Part I: Iloilo-Guimaras!

A long overdue post because of priorities, priorities.

It all started with Cebupac’s Piso Fare. Rambi and I originally wanted to fly to Cagayan de Oro to go white water rafting. However, flights to CDO were sold out and the only available tickets we could book were Iloilo bound. We were a bit hesitant to book the tickets at first since we weren’t sure if there was anything interesting to do or see in Iloilo. Plus we were planning to go around Southeast Asia in February, so we could actually do without domestic trips. But a bargain’s a bargain, so he went ahead and clicked ‘Confirm’.

Next thing was figuring out what to do in Iloilo. We searched online for tourist spots, mostly historical churches, which were interesting enough for me, but not for him. So we had to put beaches at the top of our list. And it has to have white sand. We learned that Guimaras Island was only a 30 minute boat ride away, hooray!

He arrived in the country on Feb 5, 10PM. Our flight to Iloilo was around 4AM on Feb 6. No time to waste here.

A book is a travel essential.

A book is a travel essential.

We arrived at the Iloilo airport approximately an hour later and took a P350 cab to Ortiz Wharf, where the ferries to Jordan, Guimaras were docked. Decided to eat breakfast before boarding, luckily a Jollibee branch was up and running about 5 minutes away, by foot. We were just getting ready to leave when it started to rain. Hard. We were stuck for 45 minutes, and decided to put our hoodies and backpacks on when the rain let up a little.

Ferry ride.

Ferry ride.

The ferry ride to Jordan was really cheap, only P14 each! Local tourism officials have a small booth in Jordan Wharf, they were very friendly and eager to help. To get to Kenyama Resort, we rented a tricycle for P400. The trike can accommodate up to 4 people, plus the driver, so the price isn’t bad. For larger parties, a multi-cab is available for P700. It usually takes another 30 to 45 minutes to get to the resorts, and you pass scenic spots and cool places along the way. Your driver is also your tour guide / photographer, he’ll be happy to take a quick stop to these spots.

Like the Trappist Monastery, where we wrote petitions and bought snacks. Banana chips, barquillos, etc.

Like the Trappist Monastery, where we wrote petitions
and bought snacks. Banana chips, barquillos, etc.

And mango farms.

And mango farms.

Made a quick stop at Raymen's Beach Resort, which was one of our top resort choices.

Made a quick stop at Raymen’s Beach Resort, which was one of
our top resort choices.

When we arrived at Kenyama, it was surprisingly on high ground! Their website said it was beachfront. It was facing the ocean, alright, but to get to the beach we needed to take a quick trek downhill. For P2,500 a night, this wasn’t what we expected at all. We had to pay an extra P100 to get a total of 7 channels on our TV. Early check in means early check out, too. We were the only guests there so the place was pretty quiet and the food was good, but pricey.

At least, they got a pet monkey. Oh, and this view.

DSC_0071

Once we got settled, we took a nap to prep ourselves for a day at the beach. Around 11AM, I woke up to a violent vibration. Yep, it was the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Visayas recently. Still half-asleep, I thought the shaking was caused by the minor building construction downstairs. I tried to wake Rambi, and failed. Hey, if he can sleep through a war, I guess he can sleep through an earthquake. So I went back to sleep, too. Safety fail.

15 minutes later, I woke up to more violent shakes and this time, the power went out. When this was over, I headed to the reception counter and asked the caretaker what was up. She confirmed it was an earthquake, and informed me of the tsunami warning. Thank goodness we were on high ground. HA!

Around 5PM, Phivolcs recalled the tsunami warning. Determined to make the most of what’s left of the day, Rambi and I headed to the beach. The sand wasn’t fine, the water was too cold. So we opted to just explore and go climb some rocks.

Our encounter with a boy and his reeeally cool sailboat. He made it himself.

Our encounter with a boy and his reeeally cool sailboat. He made it himself.

On one side of the beach were huge rock formations with a not-so-hidden hut.

Our destination.

Our destination.

The hut actually has a makeshift footbridge from the hotel grounds. Unfortunately this area was temporarily blocked due to the construction. So we had to take the long way, which was through the beach, a quick plunge in the water and rock climbing galore. Good thing we’re always up for adventure. Climbing the rocks required effort, quick thinking, patience and teamwork. We were carrying a precious DSLR camera with us, we had to carefully manoeuver around sharp rocks while taking turns carrying the camera.

We make a good team, he and I. We’d do really well in The Amazing Race.

And from the hut is a bamboo ladder that takes you to the top of the farthest rock. The view was amazing, but it was too cloudy to watch the sunset. Funny thing that happened on top of that rock, Rambi was admiring the view and made a joke about the chances of an earthquake occuring while we were there. Three seconds later, we heard screams from back in the hotel and the rock started shaking like crazy. We immediately dropped to the ground and lied flat until it was over.

This photo was literally taken during an aftershock. Pretty cool, no?

This photo was literally taken during an aftershock.
Pretty cool, no?

We had to head back to the hotel really quick since we were losing light. Once back, we had dinner served, called our parents to let them know we were safe and then retired for the day.

That’s Guimaras Day 1.

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