One of the 27 windmills in San Lorenzo, Guimaras; and fresh catches of the day: parrot fish and lobster
It’s summer, a season of fun and frolic, and it’s the time to visit Guimaras, the mango capital of the Philippines!
So, in time for the month-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the island’s provincehood, the Guimaras Provincial Tourism Office, in coordination with the Municipal Tourism Offices of Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo and Sibunag, took yours truly and some media practitioners for a sight and savour tour to some interesting spots. The Provincehood anniversary coincides with the annual Manggahan Festival!
The first stop was the windmill farm in San Lorenzo. At the town’s gymnasium, we witnessed the launching of the Manggahan Festival 2017 with eat-all-you-can-mangoes contest and mango chandelier making competition.
The Lopez Summer House in Roca Encantada (top left);the façade of Navalas Church (bottom left); the arch-tunnel leading to Navalas Church; and flowers bloom at the Lopez Summer House in Roca Encantada
On the way to Roca Encantada, Buenavista, we saw infrastructure development left and right, a testament to booming Guimaras. The famous landmark in Roca Encantada is the Lopez Summer House. It was a sight to behold. The idyllic mansion was declared a heritage house by National Heritage Institute. It was built in honour of Doña PRESENTACION HOFILEÑA LOPEZ.
We also dropped by Navalas Church. Built in 1880, it is the oldest Roman Catholic Church and only existing heritage church in Guimaras. While it maintained its Spanish era façade, the interiors have been renovated.
Then it was time for lunch at The Pitstop in Buenavista town proper. There we enjoyed on everyday dishes with a twist — by having their flavours were enhanced by mango! The must-try dishes were Mango Beef Bulalo, Chicken Mango Adobo Twist, Bangus Sisig with Mango Bits and Chopsuey. They were complemented with refreshing Guimaras Blend Juice. The piece de resistance of our lunch was the delicious Mango Pizza!
Mango Beef Bulalo, Chicken Mango Abodo Twist and Bangus Sisig with Mango Bits, Mango Pizza, and Chopsuey
The Holy Family Hills is another must-visit place. It is a beautiful pilgrimage site in San Lorenzo. It boasts of larger than life images of JESUS CHRIST, BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, ST. JOSEPH and the Fourteen Stations, and a chapel.
For leisure tripping and relaxation, Marceily Point Inland Resort is a perfect weekend getaway. Amid rolling hills and lush foliage, it is located in San Lorenzo. It is listed in the Top 5 of the 17 resorts in Guimaras.
The Jordan Wharf, our entry and exit point, was bustling with activities. Local, national and international tourists competed for space and attention. Which brings me to my point: Guimaras is a must-visit destination. Business is booming, development is everywhere, food is good, and hospitality is warm! What more can you ask for?
The towering image of Holy Family (left); a pseudo ruin of a church façade at Holy Family Hills (center); the chapel at Holy Family Hills (top right); and the swimming pool at Marceily Point Inland Resort (bottom right)