EXPERIENCE MANGGAHAN: Experience Guimaras!
It’s not new to us Filipinos to deeply consider how we spend our summer vacations. So to help you decide, let us persuade you to explore one of the top destinations in the country today: the sweet island of Guimaras!
Apart from being the Mango Province of the Philippines, Guimaras has excelled in promoting various tourism circuits which cater to tourists’ preference. These seven tourism circuits are divided into: Agri-Eco, Community-Based Rural Tourism, Historical, Educational, Sight-Seeing, Island Hopping, and Bike Circuits.
The Agri-Eco Circuit consists of a dozen agricultural and ecological locations all over the island province of Guimaras. It promotes organic vegetable and fruit producing farms which includes: Guimaras Wonders Farm, Dasal Organic Vegetable Farm, Big Fortune Farm, and Spring Bloom Farm.
It also promotes resorts and tours to those who want to reconnect with nature in places like Neptune Pittman Garden Resort and Spa, Camp Alfredo, and Suba Malawig Eco-Tour which is comprised of 6 kilometers of sand bars, inhabited islets, mangroves, white beaches, and sea grasses. It also features McNester Food Factory, Sapal Weaving Village, Bureau of Plant Industry-National Crop Research Development Support Center, GTIC Pasalubong Center, and Trappist Gift Shop.
On the other hand, CBRT or Experiential Tourism Circuit was developed to enjoin the host communities to protect and conserve the environment, promote cultural heritage, and create opportunities for locals. Hoskyn CBRT features the tultul making industry, where salt slabs are created from dagsa, marooned coastal wastes. San Roque CBRT is home to Suba Malawig. Sapal CBRT houses its nipa, baryos, and buri weaving community. Rizal CBRT focuses on miniature galleon and boat making. Tamborong CBRT presents the pilgrimage site and peaceful retreat area. The Educational and Research Circuit includes a visit to locations connected to food innovation, marine reserve, crop development, and nature conservation and preservation.
Places in this circuit include McNester Food Processing Factory where mangoes and other fruits are turned into jams and juices, Taklong Island National Marine Reserve, GTIC Pasalubong Center, Bureau of Plant Indusry (BPI) – Guimaras National Crop, Research Development Support Center, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), Guimaras Provincial Capitol, Big Fortune Farm, and the JBLFMU Ecological Park. A popular destination is the Igang Marine Station in SEAFDEC, which consists of four islets and floating fish cages that hold different species of marine life. The station provides marine-related technical and research assistance to local farmers as well as stakeholders from Southeast Asian countries.
The Historical Circuit brings local and foreign tourists to sites which are of great historical significance to the island. Roca Encantada, the mansion-atop-a-hill of the Lopezes and considered as a cultural heritage belongs to this circuit. Along with it is the Old Guisi Lighthouse, one of the two oldest lighthouses built during the Spanish colonial times in Guimaras. Navalas Church, the oldest Catholic Church built with sillar or coral rocks during the early Spanish colonization is on top of this circuit, along with McArthur’s Headquarters which was built as the fortress of the Americans in the 1800s.
Bala-an Bukid, Trappist Monastery, Consoler’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, and Holy Family Hills are also within this circuit.
The Island Hopping Circuit is especially made for those who love the sun, sea, and sand. The tour covers Sto. Nino Island, Ave Maria Islet, Isla Naburot, Baras Beach, Jordan Marine Reserve, Taklong Island, and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) Igang Marine Substation. Coves, sandbars, rock formations, mangroves, numerous islets, white sand beaches, and abundant marine life are the stars of this circuit, making Guimaras a year-round summer paradise for both locals and tourists.
Finally, Guimaras has also organized the Sightseeing Circuit which covers galleon making, Roca Encantada, Navalas Church, Holy Family Hills, OLP-Trappist Monastery, Neptune Pittman Garden Resort and Spa, Bureau of Plant Indusry (BPI) – Guimaras National Crop, Research Development Support Center, Valle Verde, Guisi Lighthouse, JBLFMU Ecological Park, and Alubihod Beach Areas. Valle Verde is a mountain resort famous for its panoramic and picturesque view of Lawi cove and Iloilo Strait, and the hot spring found 300-steps below.
On the other hand, the most popular part of this circuit may just be the series of Alubihod Beaches in Nueva Valencia. So whatever adventure you want to indulge yourself in, Guimaras offers you more than a handful of choices. May it be for adventure, vacation, education, immersion, or an attempt to moving on, Guimaras is your island paradise.