been my third time to visit the place, I have at least learned where to go, what to do, and what to eat. So for those who are interested, here's a list of my recommended sites and activities: 
  • Smallest Plaza (Jordan)
  • St. John the Baptist Church - this church on a hill is just a few steps away from the Smallest Plaza :)
  • Holy Family Hills (Brgy. Tamborong, San Lorenzo, Guimaras) - a very good alternative to Balaan Bukid. In fact, this is a better pilgrimage site if you have kids in your group.

  • The Grillers - they serve delicious meals with Guimaras' world-famous mango! You must try the Mango Bulalo, Mango Pizza, Bangus Sisig, and the refreshingly healthy Guimaras Blend. 
  • Guimaras Capitol Complex and Museum - The Manggahan Festival is held at the Capitol Complex Grounds. You can also buy Guimaras products at the Trade Center nearby. :)
  • Trappist Monastery (Our Lady of the Philippines Abbey) and Gift Shop - if you have the luxury of time, then I recommend that you spend overnight at Valle Verde Mountain Resort (Sibunag), then get up early to catch the 6AM mass here. :) But if you only have a day, then you can drop by anytime until 5pm. If you arrive in the morning, you have better chances of meeting some of the brother monks who are more than willing to share stories with you. The first time we went there, we had a very nourishing encounter with Brother Peter. :) Bring extra money for delicious monastic products and beautiful handicrafts made with love by the brother monks and sister nuns. :) They are available at the Gift Shop for reasonable prices. Every purchase is your contribution to their community. :)
  • Mango Plantation and Cogon Grasses - on weekdays, you can go inside the government-run Mango Research Farm, but you surely won't miss it because you can see what looks like a "chocolate hills" of mango trees along the way. You can even ask your driver to stop for some pictorial sessions. :D
  • Guisi Lighthouse (Nueva Valencia) - this is the farthest tourist destination in Guimaras, but it's so worth the long travel! Punta De Fabian (Guisi Lighthouse) is the second oldest lighthouse in the country. A new lighthouse was already built but the old lighthouse was kept for tourists to marvel at. Entrance fee here is Php10 per head. It's open daily until 5pm. 

And because sunsets are among the most beautiful of God's creations, I highly recommend that you catch the magnificent Guimaras sunset either at La Pachira (Guisi), or at Raymen Beach Resort (Alubihod?). Entrance fee at La Pachira is Php15 per head while you'd have to pay Php25 per head at Raymen. Running out of budget? Fret not because you can still catch the sunset for free! Just go down a few steps to the public beach (near the entrance to Guisi Lighthouse) and wait for the sun to kiss the sea. :)

Again, if you have the time and resources, I suggest that you stay overnight so that you can still experience island hopping the following morning. :)

I've also tried target shooting with a different company. It's a bit pricey though because you'd have to pay Php170 for the gun and Php11 per bullet. But as they say, there's always a first time for everything so you might also want to give it a try. :)

For bike enthusiasts, there's Galvez Bike Part and another newly-opened bike park in San Miguel. Of course you need to bring your own bike. :D

All of the above places can be reached through Jordan Wharf. If you're coming from Iloilo, you just need to get to Ortiz Wharf, buy a ticket, write your name on the manifesto, and board a boat to Jordan. The 15-minute travel will cost you Php14. 

I've also gone to Buenavista, the other side of Guimaras, where you can find Roca Encantada (Enhanted Rock), the famous mansion of the Lopezes. It can also be reached through Jordan but a faster way is through the Buenavista Wharf. From Iloilo, you need to go to Parola to get a boat to Buenavista. 

By the way, please take note that the last boat trip is at 5pm. If you arrive at the wharf later than 5pm, you need to pay for all the empty seats. Each boat can carry 40-50 passengers. If you're just 10 in the group and there are no more passengers, you may be charged at most Php60 per head.

When in Guimaras, you would need a reliable driver, friend, and photographer. Don't worry because the Padojenog siblings are always ready to serve. :) They are a band of brothers who are tricycle drivers on regular days but are always available when you need a service for your Guimaras tour. They know where to bring you and they take beautiful pictures! Yeah, I guess they've mastered photography from trying out different cameras brought by their patrons. :D

The eldest of the brothers is Kuya Cherald but if he's not available, then the younger brothers (like Charlie and Stephen) can take over. You just need to text/call them at least a day before your trip. Tricycle (can fit up to 5 passengers) rate is Php1,200 per day. They also have a multicab for larger groups. :)

Kuya Cherald: 09084748122 | Charlie: 09461966887

Next time you visit Iloilo, please allot at least a day for Guimaras. It's just more fun to be there. :)

P.S.

If we're friends on Facebook, then you might want to check out other Guimaras photos here:
https://www.facebook.com/aizagarnica/media_set?set=a.10151829431892054.1073741872.705807053&type=3

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