Being a geologist allows me to travel to places I’ve planned on visiting when I was younger. That said, last April and May 2015 I had the chance to catch a glimpse of two provinces I have wanted to go to for a long time already. It was a mere 13-day trip for work so we weren’t able to really go around the province.
I had 6 colleagues with me for the trip – a team leader, an aide, 2 seniors and another two new geologists like me. Being our first time in the area, my 2 same-aged friends and I wanted to see the tourist spots and historical sites before leaving. We had to finish our tasks first before we were allowed for side trips though.
Unfortunately, we only had 2 nights and a day to go around by the time we finished everything but we made the most out of it. With our determination, we were able to see bits of the featured tourist spots in the Iloilo and Guimaras. 😉
Here are some of the places you could go to in the city:
Plazuela de Iloilo
This is just beside SM City Iloilo. Going there, we passed by life-sized Beauty and the Beast character mannequins. As a Disney fan, I loved the idea of course. It was pretty magical. Hehe. That was at least when we visited the place, which was in May 2015.
We actually visited the church after our trip in Guimaras so it was a little later in the afternoon. From the port in the city, it only took ud a few minutes by cab. There were jeepneys en route to the church but we thought we could still be able to hear mass if we took the taxi.
Jaro Church is actually one of the oldest churches in the Philippines that it has been through renovation for a couple of times. What’s amazing at the site of this historical church is that itd bell tower is separated from the main churh.
We then rode another taxi from Jaro Church to reach Miag-ao faster. By the time we reached the second church, it was already dark and it was almost impossible to take good photos with a camera phone (especially mine.)
The 6 PM mass was actually half-way through. We weren’t able to hear mass at both churches but we did light candles at the first one so we just took a stroll around the park in front of Miag-ao church.
I found out that this UNESCO World Heritage Site (declared in 1993) is actually older than the Jaro Church that it has undergone rebuilding due to damages from historical battles including the Second World War, a fire and an earthquake. It was declared a National Shrine under a Presidential decree during the Marcos Regime.
The site’s unique features include its unequal bell towers attached to both sides of the main church, and its massive stone walls and thick buttresses to protect it from Moro Invasions in the past.
I actually just sighted the esplanade as we were passing by. It looked really romantic.
And in Guimaras:
From the port in Iloilo City, reaching Guimaras only took a 20-minute boat ride. We then hired a tricycle for our whole trip (which wasn’t that long) as suggested by the tourism officer.
We didn’t have much time to spend in Guimaras but we thought it was our last day before heading back to MManila so why not push through? We arrived at Guimaras around lunch time and left by 5:30 in the afternoon.
Guisi Lighthouse and Ruins
The site was our first (and practically only) stop in Guimaras.
The beaches of Guimaras (at Nueva Valencia)
I haven’t been to Boracay but the sand in the beaches of Guimaras could be similar to the former’s white ones!
The Pit Stop
This was a very last-minute thing that our friends from the region just thought of it on our way back to the port.
I’m sorry that this post was a bit useless. I couldn’t tell you how much everything was because, this trip was rushed and it was the rest part of our work. I’ll definitely write about these in my next personal trips.