SIDE TRIP TO GUIMARAS

Side Trip to Guimaras


A quick day trip to the Trappist Monastery and Alubihod Beach in this mango-producing province whets the traveler’s taste for more.

By Abet Lagula
December 03, 2010


Guimaras is a mere 15 minutes from the coast of Iloilo, so it's easy to visit--but not so easy to leave, as Abet Lagula discovers. With sights like the Trappist Monastery and Alubihod Beach--not to mention food like sweet mangoes and cheap clams--the province has much to come back to.

I love ripe mangoes--the sweet, fleshy, and juicy kind. There are lots of varieties to choose from, with each mango-producing province in the Philippines having a distinct flavor of its own. But if one wants a definitive answer to the question, "Where can I find the sweetest mangoes?" the answer has to be Guimaras.

Guimaras is an island province in the Western Visayas region just off the coast of Iloilo City. It used to be a part of the province of Iloilo until it was made independent in 1992. It only takes a short 15-minute boat trip from Iloilo City to reach Jordan, the capital of Guimaras.

Although it's most known for the ubiquitous yellow fruit, Guimaras is not just about mangoes. Off the typical tourist's radar all this time, it is fast becoming a center for eco-tourism. Backpackers, mountain bikers and other outdoor-lovers now often travel to Guimaras to visit its unexplored white beaches, rustic structures, and rugged terrain, all of which is well suited for adventure.

During a trip to Iloilo, we made a side trip to take a quick tour of Guimaras and tried to visit as many places as we could in a day. Even if we only had a glimpse of what the province had to offer, we were mesmerized by the island's charm. The conclusion: a day tour is not enough to visit a big island like Guimaras. I will come back to explore more of it soon.

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