Sunday, July 26, 2015

Guimaras: On a Tricycle from Jordan to Nueva Valencia

We landed in the small island province of Guimaras just twenty minutes after leaving Iloilo on a pumpboat. The 604.6 square kilometer island of Guimaras is known for its mangoes, being the sweetest mangoes or so I heard. Guimaras has taken that claim to heart and welcomed us with a giant mango. I would have gladly verified the claim right then and there...if only the giant welcome mango were real.

Welcome to Guimaras!

Verification would have to wait until I could get my hands on some real mangoes. In the meantime, we rode a tricycle (Ronald 0906 760 6285; Php 250 per tricycle) to Raymen Beach Resort in Nueva Valencia, some 45 minutes south of Jordan Wharf. There were a few tourist spots on the way to the resort:

The Smallest Plaza
Jordan, Guimaras
This, they say, is the smallest plaza in the Philippines. And who else would be standing in the center of the Philippines' smallest plaza? The big small guy, of course: our Philippine hero, Dr. Jose Rizal! We waved to the big small man as we slow–zoomed in our tricycle.

Brgy San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
(033) 581 2310
Daily 7AM to 8PM
Pitstop Restaurant is known for its mango inspired menu, with its mango pizza being the most famous. But we did not make a pitstop at this restaurant, not because we do not like fruit in our pizza nor fruit in our spaghetti, but because we have already tried its famous mango pizza in their Cebu branch.

Market at San Miguel
Brgy San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
Fresh mangoes. Dried mangoes. Mango piaya. Mango tart. Mango otap. Cashew. Cashew brittle. These are just some of the food that we could have bought at the market in San Miguel had we had enough money and enough baggage allowance.

Brgy San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
The monastery was established in 1972 and is the only men's monastery of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (known as Trappists) in the Philippines. The Trappists follow the Rule of St. Benedict and the Benedictine motto "Ora et labora" which means to pray and work.

The Trappist Monastery has a church (pray!), a factory where they make mango bars, jams and jellies, otap, etc. (work!), a gift shop where they sell their food products, religious items, and souvenir items (work!), and a guesthouse (for a retreat: pray!).
The Church at Trappist Monastery

After Trappist Monastery, the next stop on the map would have been Raymen Beach Resort, but we decided to go farther to Guisi Lighthouse. (We added Php 350 for the tricycle for a total of Php 600 from Jordan Wharf to Guisi then to Raymen Beach Resort.) It was a bumpy half hour drive to Guisi from where we were supposed to turn right to get to the beach resort.

Guisi Lighthouse
Sitio Guisi, Brgy Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
Entrance Fee Php 10 adult / Php 5 child
Open until 5PM
Guisi Lighthouse, also known as Faro de Punta Luzaran, was built in 1896. But what is left is its rusty skeleton and the ruins of its surrounding building where roots and plants now cling to. A new lighthouse has been built in the midst of the ruins.

We didn't climb up the lighthouse, old or new. One, climbing is prohibited in the old rusty lighthouse...unless you want to get tetanus. Two, somebody alerted the lighthouse keeper that I was coming and he locked the new one.

Guisi Beach
Sitio Guisi, Brgy Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
From Guisi Lighthouse we could see a white sand beach below. This is Guisi Beach. We left the lighthouse and made our way down to the beach, passing a gate with a sign "Entrance Fee Php 20," but no one came to collect our money. It was a short walk down to the beach where we found that the sand wasn't fine but the water clear. The beach was deserted; not a soul, visitor or local, was in sight. The resorts in this area, Kenyama Beach Resort, and Guisi Clearwater Water, must be as lonely as the lighthouse above.

We left the quiet of Guisi for some civilization in Raymen Beach Resort in Alubihod, Nueva Valencia where we plan to commence our sweet mango verification, catch some zzzs, and embark on a short exploration of some of the islands of Guimaras by boat the next day.

Getting to Guimaras from Iloilo: Guimaras can be reached in just 20 minutes (fare of Php 14) either via Parola Wharf (to Buenavista) or via Ortiz Wharf (to Jordan) in Iloilo.

On a Tricycle from Jordan to Nueva Valencia (you're here!)
Raymen Beach Resort
Guimaras Island Hopping


  1. Nice place! Actually, we plan to visit Guimaras as a side trip after our planned rock climbing adventure in Iloilo this November. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.

    1. Whatever the weather, wherever in the world, I'm sure Team Sweetie will have a great time :) Thanks for visiting the blog, big time follower! :)