Our Last Resort in Guimaras


I was in a foul mood. Raymen Beach in Guimaras was already full. It was Maundy Thursday and the mango province dock was overflowing with visitors here for the Lenten holiday. My asawa and I had just arrived at Jordan Wharf to discover that our favorite beach resort in the Philippines was already packed.DSC

No one had paid heed to my advice that we should have left our home outside of Iloilo City hours earlier than we did. Now we would not be able to take our guests from America, Marilyn and Andy, to our first choice. I already had our multicab rented when The Sainted Patient Wife gave me the news.

The Philippines Tourism greeter had informed my spouse that Island Cove Beach Resort, or Alubihod Beach as it's known locally, was not fully booked yet. Gave our driver instructions to go there. The rate for the multicab was still the same as Raymen Beach, P450 (10.50 US Dollars), one way,  since our new destination was adjacent to it.

We arrived 30 minutes later at the beach resort entrance.  I asked if any nipa huts were available to rent for the day.  "None," was the reply. I looked around at my asawa and our guests and wondered aloud, "Now what?"

I made an executive decision to just pay the entrance fee, P20 each (Marilyn had already handed me a P100 note to cover it) and wandered over to the beach area to locate a spot for our party to land. We needed some cover from the sweltering sun. It was hotter than  Marian Rivera  dancing on a waffle iron. Marian Rivera Cosmopolitan Magazine Philippines April

I spied a Filipino middle-aged man speaking to my wife. He was poking around a covered area which had tables underneath. As long as he wasn't poking my asawa, I was OK. There were two unoccupied tables, and the Filipino was now talking to the lady who I had previously spoken with and told me no huts were available.

We were soon directed to one of the two empty spots and were advised we could rent a table that would afford us some shelter from the sun for P200. Why on earth the person taking my entrance fee did not ask me if I would like a table since no huts were availabe, is beyond my comprehension. I suppose you have to be very specific in whatever you ask for here. I hadn't inquired as to whether there were any empty tables.

Turns out that the Filipino man who arranged the seating for us was also our driver. I hadn't recognized him.  He was due to return to pick us up from the beach resort at 6 pm. He had overheard our plight and had stayed behind to help us out.DSC

I went out to the Island Cove beach and noted that it shared the swimming area as Raymen Beach. There was no physical separation aside from a line of buoys in the sand and water placed as the dividing line (see photo above; the swimmers you see are on the  Island Cove side. )

There weren't any personnel posted preventing someone from going to one beach to the next. But I would have to check out our favorite beach resort in the Philippines later as I thought it best that we head back to our table and order some food.

I went to exam the lunch menu and was disappointed to see that the prices were somewhat higher than the canteen at Raymen Beach. At Raymen, the servers personally came by your nipa hut to take your order and serve it promptly at the time you wanted to eat.

I realize that this was probably one of the busiest days of the year for this Philippines beach resort, but we had not cooked any food to bring along. We were at the mercy of the Island Cove Resort staff. My asawa and Andy soon joined me as we waited for a group of Filipinas in front of us to place their order. After standing around about five minutes, I advised The Sainted Patient Wife to please order me some BBQ chicken as I headed back to our table to join Marilyn.

I was drinking from an overpriced liter bottle of Coke (70 pesos) as we waited for our food to arrive. The Sainted Patient Wife was told it would take 20-30 minutes. I was OK with that. The beach resort was crowded, and I assumed our chow would arrive on "Filipino Time" anyway.

One hour almost passed by before one noodle dish arrived. My asawa asked if I wanted some of the food, but I told her I would just wait for my BBQ chicken. Ten minutes later some bowls of rice were brought to our table. That was it,  still no chicken.

My belly was growling for some food. But looks like I would have to wait. Now the server announced my meal would not arrive for another 30 minutes.  Should I just chill out and grab a bottle of San Miguel Pale Pilsen or search for some grub elsewhere?

What "executive decision" do I reach? Check out the next post for the conclusion,  chockfull of photos of the beach resort and the cute Filipinas (including my own asawa) frolicking on this Philippines resort, our last resort for fun that day in Guimaras.

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

14 thoughts on “Our Last Resort in Guimaras

  1. Nice trip bro, as you know you have to dig for information here, seem to me most help is very satisfied with bare minimum information and is painful to go beyond the typical yes and no answers, I have found this out many times shopping, its easier for them to say out of stock or not avaliable rather than to go the extra step and help you find the product but still love the PI and its people, just have to be self drivin for things and ignore most answers from the so called help, by the way with the minimum wages they recieve it would be hard for me to be motivated in their shoes.

    1. That’s true, Jeff, it is a lot easier just to say an item is out of stock and not be “bothered” by a customer. Happens here in the Philippines just like it did back in the States. And you’re right, with the minimum wage for most department store workers here only about six dollars a DAY, I wouldn’t be motivated too much, either. But that said, I have found that the workers in the SM Department store in Iloilo to be helpful the majority of the time.

  2. Dave,
    Maybe they still had to kill the chickens first. Beach looks nice. Marian Rivera looks nicer lol. Just drink a few SMB’s and cool out. nothing you can do about it. Hope you had a good time at the Mango Festival. Take care brother.

    1. Had a great time at the festival, PapaDuck. Just got back. Trying to catch up on my comments and the conclusion to the Island Cove story. New adventures and photos to share. Lots of good food, semi-cold beer and hot Filipinas (including my own asawa, of course.) 😀 Readers let me tell you: I’m living THE LIFE in the Philippines!

  3. So the driver stayed around to help you find a place to sit in the shade. That is nice Dave. That is what I find here in Tagum City. The folks really want to help. That is part of the reason that I live here in the Philippines. People seem really happy to help out. 😀

    Waiting on the “rest of the story.” 😛

    1. Gary, you’re right. Folks here go out of their way to help you. I’ve never had anyone refuse to answer questions for me and go the extra mile to help out. Another reason, indeed, to live in the Philippines. (And I’m working on the conclusion to the story. My “Red Horse” buzz from last night at the MANGGAHAN FESTIVAL and hanging out with some Peace Corps folks who love the Stallion has faded…for now.)

      1. Oh, the peace corps! I’ve been reading their blogs too but there’s no update on the manggahan festival yet. hope they have photos of you dave hahahah

        1. I don’t know if they got my mug shot, jonathan, but I’ll be posting an article about the event along with some photos in the near future. They’re a great bunch of people that I really admire. I’ll give you a hint, however. Our meeting involved a “few” bottles of Red Horse and one drunken or stoned Filipino guy I chased away from our table in my first confrontation after almost three years in the Philippines.

    1. Thanks, mate. Just got back from Guimaras today, Lynchie, but didn’t get close to any beaches. But I sure got reacquainted with my old friend, Red Horse, and “Happy Horse.” (more on the “Happy Horse” later. :D)

  4. Dave,
    You left us in suspense! By the way, when I was at the Asian Market in Portland this weekend they had in stock San Miguel bottles, so when I got home it was like being on the beach in Davao soaking up the sun and a San Miguel. Well, except outside it was cold, windy and raining, there was no beach and my wife wasn’t in the mood to put on her zebra stripe bikini, no matter I at least had a San Miguel!!

    1. I apologize for not concluding the story yet, Lee. Been busy soaking up some San Miguels at the MANGGAHAN FESTIVAL in Guimaras. Didn’t see any cute ladies in zebra stripe bikinis, but there was a tall ladyboy giving my friend Frank “the eye” in a local talabahan. When we saw “him” hours later on the Festival grounds, Frank feared he was being stalked.

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