GUIMARAS, SHABU LANE? That’s what a headline in The Daily Guardian recently suggested. We moved to Guimaras, an island province in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, over nine years ago. This sleepy, provincial island, known for the sweetest mangoes in the world, is generally quiet and peaceful. While someone might occasionally get a snootful of too much Red Horse and stab someone, we haven’t had any major problems while living here.
TWIN TERRORIST THREATS inched closer to Iloilo City, a short 12-15 minute pump boat ride from Guimaras, the island province we call home. 40-50 armed rebels from the New People’s Army, NPA, a Communist insurgency group, raided the Maasin, Iloilo police station this past Sunday. On the same day a sister of the Maute brothers, a terrorist group, and two others were arrested near the Iloilo port. Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has placed Iloilo City on full Red Alert status.
Our recent trip from Manila was marred by tragedy: “Man Overboard! Our 2Go Cruise Manila/Iloilo.” Nine and 1/2 hours in to our 22-hour cruise back home, my wife suddenly called out to me: “Someone has jumped overboard!”
Are life jackets crumpling lawyer’s suits on the Iloilo-Guimaras pump boats? Did a court in Guimaras prohibit the wearing of life jackets in motorized banca boats to help the lawyers prevent this? With the recent tragic loss of nine lives on the Tawash, the Coast Guard is cracking down. At least for now. Crumpled clothes or not.