Back in Guimaras

I’ve looked forward to this trip ever since we booked our ticket early this year. And even when we didn’t have a ticket yet, I’ve always wanted to come back to Guimaras. Though I can’t understand Ilonggo very well, Guimaras felt like home. People even speak to me in Ilonggo, which I pretend to fully understand. Makaintiende ako, pero gamay lang po. But maybe because I loved it here since… it feels like home away from home.

We were at the Iloilo International Airport at around 10:30AM and headed straight to Plazuela de Iloilo to have early lunch. We were raving about how it was so quiet, even when we were at the city. Hay, how tiring it is to live in Manila, really! We had chicken inato, just because it was the first thing we saw and that we got so hungry because of the heat. I was with Mica and Michael, my childhood friends and pseudo siblings.
After lunch, I couldn’t hide my excitement anymore because we were only just 30minutes away. We rode a jeep to Ortiz Wharf, where we are taking a 15-minute pump boat ride to Guimaras. Before we got dropped off, manong jeep driver even told us ‘halong’ or take care in ilonggo. We were the last passengers in the pump boat and everyone was looking at us because we had back packs and because we had to sit at the back. Halatang turista.
During my previous visits, I didn’t get to stay long in Guimaras but now I’m so happy and giddy (kanina ko pa sinasabi na happy ako) that we get to spend the night. I’m so excited!
If you’re taking the public transportation, tricycles are a good option. Although the mini van is okay too. For us though, we had my friend, councilor Vic, pick us up at the port at noon (thank you :*). ‘Hi, welcome to Guimaras!’ (Thank you for going out your way :*) I’m so happy that we’re not in a hurry and that we were having a chill trip so far. We went first to the Trappist Monastery to pray and buy pasalubong (~mango tart forever~) and travelled another 30 minutes to Nueva Valencia. We stayed at Raymen Beach Resort — next to the more quiet Alobijod Cove.
We rested for a few hours and watched videos and went to the nearby Villa Igang Resort to look around. We passed by the bamboo bridge where the mangroves are and to the bay walk (?) where we talked about how relaxing it was to just be sitting there. We went back at around 5PM, freshened up and had dinner at Alobijod Cove. Dami naming kinain. The menu said that the food was good for 3 persons — we were four —  but it felt like the food was for 7! Haha. I wish I didn’t have seafood allergy so I can eat as much shrimp but yes, there are constraints. After dinner, we stayed at the beach to relax. We talked about how many islands were on sale around Guimaras. I’d shell out Php 55M if I can! Haha.
Love the wind coming from the sea and the company too, best therapy yet.
The next day, we woke up early to explore the islands around Guimaras. After having breakfast, the angels from the canteen at Raymen taught me a few ilonggo words (which I always forget!). Haha. I love ilonggos — they’re so sweet and always smiling. Salamat gid!
We started at 7:30AM and was with Jun 1 and Jun 2. Haha. Our boatmen’s names were Jun and Junjun so we just made up the 1 and 2. Love them for being good photographers.
We spent most of our time in Natago Beach, one of my favorite places. So sad it was still high tide, so the mini sand bar wasn’t that visible. I even tried to argue that it’s low tide during the day, but no. I was wrong. Haha. (You win :p) The other islands we went to were Lamurawan Island (where we got the amazing view of the seven islands), Ave Maria Island (where my friends cliff dived) and the Baras Cave (where I slipped so.many.times).
For lunch we had mango pizza and carbonara at the Pitstop. Nami! Super sarap. My seatmate was super takaw too. :p
After lunch, although it was raining, we still passed by the windmills in San Lorenzo. So many windmills at 54MW! And so many nice views. We  also listened to 90s music during the long drive. We passed by the Roca Encantada, the rest house of the Lopezes before heading straight to the Buenavista Wharf to take the pumpboat back to Iloilo.
I wish I had a house overlooking the sea. It was so beautiful. Thank you for taking us there. 🙂 The Roca Encantada is facing I think the Iloilo Strait. Negros island can also be seen from there. Someday. ~someday~
From San Miguel in Jordan to Buenavista, it felt like we went around the whole island. Although Vic says that there’s still so much more to see. So many winding roads and so many beautiful views! Buenavista was far so madamo gid nga salamat for driving us around, Vic! It was my first time to take the pump boat from Buenavista to Iloilo. It felt weird to be the only turistas. And saying goodbye (to you mostly) felt weird too. 😦 Guimaras is too beautiful! Really one of my favorite places. I can’t wait to come back again (and again, and again a g a i n).
Special thank you again to dearest Vic — thank you for touring us around the island and spending time with us. We’re very happy and ~kilig~! See you very soon. :*

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