Monthly Archives: April 2013

Guimaras Island: Breeder of the Sweetest Mangoes on Earth!

Guimaras Province is a side trip destination for the tourists who visit Boracay via Iloilo.  Though it is just a few minutes away from Iloilo, Guimaras is a separate island and is also a lone province.  Its capital town is Jordan.  It is also the gateway to Guimaras along with Buenavista Town.  It offers a lot of surprises to the tourists; from adventures to white sand beaches.  Personally, the main reason why I came to Guimaras is to taste their mangoes, because mango just happened to be my favorite fruit.  Of course, I wanted to taste the sweetest mango on earth!  And yeah, they really are amazingly sweet!  They even got served in the US’ White House.  Back to the itinerary, we only spent a day trip in Guimaras and we had a great time exploring every corners of the island.  We just had a contact named Kuya Gerald who is responsible for our transpo and the day tour but he was busy at that time because he had other guests so he endorsed us to his brother Charlie.  It went well and I highly recommend Charlie to guide you because he is a good person; someone whom you can really trust.  I will state his number later on.  It was really a great experience for me and my Guimaras travel became one of my favorites  it might become your favorite too!  So pack your things up! Let’s go to Guimaras!

Please be guided that bringing mangoes or any part of a mango is strictly prohibited in Guimaras, but bringing Mangoes from Guimaras is Highly recommended!

How To Get There:

From Manila:  You can reach Guimaras by plane via Iloilo.  Once you arrive in Iloilo just take a cab and tell the cab to take you to Ortiz Wharf (the motorboat wharf bound for Jordan).

From Cebu:  By sea, you can choose from Cokaliong Shipping Lines or Trans Asia Shipping Lines for a 12-hour travel going to Iloilo.  Once you arrive in Iloilo just take a cab or motorcab and instruct them to take you to Ortiz Wharf.  You can also take a jeepney to save money, just ask what Jeepney route that passes Ortiz Wharf.  Then Take the motorboat from Ortiz wharf going to Jordan.

A number of motorboats plying Jordan-Ortiz Wharf.

A motorboat in Ortiz wharf (FARE is 14 Php per person and 20Php during peak hours)

Loading of passengers in Ortiz Wharf

Where To Stay:  A day tour in Guimaras would do and staying in a hotel in Iloilo would be great if you want to save money and maximize your travel time.  But if you want to spend the night in Guimaras, make sure you make a booking ahead of time.  Here are some of the places in Guimaras that you could spend the night:

                        Raymen Beach Resort (Poblacion Nueva Valencia Guimaras) 0918 520 7271

Guisi Clearwater Resort (Dolores Nueva Valencia Guimaras) 09195636688

 Alubihod Cove Resort (Alubihud Beach Drive, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras)

You can actually find more accommodations and more information through the Guimaras Website.

What To Do/Where to Visit:  The following below is our Guimaras Day Trip Itinerary:

  The Smallest Park – It is indeed that smallest park and smallest Rizal statue that I have ever seen! 🙂

Guimaras’ Highest Point of Elevation

                  Guimaras Adventure Park – It was my first time to try Target Shooting. Hurray! It was fun! First time in Guimaras and first time to try Target Shooting.

Museo De Guimaras

  The Pitstop – You should stop by this place or spend your lunch here.  You should try their specialty, the Mango Pizza and Chicken adobo With a Twist – It is a chicken adobo simmered in adobo marinade with mango nectar.  Yummy!

Trappist Monastery and Gift Shop – The Trappist Monastery is home of the monks who follow the rule of St. Benedict.  They are most commonly called Trappists.  Tourists drop by the gift shop to buy goods that are being made by the Trappists Monks.  That is their way of living.  They offer Guimaras delicacies like mango bars, mango concentrate and more!

The Mango Plantation

Camp Alfredo

                    Raymen Beach Resort – Swimming time! yeay!

                            Guisi Lighthouse and Ruins – This place is awesome, tranquil, and yeah, it is very ideal for meditation.

Here are more images around the lighthouse vicinity:     This is my favorite spot in Guimaras.  The Guisi Lighthouse and ruins.

Guisi Beach – Well.  With my lady and the pristine white beach, What else could I ask for?

More Photos of Guisi Beach: 

Signages 

Last Stop:  Balaan Bukid – Balaan bukid is a place where Catholic devotees flock during Holy Week to practice penetential rites.

A skyline view of Iloilo City from Balaan Bukid, Guimaras.

Contact Person/Tour Guide/Transport Service: Charlie (+639461966887 ) – Charlie is around early 20s, he is the younger brother of kuya Gerald.  He is a nice person, gentle, and very hospitable.  He can be trusted. Me and my girlfriend even left some of our things with him when we were swimming.  I assure you, he will give you the time of your lives in Guimaras.  His rate for the whole day tour is 1,000 pesos for a motorcab but we gave him 200 pesos as tip.

Or Contact Kuya Gerald- 0908-4748122 (older brother of charlie)

Guimaras is indeed a very exciting destination.  Some people might have ignored the beauty of Guimaras because it has lesser exposure to advertisements and other form of promotions.  Now I can say that I am lucky enough that our creator has given me the opportunity experience one of his beautiful creation.

So that is all for my Guimaras Tour!  Now it is your turn! c’est à votre tour! 🙂 Bon Voyage!

To know the complete itinerary of this trip, visit:  The Philippine Travel Itineraries.

Philippine’s Kilometer Zero: Luneta, the living witness of Rizal’s Heroism

Luneta or Rizal Park is considered as the mother of all Philippine Parks.  It is located at the heart of the city of Manila just adjacent to Intramuros, the old city of Manila.  Many historical events happened here in Luneta or Bagumbayan, way back Spanish colonial era.  The park was named after the national hero, Jose Rizal, who was executed in the park thus later on resulted an eruption of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers.  This place is very significant to every Filipino.  It is nice to spend few hours just strolling around the park or just simply spending time with your loved ones.  It is best visited at dusk and take a walk to Roxas Blvd would be great.

How To Get There:  It is easy to get to Rizal park since it is located at the center of Manila’s civilization.  From the airport or any hotel you can just always take a cab.  It is better that you stay in a hotel within Manila vicinity.  It is near LRT1 UN ave station or central station.

Attractions:

Watch the dancing fountain show for free.

Taking a stroll with your loved ones would be great!

                                                  Rizal’s execution site..

                                            You will also see statues of different native heroes..

Whenever you are in Manila, you should not miss visiting Rizal Park and Roxas Boulevard.  You will just find them within the vicinity of central Manila area – Near Manila Ocean Park, Intramuros, Quirino Grandstand, and Manila City Hall.

Enjoy!

Tacloban City: The Eastern Metropolis

Tacloban City is the capital city of Leyte Province and the largest city and center for commerce in region 8 (Leyte and Samar).  It is home to the former first lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos.  Up until now, the Romualdez family is one of the elite families in Tacloban.  It has various historical sites and ancestral houses.  The seat of Philippines was transferred for a short time in Tacloban during the Second World War.  It is also the location of the Largest Sea Battle during World War 2, the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  Visiting Tacloban will definitely give you a  lot of knowledge about the Second World War.

How To Get There:  From Manila:  There are several plane schedules daily for tacloban via Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, and PAL, please check out your desired airline’s website for schedules.  From Cebu:  You can also travel by air through Cebu Pacific and PAL, please check their scheds; you also have the option to travel by Land through Ceres Liner.  By Sea, you can take the fastcraft bound for Ormoc for 2 hours and then take the v-hire(duptours or grandtours) for 2 hours.  For around more or less 4 hours, you will already be in Tacloban.

Where To Stay:  

There are several hotels in Tacloban but I prefer that you takae GoHotels.  They offer good service at the same time very convenient because it is situated nearby Robinsons’ Mall, Tacloban’s largest as of the moment.

Transportation:  You can take a jeepney if you are just wandering within the city, or you can take a tricycle or pedicab when you go for shorter distances.  When travelling to and from another town/city, you must take a Bus (except Palo and other nearby towns)

Where To Go/Visit:  

Leyte Landing Memorial

San Juanico Bridge (photo courtesy of wikipedia)

Sto Nino Shrine(photo courtesy of http://callezaragosa.com/)

Sto Nino Church 

Astrodome (For Night Life)

Leyte Park (photo courtesy of www.taclobanhotels.com)

When you visit Tacloban, you should not also miss my favorite streetfood in Tacloban.  It is their Fried Isaw..

Cebu City: The Queen City Takes Pride

(photo credits:  wikipedia)

Cebu City was once the capital of the Philippines until it was transferred to Manila.  It is now the second city of the Philippines and is dubbed as the “Queen City of The South.”  Cebu is one of the favorite destination of tourists in the country because of its white sand beaches, shopping, historical landmarks, and any other activities under the sun; from snorkelling and diving deep down underwater with its rich marine life to trekking inland to the mountain area, or simply wandering around the city and shopping in malls or in marketplaces.  In everything that you can think of, Cebu could always have it for you!

What To Do/Where to Visit:

Malls:  Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu, Elizabeth Mall, Banilad Town Centre, Gaisano Country Mall, SM Consolacion, Parkmall, J Centre Mall, etc

Restaurants/Food Dining:  Hukad, Golden Cowrie, Cafe Laguna, Alejandro’s (best crispy pata), Ila Puti, Mooon Cafe, Casa Verde, Rodeo Grill, Kuya J’s, Chika-an, and more!

White Beach Resorts:

Mactan High End– Maribago Bluewater Resort, White Sands Resort, Shangri-La Mactan, Plantation Bay, Imperial Palace, Crimson

Mactan Low End– Blue reef, Ocean Pearl,

Camotes– Please refer to my Camotes entry.

Bantayan Island- Please refer to my Bantayan Island entry.

Moalboal- Please refer to my Moalboal entry.

Mountain Resorts:  There are several mountain resorts that can be found throughout the island of Cebu, but if you just opt for a mountain resort within the city, you can choose Mountain View Nature’s Park.  You can get there through any cab or hire a motorbike in Lahug, Cebu City.

Transportation:

Mobilizing around the vicinity would be cheaper by taking jeepney.  That is if you are already familiar with the places and the route of the jeepneys.  It has always been cheaper and enjoyable to take a jeep when you want to have an adventure in this concrete jungle.  Here are some tips from me if you are planning to visit Cebu and wander around the city by jeepney:

  • Always remember the jeepney markers or numbers at the upper part of the jeepney, that is their route.  Observe first what jeeps pass by your hotel. (ex 13C, 14D, 01A)
  • Do not be shy to ask any friendly face in the jeepney, you might win a new friend.
  • Activate your sense of direction.  It is a human instinct.
  • Take the same jeepney route to and from the place of destination, but always ask the driver first because in some cases, they wont pass a certain street in going back.
  • Watch your wallet and bags at all times, knowing that you are a foreigner or a tourist makes you a probable target of snatchers/pickpockets.
  • If you get lost, the best option is to get a taxi cab.

Riding jeepney is good but taking a cab would be the best option.  And oh, make sure to take note of the cab’s plate number and operator.  You might leave something important behind.

For more Jeepny Route guide just click here:

Tourist Spots:

Cebu Taoist Temple (photo credits to George Tapan)

Magellan’s Cross (photo credits to the owner)

Tops

Places for Adventure/Hangout:

Crown Regency Sky Experience 

Danasan Eco Adventure Park (Danao)

Rainforest Park

I cannot just blog everything about Cebu because it is way too many to tell you everything and I do not even know everything about my hometown yet.  I am also still discovering.  You might be searching google for more about Cebu but I think google still does not know some things about this Metro.  All you have to do is discover the streets of Cebu!  Enjoy!

Mambukal Mountain Resort

Mambukal Mountain Resort is a resort that has hot sulfur spring and seven waterfalls.  There are lots of amenities to enjoy in Mambukal resort.  Situated in Murcia, Negros Occidental, going to the resort would take you 30 to 40 minutes travel from Bacolod city.  This place is great for family picnics and even for campers since they allow tents inside the vicinity.  There are also rooms and dormitory rooms for overnight stay.

How To Get There:

From Bacolod City downtown area ride a jeepney with the signage (Libertad-Shopping La Salle), for 7.50Php, ask the driver to drop you off in the bus terminal bound for Mambukal.  Take the bus with the signage Bacolod-Mambukal with 35Php fare.  It will take you straight to the resort.

Attractions:

Boating Lagoon

Butterfly Garden 

Riverview Hot Spring

Canopy Walk/ Hanging Bridge 

The Waterfalls 

  

Hot Sulfur Spring 

The Pool 

 Ishiwata Bath House 

There are indeed lots of things to do in Mambukal.  A day is not enough to enjoy all of the amenities..  For family outings, this place indeed is a must-visit.

Once you arrive in the entrance area, do not forget to visit the tourism office and ask for a map so that you will be guided accordingly on the attractions.  There are several signs/direction within the resort so that you wouldn’t get lost.

I advise that you bring food for picnic.  You can also do grilling in their designated grilling stations.

Enjoy!

To know more itineraries visit:  The Philippine Travel Itineraries.