• Incredible Traveler

World Class Mangos in Guimaras- Mango Capital Of The World

Updated: Jan 15




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The Beauty of the Philippines

The Philippines is richly blessed with white powdery beaches, stunning rock formations, nice beach resorts, an immense variety of palm trees, cordial Illongos, as well as azure waters.


An Ideal Getaway Vacation

An ideal getaway place that allows you to enjoy relaxation and the beauty of nature is the breathtaking Guimaras. This wonderful place is situated between the Negros and Panay islands in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. The capital of Guimaras and the 3rd municipality of the island is Jordan, which replaced the Spanish name “Nagaba, which translates in English as the “Jordan River.” According to legend, during the Spanish era, the fierce Moro Raid took place in the Philippines. A venerable saint named John the Baptist amazingly saved many residents from a massive slaughter.


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Early in the morning of April 2018, we took a taxi to the Port of Iloilo. This was my first time traveling to Guimaras island; and, I was very elated. I was informed we would be taking a pump boat to the island. My first pump boat experience was when I vacationed in Boracay Island in 2017.


After about a 15 minute drive from the Injap hotel in Iloilo, we arrived at the Port. We purchased a ticket and boarded a pump boat enroute to Guimaras Island.


Sugar coated peanuts



The above picture shows mani nga may kalamay, which in Hiligaynon means sugar coated peanuts.


The engine of a pump boat

This adventurous 20 minute boat ride was very cool as we passed by large boats. Along the way, I admired the beautiful scenry while constantly taking photos and videoing.




When we reached the shore line on the opposite side of the port, we observed a sign that read, “Welcome to Jordan.”


We knew that we had arrived upon the island. As soon as we disembarked from the boat, many friendly Filipinos greeted me with a smile. It was like this was the first time they had seen an American on the island. All of a sudden I became a Hollywood star in the Philippines.


As I walked around, I noticed the island was brimming with people. We were led to the Guimaras Tourism office, where we were required to register. Registration was free at the time of the visit. Along the way, we passed by some vendors selling various Filipino foods and we found an iconic Guimaras sign.


Iconic Guimaras Sign

We found a Filipino guy who was willing to drive us to Raymen Resort, which is where we would be staying for the night. We boarded a jeepney and we commenced our adventurous journey to Raymond Beach Resort. While enroute to our destination, we stopped by another iconic guimaras sign and we took photos. This sign definitely presents a perfect Instagram worthy photo. You cannot miss this sign when you are in Guimaras. It is noticeable by the large letters “Guimaras” and a big yellow mango on the left of it.


Don’t worry. This is not a sand castle in Boracay, Philippines. For those who have not been Boracay, Filipinos will charge fees to have your photo taken of a beach sand castle that has the name “Boracay” beautifully written in the sand. Taking pictures of the Guimaras sign, on the other hand, is absolutely free. We took photos of each other for about 20 minutes and then we continued onto our destination.


The Best Mangos

Along the way, we found a shop that sold lots of mango. The mangos in Guimaras are considered the best in the Philippines. Many Filipinos and foreigners prefer the Guimaras mangos rather than the Cebu mangos. I can attest to this fact. The Guimaras mangos are definitely sweeter than the mangos in Cebu. The abundance of mangos is recognized by the great number of mango plantation trees planted in Guimaras.


Guimaras is prestigiously considered the mango capital of the world. Many people worldwide are drawn to Guimaras because of the great reputation of the province constantly producing the sweetest and savory mangoes in the entire world. This reputation was greatly recognized when the mangos were being supplied to The Buckingham Palace as well as the White House.


In fact, mangoes have gained popularity in Guimaras so much so that mango festivals are held there. One of them is the Manggahan mango festival, which was first celebrated in 1993 on the 22nd of May. The festival offers all you can eat free mango contests. You will not only find a large number of mangoes in Guimaras, but you will also find mango candies like butterscotch mangfo, Piyayas, tarts, barquillos, and even mango ketchup. This unique kind of ketchup is definitely peculiar. The island of Guimaras is a heavenly mango paradise.


Raymen Beach Resort

The Raymen Beach resort is considered one of the most popular resorts on the island. The resort was conveniently located on the beach and the rooms were very nice, affordable, air-conditioned, and had wifi. The price for one room was about 3,000 pesos or $60. Though that was cheap, I was used to paying only 1200 pesos or $22,65 for air bnb condos. I was glad to pay that for one night. However, when I was then asked to pay for two rooms, I became very uncomfortable because I literally did not have the money. That was a total of 6,000 pesos or $120 at the resort. There is definitely a stereotype in the Philippines that if you are white, you are wealthy. That is far from the truth.


Rainy Weather

The cloudy weather on the horizon showed a possible storm was approaching. This weather though did not stop us from swimming in the ocean. We noticed, however, the water was too murky to see the bottom due to the dark clouds surrounding us. Around 5 PM, the clouds released rain, which continued to pour down for the remaining time we were at the resort.


Short Tour Around the Resort

The next morning, we woke up to gloomy weather. The weather was masama panahon, the Tagalog word for bad weather. There was a restaurant 1 minute from out hotel room. We enjoyed authentic suman, which consisted of sugar wrapped in bannana leaves.


After breakfast, we toured around the resort in the rain. We trekked through the forests, climbed some steep hills and we found some beautiful waterfalls and other scenic areas. Though the rain poured heavily upon us, we seemed to still enjoy the short tour. That same day, we left the island. When you go to a resort on a rainy day, you just make the best of your time there. Due to the bad weather, we were unable to embark on an island hopping tour.

On an island hopping tour, you will have the opportunity to visit a myriad of popular islands including: Turtle Island, Nagtago Beach, Lawi Marine Turtle Rescue Center, Baras Beach, Isla Naburot, Ave Maria Islet, Pawikan island, Lamirawan island, Baras Cave, Yato island, and the Fairy Castle.

While walking around near the resort, we spotted a small museum and some boisterous waves.






Pit Stop

We left the resort the following morning around 10 a.m., and we took a jeepney to an Italian place. Two hours later we arrived at a restaurant called The Pitstop. This restaurant was not typical to an average foreigner because they sold a pizza that is unique to the island.

You have probably eaten Hawaiian pizza that is topped with pineapples. Have you tried pizza topped with luscious mangoes, thick bell peppers and layers of cheese? If you have never tried sweet mango pizza, you are in for a treat. Not only does Pitstop serve mango pizza, but it also serves mango chicken adobo, mango bulalo, spicy mango pasta, and mango sisig.

When you bite into the pizza, the juices from the mango bursts into your mouth. The mango pizza was by far the best pizza I have tried in the world namely because it was fraught with juicy mangos.











Souvenirs

After finishing a delicious mango pizza, we headed back to the loading dock to board a pumpboat back to Iloilo. Next to the dock was a souvenir store that sold all kinds of mango snacks, magnets, key chains, and so forth. I bought some dried mango and some other mango snacks that were local to Guimaras Island. When you vacation at Guimaras, you must stop by the souvenir store.






Pumpboat back to Iloilo

When then ambled to the port and boarded a pump boat at the dock. By that time, the darkness had already covered the clouds. The driver of the pump boat seemed to have maneuvered the boat expertly through the darkness. Imagine yourself in a pump boat at night crossing the ocean. You cannot see anything except the people in front of you from the lights that were illuminating the boat. You hear waves crashing against the boat which is constantly rocking back and forth. Then when all of these events were unfolding, people were screaming and exhibiting a fearful demeanor. That mental image is accurately true the night I was on the pumpboat.

#mangofestival #RaymenResort #Iloilo #philippinesvlog #Guimarasisland #mango

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