Monday, April 2, 2012

Unearthing the Sweetness of Guimaras (Part 2 of 2)

I asked a friend of mine who has been to Guimaras to rate their beach, with 10 as the highest. She said 7. I was a little disappointed and for a second thought of cancelling the trip, but then she added "But the island hopping is 10!".  And that sealed the deal.

So after breakfast on day 2, we arranged for the island hopping tour. The rates are standard. You pay PhP450 for the first hour, and only PhP150 for the succeeding hours. I think the price wasn't bad because I've tried renting a boat for a short trip somewhere else and paid almost twice as that.

a quick pic before we start the trip
view of our resort from the boat 

And the boatmen know also where to take you. First, they took us to a fish sanctuary that's being run by the government. Here we saw giant lapu-lapu fishes weighing about 110kilos.

fish sanctuary

giant lapu-lapu
some large fishes in the sanctuary
And then they took us to see the Paras Beach Resort...

And then around to see some of the unspoilt beaches of the island...

just one of those...
this look similar to the ones they have in El Nido, Palawan
this is simply breath-taking!
 Upon seeing this island, I  asked the boatmen if we could stop by so I can have my signature pose taken...
Tres Marias Island

Stopping by Tres Marias Island for a photo op...
...and to document that we've conquered the island...behind us is the turtle island
Turtle Island (from Tres Marias Island point of view)
 After Tres Marias, we headed to the Turtle Island, and guess what we saw? Turtle!!!
so this is the reason why the island is named "Turtle Island"

This turtle is the star of the hour

Trying to force a smile even though I can barely hold it because it's too heavy...

After Turtle Island, we proceeded to explore what more the place has to offer...

one of the many reasons why it's more fun in the Philippines!

We are headed towards that cave...

....we took the boat inside....
...and of course, my hubby took some pictures...

view of the entrance from inside

rock formations...the green ones are copper
 After spending a few minutes with the bats in the cave, we proceeded to a private resort that's not open to the public (obviously, because it's private ...LOL). Fortunately, the boatman knows the caretaker so we were let in. It was the best part of the trip. Because here was where I found the nicest place to have my photo op and have my ultimate summer pic taken. :)

Natago Beach

view of the beach from the cottage...
another conquered island!
and of course, my signature pose!
This place is a paradise in it's own right...
and here comes my ultimate summer pic!
The moment I got back to our resort, I texted my friend and told her "You're right! Guimaras island hopping is indeed 10!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Unearthing the Sweetness of Guimaras (Part 1 of 2)

Not too many people know Guimaras. It's an island nestled between Bacolod and Iloilo and has once gained popularity due to the issue of oil spill when a boat sank within the vicinity. But what many people do not know is that Guimaras is known to be the "Mango Capital of the World."  They are home to the sweetest mangoes I've ever tasted, and their festival is named after it's harvest that happens every April called "Manggahan Festival".

sweet, sweet mangoes!

Guimaras hospitality
fruit stand full of mangoes!


It only takes 15 minutes and PhP13 from Iloilo Pier to get to Jordan Wharf, the entry point to the island. They have a tourism desk right at the pier that regulates all transportation for the tour and going to your hotel. They will also give you a map indicating what are the tourist spots in the island.

From the pier, we hired a multi-cab to tour us around the island and take us to our resort at PhP1,000. The first stop was the Pasalubong Center.

Guimaras Capitol
souvenirs from Pasalubong Center
nicely decorated kiosk
seaweed pickle...doesn't sound appealing to me :)

And then we went to The Trappist Monastery


facade of the church

their gift shop
  After which we went to Guisi Lighthouse...
the ruins
Guisi Beach

entrance to the ruins

old light house

view of the sea from the light house

long stretch of white powdery beach

We decided to skip the other spots as we were too tired already. We went to Raymen's Beach Resort without any reservation. To our dismay, the only available room they have is on the 3rd floor, access of which is a spiral staircase. This won't work for us. They have another one, a beach front room, for PhP2,200. We were supposed to take it, but we didn't like the feel of the resort. It looks so crowded with it's hotel-like building, not to mention their staff was rude and impolite.

We decided to check out the resort beside it, Alobijod Cove. We were greeted by a nice attendant, who called the manager. The manager gave us the option to get the fan room, good for 6 for only PhP 1,500. The other one is a very nice newly built room, and very large with a/c and ref for Php 2,500. There were just 3 of us so it's a bit costly, especially that we are planning to stay for 2 nights. In the end, we decided to stay in Alobijod Cove because their customer service is superb, one I wouldn't mind paying extra. It turned out to be a good decision because the food was excellent and cheap, their service was above average and their staff are polite and always wear smiles.

here's their contact number

fronting our resort

Dumaguete : A Quick Stop

The fastest way to get to Siquijor if you're coming from Cebu is via the Dumaguete route. Naturally, this was the path we've chosen. And because my cousin joined us at the last minute and didn't get the chance to purchase airfare tickets at a cheap price, he decided to take the bus from Cebu to Dumaguete leaving us with a few hours of idle time while waiting for him.

We waited by the Boulevard where I encouraged my husband to go around and take some pictures. Here are some snaps.

tree at the boulevard

Belfry Tower

facade of the church

inside the church


it will be cool to drive this around :)

Our national hero

park across the church

my hubby saw this naughty sign :)

home of the famous sylvannas ... my favorite!

we took a picture of the ferry schedule for reference :)