The Island Hoppers of Guimaras

The Philippines is an archipelago comprised of 7,107 islands. Traveling by banca boat (see following photo) is an unrivaled means of checking out some of the islets and enclaves which is something my asawa and her relatives, the island hoppers of Guimaras, did one recent Sunday. island hopping in the Philippines

We had spent the morning at Raymen Beach Resort in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, swimming and eating and drinking a cold San Miguel Pale Pilsen (or two.) (OK. Only my brother-in-law Joery and I quaffed any adult beverages and even Lolo, my father-in-law, refused any beers.)

This was the first time we had made a junket to our favorite beach resort in the Philippines via our new Ford Ranger XLT. It was convenient having our own vehicle on hand as we could stay at this Philippines resort as long as we wanted and didn’t have to wait on a multi-cab to take us home.

the island hoppers of Guimaras

Gilligan and the Skipper weren’t on this one hour tour, but our niece Michelle, seen on the far right, sitting next to my sister-in-law Alida, were on board. Other crew members included nephew Jorreale, my lovely asawa in the purple and black outfit, and our niece JalAmiel, sitting next to my spouse.

Nephew Sherwin is in the background standing up and seated at the back is Joery.

the island hoppers started their journey at Raymen Beach in Guimaras

Our helper Mera, on the right with the denim shorts,  and niece Shaina, in green, also were on board. It was Mera’s day off but she opted to join us on the beach that day. Smart choice.

sister-in-law Alida

the island hopping relatives of Guiamras

My wife took some great pictures of a coral reef off one of the islands she visited. I stayed behind at the nipa hut we rented at Raymen Beach Resort and kept an eye on my father-in-law, Lolo (Grandfather.)

Any other time Lolo, who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s, would be loudly singing or talking to his favorite dead relative Fernando. He didn’t say one word the whole time the island hoppers of Guimaras were gone.  Since my asawa had taken our new Sony CyberShot digital camera, I couldn’t even snap any photos of  passing pretty pinays and was left staring at Lolo the majority of the time without even the benefit of a cold San Miguel Pale Pilsen.

I would have to leave our nipa hut and belongings to fetch another Pilsen at the canteen and didn’t want to leave my father-in-law in charge for even a moment.

Guimaras island hopping

beautiful views from the banca boat

 

brother-in-law Joery, island hopper

I don’t know if Joery is splashing some cool water on his mug in this cave or slapping himself for forgetting his “Happy Nuts” back at the nipa hut at Raymen Beach. As many an expat in the Philippines know, a bag of “Happy Nuts” peanuts go very well with a cold bottle of San Miguel.

What’s your favorite snack in the Philippines that goes with a bottle of your favorite San Miguel product?

cave on island hopping tour in Guimaras

The colorful starfish seen in the next shot was returned to the water unharmed.

star fish found off raymen beach

 

Sherwin and Jorreal, island hoppers

Nephew Jorreal and niece JalAmiel have their sad faces on. The island hopping tour is nearing an end. Their cousin Sherwin could care less. He’s probably getting a signal again on his cell phone.

our niece JalAmiel

The island hoppers of Guimaras approach the beach and soon return to the nipa hut giving me a break from Lolo. I order another beer and sit back and relax enjoying another day in my retirement paradise called the Philippines.

beautiful cloud formation off raymen beach

 

10 comments

  1. Hi Dave you have a great life there in guimaras you and your wife have worked hard like
    Me ,I know now why you don’t want to live in a big city when you have everything there
    On your door step we are still renovating our bungalow,have you seen the movie money pit that’s what this renovating is one problem after another but I’ll have a beer and say
    This is better then working back home,it’s more fun in the Philippines.derek in pasig

    1. Well, Derek, my asawa and I actually considered living in the Metro Manila area before we moved here. My wife has a lot of relatives in the area and she felt living in the home she had built in Guimaras, where her Mother and various relatives were living, would be a mistake. But after spending a week in the Metro area, Caloocan City to be exact, before getting over to Guimaras, we both quickly decided that the big city life was too fast-paced for us.

      Of course, our initial move to Guimaras was no picnic. After over two years of living with my mother-in-law, we made the move to nearby Panay Island and lived in Iloilo City, before moving back to Guimaras.

      Thanks to our friend, The Tom Cat, and the local chapter of Catholic Sisters, we’ve been enjoying life at our new location, “The Farm,” and my mother-in-law is in Manila with her favorite, her oldest son.

      Yes, years ago I did see that Tom Hanks flick, “The Money Pit,” with a date whose name I cannot recall. At times, it seems that is sometimes the case with our new home construction, but it looks like we will finally be moving into our new digs in July.

  2. Dave,
    The coral really looks beautiful. The boat ride looks nice and relaxing, but I know you much rather stay with lolo than be on the boat lol.

  3. the price is pretty decent if you rent the boat service from from the guys down at the end of the cove, maybe cheaper if you find a boat moored up next to the beach and the owner wants to make some cash. The cost to rent from the cove guys is 500php for the first hour and 250php for every hour after that. The boat takes you to the different islands and you can get off and picnic or if you like to snorkel such as I do they will take you to some decent places that still have coral so they tell me. The price is cheap if you get a few expats to join in. If guimaras promotes itself and establishes the white sand beach front it could become a little more or a lot more touristy but for now its still an unknown to most foriegners. Can you imagine a large name hotel next to raymen beach resort complete with ride service from Jordan wharf.I did find that when you snorkel around the coastline going south there are numerous large hidden coves which would be perfect for beach hotels totally secluded from anyone. Also for you people whom like to snorkel there is decent snorkeling 2 coves south of raymen beach cove, there is ample fish and coral to see but be sure you have fins so you can make good time as I did and a long sleeve dive skin so you don’t get sun burn. Anyone local or coming to visit and want to snorkel tell dave and he can get a hold of me and I will take you out snorkeling.

    1. Thanks for the info, Scott B. Melinda paid 500 pesos for the first hour from the Island Hoppers stand at Raymen but you have to schedule your tour that day. Melinda said the rate is good for 10 people and the cost is P150 for each additional hour. I should have put that info in the article but I didn’t confer with the “boss” before I wrote it. I got off my fat butt and walked outside to gather this info. I was no where in sight when the boat was rented so if you get 500 a boat, too, Scott, it sounds like you weren’t charged the “skin tax.”

      As Scott mentioned, Guimaras could really help it’s tourism if he promoted it’s snorkeling and coral reef coves. But now the local government is touting Guimaras as the bicycle capital of the Philippines. We now have to contend with groups of cyclists that ride four or five across on the main road and don’t get out of the way for any vehicles.

      Yep, if anyone wants to go snorkeling just leave a comment and I will contact Scott. He’s a good swimmer. I can’t swim or even float.

  4. Dave,
    Garlic Happy Nuts Are The BEST And I Really Really Miss Them !!

    No Happy Nuts In Florida

    Fearless Frank fron Florida

    1. Great to hear from you, Fearless Frank from Florida. We missed you at Manggahan this year.

      Well, I’ve never been to Florida but do you mean to tell me that no one there has happy nuts? 🙂

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