Destination: Iloilo – Guimaras

The idea was born from a phone conversation. Why not travel some place as a treat.
Destination: Iloilo – Guimaras.

What we know about the two places, very few. Who we know from these two places, a few public figures. But friends or relatives, none. Do we know how to speak the local dialect (Ilonggo)? Not either. So why this destination? Hmmm… why not? : ]

The itinerary shows us traveling to and exploring Iloilo for the morning of the first day followed by traveling to and exploring Guimaras in the afternoon until the next day and then back to Iloilo for the remaining days. After visiting several travel blogs and sites and making phone inquiries, we set the date, October 22-26, 2009, and got ready for the trip. Iloilo - Guimaras, here we come!


October 22, 2009

09:40am - 10:35am Flight ( Davao - Cebu )
06:10pm – 06:40pm Flight ( Cebu - Iloilo )

October 23, 2009

AM Miag-ao church
PM Travel to Guimaras

October 24, 2009

08:00am - 12:00pm Island Tour ( Sanctuary, Cave, Islands )
02:00pm – Open Time Explore Guimaras ( Trappist, Guisi Ruins, Balaan Bukid )

October 25, 2009

07:00am - 09:00am Checkout
09:00am - 12:00pm Travel to Iloilo
12:00pm – Open Time Lunch
Explore Iloilo City
  • Museo iloilo
  • Nellys garden
  • Jaro metropolitan cathedral
  • Molo church
  • Guimbal Church
  • Racso’s Woodland Inland Resort
  • Tigbauan Church

October 26, 2009

04:30am - 05:45am Prepare / Travel Hotel to Airport
08:05am – 09:10am Flight (Iloilo – Davao)

Day 1

Our flight was scheduled to depart Davao City at 9:40AM and arrive in Cebu at 10:35AM. Since we booked a connecting flight, we had to stop over in Cebu to get to Iloilo. The Cebu to Iloilo schedule was supposed to depart Cebu by 2:30PM and arrive in Iloilo by 3:15PM. But unexpectedly, the flight was delayed due to a “Bird Strike.” We were placed on a different flight and were scheduled to depart by 6:40PM. So we ended up spending the entire day at Mactan International Airport. Sigh!

This actually resulted to changes in our itinerary. So from the original Guimaras first then Iloilo, we adjusted our itinerary to accommodate the delay.

Upon arriving at the Iloilo airport, which was nice and clean by the way, we rode a van to bring us to a hotel.

From 7:10 to 7:30PM we traveled from the airport to the city proper and then checked in to a hotel. Click here to find out more.

~ Realization ~

When booking connecting flights, always expect the unexpected. Have a plan ready in case of delays and make sure your itinerary is flexible. And since we will be going back to Iloilo (day 4), we immediately placed a reservation so that we won’t end up in Room 107 again. : ]

~ Suggestion ~

The van is good for persons traveling by group since you have to pay P500.00. For those who are traveling alone or as a pair, it would be much better to ride a taxi. Try to bargain with the driver or operator of the taxi if you can just pay P450.00

Day 2

We spent our first morning in Iloilo by traveling to Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo. This is most commonly called as the Miag-ao Church which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So this is a MUST-SEE. Read more about it here. Afterwards, we traveled to the island of Guimaras.

We arrived at Jordan (read as Hordan) wharf and rode a jeep to get to Crossing Alubihod. Fare is P25.00 and the travel is approximately one hour including stopovers and several minutes of waiting. You will see a signboard saying “Welcome to Sitio Alubihod” which is across a gasoline station. Go down here and ride a tricycle (fare is P20.00) to get to Raymen Beach Resort. If you want to lessen the travel time, we suggest you ride the tricycle. This, however, requires you to pay P200.00 but the driver will bring you directly to the resort.

Once in Raymen Beach Resort, pay P10.00 for the entrance fee. Room rates are as follows: P600.00 – fan room with CR, P1,100.00 or P1,300.00 (beach front) – airconditioned rooms with CR.

The resort has several amenities such as a canteen, a souvenir shop (but with few items only), some sari-sari stores, a conference room, and billiard tables. Room service, however, has an extra charge. The resort also offers an island tour to cater small as well as big groups and snorkeling and diving equipments for use in the tour. You can also visit Rico beach since it lies next to Raymen.

~ Realization ~

Tap water is not potable and has a certain taste. Even while brushing your teeth you can taste it. So it is better if you buy bottled or mineral water for drinking.

~ Suggestion ~

You could also visit other neighboring resorts to compare different amenities and rates.

Day 3

We scheduled the island tour/hopping for the morning of day three followed by exploring the other spots in Guimaras in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it rained heavily by 8:00AM. We were left with no choice but to wait and pray for the rain to die down so that our itinerary for that day will not be spoiled.

By 10:00AM, the weather became fine and so we proceeded to the original plan. The rates for the island tour are as follows: P400.00 for the first one hour and P150.00 per hour for the succeeding hours. With packed lunch ready and a fully charged camera, we were ready to go. Suggestion: It is inevitable that you will get wet during the tour especially if it is low tide. So wear something that you won’t have a problem with in case you’ll have to cross waist-high waters. : ]

Our guides were Manong Rando and his friend. Good thing they can understand Bisaya. : ] First stop was the Turtle Sanctuary. You have to pay P10.00 (for two people already) plus donation (any amount). Next we went to Ave Maria Island. Along the way you will surely be amazed at the beauty of the islands as well as the coral reefs. We just passed by the cave and didn’t anymore enter it since balod kaayo. We proceeded to Baras beach and had an overlooking view of the nearby islands and beaches. Afterwards, we stopped for lunch in a beach across Baras. Manong Rando told us that they can actually bring us to Guisi Ruins to view the lighthouse but since balod kaayo and since to get to Guisi you have to battle open waters, it will be difficult. So we just headed back to Raymen beach. All in all, we consumed about three and a half hours. But we enjoyed the island tour despite getting wet and the balod waters. : ]

In the afternoon, we were only able to go to the Trappist Monastery since it rained again. We rode a tricycle and bargained the driver for P300.00 from Raymen to Trappist and back. We saw mango trees along the way as well as encountered a lot of potholes. You can also ride a jeepney going back to Jordan since the OLP Trappist Monastery is just along the highway. Upon arriving there, we bought pasalubongs and we were also blessed by Father.

Mango Bars – P70.00 Dried Mangoes – P65.00

Mango Jam – P64.00
Mango Barquillos – P50.00
Mango Biscocho – P33.00
Mango Otap – P47.00
Guimaras Mango – P120.00 per kilo.

~ Realization ~

Almost everything was flavored with Mangoes.

~ Suggestion ~

Try to visit the Guisi Ruins as well as Balaan Bukid. Don’t forget to buy pasalubongs but be sure to taste some also. : ]

Day 4

Sunday morning was our last day in Guimaras. Before noon, we were already back in Iloilo. We packed our stuff, toured the resort for the last time and then took pictures. We left Guimaras with wonderful memories, white sand, and mangoes, mangoes, and more mangoes. To read more about the Iloilo part, click here.

Day 5: Namit gid!

It’s now time to say goodbye.

Our flight was at 8:05AM, Iloilo to Davao. We left the hotel at 5:45AM and then rode a taxi (fare: P450.00) to get to the airport. It took us about 20 to 25 minutes to get there since it was still early in the morning. Terminal fee at the airport is P200.00.

For four days, we were able to experience a taste of Iloilo and Guimaras. Even though we had to find our way around an unfamiliar place, experience delays, and battle the heat of the sun, the experience was still an enjoyable and memorable one.

We left Iloilo and Guimaras with near empty pockets but with our hearts full and our lips saying “Namit gid!”