The little island of Guimaras is one of the places people add on their itinerary when visiting Iloilo. Guimaras is near Iloilo province and can be reached via boat for 15 minutes. Aside from that, Guimaras welcomes their guests with stunning beaches and sweet mangoes. We wanted to see what everyone was talking about, but the rain didn’t permit us to explore its beaches.
Instead of whining how the rain ruined our plan, we decided to do a land tour. The Navalas Church in Buenavista is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Guimaras, built in 1880. The quaint church has a peaceful atmosphere, and a spacious field near the entrance.
The Trappist Monastery is another popular destination located in Jordan as this is the only monastery that can be found in the Philippines. The Trappist monks earn a living my making local delicacies, that’s why tourists usually buy souvenirs here. Most delicacies are made from mangoes so you’d definitely find polvorons, pastillas and otap with mangoes.
Guisi Lighthouse, located in Nueva Valencia, is one of the places I’ve found charming. Just like any other lighthouse, it used to be a navigation spot for boats passing Panay Gulf.
We probably heard someone say that, “The older the wine, the better it tastes.”, and I think the same goes for the Guisi Lighthouse. You can see how ruined and old the place is, and yet you can’t deny how time equally made it so beautiful. Thick vines cover the walls as if to say that this place is a part of them.
The Guisi Lighthouse is the farthest place to visit in the land tour, so it’s usually the last stop. Going to the lighthouse, you can pass by and see a great view of Guisi Beach.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Iloilo, ride a tricycle to get to Ortiz Wharf. Here you can find boats heading to Jordan Port in Guimaras. Travel time is usually 15 minutes, and ticket fare is about PHP 15 to 20. Alternatively, you can charter a boat going to Guimaras and coming back to Iloilo for PHP 500-570, good for 15 pax.
Ferry schedule going to Guimaras from Iloilo starts at 5:30 am until 7:30 pm, and leaves every 15-30 minutes. From Guimaras, going to Iloilo schedule starts at 6:30 am until 6:30 pm.
Getting around, you can hire a tricycle from the tourism office. People from the tourism office knows how to speak English and Tagalog well so it wouldn’t be hard to ask questions or explain your itinerary to them. In the office, you can also find a list of tourist spots in Guimaras.