I spent a few days of my second week of December navigating Iloilo and Guimaras with Xarra and Xtine. Well, we went around mostly Guimaras, mainly because it has all the nature stuff. Like island-hopping!
So after eating a big bowl of batchoy at Ted’s in SM Iloilo (it was a disappointing dish, really, mainly because of the lukewarm broth which was sorely lacking in spices), we hailed a cab to Ortiz Port. From there, we hopped on to a ferry which took us to Guimaras Island.
We rested a bit at Zemkamps Chalet, our home away from home during our adventure trip. After, we went outside to wait for a trike to take us to Alubijod Beach, specifically Raymen Beach Resort. Getting there costs around PHP200. Getting back was another PHP200. Good thing our trike driver, Jerry, offered to wait for us while we went island-hopping.
Alibujod Beach itself was nothing to rave about, unlike what other blogs I’ve read for my research said. I suppose it’s popular among tourists because of it’s proximity to the port (It’s the nearest beach from the Jordan port). But obviously, the bloggers I’ve encountered during my internet research didn’t explore Guimaras enough. My friends and I found a handful of better beaches, but I’m getting ahead of myself. More on those far more beautiful beaches later.
So we rented a boat for our island hopping. Rates were pretty standard at PHP400 an hour, plus PHP150 for each additional hour, if I remember correctly. We got a boat named Ray Joshua 2.
It was drizzling when we went on our tour, but the boatmen assured us that it’s safe. I didn’t protest anymore, remembering that a saw a bunch of other tourists get ready for island hopping in Puerto Princesa months ago even if the drops of water were far more than a drizzle. As long as the waves are calm, it’s safe to sail, I suppose.
And the boatmen were right. I’m glad our group went ahead. We visited a total of seven islands in as little one and a half hours.
The most memorable would be when we made a scary stop at the “bat cave”. It was a cave that was literally a home for bats! I think only Xtine enjoyed it. She even poked her head out of the boat to have a look at the bats, whereas I cowered in my little corner of the boat, eyes closed, whining while listening to the weird noises the bats made.
I have reason to be scared, though. In a trip to the bat caves in Samal Island months ago, I learned that when bats bite, the rabies is a couple of times deadlier than a dog’s. It’s therefore not my ideal way to die.
My second most memorable part of the trip was our stop at Turtle Island. As the name implies, there are a lot of turtles in the island. These turtles, however, do not roam freely around the island, but are taken care of by the islanders.
Xtine the animal lover was the only one brave enough to actually hold the turtles. And here’s proof.
We went around a bunch of other islands, each more beautiful than Raymen. But of course, snapshots from my teeny-tiny digicam don’t do justice to the beaches. Like this:
And so, that was how Day 1 of our Guimaras and Iloilo trip was spent. Day 2 was a jam-packed day, where we crammed the best of Guimaras Island’s farms, parks, beaches and food! Up next.