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Located at the southern tip of Iloilo City is the island province of Guimaras. Known for its sweetest mangoes the world over; the pristine island also boast of numerous fine sand beach resorts, tranquil churches and monastery, friendly people, and tragically, the site affected by one of the worse oil spills in the country.  

Being a large island, Guimaras sports several “light houses”. In the northern and southern parts of the island, old and newly built light towers not only serve as guides to the fishermen, but also add to its charms. The most notable being the one in Guisi, Dolores; completed by the Spaniards in 1894, the Punta Luzaran lighthouse ruins still stands today. From the top of the old light tower (be very careful if going up), one can get a panoramic view towards the Panay Gulf and an adjacent beach.

In terms of heritage and history, Guimaras proudly feature an old Spanish church in the town of Navalas and the McArthur Wharf in Buenavista. Built in 1880, the Navalas church is the oldest existing Roman Catholic Church in the province. Providing shelter during past times of pirate invasions, its look-out tower stands prominently in front, serving early warnings of impending attacks. The McArthur Wharf on the other hand was built by Lt. Douglas McArthur in 1903; fresh out of West Point at a young age of 23, he was posted in Iloilo as head of the company of US Army Corps of Engineers. Yes, he was the same Gen. Douglas McArthur who liberated the Philippines in World War II and uttered the now famous line “…I shall return.”

Guimaras of course is famous for its mangoes. Tourists just cannot leave the island without savoring its sweetness, and buying more to take with them. You can buy your mangoes from the numerous stalls near the ports, or in the markets and shops. But if you are serious about the maturity period of the mangoes, then go direct to the plantations. Plantations such as Oro Verde count the maturity of their mangoes from the time the tree flowered, to the day when they turned the ripest. So depending on how many days you desire, the people at the plantation will be able to sell you mangoes that will more or less just right for consumption when you reach home. A kilo of mangoes goes for about 50 pesos.


Interior of Trappist Monastery


View from the top of old light tower


Façade of Navalas Church


Interior of Navalas Church


Beach in Tando


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