Only a 15-minute, 14 peso (33 cents) journey to the Ortiz Dock at Iloilo City on a pump boat from Jordan Wharf on Guimaras Island. The vessels carry around 44 passengers and Coast Guard personnel are usually on hand at both docks to supervise. Each passenger boarding the craft is required to sign a log with their name, age and place of residence. Failure to do so can result in a delay in departure as the Guard will require boat crews to pass the log back to waiting passengers who did not sign. The pump boat will not leave until the amount of tickets sold equals the log numbers. I've been guilty of not signing off before if there was a long line at the log in desk and would have to sheepishly scribble my John Hancock along with other scofflaws on board who failed to do so. But with Iloilo City offering a lot more services and shopping opportunities than our home on Guimaras Island, my asawa and I often brave the sometimes choppy waves on Guimaras Strait. Been having a tremendous amount of rain and some wind that can really make the trip a real adventure. Here are some more photos of the Ortiz Dock. As you can see the steps are somewhat narrow for a big-footed Kano as myself. I've stumbled and slipped on more than one occasion, and I am always grateful for the crew members who hold out their hand to lola's (grandma's) and clumsy American expats.
Iloilo will soon be ready to start its multi-million peso Guimaras Iloilo Ferry Terminal project (GIFT) that will construct a modern passenger terminal in the area for commuters between Iloilo City and the municipalities in Jordan and Buenavista, Guimaras. Hopefully, the new terminal will have better facilities that many expats, tourists and the elderly need to easily get on and off the pump boats.
The new pump boat terminal will be located in the Fort San Pedro area and will also include the refurbishing of a one-hectare plus park abandoned by the local Rotary Club. As you can tell by these photos, improvements are needed and will be welcomed by many passengers traveling the Guimaras Strait. Though The Sainted Patient Wife and I plan to move to Iloilo City in about three years, we still be making frequent trips on the pump boat back to Guimaras. Anything that will make those journeys safer will be greatly appreciated, especially by this aging geezer.