Thursday, February 10, 2011

Iloilo and Guimaras 2011

Surprise, surprise not! For our 7th year, we went to the beautiful city of Iloilo and the enchanting island of Guimaras. Paolo and I have been traveling together since we got back together and gosh, Guimaras is the place to be!! The people, the food, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! 

I seriously don't know where to start, but as of the mean time, I think this is where I want to spend my retiring days in the future. Need not to explain why, photos can speak for themselves:

Iloilo International Airport. Airport pa lang, talo na ang NAIA Terminal 1!
Ted's Oldtimer Batchoy--Super Extra Batchoy for me. I forgot to check the worldwideweb on which food Iloilo is known for. Thanks to my phone, LA PAZ BATCHOY IT IS!! All I can say is SARAP!
This is the Trappist Abbey. Our tricycle driver is so kind that he also toured as around Guimaras. Driver, tour guide and photographer in one! I'm also happy to see Pao appreciating Catholicism. In fairness, he behaved in the monastery.
Overlooking Iloilo City.
When we arrived in Alubihod Beach, we checked in at Raymen Beach Resort. Plan A was Villa Igang but since we found Raymen good, we stayed there instead. We just slept the whole afternoon and had our early dinner by 6. Well, dinner was.. again, batchoy! Almost every store there serves batchoy and we we're very open to try all the batchoys there. Hehe. Then drank beer by the beach. It was freaking cold, perfect ambiance for our beer sesh and some Happy peanuts!

Brunch on a Sunday, our 7th anniversary! Sinigang na lapu-lapu, ensaladang talong and fresh ripe mango shake. AHH!!
And then for our most-awaited island hopping, which is by the way I looked forward to because of good reviews I read and the cheapest island hopping fee:
TURTLE ISLAND. Meet Sibuyan, a 15-kilo pawikan. People of Turtle Island take care of Sibuyan and 3 other big turquoises. Big, healthy turquoises!

AVE MARIA ISLAND. This island is owned by the Lopezes, good thing it's still open for the public. Been to Boracay? This island is exactly like Boracay.
BARAS CAVE. Hundreds of bats live here! The cave reminds me of Puerto Princesa Underground river, less darker--not scary at all!
BARAS BEACH RESORT. The caretaker of the rest house is also hospitable enough to let us in! The people there, I ♥!
FAIRY CASTLE ISLAND. Too bad it's closed for the public already. :/
TATLONG ISLA ISLAND. The best among the rest! The best, the best! *With pompoms* I love this to death!! This small island just won over Boracay, Bohol, Pagudpud and Palawan!
During our second and last night, we drank by the bay again. The beach was even more serene that time because Koreans (I guess 50% of Koreans occupied the entire resort) already left. There are still locals and some foreigners though. We watched the locals play "tsinelas baseball" with two Americans. I had so much fun watching them and I even caught myself screaming! A girl sat beside me and said hi, she's Farah. She is so beautiful! I offered her some grilled fish and never hesitated to taste it. Farah said she wanted to join the game but a sea urchin bit her right knee. It was kind of terrible when she showed me her wounded knee, it was swelling! We talked the whole night while her boyfriend, Justin, played with the locals.

This is Farah, a Pakistani who grew up in England and is currently working in Shanghai.

"You are very lucky to live in the Philippines. You can visit beautiful islands anytime you want. Filipinas also have beautiful bodies. You are petite and that is very feminine," Farah said. It's one of the conversations that made me feel so proud about being a Filipino. I totally agree with her. I remember my blog entry about the Philippines, and that of course, another story to tell.

Going back to our Guimaras trip, we also met a bunch of wonderful friends. They are good people of our age, and they asked us to join them in their drinking sesh.

Our Ilonggo, British and American friends who made our stay really unforgettable!

On the morning of our last day, Pao and I had our last plunge in the clear waters of Alubihod Beach. We had the entire shore exclusive on us, people already left the resort, thank God for Monday madness. No more guests, just us two and Farah and Justine (who were still sleeping). 

The beauty of Alubihod is beyond words! SPEECHLESS. People, this is in the Philippines! No need to go to Bali, Curacao, Saint Barths, Maldives etc etc! Comes with new good friends too, for free! Come and visit, please! :)

We left the resort by 12:00 noon. I had a hard time saying goodbye to this paradise, but yea, we need to!

When we finally left Alubihod, we opted to have lunch in Jordan, Galvez Kakainan to be exact, before going to San Miguel market, where the famous golden mangoes are.We had ginisang hipon, adobong pusit and kalderetang kambing.

And here we are--San Miguel market in Jordan! Mango Wonderland!! Kilos and kilos and kilos of  mangoes and other mango products made our arms real hard. Other products we bought are mango bars, mango scotch and polvoron, barquillos, tarts, biscochos with mango flavors too!

ILOILO CITY, again! Paolo wanted to watch Green Hornet in SM Iloilo City but our newly-found friends told us to try out Perri Todd's in Jaro. Its description reminded me of Bite Club (in Katipunan and Boracay)--big buns of burger, American grilled patties, fresh veggies. Waaah. Mouth watering! (WHILE TYPING THIS, I HEAR MY TUMMY ROAR!)

We ordered Grilled Cheeseburger with Bacon. The burger is even bigger than my face and it only costs P160! Finished mine in 10 minutes! YUM YUM YUM!

After pleasing our tum-tums, we walked around Jaro. We found an Ukay-ukay galore near Graciano Lopez Jaena Park. Checked out some stuff but unfortunately, most items are pambahay only. Beside where the bunch of Ukay-ukay is a perya! I don't know what this game's called--tataya ka ng isang number tapos kapag huminto yung roleta sa number mo, panalo ka! Kung magkano taya mo, yun din ang amount na ibibigay sayo ng lahat ng tumaya. Hehe. So Pao placed his P5-coin on box number 3. I asked him to place it on box number 6 but he didn't listen, the roleta stopped by number 6. For the second time, Pao placed his P10-coin on box number 5. I said to place it on box number 8. Waley, the roleta stopped by number 8. What is sayang diba? Haha! 

Behind me is the belfry or the bell tower of Jaro Cathedral located in Jaro Plaza. It used to hold the bell of the cathedral and also served as a look-out for sea raiders in the past. Quite disappointed with how it looks like now. Right beside this tower are numerous streamers and posters of the city's government officials, winners of beauty pageants and singing contests and the like. The tower is beautiful, historical, amazing. Let's leave that area to the tower alone.

By 5:00 pm, we headed to the airport already. We anticipated the traffic on our way there but, nah, there was no traffic at all! Hence, the early bird feel. But it's still a blessing in disguise coz a few minutes after we checked in our baggage, heavy rain poured. Earlier flights bound to Cebu and Manila were canceled. While waiting for our boarding time, we stayed in a coffee shop and watched an Arnold Schwarzenegger film. God is good that the rain stopped half an hour before our boarding schedule. No to canceled flights!

At Zooz Wooz Coffee Shop in Iloilo Int'l Airport.

An hour after, we're back in Manila's arms! Paolo and I are both excited to go home to our families. We really had a great time! ILOILO, ILOve, ILOve! :)

But wait, there's more! The most important part of this Iloilo-Guimaras experience is the fact that we celebrated our 7th year anniversary. Venue of the celebration is nothing if you aren't happy! I guess the magic of love that we have made this trip really special. 

PS: Special thanks to the very warm people of Raymen Beach Resort! I'll see you again! // To my lovely readers and friends, it will be my pleasure to answer your questions if you plan to go to Iloilo-Guimaras! I am sure you'll love it here! 



  1. I love this! :) I actually missed going to the beach, Marianne! :) And grabe hindi ako part ng Petite-Pinays bummer hahaha, pero, still proud na I am a Pinoy! ;)))

  2. ganda naiiyak pa ko while reading e lol

  3. Haha! ANA! :) Thanks for reading my buhlooog! :) Ano ka ba, we're all petite compared to them no! :) Hihi! Me too, proud Pinoy! :)

  4. Missed my hometown. You might wanna visit back now. Madaming new establishments. :) and er, food is always superb there.

    1. I really can't wait to go back. I actually want to live there when I retire someday. =)

  5. Wow, reading this, I feel like I went there with you! I was in Iloilo a few days ago, but time constraints didn't permit for going around much. Next time, most def!

    1. Heyyie twin! Iloilo is so dear to me. I once told myself that when i retire, I will live there. :) The place is just so nice! You must go back and go around!

  6. Hello from Canada Marianne. Thank you for writing such an informative journal of your trip to Iloilo & Guimaras. I will be making my 2nd. visit to the wonderful Philippine people within the next few months & you have convinced me to visit Guimaras, Pagudpud & Iloilo. Last time I went from Manila to Cebu to Davao & several locations between. This time I am looking for my quiet retirement island or town location away from the busy city centers.