The trip from Ortiz wharf to Jordan wharf became one of the longest 15-minute boat ride I had experienced. I was on an afternoon trip going to Guimaras, and with my big bag, my first instinct was to sit on the front row for convenience later realizing this was not a good choice. The waves were quite rough and though the port was not far from sight, the ride seemed to take on forever as the boat went straight for the waves, the boat lunged, each time there were gasps of “ooohhhss” and “ahhhs” from the passengers and with each minute my hand grasping tightly on the wooden bench. I thought luck immediately ran out on my first solo backpacking trip. Thankfully, we arrived safely on the port of Jordan with my knees quite wobbly from fright.
I had no one to talk to and share what I felt about the experience. No one to slap you back to reality and make something frightening to a laughing matter. That was my first thought of this solo trip.
RAYMEN BEACH RESORT (Alubihod, Nueva Valencia)
Arriving at Raymen Beach after a 40 minute tryk ride, I was surprised to see a lot of boys milling around. There was a loud blasting karaoke, a welcoming sound to my search for peace and solitude. I just rested for a while and gathered my thoughts.
What next? – I thought.
I went out hoping to catch the sunset. But the sun did not show itself on my side of the horizon, so I just hang out. There were still a few boys by the beach. I had my first acquaintance, Frech, a boy from Bacolod. It turns out that they were from a Maritime college taking a break from their SOLAS training from the neighboring beach. That explains the throngs of boys by the beach. After they left, only a couple of families were left. I finally had some quiet time.
After having been through the torrential rains of Habagat in Manila, I was happy to be greeted by a beautiful weather the next morning. Families were enjoying the sun, swimming and building sand castles.
Below is the ROSE fan room I stayed in for the night. Fan room rates start at 600php with a common bath and toilet.
Getting In and Around Guimaras:
1. Take a 15-minute boat ride from Ortiz to Jordan wharf (read: Hordan) for only 14php.
2. From Jordan, sign up for the tourist information and they will ask you for your next destination.
3. To Raymen Beach: Take a 40-minute tricycle ride for 250php. A cheaper option is to ride a jeep going to Nueva Valencia and get-off at the crossing and then take a tryk from there.
4. I asked the tryk driver to pick me up the next day and stop over a few places. The fee depends on your negotiation.
1. OUR LADY OF THE PHILIPPINES TRAPPIST MONASTERY
Get to visit the only Trappist Monastery in the Philippines. There you will find a small chapel, a gift shop and a place for you to stay and have a retreat. I was not able to talk to a monk since he we was praying silently in one corner of the chapel.
2. THE SMALLEST PLAZA
Manong Ray said that this tiny plaza was included in the Guinness World Record. There is nothing much to see here other than it really being a small plaza.
Other places to visit next time:
1. Macopo Falls
2. Mango Plantations
3. The Pit Stop for a taste of their Mango Pizza
4. Guisi Lighthouse
5. Island hopping to the nearby islands of Guimaras