From Iloilo, we had to take a 15 minute boat ride to the island of Guimaras. The boat ride wasn’t that bad and cost only P15. From there, we checked in and had breakfast at Raymen hotel, a beach front hotel 40 minutes away from the port. I think we paid less than P2000 for one night for 4 people. Going there, we had to ride a multicab and paid P450 for the ride. I recommend you get the multicab especially if you’re a group because the journey is long and there are rough roads. You may also take a tricycle for P250 but that would be harder for commuters.
It was raining when we commuted to the hotel but thankfully, when we started our island hopping, the skies somehow cleared just in time for us to have fun at the beaches. The tour cost P450 for approximately 3 hours which includes four destinations: two beaches, one fish feeding sanctuary and another which housed a lone pawikan. You won’t be far from the island so the ride is quite short.
First would be the fish feeding sanctuary where they have different fishes, including humongous bangus and tilapia, which they also use for research and breeding purposes. I don’t have a lot of photos but it was an educational trip. Next would be the small island where we took a dip (nothing special except for the fisherman who was selling 3 lobsters for P1000) then the island with the pawikan. We paid P5 to see the pawikan which we thought was a rip off since we were told it was some kind of sanctuary for the tortoise. But no, they just had one pawikan which they would take out from a well of some sort. I felt really bad for the pawikan because it seemed like it wanted to go back to the ocean. I wonder if animal rights activists know about this?
There was another island on the list but we didn’t go there anymore since we felt that all the islands were the same. So we went back to the hotel. After freshening up, we headed to Pitstop for their famous mango pizza, which would serve as our late lunch and eary dinner. This time, we hired a tricycle to take us to the main area, which was about 30 mins away from our hotel. The tricyle costs P350, two-way for 6 people (yes, it can hold 6 people).
Since we were in Guimaras, we had an overload of mangoes starting with the mango pizza (P199). Aside from that, we also ordered their adobo chicken with a twist (P299)and had some fresh mango shake (P29). My friend also ordered a mango inspired red pasta dish with a side of mayo but upon tasting it, it was nothing really new and I could not taste any mango in it. I was curious about their mango ketchup so I tried that one too but found that it was more like jam than ketchup. The adobo wasn’t anything special, salty even if you will, but the pizza was really unique. You’d think it would be weird to have mangoes on your crust but for this one, it worked, maybe because of the cheese overload. But all in all, it was pretty good. I highly recommend you try this since it’s not everyday or anywhere you can have mangoes on your pizza.
My friends wanted to buy some fresh mangoes so we headed to a stall and bought pasalubong. We were even given free fresh mangoes! Since I don’t buy too much pasalubong, I decided to buy this 2-in-1 delicacy: mango Biscocho (P40)! Biscocho for Iloilo and mangoes for Guimaras. Smart no? Haha! That was my only pasalubong aside from the Dinagyang mask magnet (P69) which I bought in Deco’s Iloilo. We also saw this big yellow mango at the port.
Travel tip: if you want to save on travel expenses, limit your pasalubongs. All my friends were over budget since they would buy pasalubong worth P1000-2000. Of course, it still depends on you since Filipinos are known to always buy pasalubong when going on trips.
Since shops were already closed at 4pm (believe it or not), we decided to just bring some booze and have a night out at our beach front hotel. To sum, Guimaras Island, like Iloilo, is a relaxed, laid back place. It’s a nice place to vist but honestly, me and my friends would probably not go back to either provinces. Again, at least I can say that I’ve seen the island already. 🙂