Morning of Day 1 of my Guimaras-Iloilo-Negros Occidental itinerary trip was spent visiting Alubihod Beach, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), Ave Maria and Turtle Island. After having lunch at Raymen’s Beach Resort, we headed to our first destination for the land tour, the Guisi Point Lighthouse. Travel time to the lighthouse from Alubihod Beach is about 15-20 minutes. The ruin is located in Guisi, Dolores, Nueva Valencia.
The lighthouse known as Faro de Punta Luzaran, is the second oldest lighthouse in the Philippines and was built during the Spanish government in the 18th century as part of the plan of lighting the coastlines of the country to guide ships in the most important sea channels to the ports of Manila, Iloilo, and Cebu.
An entrance fee of Php10 is being collected by the people who maintain the area. The lighthouse which is 17.5 meter (58 feet) high can already be seen from the entrance. Before the lighthouse is also a ruin of the stone keeper’s house, a nice background for some photo ops.
I read some blogs that people are not allowed to climb the lighthouse anymore and a reminder was also written on its base but our guide said that we can check it out. With his assistance, I tried climbing the spiral staircase (having 43 steps if I remembered it right) of the octagonal lighthouse and I was a bit scared since some of the metal cases are about to give up anytime. After calculating my weight for about a minute, I reached the top. I was overwhelmed with the magnificent panoramic view of Guimaras from atop the lighthouse. I just needed some extra care though since there were no handles available to grip on and the wind was so strong.
After some photos, we decided to leave the place and continued with our itinerary. Our guide insisted to drop by Camp Alfredo for some nature adventure activities. I haven’t heard or read it from other blogs so I was excited to check what’s in there. To find out that it is an adventure park offering zip lines, target shooting, and others. Entrance fee is Php50 which we skipped and proceeded to our next destination.
Going to the Trappist Monastery, we passed by a mango plantation where most of the mangoes being sold and used in Guimaras’ sweet delicacies are being produced. Unfortunately, Trappist Pasalubong Center was already closed when we got there. Instead, we just visited the Abbey Church, offered a simple prayer and lit a candle. Our Lady of the Philippines Monastery is the only monastery of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance in the country and was established in 1972.
We felt our hungry repulsive stomachs so we dropped by Pitstop Restaurant to try their famous Mango Pizza. We ordered a double size Mango Pizza worth Php189 good for the four of us. The pizza crust was topped with thinly sliced ripe mangoes (I thought the mangoes were pureed and poured) and then covered with cheese, drizzled with some ground nuts and finished with sliced green pepper. It was actually sour having only the cheese balancing the sweetness, but it was sour.
After the snack, I suggested dropping by the Provincial Capitol to have a picture of it since I am fond of photographing provincial capitol buildings. Kuya Charlie also said that we will visit Museo Guimaras which was closed at the moment with some renovations going on.
Last attraction was the Smallest Plaza. It was getting dark that time so we just took some photos and left. The plaza was once inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Record as the smallest plaza in the world but still the smallest plaza in the Philippines as of writing.
Around 6:30 in the evening when we reached Jordan Wharf. Bade goodbye to Kuya Charlie and headed on the line for the boats going back to Iloilo. It was a great experience exploring a Guimaras in a day even though I haven’t got to visit some destinations such as the Navalas Church, Roca Encantada, Balaan Bukid Shrine and Valle Verde View Deck which is a great reason to come back to the island-province of Guimaras.