If you’re visiting Iloilo and you have at least a day off, you might as well cross to Guimaras Island, which is just a 15-minute pumpboat ride from the Parola or Ortiz Wharves in Iloilo City.
I came with four other companions from Ateneo High School: Hanna, Susan, Ems, and Cyrus. We went to Iloilo with a purpose: to prepare for next school year’s educational trip and pilgrimage. We want to see the places that have educational and spiritual values for our students to imbibe. And we allotted one day for Guimaras Island; the Ortiz wharf was just a block away from the Jesuits’ Sta. Maria Parish in General Blanco Street.
We then negotiated a boat ride to the Jordan Terminal in Guimaras.
Upon docking, we were ushered into the office of the island’s Department of Tourism.
The Jordan Guest Assistance Center (call 0999-332-1727) helped us in everything we needed to know. We were very much impressed. They had standard rates for multi-cabs or vans and their drivers had been trained to be tour guides as well. The people of the island were friendly and trust-worthy.
Let me share our one day tour of the island. The places we visited were limited but there were more things to enjoy in the island than what we were able to see. There were resorts and diving areas, historical and religious sites, ecological and adventure trips, and festivals and events. Best of all, you could taste their world-renown mangoes, the only variety shipped to the US and Japan.
Mango trees grow like vegetables in the island.
Here’s where we went (I hope my students will be more excited to join the trip next school year):
The Guimaras Windmills
The Provincial Tourism Office said that this is their newest attraction. And true enough: the windmills have been installed for just about a year. The windmills harness wind power to provide electricity to both Guimaras and Iloilo.
Today, the windmills have become part of the Guimaras landscape.
The Pit Stop Restaurant in Buenavista.
You can try what we ordered.
Mixed Fruit Drink
Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Monastery.
The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (OCSO), also known as the Trappists, is a contemplative religious order consisting of monasteries for nuns and monasteries for monks. The Trappists in Guimaras is a community of monks. They live under the Rule of St. Benedict and all of their monasteries are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Philippines, they have dedicated their monastery to Our Lady of the Philippines.
The Trappist Monastery in Guimaras is perfect for those who would like to spend some moments of quiet contemplation and prayer. And you can also support them by buying their products at their store. The Trappists run a program for the indigenous people of Guimaras.
The Guisi Lighthouse
The Guisi Lighthouse is a historical site. It dates back to the 18th century where it has served seafarers plying the Guimaras Strait. Though dilapidated and badly needing maintenance, the Guisi lighthouse could be a haven for the culture vultures.
If you’re disappointed with the Ruins of the Guisi Lighthouse and the adjacent station, you can always trek down the cove where the waters are clear and ideal for swimming.
Alobijod Cove Resort
This resort is just beside the Raymen Beach Resort. However, the Alobijod Resort has less people. Both Raymen and Alobijod share the same beach. We plan to bring our students here after the Guimaras tour to unwind before heading back to the Ferry Terminal in the town of Jordan.