Brace yourselves, this post is quite lengthy.
Our second day in Guimaras was for the beach — island hopping and snorkeling — hooray! Diving equipment had to be imported from Iloilo City, which is expensive and time-consuming so that meant no diving for us. By 7AM we were up and ready to leave. We were checking out of Kenyama and heading over to Raymen, despite it being a very busy resort. While waiting for breakfast we took a quick walk around the area and had fresh coconuts in a charming Buko Station not far from the hotel.
To get to Raymen, we hired a tricycle from the day before to take us for P200. The driver had a family emergency that morning and had to go home, and we were left with no choice but to ride a motorcycle. I love how they call it motorsingol over there. Safety was of course a concern since we had two bags and no helmets and we will be traveling on a considerable length of rocky, unpaved road. Nevertheless, I thought it was pretty exciting, hihihi.
Kuya driver tied Rambi’s big backpack in front, right in the middle of the steering handles, Rambi sat in the middle and I held onto him, my bag on my back. It was generally a smooth and scenic ride, I enjoyed it very much. The trees we passed were all in full bloom, especially the mangoes. Sayang no pictures. Too bad we were too early for the Manggahan Festival, which happens every April. We reached Raymen around 11AM.
The rooms in Raymen are cheaper at P1,300 a night. There were a number of other guests present, but nothing too rowdy. Island hopping costs about P400/hr plus P150 for every succeeding hour. Thanks to Rambi’s amazing bargaining skills, we managed to sweeten the deal. I made a quick visit to the gift shop to check if they had sunblock. They have ’em available in packets for P50 a pop. Buti na lang!
FYI, this particular breed of fish changes its gender every so and so years. 😮 How interesting!
Kuya breeds a lot of aphrodisiacs here. As a result, he has seven children at present. You go, Kuya! Touching these sea creatures is a real feat for me as I am not fond of touching cold, slimy things. I’m a fan of furry mammals.
After our SEAFDEC visit, a lot of island hopping and snorkeling commenced. Forgive me for not being able to remember which islands we went to. It happens at 26. Remind me to religiously jot down details in my travel journal next time.
This was when I felt the need to build a sand pyramid to comfort myself after a snorkeling experience full of evil planktons that bite, and snakes and jellyfish. I got panicky and had to dog paddle my way out of the water with Rambi chanting, “Keep your head up, don’t look down.” Oh, and yes, we look weird wearing rashguards, haha.
We were back at the hotel by 5PM. I headed straight to our room to shower, while Rambi took off with his camera. Later that evening he introduced me to two fellow Manileños, Ly and Lief, who are an adorable and chillax couple. They travel a lot, like Rambi and I. Us four really hit it off. We spent the night drinking by the beach and feasting on vienna sausage, spam, chips and left-over calamares. It was definitely a night to remember.
Sadly, the next day we had to leave Guimaras. Our flight back to Manila was at 5 in the afternoon, so we had enough time to check some spots in Iloilo, but it meant not being able to spend more time with our new friends. We all had breakfast together and gave them a list of the beaches we visited the day before.
Back in Iloilo, we hopped on a cab and asked the driver to drive us to nearby tourist spots.
Had a little accident in that resto too, which left my little pinky toe bleeding like a tap. The boyfriend felt queasy. The cab tour cost us about P1,000. We didn’t have enough time to visit Miag-ao Church and bask in its full Baroque glory, I thought I was gonna cry. Drove back to the airport after lunch, and we finally bid Iloilo farewell.