Guimaras Island is dubbed as the home of the sweetest mangoes in the world as it was listed in the Guiness Book of World Records in 1995; but it wasn’t mango season when we went there. So, so much for my cravings for some natural sweets and for my plan to try for my self if Guimaras mangoes are indeed the sweetest and can really rival the sweetness of my favorite mangoes of our province, Zambales.
Nonetheless, a short whirlwind tour of Guimaras gave us a glimpse of how Guimaras came about almost synonymous with mangoes (e.g., the province is almost covered with thick mango trees every where you look; they have a whole lot of mango-flavored products, you name it, they have it–all mango flavored! :)).
To help you visualize that, here’s a glimpse of the vastness of Guimaras Mango Plantation:
And that ladies and gentlemen is just the plantation alone. Most part of the island is really covered with mango trees. Even the locals have their own manggahans in their backyards.
Kuya Jomar, our tricycle service driver who gave us a tour of the lush island-province of Guimaras, even told us that during the mango season one can eat as many mangoes as one can consume for just Php70. I’d like to try that! One summer time maybe when mangoes are in season. 🙂
Because our time was limited for island hopping, we decided to just go sight seeing. Right after some quick snap shots with the mango plantation as backdrop, and a quick lunch where we pigged out on oysters and tried a viand of sting ray meat in coconut milk (we were too hungry I forgot to take pictures of them), we opt for some adrenaline rush experience at Camp Alfredo.
Camp Alfredo is the newest adventure destination in Guimaras. After registering, I buckled up, was assured three to five times that it was very safe, and off I went hanging like “George of the jungle”, zip lining my way down to the camp, crossed two hanging bridges, and rappelled my way down to the ground again. Whew! It was extremely short! I enjoyed it too much I didn’t really felt scared at all and thought I could go for another ride. But, naaah! Haha. It was fun! I never thought I could rappel! And I have done it in Guimaras! 😀
After that quick adrenalin rush, we headed to Guisi Point to see the old, almost tetanus 200-year-old Guisi Lighthouse. We climbed the lighthouse very, very carefully.
The view from the top of the lighthouse is breath-taking. I literally took a deep breath of the freshest air I’ve been missing and felt the crisp sea breeze on my face. It was like inhaling life and all its beauty. If we have seen the vastness of the mango plantation earlier, this time it’s the vastness of the deep, blue sea. The sight of the sea always calms me. It always makes me stop and appreciate what’s in front of me.
The Guisi Beach is just a distance away. It’s a pretty nice beach, but waves are big enough to take me away and never get me back ashore.
When we arrived at Alubihod, the beach is more appealing to me. Waves are just right, not so big to scare away a non swimmer like me. The sand is fine and off-white, the beach area is not too crowded. It would have been perfect to spend the night here and take a swim in the morning and go island hopping. Ah, the sea is such a tease! I wanted to stay for another day or two to explore the other islands and islets but our flight was early morning the next day.
Before heading back to our hotel in Iloilo, we stopped by Trappist Monastery for pasalubong.
Dried mangoes, mango jams, mango bars, mango biscocho, mango pastillas, mango candies and some more products with Guimaras mango flavor in it. Since we didn’t have the chance to satisfy our taste buds with the real ones, well, we got to have at least a taste of Guimaras mangoes. 🙂
Note: There are pumpboats that travel from Iloilo City harbor
to Jordan Port in Guimaras daily. Fare is P14.00 (as of September
2012) and travel time is 15 minutes. Regular daily trips every
15-30 minutes. For more info:
For tricycle or multicab services, you can hire one from the
Tourism Information Center at the Jordan Port. Right there
from where your pump boat docks, tourism officers surprisingly
know you’re a tourist and will help you how to go around the