Happy New Year.
Gong Xi Fa Cai. Wishing you for a prosperous 2019.
Happy Valentines. Hope for a sweeter days ahead.
Sorry again for the hiatus, life’s been busy lately.
With work, new projects coming in and no I’m not complaining. It means we still have financial sources to pay for our bills. With house chores, will already have a stay-out nanny and thankfully we managed. Plus with too much traffic within the metro that somehow factors my fatigue at the end of the day that I don’t have energy to open my laptop at home. Weekends are my favorite days 🙂
But, apart from those mundane activities last month, our family had an opportunity to get together and explore Iloilo and Guimaras. Yep, all of us – my parents, us – six sibling. With young kids on tow (youngest is a year older) it was noisy, chaos yet it was lively, fun, full of laughter and I definitely want to do it again.
How to get there:
My parents and my siblings are based in Cagayan de Oro. Domestic flights are available from Laguindingan Airport to Iloilo Airport. They took Cebu Pacific’s CDO to Iloilo 12NN flight. While we took the 2PM Cebu to IloIlo on Cebu Pacific airline as well.
My brother, with his family, lives in Iloilo due to work. He was able to rent a van for 3 days at P3000 per day rate. For me, van is best option for large group travels and long drives.
We arrived Iloilo in time for Dinagyang Festival thus all hotels near the city is fully-booked and some are way out of our budget. Jade Energetic Paradise and Adventure Corp is popularly known as JEPAC for the locals in Badiangan, Ilolio. It is ~4okm ride from Jaro City (almost an hour travel time). Right for budget adventurers like us. Kids get to enjoy playing in their playground or take photos with their action figure and dinosaur statues within the resort or enjoy the cool waters in their clean swimming pool.
Alubihud, Guimaras Island
An island separated from Iloilo mainland, this agricultural land is the home for Philippines’ sweet mangoes. It is a 35min ride through barge (if you will bring with your your vehicles) or ferries. Our initial plan was to stay at Nature’s Trail which was a 2-hour travel from Guimaras port. But due to some setbacks from the resort we opt to cancel our reservation and head back to Alubihud Beach Drive, which is known for nice beach resorts. We stayed at Raymen Beach Resort.
A chance to visit the government’s mango farm. Mango seedling are sold for P50 each and visitors get the chance to bring it home. We were just not sure if the airline will accept it for check-in. Those mango trees at the back, we were told that each branch bear fruits of different variety. Marcotting is real!
Windmills in Guimaras Island
Guimaras has 27 windmills and we had a chance to get up close to one of the structure. Kids prefer to call it huge electric fans.
Garin Farm, San Joaquin
Back at Iloilo after our Guimaras excursion, we went to Garin Farm, San Joaquin Iloilo. A ~90km ride from JEPAC resort, Badiangan, Garin Farm is a farm and a pilgrimage site in one place. Highlight of the farm is the huge white cross located uphill. It takes 480 steps to reach it. As you climb the steps, you can see statues from the greatest events in the Bible. No worries if you cannot make it since there are trams available to bring you to the top.
Wait till you reach the top:
And see the view from the top:
And who would not miss tasting Iloilo and Guimaras dishes. We didn’t leave without indulging some Mango Pizza and Bulalo in Guimaras and the famous Batchoy of Iloilo. I hope my photos do justice 🙂
We may consume a lot of time in the van due to long travels, nevertheless, the bond of doing this trip together matters most. Iloilo – Guimaras trip was one of the best experience, in fact we look forward for the next family travel soon 🙂