Traveling alone in an unfamiliar city or place is the first item in my bucket list on what I want to accomplish this year. Thank God, I was able to tick it off my list because finally, after two years of postponing this solo trip, I finally did it.
It was during the recent Holy Week 2016 when I packed my bags and decided to get lost in a place where I've never been before. With a brave and determined heart, I board a plane going to Iloilo and rode a boat to Guimaras Island where I spent my Black Saturday last March 26, 2016.
Before I continue, I just want to tell you that this post is about my recent solo trip to Guimaras Island and a promise to my perfect/awesome guide, Michael Selorico that I will blog about the trip and about him so that others will know that they don't have to be afraid to go traveling alone in this beautiful island..
..and I was searching for myself. Yes. We all have that moment in life.
Black Saturday, April 26 - From Ong Bun Pensione House Iloilo, it was 7:30 am when I went to Ortiz Port to ride a pump boat going to Guimaras. I paid 14 pesos only for a 15-minute, steady and comfortable pump boat ride to Guimaras Island.
|This pump boat to Guimaras Island can accommodate 40 persons.|
I arrived at the Jordan Port in Guimaras after a 15-minute boat ride. I was so excited. Since I already contacted my tour guide Kuya Michael, I was not nervous at all. I registered at the Tourism Office located near where you disembark from the boat. They will ask you if you are traveling alone, where are you staying or the tour you are taking because they'd be very happy to help you. Kuya Michael was already there, waiting for me just outside the office and we both started our land/day tour in Guimaras after I registered.
He was all smiles, very kind and greeted my 'Good morning sir.' From then on, I knew I was safe and I claimed that it was going to be a great day!
Guimaras has a standard rate for their Land Tour so you do not have to worry about overpricing. I suggest, you contact Kuya Michael for a hassle-free tour to Guimaras Island. He as already an itinerary prepared for you! So perfect! Here are the standard rates for the tour as mandated by the Tourism Office.
Tricycle good for 4 pax = 1,200 Pesos (or 1,500 if you include Windmill Farm in your itinerary).Muticab good for 10 pax = 2,500 Pesos
Air-conditioned Van good for 10 pax= 3,500 Pesos
Jeep = good for 25 pax = 3,500 Pesos
CONTACT KUYA MICHAEL of Guimaras. Here are his numbers:
Smart - 0908-324-6835
Globe - 0977-372-5074
Bonus: Kuya Michael knows how to take good photos. It's very convenient if you are traveling alone like me. :) You can see my photos below.
And here's the itinerary:
1. Balaan Bukid Shrine - I had my peaceful, quiet time here. I prayed. I thanked the Lord.
Ave Maria Chapel and the Giant Cross
|Overlooking Iloilo City|
3. Holy Family Hills - In here you will have a chance to do your own stations of the cross. It was quiet, solemn and peaceful.
4. Adventure Park for Target Shooting - I decided not to include this in my tour since it will take time and shooting is not my thing. So next...
5. Pasalubong Center
6. Mango Trade Fair
7. Guimaras Museo
8. Pitstop Restaurant - for the best Mango Pizza ever!!!!
|With Kuya Michael. He was too shy to eat with me but I insisted.|
In here, Kuya Michael and I talked about the life in Guimaras, its history and its leaders. I also had the chance to ask about his life and how he was trying to survive despite everything. I was so humbled after he made me feel that being kind and good and simple is still the best way to live this life. I thanked him for reminding me that. He was just very kind and simple.
9. Trappist Monastery
10. Camp Alfredo for Zipline - I also skipped this.
11. Guisi Lighthouse - this is where I had my first #YOLO moment by standing at the top of the old lighthouse, overlooking the Guisi beach and the Iloilo-Guimaras Strait. When you want to try this, just be careful.
12. Raymen Beach Resort - for my Island Hopping. It was already 1:30 PM when we arrived at the resort. I paid 25 Pesos for the entrance fee and registered for my solo Island Hopping adventure.
The rate for the Island Hopping Tour is:
First Hour is 500 Pesos and 150 per hour for the succeeding hours. My solo island hoping lasted only for 2 hours so I only paid 650 Pesos.
Around 4PM when I finished my Island Hopping tour and Kuya Michael was just waiting for me just outside Raymen Beach Resort. He was smiling at me when I went out of the resort. Maybe he was happy for me that finally, I did something crazy today, away from my comfort zone - that is to travel alone and experience an unforgettable adventure alone! It was fulfilling.
He then took me to the Capitol so I can have this shot. Thank you Kuya.
If you want to experience the same, please CONTACT KUYA MICHAEL of Guimaras. Here are his numbers:
Smart - 0908-324-6835
Globe - 0977-372-5074
Please send my regards to him. Tell him Mark said hi :)
Did I find myself? Somehow.
I realized it was during this kind of moment in our life, when no one will be there for us, when we trust our own decisions, when going in the unknown, having your own space is the time we know more about our limitations and strengths, desires and that feeling of hope in our heart, regrets in life that we want to forget and hopefully learn from it and of course, your next move to make your life more meaningful.
The people you meet in your journey of course will add to that. They will make you realize things and will keep you humbled. For me, it was Kuya Michael. It was him that made my Guimaras Tour, unforgettable.