Hello and thank you for visiting my first blog post. To be honest, I don’t exactly know how to start this adventure story but I’ll try my best to give you a detailed info especially for those who are planning to have their backpacking trip in Panay Island, Visayas, Philippines. I went to Guimaras Island first, then to Iloilo, to Antique and Aklan as my final destination for this trip. For this first post, let me tour your imagination around the Mango Capital of the Philippines – Guimaras Island.
How to reach Guimaras Island?
It was April 28, 2017, my scheduled flight from Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport Manila to Iloilo Int’l Airport. Upon arrival at 6am, airport metered taxis and UV express vans are readily available upon exit in the airport. Somebody approached me and offered me an exclusive trip to my destination of choice for a fixed price (up to SM Iloilo is Php400.00 which is quite expensive). Considering that I was trying to at least maximize my resources and budget everything as much as possible, I opted the UV express amounting to Php50.00 bound to SM Iloilo. Time travel is estimated 20-30 minutes. In front of SM Iloilo, you can ride a jeepney with route SM City Proper-Plaza Libertad and tell the driver to drop you at Ortiz Wharf. Time travel is 15 minutes. From Ortiz Wharf, I bought a pump boat ticket amounting to Php14.00 bound to port of Jordan, the capital of Guimaras Province/Island. Estimated time travel is 20-30 min.
Arrival at the Province
I directed towards the tourism office of the province located at the port where a representative showed me my options if I would want to have a tour in their place. The entirety of the province with bunch of tourist spots can actually be visited in one whole day. Tricycle drivers outside the office are patiently waiting for tourist to come and render their rental services in which I did. During the trip, I told myself that It was a good decision to rent the tricycle in which I observed as their primary mode of transportation aside from the mini jeepneys/multicabs. It will cost you Php1,200.00 for a whole island tour for the whole day package with no waiting time cost. I got mine for Php1,000.00 and chose only the spots that I would want to visit. Initially, I thought that price was still expensive primarily because I don’t have anyone to share the rental fee. But after experiencing the island, the price was worth the service.
I came to see the Smallest Plaza at our first stop only to take some photos. I don’t think there is really something special about the place aside from that it was really a “small plaza”. Smallest Plaza is just 5 minutes away from the Jordan port.
From the Smallest Plaza, we then went to see the famous San Lorenzo Wind Mills. The locations of the windmills are actually far from each other. So, I asked my driver slash tour guide Kuya Panoy (you may contact him in case you want to render his service 09425448135) if there is an available view deck to see the windmills all at the same time. He then dropped me to the Municipal Hall of San Lorenzo where I paid Php10.00 for the entrance to the viewing deck at the third floor.
Hearing my stomach already scolding me, I asked Kuya Panoy to drop me to a famous restaurant or eatery. We then went to the “The Pitstop” restaurant where I had the chance to get a taste of their famous mango pizza matched with calamansi juice and french fries for about Php300.00 (unfortunately they don’t have a solo pizza available for mango pizza so I have to buy the sharing size). Mango pizza has a weird taste (combination of sweet and salty). Mango is the product of the province in which they are known for. On the day of my visit, people are preparing for “Manggahan Festival” (mango festival, mangga is the Filipino term for mango) which they will be celebrating the week after.
Mango farm is the next destination followed by a church visit to “The Trappist”. The Trappist is such a peaceful place. Aside from the church, the Trappist is also famous place to buy your souvenirs. We then went ahead to the famous Alubihod White Beach in Nueva Valencia. Beach resorts are just steps away from one another so you have plenty of options to choose where you would want to stay. With Php25.00 entrance fee in Raymen Beach Resort Corp, I got to see the famous white sand beach of the place.
By 12nn, I decided to go back to Jordan’s port and return back at Iloilo for a tour in the city. On the way to the port, I asked Kuya Panoy to take me to the Guimaras Capitol Grounds first to take some photos.
Total expense: Php1,420.00 (From Iloilo International Airport to Guimaras and back to Ortiz Wharf, Iloilo) excluding airfare.