“The sun goes down, the stars come out. And all that counts, is here and now. The universe will never be the same, I’m glad you came.” – The Wanted, I’m Glad You Came
Actually, this photo of the setting sun in the island of Guimaras in western Visayas was taken way before this song was released and I just thought it’s a nice intro.
I am a big fan of sunsets (coz I can’t wake up early for sunrise) especially when the sea is close by. So when, in one of our official trips, me and my colleague had a chance to go for a four-hour side trip from Iloilo to Guimaras, we did not waste any time and boarded the passenger boat to the island.
Known mainly for the Guimaras mangoes (claimed to be the sweetest in the world), this small island province (actually several islands in the general bay area) also holds its own when it comes to its swimming beaches, caves and rock formations, and turtle conservation!
We barely noticed the time while sailing through its waters as Guimaras, for me, held such beauty, pure and untouched, radiating as the golden orange hues of the setting sun graces the sand, sea and sky. If ever you are in Iloilo or Guimaras or Western Visayas, a spectacular view of the setting sun is really an experience you must not dare to miss!
Work has brought me to Iloilo a number of times, usually staying at the City Proper district as it is equally close to either Barotac Viejo in northern Iloilo and Mambusao in Capiz. These are the two river irrigation systems we are monitoring for NIA-JICA TCP2, the joint project of Philippine and Japan governments that I am working with (more info at my personal blog).
Since Iloilo is such a big city, with seven districts covering 180 barangays, expect that there is relatively much hustle and bustles especially in the City Proper. If you are on vacation and you want to stay away from it all, you might want to head in the Arevalo District and enjoy some beach scenery (though it’s not a very attractive beach) and relatively fresher air. Well, I wasn’t on vacation but we still went to Arevalo because this is the location of Punta Villa Resort, the venue for the test run of a training manual for farmer leaders.
The website’s homepage has this introduction: “Located in the one of the city’s coastal towns, away from the crowds, is a place where old world elegance still exists. In this modern age of square structures and modern lines, Punta Villa Resort stands out as the only place where old and new elements meet. You can just imagine ladies wearing magnificent gowns and men in coat tails dining under the glittering candelabras.” True enough, every time I go to Punta Villa (this was my 3rd time), I always get transported in the time of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in Derbyshire and to Victoria and Albert’s palaces and gardens. Continue reading Punta Villa Iloilo: a garden estate away from the city (Part 1)→
The first time I went to Iloilo was for my work at H&L magazine way back in September 2008. I think this was my first work-related travel (if I would not count the planning in Puerto Galera and the company outing in Subic).
Anyway, we arrived at the airport after a life-threatening stormy cruise at more than 20,000 feet in the clouds. It was so scary that Ms. Elna, the sales manager who made the trip happen, had to open her phone just so she can send a text message to her mom who is with her daughter.
We thought that this only happened to us because we took a Cebu Pacific (Cebu Pac) flight but Doc Michael (the endocrinologist giving the day’s lecture series) said the same thing happened during his Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight. So, it’s really the bad weather. (More on this in another post as this one is supposedly for the airport itself.)
Since it’s only the second time I flew (the first being in HS for the national press conference competition in General Santos), I can barely remember what an airport looks like (except for the NAIA Terminal 3 where we took off from Manila). The Iloilo International Airport, which started operations in June 2007, is by all means a modern-looking one–at least for the Philippine standard. It ranks first on my regional airports ranking, with the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao) in a close second. Continue reading Iloilo International Airport (arrival)→
Life is short so take a leap of faith. Let’s wander, explore and discover. Come and journey with me.