Trip To Iloilo And Guimaras

Trip To Iloilo And Guimaras

mountain view panay

The scene above is taken from the mountain road near Iloilo. You can just make out the ancient terraces on the hill. 

The approximate location of Guimaras:

© Eugene Alvin Villar, 2003 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

We traveled by air conditioned bus on this trip and almost needed a blanket because the bus was absolutely ice cold:
air conditioned ceres bus

We gave the Iloilo Urban Inn a try this time. Urban Inn is good for a night or two and maybe a bit longer. When staying there I would recommend checking the room before checking in. They have "executive" rooms and these are street facing and they also have Jalousie windows, which if you are not familiar with them, are slatted glass windows that cannot be closed completely and therefore allow more sound leakage:

"Jalousie_slats.png" by Renlis licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The image above is just an example of the type of window and not taken at the hotel.

They have rooms on the ground floor that are very quiet and clean, but these have cellphone access issues due to being shielded within the interior of the building - but they do offer free wifi. We had one of these rooms for a night and it was good. They have well heated showers and may come with complimentary breakfast for two guests. You can add an extra mattress to the room for a little more cash. 

We also stayed on the fourth floor and that room was also good with the added bonus of great Globe wireless access.

Urban Inn does offer a shuttle (the silver Innova in the photo below) and it cost us 150PHP to go to the port from the hotel. That is about what a taxi would cost plus the shuttle is nice and new and the driver is also very kind and quite knowledgeable of the area.

urban inn iloilo front entrance

From Iloilo we traveled to Guimaras for a short stay with friends. The passage from the port at Iloilo to the Buenavista, Guimaras port is only a couple of miles:

Map Data © OpenStreetMap contributors

This stretch of the Iloilo straight was struck by tragedy last month when several small banca boats were struck by a squall mid-trip. Three of the bancas were overturned and 31 people died. 

Before this event only banca boats had been used to travel between Iloilo and the Buenavista port on Guimaras. Now they have a larger ferry boat in operation for that route and that is what we utilized for our crossing to the MacAthur Wharf Ferry Terminal in Buenavista.

Below is the schedule of trips between Iloilo and both the Buenavista and Jordan ports on Guimaras:
ferry schedule iloilo to buenavista guimaras

The crossing is only 50PHP per head and you can sit atop where the sides are open or sit down below in the air conditioned section. They advertise that the ac part costs 70PHP, but on our trip every seat was 50PHP with open seating. 

The trip only takes five minutes so you might miss it just getting your camera turned on:

And in only five minutes we pulled in to MacArthur Ferry Terminal:

buenavista guimaras port

Back in Iloilo we tried out a new buffet place (new to us) called Farm to Table:

farm to table iloilo

Farm to Table is located on the new Festive Walk that is located near the new Marriott. 

The evening buffet is priced at 399PHP per head and offers mainly Filipino cuisine with some other choices as well. My favorites on that night were the tempura shrimp, sliced roast beef and the home made avocado ice cream.

The new Bureau of Immigration Office is also located within the Festive Walk complex at coordinates 10.7178°N,122.5477° E:

Map Data © OpenStreetMap contributors

The BOI Office is on the 3rd floor of the Festive Walk Mall Annex.

On the 2nd and 3rd floors there is a catwalk that leads from the Mall Annex to the main Mall:

3rd floor catwalk looking north

3rd floor catwalk looking south

With our trip complete it was time for a rainy return home.

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