Booked the tickets 8 months before the trip and yet again, Airphil never ceases to amaze me, they have once again, changed our flight details, from our early morning flight to afternoon flight, sorry I can't remember the exact time, it wasn't worth remembering haha.
We arrived at Iloilo airport around 12noon I guess, all I remember was being hungry and dying to try Iloilo's batchoy.
First order of the day: BATCHOY!
From the airport we took the van (50 pesos) to SM, had lunch at Ted's and off we go to take the jeep to the port going to Guimaras. That was the plan, we got detoured along the way :) haha. A very touristy thing to happen, to get lost in your own country. Mannnn!
We got off the wrong port, I didn't know that there are 3 entry points in Guimaras hahah I assumed (Lesson number 1: Never Assume) that when you tell the jeepney driver or barker your going to Guimaras they will direct you to the one going to Jordan port. Wrong!!! hhaha when we got to the port, the bystanders near the ticketing office told us that we were at the wrong terminal if we wanted to go to Jordan. Since we were already there and a boat was about to leave, we took our chance and joined the trip.
It was a short boat ride, still the water and waves scares me.
After 15 minutes of trying to be calm and not so paranoid, we finally reached our destination, Buenavista Guimaras! Yay!!! I went to the tourist info center and found out that in order for us to reach Raymen Beach Resort, we can rent a motorbike, tricycle or a multi cab. It will take an hour until we reach our destination and we can pass by the tourist spots along the way.
Okay, but what about the other tourist spots that we wanted to see near the Jordan port, like the Guisi Lighthouse. I felt that we made a bad decision pushing through the Buenavista port. The plan was to see Guimaras in Day 1, sleep and leave the next morning back to Iloilo. Due to time constraints plus the fact that our flight schedule was moved to a later time, we will surely miss other tourist spots. Well, another one for the books (lesson number 2: Research very well and know your destination). We were already there, why not make the most out of it.
Then we met kuya Joan, the kindest of ALL kindest human being, he even offered his house if we still don't have a place to sleep in, since we have not booked any accommodations. Did I tell you, how unprepared and spontaneous this trip is? No itinerary, no advance accommodation bookings haha how fun, how scattered. He welcomed us in their home to have snacks, free taste of Guimaras Mango! Amazing right?
First Stop: Daliran Cave
Kuya Joan brought us to Daliran Cave, according to him not all tourist knows this place, since most of the tourist gets off Jordan port.
We trekked for about 10 minutes, my footwear wasn't prepared for this kind of adventure haha. But I'm in for the adventure, so here we go! it was easy breezy trek to the cave.
Guimaras is known for sweet mangoes and my favorite fruit is mango (insert BIG FULL SMILE here). Imagine how happy I am, this is like candy land for me. Kuya Joan suggested that we can buy Mangoes from him for 70 pesos per kilo, kuya was so nice and honest to begin with, so I didn't bargain.
We passed by his house to get 2 kilos of Mangoes and he accompanied us to McNester. I didn't know who or what McNester is, I thought it was a international brand that sells mango products. I was wrong, McNester is a local company that sells the famous Mango Ketchup! You read that right, Mango ketchup, isn't that cool??
It was a Sunday and the store was closed but since our ever wonderful tour guide/driver is his neighbor and friend, they opened the shop for us.
McNester is named after MacMac and Nester, the children of the owners. They have been featured in television and print. They are also locally awarded and recognized for their product line, from mango polvoron to their famous mango ketchup.
Third Stop: Trappist Abbey
The third stop was on the way to the resort, the Trappist Monastery. Cooled down with a bottle of coke and bought more pasalubongs.
It was tiring to ride the trike, sitting for an hour, the whole day stress has finally kicked in. I just wanted to hit the sack as soon as we arrived in the resort, then I remembered we weren't even guaranteed a room haha. Oh life, this trip was really epic.
Last Stop: Raymen Beach Resort
Went to the front desk, crossing my fingers and toes. I was hoping that there's an available room, it was Sunday and the start of the long weekend.
If there's any consolation to this trip, we were able to score the last and the cheapest room for 700 pesos! seconds after another couple was inquiring and the receptionist told them that the next available room is worth 2500, deluxe room. We were lucky that we came in first, at least that saved us a couple of bucks! :)
I knew that at the end of the day, when everything didn't go according to plan, there will always be a consolation, in our case, we scored the cheapest room hahaha.
Sand on my feet, hearing the waves, people laughing and the kids happily swimming, I can now say, it was worth the trip. Found a good spot to sit, watch the people, sipping coke and conversing how life is simple and how blissful we feel.
We haven't seen much of Guimaras and it gives us more reason to go back and explore the place!