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Guimaras

Guimaras

Diving and historic sites can be found in the province of the sweetest mangoes in the world
By Bianca Ma. Guerrero

Overview

Located in the Panay Gulf, Guimaras is an island province with a rich history and culture, as well as popular spots for diving, spelunking, and relaxing on the beach. The province's claim to fame is its mangoes, which are noted for their size and sweetness.

History

  • Spanish governor and captain-general of the Philippine Islands Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peņalosa established a settlement in Guimaras in 1581 in order to bring Christianity to the natives. He and his companions organized the villages of Nayup and Igang, which had San Pedro and Sta. Ana as their patron saints, respectively.
  • Guimaras fell under the jurisdiction of what is now known as Iloilo in 1742, until the Augustinian Order was replaced by the Jesuits in 1751. Eventually, the island gained municipal status.
  • Douglas McArthur went to Iloilo sometime in the early 1900's and had roads and a wharf built. Today, McArthur's Wharf is still in use.
  • Guimaras became a sub-province of Iloilo in 1966, and became a full-fledged province in 1992.

Travelers' Attractions

  • There are several beaches and resorts around Guimaras that are perfect for both beach bums and divers.
  • The island is a popular spot for spelunking because of its many caves.
  • Mountain bikers from other parts of the country travel to Guimaras, not only for the Mountain Bike Festival, but also for the terrain of the island.

Getting There and Away

  • There are regular flights to Iloilo from Manila on Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Philippines. From Iloilo, one can take a boat to Guimaras, which takes about 15 minutes from Iloilo Harbor.
  • Motorized banca services have regular trips to the Jordan Wharf from Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo City.
  • There is A Ro-Ro service to Guimaras from Lapuz La Paz and Negros.
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Alubihod Beach

The clear blue waters and white sand of Alubihod Beach are known throughout Guimaras.

Guisi Lighthouse

The Guisi lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse in the country, next to Aparri, Cagayan.

Mountain Bike Festival

Cycling is a popular activity in Guimaras.

Mangoes and Mango Products

Mangoes are such an important product in Guimaras that the local government has imposed a quarantine on all mangoes from outside the province.
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