On Sunday we head out to Guimaras Island. It's actually a short 15 minute boat ride from Iloilo City. We took a jeepney which was maximized in it's seating capacity with about 30 passengers, for another hour to reach Brgy. Lawi, Jordan town in Guimaras and from there we took another boat ride for 20 minutes to Barras beach. It is situated in a tiny islet with cottages sprawled atop the rocky parts thus offering a perfect view of the sea.
When we finally reached our destination we immediately decided on what to eat. While waiting for our lunch we strolled around and it was then we saw the beautiful view of the sea from the island and its different parts. From atop a rocky hill, facing the sea, from the small trail leading to the cabins and looking back at the shore and even from a small window overlooking the sea. Each scenery were unimaginably wonderful.
Well, I guess the pictures shows what I mean by the views being beautiful. After lunch we swam, paddled, lie around and most smart conversation were done by my friends Aileen, Chin and Mina while Tinay and her German hardcore backpacker Ben cozy up under a coconut tree with Ben's pet rooster "Tagay", I just sat there and listened to them. (listening to other people's stories is one way of getting to know them better - and I did and liked what I learned about them in the process). After a while I walked further around the tiny island and these are just some of what I saw.
While waiting for the sunset I listened to Backpacker Ben's story about his travels around the world, as he puts it "before he goes back to his normal life" back in Germany. I was amazed on how foreign backpackers have more knowledge about the places in the Philippines than most Filipinos do. Most of us would dream about going to another country when there's so much places to go and see here. Ben was talking about the lost opportunity of going to Cuyo Islands, which if you consult the map you could see that it lies somewhere in the small group of Islands between Cebu and Palawan.
There was this man again from Oregon who says he was reading a book about the different phases in a man's life. Among the phases of one's life were the warrior phase and the wanderer phase. He says he currently belongs to the wanderer phase. I would love to live that phase as well. It is still my dream to set out on a long journey on a longer time as currently, much to my dismay I can only travel during long weekends because I need to go back to work and live my normal life.
However, I'll make sure someday to experience that wandering phase for like a year or two. Probably map out places that most foreign backpackers do when they go to the Philippines. To thread on less traveled route and avoid mostly touristy areas.
At nighttime we lit up a small bonfire with little guilt that we're contributing to global warming, but it was fun though as Chin, Mina and Tinay made funny chicken slash fire dances around the bonfire while Aileen and I just watched them laughing.
If you have an additional day or two to spare it's more rewarding to explore the rest of Guimaras island, as I understand there is still a few places around the island that has less crowd and more isolated. Go check out the Mango Research Facility and the old Trappist Monastery. Transportation around the island is easy to get as there are a lot of jeepneys, multicab and tricycle that serves different routes all day long.
the room we got cost about 1,500 and is good for 5-6 people. A bit expensive for 2 people, so be sure you come in fives. It's a fan room with an average bathroom but comes with a magnificent view.