Lazada Philippines

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Rainforest Called Guimaras

I've been dreaming to go to Guimaras for a long time, thank God, it was answered last June 30 when I and two of my superfriends decided to spend our post-summer trip there.

I have big expectations about this province, really, because after that oil spill thing, I've read how the province gained back its glory and I can't really wait to see it.

We flew from Manila to Bacolod via Cebu Pacific piso fare then we took to boat rides from Bacolod to Guimaras. The first boat ride was a SuperCat ferry ride, which is Php250.00 one-way and Php400.00 two-way. Since our return flight for this vacation was from Bacolod to Manila, we booked  the two-way trip from Bacolod to Iloilo, Iloilo-Bacolod. Van drivers from the New Bacolod-Silay Airport were all familiar as to where the SuperCat Terminal, so you don't have to worry about that, you just have to inform them what terminal you are going. I believe there are also other ferry companies that offer rides from Bacolod to Iloilo and back, so it's really up to you which one suits you best.

The ride from the airport to the ferry terminal is roughly an hour, and the schedule of the ferry from Bacolod to Iloilo can be checked at their websites, so you can really plan your trip there. From the Supercat Terminal in Bacolod to the SuperCat Terminal in Iloilo is another one-hour ride. I suggest to have something for your tummy before taking the ferry.

When we reached the SuperCat Terminal in Iloilo, we took a tricycle ride to Ortiz Port where the boats from Iloilo to Jordan, Guimaras are located. The tricycle ride costs us Php10.00 each. The small water vessel ride cost Php14.00 per person and it'll take10-15 minutes to reach Guimaras shores. One thing that I liked about this trip was when we purchased our tickets, the teller gave us these kinda name plate stuff. Don't be confused, because that's name of the boat that you have to take. Hehe.

Guimaras Tourism Office

Since the weather was kinda unstable that day, we reached Guimaras all wet, but we were so glad that we made it. Upon reaching Guimaras Port, we went straight to this small house built in the middle of the port, this is their local tourism office. They welcomed us with big smiles, gave us a photocopy of Guimaras map and then they assisted us to have a ride taking us to the resort that we will be staying in - Raymen Resort.

Transportation cost in Guimaras was quite expensive, the tricycle ride from the local tourism office to Raymen Resort cost us Php250.00. And it took us some 45 minutes to reach Raymen Resort. Raymen Resort was said to be the most decent resort in the island, so we really didn't have much of a choice.

On that 45-minute tricycle ride, we passed through three of Guimaras' towns - Buenavista, Jordan and Nueva Valencia. It was on this ride that made me realize that Guimaras was like Bohol. Both look like a rainforest with a lot of trees all over the place, only in Bohol mangrove is the common tree, while here in Guimaras mangoe trees are on both sides of the highway.

The road in Guimaras was okay. With some patches of rocky road, but in totality, we had a smooth 45-minute ride.

Since the day we arrived at Guimaras was rainy, we didn't have much time to explore the province.

We just have a 24-hour schedule for Guimaras, so the following day, we geared up early and asked the kind receptionist of Raymen Resort to book us an island-hopping trip.

Aboard a small boat led by Kuya Wheng, our boatman took us to seven of the must-visit destinations in his island-hopping business. By the way, this island hopping trip cost us three hours of our time and Php700.00. (Php450.00 for the first hour of island hopping and additional Php150.00 for every additional hour.) 

Island hopping is one of the must-dos here in Guimaras because this little island has a lot of hidden treasures, history and chismis. Hehe.

Part of the island hopping itinerary was to visit SEAFDEC, a government owned facility in the middle of Panay Gulf, Tinigiban Island where we saw these red shrimps, Ave Maria Island where we saw some dead jelly fishes, Turtle Sanctuary where we had a chance to play with turtles, a small cave called Baras Cave where these tiny bats are staying, then Baras Resort, which is another resort option here in Guimaras and that is you are up for some communing with nature thing, Nagtago Island where I learned one great gay love story and lastly, the Rico Beach Resort, which is stone-throw away from Raymen Resort.

(read my blog about SEAFDEC here.)

Tiniguiban Island
(read my blog about Tiniguiban Island here.)

Ave Maria Island
(read my blog about Ave Maria Island here.)

Turtle Sanctuary
(read my blog about Turtle Sanctuary here.)

Baras Cave
(read my blog about Baras Cave here.)

Baras Resort
(read my blog about Baras Resort here.)

Nagtago Island
(read my blog about Nagtago Island here.)

Rico Beach Resort
(read my blog about Rico Beach Resort here.)

Our island hopping trip was very enjoyable, thanks to Kuya Wheng and to his right-hand man.

Since the clock is ticking, we bid goodbye to Raymen Resort with a heavy heart, though, we were sure that we will be back.

On our way back to the port going to Iloilo, we hired a tricycle again, but this time, the driver asked us Php300.00 fare. Sadly, even in small, peaceful island like Guimaras, there are still people like that old dope who is after the money. We told him that we just paid Php250.00 on our way in, but he insisted the Php300.00 fare. Asking for another tricycle service will take more time, so we just agreed to that old dope, but we told him to drop us to Trappist Abbey to buy some pasalubongs and to Guimaras Museum before heading to the port, and so he agreed.

Trappist Abbey
(read my blog about Trappist Abbey here.)

Guimaras Museum
(read my blog about Guimaras Museum here.)

Another thing that I noticed about the Guimaras road was these white pebbles along the road. I'm not sure if they just placed them there or those stones and pebbles were used to cement the road, but I do find them so inviting - a sign that Guimaras also offers some nice white-sand beaches. ^_^

We reached Trappist Monastery after some 20-, 25 minutes of travelling. Trappist was like Baguio City's Good Shepherd, they offer delectable Guimaras' treats - mango treats - that are perfect to be your pasalubongs.

Then after some minutes of shopping, our old hag driver transferred us to another tricycle because he said that his vehicle can't carry us anymore. (WTF!) He said that we'll just pay him Php200.00 and the other hundred to the new driver since we were closer to the port.

Our new tricycle driver is much nicer than that old dope, we told him that part of our "business" with that old dope was to drop us at Guimaras Museum, our last stop-over here in Guimaras before taking us to the port. 

Guimaras Museum is located at the back of provincial capitol. Though the facade looks so nice, the interior was a shock to us. I was saddened by what I saw, and I'll write a separate blog about it. I just hope that the local Guimaras officials will read it and act on the problem that I'm about to address there.

After some more minutes of looking around the small museum, we decided to leave the place and head to the port.

I suggest that before heading to Guimaras, make sure that you have some extra money in your pockets because I only saw two banks in the island, one rural bank named Arevalo Bank and one Land Bank, and Land Bank was the only bank that has ATM. The province sleeps at around 10 in the evening, so if you are really looking for some relaxing  vacation, Guimaras is one the best Philippines provinces to visit.

I got some photo's while on the back of the tricycle, and I'm happy to share it to you all!

I'm happy to see that despite the province was quite developed, the forest-y feel was kept well. The air feels so fresh and the people are generally smiling. With some local schools, few banks, markets and local government offices, I can say that Guimaras wasn't left behind when it comes to tourism and development.

I just hope that they make some way to lessen the transportation fees or at least they'll have a more tourist-friendly transportation services. Guimaras will surely go along way if they really take good care of it.

Thank you Guimaras for the wonderful experience. I'll just fill my pockets again and I'll be back! I know I have a lot more things to know about you! ^_^


  1. It's good that at least it wasn't raining too crazy. Your photos showed a bit of blue skies. Galing ng trip, dami nyo nacover! I was able to make notes on what to see in Guimaras. Haven't been there.

  2. Naku, visit the province, it has lot more to offer than just green and yellow mangoes. ^_^

  3. Thanks for sharing your blog! nice read. And updated costing for the trip. This will help me in my trip next week. haha. panic mode, wala pa talaga akong itinerary.

  4. It would be cheaper to fly to Ilo-ilo City then take Ortiz Wharf to Guimaras, only Php15 via pumpboat :)Php50/head for the van ride to SM City then Php7.50 to go to Iloilo City proper or if you are many, cab is only Php100 to take you to Ortiz Wharf from SM. If you want to stay overnight in Iloilo, you may check in for less than a thousand in the hotels in Gen Luna where Ortiz Wharf is only walking distance. :)

  5. Wow! Thanks for sharing Guimaras.. :) Buti naman nagustuhan mo ang minamahal kong probinsya hehe.. :) Mom grew up sa Guimaras.. :)

  6. Sir, salamat po dito... Nakatulong sa pagpaplano ko ng itinerary... :)


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