Last year, a very close friend of mine, Peter from the UK, visited me for a 10-day holiday here in Iloilo for my birthday. I became his tour guide. Although we were both on a budget (we’re poor. HAHAHA!) and wasn’t able to explore more historical sites within my lovely city, he enjoyed his stay and vowed that one day he’ll return.
Iloilo, to me, is a “lazy city”. Not that the people here are sloths, but because it is quite laid back even if the city is a-bustling with the occasional traffic and pedestrians walking along the streets. Most of the people here don’t like to rush. Sometimes, you’ll forget you’re in a city.
Anyway, his first priority was going to the beach. He wanted to experience lazing around the seaside in a tropical country. Prior his Asian trip, he and I conferred through Skype about beaches. I gave a few suggestions. I even included Boracay on the list. But he didn’t care as long it’s a beach. He finally chose Baras Beach Resort because he wanted to stay inside a hut on a cliff overlooking the sea. Very tourist-y. 😂
From the main land, we took a pump boat (motor boat) at Ortiz Wharf to Guimaras Island. We then proceeded to their tourist office where we filled up an identification form. This is mandatory for all those who are visiting the island for holiday or for a tour. The locals are exempted from this. We also logged-in their tourist/visitor’s logbook. After that, we took a 30-40 minute trike ride to Alobijod (pronounced Alohbihod).
Alobijod is a beach resort. It has two other neighboring resorts in the area. The whole beach area, which stretches just about a kilometer long, serves as a mini port wherein several pump boats dock that can either be rented for island hopping or rented to go to other far flung beach resorts. In order to rent one, we had to go to the information office at Raymen’s Resort (you’ll see it once you get off the trike). The staff there would contact them.
The boat ride to the resort itself took at least 30 minutes. When we got there, we were greeted by the caretakers. We were surprised that we were the only tourists there. Lucky us! We had to wait at one of the mini-huts for our cabana to be prepared. That minor mistake was entirely my fault. I made a faux pas of not informing them that we were coming.
While waiting, one of the residents (I shall call her sassy grandma), told me that most of the cabanas are under repair. This was due to the typhoon that had hit the area. The results were devastating. After the story, she and her daughter-in-law led us to our cabana which was a 10 minute walk from the lobby area. Our cabana was situated atop a cliff, overlooking the lagoon.
There weren’t any TVs which was okay since there were a lot of windows and the nights were cold. This doesn’t mean we were deprived of electricity. There were two large beds, a bath, and a veranda. The mattress of the beds were a bit thin, though, but still comfortable. Mosquito netting was also provided for and are stored inside a bamboo cabinet.
Since we were the only tourists, they still had to travel to the main island for provisions. Meals were cooked per request (and however you wanted it cooked) and are added to your total bill. If you are really hungry, I suggest stir fry veggies and grilled fish.
Pete and I would usually take to the beach at around 10am and stay until the sun is at it’s zenith. This is because, the tide around this time is higher compared to mid morning or mid afternoon. When the tide is low, you can actually wade to the middle of the lagoon without the risk of drowning. There is also a certain path that you could take when the tide is at it’s lowest to get to the other side of the lagoon by foot.
When we aren’t lounging around by the beach and getting a tan, we would explore a bit or make friends with the locals:
The nights were wonderful as well especially when the moon is out. We would take a couple of beers and just relax at the veranda. We even spotted a firefly or two. Fireflies are rare nowadays; we were lucky. We stayed at the resort for 3 nights.
During our last day, we were invited to a birthday celebration.It was the birthday of sassy grandma’s three grandchildren. There were also a couple of foreigners (a German and a Dutch) who came to visit and take photographs. We conversed with them as well and learned that they had visited often.
We dined and joined some of sassy grandma’s relatives for a shot of whisky. We didn’t stay long; we had to rest. The next morning, we departed for home.
How to get here
From the city,take a jeepney ride (or taxi) to Ortiz Wharf to purchase passenger tickets for the pump boat ride. Once docked at Jordan (pronounced as “Hordan”), you can either rent a pump boat there to take you to the resort immediately or you can opt to take a scenic trike ride to Alubijod to hire a pump boat there.
For booking: Baras Beach Resort
*Prices may change
It is a nice place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Amenities are okay if you are not picky with your choices. If rustic and run-down isn’t to your liking, there are other resorts in Guimaras Island to choose from. To check out other resorts available, click here–> Stay in Guimaras
I hope you all had enjoyed reading this. 😀
Next up: Trappist Abbey, Guimaras Island