Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Year End Trip: The Guimaras Sidetrip

 We started our day a little bit early for our Guimaras sidetrip that day. We met Faith and Luis at Ortiz Port, which is the jump-off point for Guimaras. The weather was gloomy but the water was very calm. The motorized boat was quite big---can fit up to 20 people, I guess. It was a smooth 15-minute ferry ride from Ortiz to Jordan Port where our tour guide, Kuya Micmic is already waiting for our arrival.
It's all gloomy but the water remained calm, thank God.
Aside from Kuya Micmic, we’re also greeted by the drizzling rain....uh-oh. When I asked him if it rained the past few days in Guimaras, he told me, no. Uh—oh L Luckily, the drizzle stopped after some time. Yey!

Our first stop was the Balaan Bukid Shrine where a giant cross awaits us. Getting to the top wasn’t easy since we have to trek almost 30 minutes on a steep and rocky road. Maagang penitensya ito. We later found out from Kuya Micmic that it’s a fave destination during holy week and it makes sense because of the presence of the 14 Stations of The Cross which starts at the foot of the mountain until you reach the top. Aside from the giant cross, there’s also a small chapel there which holds mass every first Saturday of the month.
Rocky road ahead...
Finally, there's the cross! Wait for us.
The chapel on top of the mountain.
Masses are held every 1st sat of the
month for the residents.
The marker. Donations are most welcome here.
The cross is off-limits to the public
due to security reasons.
After Balaan Bukid, Kuya Micmic brought us to the Smallest Plaza for a quick photo op. It’s said to be the smallest plaza in the world before. 
The Smallest Plaza---Check!
Smallest Plaza from the outside
We were here :)
Next destination: head north to visit Buenavista town. We’re fortunate that Kuya Micmic agreed to bring us to Navalas Church and Roca Encatada.
Navalas Church is the oldest and the
only Heritage Church
in the province. It was built in 1880.
Luis, Faith, Moi, Aizel, and Rei at
the Navalas Church
On-going preparations for Christmas.
After saying our prayers, off we go to Roca Encatada which is the summer house of the famous Lopez clan. It was built in 1910 in honor of Dona Presentacion Lopez, who is the great grandmother of ABS-CBN's Sir Gabby. It was declared as a Heritage House by the National Historial Institute in 2002. 
There's a P50 entrance by the way.
Dream vacation house T_T

Feeling mayayaman lang ;p

We may have failed to visit ABS Iloilo but at least we still
paid tribute to the Lopezes by visiting their summer
house haha.
It was almost lunch time when we left Roca Encatada but since there's no restaurant or an eatery nearby, we had our lunch near the Guimaras Provincial Capitol. 

For lunch (no pictures), we ate at a random eatery just in front of the Capitol. I had fried shrimps and adobong pusit and a soup that I don't know what it's called but according to Faith, it's usually eaten by people with gout. One interesting thing that I learned is that their version of Pork Sarsiado is actually a Menudo. And I thought that anything with fish, tomatoes, and egg is sarsiado!

After our heavy lunch, we had a very quick tour at the Guimaras Provincial Monument and Museum. I was impressed by the museum's facade It's a one-storey building with sculpture of a man holding a fishing tool and plow. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get inside since renovation is still ongoing.
Guimaras Museum-Fail! 
Watch out for a better Guimaras Museum

This statue---a man with fishing tool and plow--
represents the common source of living of Guimaras
locals which is fishing and farming.

Guimaras Provincial Capitol's facade

Luis, Me, Rei, and Aizel at the Capitol grounds
Not far from the museum was the Guimaras Provincial Capitol. I think the local government is holding a Christmas Tree-making contest since six Christmas trees made from different materials were displayed on the capital grounds.

 From the Provincial Capitol, we were brought to the Trappist Monastery. The monastery is run by monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance. The monks,  known for their extreme austerity or strictness, live according to the teachings of St. Benedict. 

The place is really quiet and peaceful, no wonder it's a favorite spot for retreats or recollection. After we said our prayers, we stayed a little bit longer for more photo ops.

Unfortunately, this is restricted to the
public :(
We also met Bro. Peter who is a monk there. He's very warm and accommodating and told us to write our prayer request in a sheet of paper in exchange of any monetary help we could give to support the monks' basic needs especially their medicines. He emphasized that we should write our specific prayer request.
Dear Bro. Peter, please pray for my .........
The monks also sell souvenir items and processed foods such as jams and jellies to support their financial needs. All their works can be seen and bought at the gift shop which can be found inside the monastery.
Pasalubong shopping time!
After our short trip at the Trappist Monastery, we boarded Kuya Micmic's tricycle for another long drive. It's almost 3pm that time and we still have 3 more places on our list. Go, go, go!Next stop: Valle Verde Resort.

The road leading to the resort was steep and rocky so we we're advised to walk. Huwaaaaaaah!Anyway, when we finally reached the resort, we were greeted by two dogs. Arf! Arf! The resort owner was very accommodating and encouraged us to take a dip on their pools or try their hotspring. We were really tempted with her offer but since we're running out of time, we told her about our dilemma. She thanked us for dropping by though and told us to come back and stay longer in Guimaras.
Okay guys, simulan nyo na ang

I was here!:)

Overlooking view from Valle Verde Resort
From Valle Verde Resort we travelled for another 20 to 30 minutes to reach Guisi Lighthouse. According to
It was built by the Spanish government in 1894 -1896 as part of the Master Plan for the lighting of the Maritime Coasts of the Philippine Archipelago. The plan was aimed at lighting the Philippine Seas and channels to guide ships in and through the most important sea channels to the ports of Manila, Iloilo, and Cebu. Known as Faro de Punta Luzaran, the lighthouse served as a navigational aid to the fishermen and sailors cruising Panay Gulf. While the original lighthouse is no longer operational a new one has been built by the Philippine Coast Guard.
This station is on Guimaras Island marking the southern entrance to Iloilo in Panay. The lighthouse, a 17.5 m (58 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower, was completed in 1896. It appears similar to the Cabo Bojeador and Cabo Engano lights. The entire light station is in ruins; the lantern is gone from the tower and the roof is gone from the 1-story stone keeper’s house.
At some time after 1920, the light was replaced by what the current list describes only as 38 ft (11.5m) hourglass-shaped metal tower. Painted white, focal plane 34 m (111 ft), white flash every 15 s. no lantern.
Add caption
Number 12 lighthouse is listed in the 27 major Spanish Lighthouses of the Philippines (in the order listed by Faros Espanoles de Ultramar). 
The very old and rusty lighthouse
New satellite
The newer lighthouse
Ruins part 1
Ruins part 2
Our last stop was the Raymen Beach. It was really crowded unlike the Guisi Beach which is more beautiful plus, there were no guests that time. Raymen Beach Resort is a white sand beach..just don't compare it with Boracay. I can only see from the shore several islands which were perfect for an island hopping. Since we're pressed for time, we just enjoyed the beach, the shoreline, the sand, and the water! Yes, we took a quick dip on the beach since we're all feeling sticky :)

 We were back at the Jordan Port at 6:30 pm. Whew! It was really a long and tiring day but definitely it's a fun, enjoyable, and SULIT na SULIT Guimaras daytrip. Thanks to our maalaga, maasikaso, at mabait na tour guide---Kuya Micmic. His rate is very affordable plus you can customize your trip, just inform him of your plans to further guide you on your itinerary. So if you have plans of visiting the place, please do contact him :)
Our grand "ride" throughout the
Kuya Micmic :)


  1. Nice photos! I hope I could travel more next year. :)

  2. Thanks :) Well, you should when you're still young and energetic

  3. You took lovely shots! :) I'd love to visit Guimaras too next year. Would love to do some island hopping.. ^^

    Merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2012!

  4. Hi Sumi Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2012 ahead of you too :)Thanks for the complement but those shots are not as beautiful as yours. Anyway, favor. please please contact Kuya Micmic if ever you'll push through with the trip. we really want to help him kasi e. I have his number, just in case you're interested :)