Written by the Wife:
They say when you have a baby, you would travel less, probably go out less, and stay home where your baby would be safe and comfortable. But having a baby made me realize that it should not limit your life. Before our travel to Iloilo, we looked at a map to see where else we could go. And the nearest island we saw was Guimaras. I’ve read several posts about the island – the famous white sands and sweet mangoes. I immediately added this island to our itinerary – oops actually there’s no itinerary. We’re still as spontaneous as before (I told you having a baby should not stop your sense of adventure ^_^). You can read my husband post on our first day at Guimaras where we went island hopping. On our second day, we decided to go on a land tour.
On day number 2, we opted to be more economical and let’s say more adventurous for parents of a 9-month old baby. We chose to take a tricycle to tour Guimaras. Tricycles are the cheapest form of transportation on the island. It costs as low as 1,300 php for a land tour. Van costs as much as 3,500 php. We usually travel with our baby so she’s not usually fussy going around. For parents planning to take a tricycle as mode of transportation, consider your baby’s mood while travelling. Some roads in Guimaras are bumpy. Air should be the least of your worries as it’s not as polluted as the city.
Our first landmark was Guisi Lighthouse in Nueva Valencia. If you based it on the map of Guimaras, it’s on the southern part of the island, the reason why we probably went there first. It was said to be the second oldest lighthouse in the Philippines (the picture speaks for itself). There was an entrance fee of 20 php per person (don’t need to pay for the baby of course). I’m usually scared of heights but when I travel, I usually try doing things outside of my comfort zone. Unlike other old lighthouses in the Philippines, we were allowed to go up the lighthouse. The lighthouse was rusty and you have to climb narrow stairs. But once you reach the top, you will know why they put the lighthouse there. It’s very strategic as it is facing the sea and can certainly see when a ship is sailing near the island. It feels so nice being on top of the light house – the wind blowing on your face while your eyes are feasting on the view. For those looking for options on where to stay, there’s also a beach near Guisi Lighthouse. The water was so clear and sands are white and fine like the other islands in Guimaras.
Our next stop was Trappist Abbey. This is where you buy your pasalubong. There’s also a catholic church inside the vicinity and the factory where they make the delicious pasalubong (mostly mango products).
After the Trappist Abbey, we went to the park where we could take a picture of the giant mango with the Guimaras name. My sister is a usual tourist and she won’t leave without taking a picture with the giant mango so we obliged. Near the park is a restaurant famous for its mango pizza – The Pitstop. Aside from the pizza, we also tried chicken and spaghetti. The chicken was okay, the spaghetti…hmmm…let’s go back to pizza. We really enjoyed the mango pizza. It cost us 359 php for a family size pizza. The crispy thin crust was covered with thin slice of mangoes and cheese. I did not taste the pizza sauce much but the cheese complemented the mangoes. If we ever go back to that restaurant, we will probably order that pizza again. I guess we will only order pizza as the other food are ordinary (but hey their meals are cheap and cost less than 100 for a complete set meal).
Our next stop was the windmills along San Lorenzo. It amazes me whenever I see windmills in the provinces. It made me appreciate the effort of local officials/government when they try to find ways to give stable source of electricity for isolated islands like Guimaras. We took several pics before we headed to our last tourist stop – the Holy Family Hills.
The Holy Family Hills is a pilgrimage site for Catholics. Luckily, it’s not holy week so there was no one else when we went there. My husband and I decided not to roam around the area. But we can see that the place is full of giant statues for the station of the cross usually done during holy week.
Finally, before we went to Jordan Wharf, we decided to buy mangoes. It was not yet mango season. The tricycle driver said it was later this year and would probably be around April. The mangoes are a little bit pricey compared to the price of mangoes in Manila. It was ranging from 150 php – 250 php per kilo. But hey, when we tried it, it’s worth it. Their mangoes are really sweet (to think it was not mango season). Our baby enjoyed it a lot.
We went back to the wharf and headed back to Iloilo around 2 p.m. The wave was bigger on the way back to Iloilo. While going back to Iloilo, I was thinking how fast our trip was. Actually, if you don’t have much time allotted for Guimaras, you can go island hopping and do a land tour in one day. But as for my husband and I, we don’t like putting too many activities in one day so we can enjoy the trip more. After all, we went for vacation to enjoy and relax, not exhaust ourselves with too many activities. But that’s just us ^_^ We went back to Iloilo with still a lot of energy and decided that we were not too tired to go and see old architectures of the city. See you on our next post for our last day in Iloilo.
A – Raymen Beach Resort
B – Guisi Lighthouse
C – Trappist Abbey
D – The Pitstop
E – San Lorenzo Windmills
F – Holy Hills Family
G – Jordan Wharf