Guimaras island was not really in my itinerary but Mac has suggested that I should visit the place if I have time as it is just a 15-minute ferry ride from Iloilo City. With my goal to maximize my trip by visiting as many places that I could, I took his suggestion.
After I took my breakfast in Netong’s Original Special La Paz Batchoy and Madge Cafe in La Paz Public Market, I rode a jeep going to the Parola port where the new ferry terminal going to Guimaras Island is located. Most blogs suggest their readers to ride a ferry at Ortiz Wharf, which was the old ferry terminal according to locals.
With the help of the jeepney driver, I alighted at the Parola port where I rode a ferry going to Guimaras island. The travel time is just about 15 minutes and the motor boat leaves the terminal almost every 30 minutes as there are a lot of passengers going in and out Iloilo City and Guimaras island.
When I arrived at the Jordan Guimaras Jetty Port, I took my time to browse the internet looking for information on how to backpack Guimaras island. This is despite of an offer from a local to tour me the island for Php600.00. Since I could not find any blogs with information on backpacking the island, I decided to do it by myself. After taking some selfies at the jetty port, I navigate my way to the main using Google Maps hoping that I can find a best deal with habal-habal (motorbike service). I failed to find one and continued to walk toward the smallest plaza, which is about 1.3 kilometers from the jetty port.
I took some photos in the plaza and ask a local on how I can reach The Pitstop to taste their mango pizza. I was told that I can ride a jeepney going to San Miguel, which I took. I alight few meters in front of the Guimaras Provincial Capitol and asked a local where I can find The Pitstop. I was directed to a restaurant called The Grillers, which is a subsidiary of The Pitstop and who happen to serve mango pizza by The Pitstop. The Pitstop restaurant is located on the right side if you are facing the Guimaras Provincial Capitol.
Too bad, they do not have a stock of mango ketchup. Nevertheless, the mango pizza tasted good like a regular pizza less meat and tomato sauce. It is like you are eating a sandwich with mango puree and cheese. After few minutes at the restaurant, I decided to go for an island hopping. The jump-off point is located in Alubijod, Nueva Valencia. The service crew at the restaurant told me that I can ride a jeepney that ply to Nueva Valencia. I walk towards the public market where the terminal is located.
Jeepneys plying to Nueva Valencia is very seldom and very limited. If you just intend to have a day-tour in Guimaras island, make sure that you have enough time to this. You might end up hiring a habal-habal (motorbike) on your way back to Jordan Guimaras Jetty Port. Before I rode the jeepney, I confirmed to the conductor that I am going to Raymen Beach Resort in Alubijod. With my Google Maps, I keep monitoring my current location so as not to miss the drop-off point for Alubijod aside from asking local passengers for guidance.
Raymen Beach Resort is few kilometers away from the drop-off point so hiring a habal-habal is a must. I inquire with the front-desk personnel if I can go for an island hopping since the weather that time is so good. I was told that it is not a good time and waves are high adding that a group went back earlier that day who were unable to do island hopping. I just asked her if I can see the place and take some picture. She said there is an entrance fee, which I paid. I took some photos and selfies in the beach and went back to Jordan Guimaras Jetty Port with the same habal-habal and a jeepney at the main road.
On my way back to the jetty port, I decided to alight in a fruit stand located along the road which is near the Guimaras Provincial Capitol. I bought some pasalubong like mango jam and mango piaya. I also bought mangoes and ate it there to taste if Guimaras mangoes are sweeter that the mangoes sold in Luzon. I thought mangoes in Guimaras have a constant sweet-taste compared to most mangoes sold in Luzon. I was told that Guimaras ripe mangoes are harvested directly from the tree and were not induced by using Calcium Carbide.
My travel to Guimaras island concluded my backpacking eastern Panay island trip.
I do not have a video clip on my Guimaras Island travel so I just created a slide show to share with my visitors.