Day 2: Guimaras Island - Solo Backpacking Western Visayas

October 2017 - Guimaras Island - Philippines

In Iloilo City -- we woke up early and Tita Girlie (my host in Iloilo) prepared and cooked our grand breakfast. On weekdays, Yse (her niece) goes to school and she needs to be at their Bistro Restaurant. She resolved to take me to the wharf instead before getting to work. I felt like a grade school student again. She was very worried about me not finding my own way to the wharf. She even prepared takeout food for me as “baon” (packed lunch). We took three jeep van rides and when we were at the wharf, she reminded me to be safe and be back earlier as possible. Aww. Then, I was all by myself again. I boarded the boat as long as I finished paying for the ride. The boat ride was very quick and for only 15 minutes, I was already in Jordan. There were many tricycle drivers offering a ride around Guimaras. Then, I so happen to meet Kuya Ricky. He offered a sound price for the land tour. First stop was at the Smallest Plaza. 

The Smallest Plaza

It was indeed small but it is a plaza, lol. Kuya Ricky offered to take a picture of me and when I looked at it, they were very good pictures taken. In my mind, I was thinking that I won’t have a hard time traveling alone if there is always someone good in taking pictures of me, haha! 

Mango Farm

Then, we went to the Mango Research Center where I read a little about breeding mangoes and after that we checked out the farm. There were so many mango trees but they were small in size and there were no fruits. Kuya Ricky said they were bred mango trees and all mangoes were all harvested last March. It’s off-harvest season so mangoes sold in the market this time are expensive. Anyhow, we visited the Trappist Abbey. There was a church and a monastery. We passed through their gift shop, where all souvenirs were said to be made by the monks, I bought a souvenir there.

Trappist Abbey

I, then just suddenly decided to do an island hopping tour, so Kuya Ricky took me to Raymen Beach Resort, where island hopping tours are offered. He suggested me to visit the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center or SEAFDEC first, as it is the farthest of all to get to and once there, I won’t regret the time taken. I availed a tour for 2 hours and then we went on with our two boatmen guides. The boat ride to the Igang Marine Station was about 30 minutes and when we got there, there was a tour attendant who explained all the marine creatures situated there. I was amazed to see a disabled Green Sea Turtle, huge mother milk fishes and some enormous, carnivorous Groupers.

Mother Milk Fishes at Igang Marine Station

Next, we headed to an island named Ave Maria. It was a nice snorkelling spot. I think I stayed there the most, taking pictures and videos underwater. There were many fishes swimming, the water was very clear and above all, I owned it. After being contented, we went on to see the Baras Cave. 

Ave Maria

When the island hopping tour was all through, after cleaning up I went on with Kuya Ricky to finish the land tour. It was already past lunch time, but we agreed to eat after visiting the lighthouse. The tricycle ride to Guisi was 25-30 minutes, upon getting there, we had to trek a bit for another 10 minutes. From there, I could also see the Guisi beach which is very nice! When we got to the ruins, Kuya Ricky explained that it was once a home to a Spaniard. It was a very interesting place.

The ruins

The old lighthouse was near it facing the sea. There was a note that it’s not allowed to climb up because it’s dangerous, I did not bother to climb the lighthouse but Kuya Ricky did to take pictures, lol. He also did my pictorial by the ruins which were all wonderful!

Guisi Lighthouse

When we were done and left Guisi, we headed to the Pit’s Stop to have our late lunch. I did not want to have Mango Pizza because I wanted to eat a rice meal since I was very hungry and I just had a mango dessert. The food was good but service is too slow, it took a very long time to wait. It was raining, when we left the restaurant but eventually it stopped on our way to the windmills. Kuya Ricky suggested us to visit the Sacred Family Stations of the Cross but I dropped it, as it was already 4 pm and I wanted to be at the Jordan wharf by 5 pm. So, we headed straight to the windmills instead. It was my first time to be standing very near a windmill.

In awe of the colossal windmill, lol

There are 27 windmills and the power generated from it are used in Iloilo and Bacolod. The time to go back home in Iloilo came and I could not imagine having my trip to Guimaras without the help of Kuya Ricky. We bade our goodbyes by the wharf and I got his number for future reference. I had a great time and felt accomplished for the whole day. 

*Budget notes:

Ortiz Wharf, Iloilo - Jordan Wharf  (15 minutes)
- Ferry boat fare = 14 Php

Land tour = 1,200 Php
-Smallest Plaza
-Trappist Monastery
-Mango Research Center
-Guisi Lighthouse
-Guimaras Lighthouse
                                    >> Kuya Ricky (Guide) 09487065390

Island Hopping Tour 
- Raymen Beach Resort = 550 Php (2 hours)
(400/hr and additional 150 per succeeding hour)
-Baras Caves
-Ave Maria Island

READ NEXT >> Day 3: Tibiao, Antique - Solo Backpacking Western Visayas


  1. Never gone backpacking solo maybe just a short trip once but this year, I would love to travel more be it by family or solo. I love your photos by the way and it's great how you broke down everything you did, really helpful for someone who wants to travel there.

  2. How fun! I don't think I've ever been backpacking before. I really need to plan out a trip for the future. I'm sure I'd like it!

  3. I've always wanted to go backpacking it seems like such an eventful experience. Looks like you're having a great time!

  4. These all sound like fun activities! I would love to see how mangoes are grown, they are so tasty!

  5. I think the most interesting thing for me would have been seeing the mango trees. That's not what I pictured at all. I thought the trees would look more tropical. Cool trip!

  6. Sounds like fun!! I have never gone backpacking before, but it is definitely on my bucket list

  7. I haven’t been in Guimaras! I would really like to try their green mango. It’s famous for that fruit.

  8. I have always wanted to travel more. This post makes it sounds like so much fun. Very beautiful pictures. Backpacking is definitely on my bucket list.

  9. How funny is backpacking in places like this! Loved your pics, so many beautiful things, such as the mango farm, windmills, lighthouse... so charming!

  10. Now this is my kind of adventure. I would love to swim with the wildlife there.

  11. Wow this sounds like a very adventurous backpacking trip. Love discovering new places like this. Going to browse around your blog some more...

  12. Wow looks like a lovely place to visit. Nice pictures - I feel I would like to see the ruins and lighthouse the most!

  13. What an adventure you had! I never thought of backpacking but I am a solo traveler thanks for sharing your journey in Guimaras.

  14. Everything's just so beautiful! It's awesome that you were able to book a tour that easily. I think the pictures turned out great! It's a lovely place to explore.

  15. What a an awesome place to explore!!! Great pictures too!

  16. I have never been backpacking before. This sounds like a great opportunity. Glad you had fun

  17. I think I would really love the ruins there. There is just something about me that loves to learn about the history behind things. Always have. Looks like you had a ton of different things to do.

  18. This was such a beautiful and inspiring journey. I grew up with mangoes just outside my window, the farm brought back so many memories.

  19. Lovely place that you explore.i need to do more adventurous trips

  20. This place is so amazing.. beautiful.. Wanna explore more in future...


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