Thursday, February 14, 2013
Guimaras is widely known for producing some of the sweetest mangoes in the world but other than this, little is known about its beautiful and unusual beaches like Guisi Beach in Nueva Valencia.
The funny thing about our trip to Guimaras is that we were really not after the mangoes. We were simply looking for a place to celebrate our group's anniversary and have a fun shoot by wearing an all-black attire. At first I'm a little apprehensive because I hardly know any popular beach in this mango country and the itinerary of our trip wasn't really planned. Even the accommodation wasn't arranged so any resort that still has vacancy was our only option. Little did I know that I was going to be stunned by this rocky beach in Nueva Valencia.
Contrary to what we were expecting, we were surprised to see the number of visitors occupying the resorts and found out that this beach is frequented by the locals especially on weekends during the summer season. What's unique about Guisi is that it features a number of rock formations that makes it a picturesque place for those who want to experience something out of the ordinary. Some of the rocks however are difficult to climb because of its naturally sharp surfaces and even the thickest calluses are not enough to protect your feet. It's a good thing that the resort owners have added bamboo bridges making it easier to transfer from one rock to another.
The group's first shoot was done in Cagbalete and the theme then was all-white so in contrast to what we did last year, we decided to do an all-black theme this time for a change. We planned to do this on an open beach but the stunning rock formations that we didn't expect to see made the shoot even more fun and enjoyable. Those who were able to finish getting their photos taken went up to the rocks and jumped into the inviting waters of the beach. I on the other hand just opted to stay on the cabana since I have acrophobia.
Another interesting tourist spot that can be seen in Guisi is its old lighthouse which was built during the Spanish-colonial period. This rusty tower may not be appealing for most tourists but the idea of seeing a worn-out tower that has been standing for more than 300 years makes it worth a short visit. This old and decaying structure however is no longer operational and is replaced by a new lighthouse located just a few meters from the original one. It is best to go to this place early in the morning which is what we did upon waking up. The reward that we got is a commanding view of Guisi and its beautiful shoreline - a perfect way to start our second day at this peaceful beach.
There's no doubt that Guisi is one of Guimaras' well-kept secret. This beach may not have the powdery white sands of Boracay or the long coastlines of Cagbalete but it does have that certain beauty that can only be appreciated if you look at it without comparing to the other known beaches. Sure it doesn't have white sand but who cares? With its crystal blue waters and jagged boulders, you certainly won't be disappointed!
How to get there:
From Ortiz Port in Iloilo City, take a ferry boat bound for Jordan Wharf. Travel time is around 15 minutes and the fare is Php 14. Once you arrive at the wharf, you can arrange for a shuttle or multicab at the tourism office which is just a few steps away from the arrival area. Travel time takes around an hour and the lowest fare for a group is Php 900.
You can also take a jeepney bound for Nueva Valencia and tell the driver that you will be going to Guisi so he can drop you off at the intersection where you need to take a short habal-habal ride to the beach. Travel time for the jeepney ride is around 40 minutes and the fare is Php 45. The habal-habal ride takes around 15 minutes and the fare ranges from Php 20 to 40 depending on your haggling skills.