Deluxe Accommodations in Guimaras for Manggahan Festival

Recently attended the 20th Annual Manggahan Festival in Guimaras.  Though an article from the Philippine Information Agency, PIA, reported the mango province is looking for hotel investors to invest in creating more accommodations in the province, we had some spacious digs at “The Compound.” “The Compound,” at my asawa’s home in the Jordan municipality we resided for over two years, provided our housing for the mango event.Nipa hut and sari sari store in Guimaras

Unlike a recent Saturday in our home at Iloilo where we were without power for almost 12 hours and water from MIWD, the Metro Iloilo Water District, only lasting a little over an hour, we had plenty of electricity and water in Guimaras. And the well water at my spouse’s residence is an excellent source of tubig. No need to buy any drinking water from any neighbors like we do in Savannah Subdivision at our Iloilo home.

My sister and brother-in-law, along with our two nieces and nephew, now live in the home my wife had built for her family while working as an Overseas Filipino Worker, OFW.  Alida, my wife’s sister, wanted to move their stuff out of the room we formerly occupied, but I insisted we sleep in the nipa hut in our front yard, where my relatives used to live (see photo above.)

I had slept on the couch when we visited Guimaras a few weeks ago when we were having problems with Lolo and his imaginary girlfriend, Pearly. (Cousin Alex, foreman of the “The Compound’s” construction crew, is incidentally now caring for Lolo, at Alex’s home in Ravina.  Last reports have my father-in-law being closely monitored by Alex, who is related to both sides of my asawa’s family. Thankfully we haven’t received any calls recently that he has been wandering alone at night in the jungle looking for duwendes.)

My asawa slept on the nipa hut bamboo floor (see  next picture) at that time. Much cooler. My father-in-law also was in the hut waking up at odd hours of the night and more incoherent than me after a night of too many bottles of Pale Pilsen.  Nipa hut floor

So it was a no-brainer to use the nipa hut. Only a ten minute walk from the Manggahan Festival. Though the Tom Cat, our American expat friend in Guimaras, had graciously offered us living quarters at “The Farm” where he resides, we opted to stay at “The Compound.”

I had never slept on a bamboo floor so I looked upon it as an adventure. My asawa put a thin vinyl mat on the floor and Lola gave us a couple of pillows. My spouse used a bed sheet to cover with but I didn’t use it. The overhead fan (next pic), though noisy, was cooling me off enough but not so much I had to use any kind of cover. The nipa hut fan


Could have opted to sleep on the bamboo bed in the next room (shown in the next photo) but decided that the floor in the room we slept in would be the coolest as the air circulated from the bamboo floor slats. 

Bamboo bed in the nipa hut


Actually slept later than I did back home in Iloilo in the air con. Much quieter in Guimaras even though I could hear the strains of the live bands from the festival grounds. I had hoped to stay awake long enough to listen to the musical groups in person but with some of the bands not starting until 11 pm, it was way past my bedtime. We did stay long enough one evening to hear a group from Iloilo City, “Sold Out,” and I’ll be featuring a story on them later along with some photos of their band (which included two pretty pinays.)

Nipa hut shelving

Above is an interior view of the nipa hut built by my brother-in-law Joery and neighbors several years ago. Joery has a sari sari store attached to the side of the hut now and had a steady stream of customers early in the morning starting around 5:45. My asawa and I were up at 5:00 and cleared out of the hut to make room for our brother-in-law’s business. His biggest sellers? Cigarettes, soda, ice pops and biscuits (crackers.)

Didn’t ask Joery if he was making much money with the sari sari store but he did make a trip to Iloilo to restock the store and spent P500, 12 US Dollars,  so I think he’s doing alright. The main source of the family’s income is my sister-in-law’s preschool and her tutoring.  

With the well right outside our nipa hut (to the left in the next photo), I could splash some water on my face and wash my hands after taking a pee in the front yard in the morning while it was still dark. Didn’t want to disturb my family in the main house and use the Comfort Room we had built there a few years ago. I would duck in the CR after everyone was awake and though the house doesn’t have running water now, at least I had a plentiful supply of water from the well to use. 

The well by the nipa hut

Deluxe accommodations in Guimaras for the Manggahan Festival? The price was right and we were among some friendly relatives and had a good time. What more could a person ask for?

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO" aka "THE CRUSTY OLD EXPAT." 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 18 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.

22 thoughts on “Deluxe Accommodations in Guimaras for Manggahan Festival

  1. We have a bamboo bed here in Tagum City. I like it very much. It is different than the one you show in your photo. It is woven bamboo and it great for my bad back. Still using just a fan to stay cool. Not sure I could afford the electric bill for air con. Saw the movie Iron Man 3 yesterday and I thought Meriam and I would freeze… The air con was really set to the low side. Brrrrrrr!!!!!

    Thanks again for the photos. I enjoy looking at them and how life is on other islands. Keep up the good work Sir Dave… 😛

    1. My mother-in-law in Guimaras sleeps on a bamboo bed like the one in my photo, Gary, but she has a woven bamboo mat on top of it. She refuses to sleep with a foam mattress, too hot for her. She does not use any fan but I guess she’s used to the heat.

      Glad you enjoyed the photos. More coming up. As always, I appreciate your support and kind words, Gary. 🙂

  2. Dave, you are my kind of expat living in the Philippines. While you know there are some major differences, and not all of them are good, you rarely really complain and the fact that you stayed in quarters like that and don’t complain is great.

    I get so tired of expats living in the Philippines moaning and groaning about EVERYTHING. Makes me sick.

    I lived in Sindangan, Mindanao in a house much like that and LOVED it! Some of the best times of my life.

    You just seem like a great guy and your wife is damn lucky to have you. And YOU…are even luckier to have her! LOL.

    I love articles like this…keep it up.

    1. Thanks, Todd. It’s amazing what a guy can adapt to, even an old geezer like me. I’m afraid my poor wife is the brunt of most of my complaints but I attribute that to my advancing age. I’ve run into expats, also, that complain about living in the Philippines and have to seriously wonder why they are still living here if they believe it’s so bad. Sure, there’s pro’s and con’s to living in “paradise” but I’m here for good. Beats working and the USD to PHP exchange rate has been improving a bit as of late, more icing on the cake.

      Thanks, Todd, I’m not sure how lucky my wife is but you’re right, brother, when you state that I am even luckier to have her. No doubt about that. Glad you liked the article.

  3. Dave,
    Its crazy that little Guimaras has water and electricity all the time, but bigger city like Iloilo has long brownouts and limited water in areas. I’m glad you had a great time with your family in Guimaras. Just counting the days now. Only 15 more work days. Been buying things and getting prepared for the move. Will start packing boxes this weekend. Let me know if there is anything Melinda, You and the kids want from the states. Take care

    1. Guimaras only has a 150,000 people on the whole island, PapaDuck, while Iloilo City alone has over 400,000. I guess that might have something to do with the brown out issue, I really don’t now. Iloilo talks about more coal plants going up to provide more electricity. Guess I’ll have to wait and see how that goes.

      The city where my mother-in-law lives had water pipes installed several years ago. The water delivery system for the town seems to be working quite well. Our area in Iloilo, well, that’s a different story. But I will say that the water pressure we had this past Thursday, one of our scheduled water days, was excellent.

      I did send a list of a few items we could use a couple of months ago but maybe you didn’t get the email. I will resend it. I appreciate your help and support and look forward to your return to the Philippines. Only 15 working days, huh? That’s great.

  4. Great pictures Dave. This is the kind of living I enjoyed when I would visit my great grandma in Mexico. Enjoying the company of family nothing beats that except the pretty girls.

  5. Dave,

    You better make the PIA aware of the “luxury guest house” you built their at the compound back when you were living their,might help out with the housing shortage their for us visiting foreigners when we come for the festival. Its all in how you present you it to the public. Nearby shopping (sari sari) free wake-up service (roosters) gourmet mineral water, live entertainment, fresh air, jogging trails (might want to skip mentioning the cow poop on them) and the limitless amount of other ammenities that am sure are their.

    1. We’ll have to consider renting that nipa hut out in the future, Bill. You bring up some good points that I could use in a marketing brochure. Probably smart to leave out any mention of the cow poop, however, as you suggested. I won’t mention the aswangs that hang out there or the duwendes a guy could accidentally pee on, either. 😉

  6. hi Dave,
    my papaduck, planned to purchase house and lot there in IloIlo
    but how if always no water and electricity services, and i also want to put up business there in iloilo… do you think by the
    year of 2014 there is no more problem regarding the water and
    electricity services. iloilo is one of the popular tourist
    destination of foreigners, hope the government officials do something about that shortage of water and electric services especially in summer time. have a great day.

    1. Hi Anne. Yes, PapaDuck told me about your plans to purchase a lot and home in Iloilo. That’s great news. Here’s the situation as best as I understand it. Some sections of Iloilo have water 24/7. Some parts of the city are on a different grid than us and have less brownouts. I have an American friend who lives one jeepney ride away and only has a brownout every two months and those only lasting about an hour. He also has a continuous water supply.

      We, unfortunately, live in a subdivision that lacks these basic necessities at times. Our new home will have a 24/7 water supply with a good well and a couple of big water tanks on the roof for a reserve source of water. We also plan to have a generator. I still recommend anyone check out Iloilo and consider locating here. New businesses are on the way and the future looks good. Look forward to your return along with the ever personable PapaDuck. Take care.

  7. Dave,
    thank you so much about the information, we also looking forward to see you and melinda again together with your family members..
    i want to see some beaches around guimaras and the city of Ilo-
    Ilo, especially i heard the popular Anne’s church in Ilo Ilo city.
    Give my Regard to Melinda. Have Nice day.

    1. You’re welcome, Anne. Melinda and I are both looking forward to your return to Iloilo. Lots of great beaches in Guimaras to show you. And we’ll be sure to take you to the Church of Saint Anne in Molo, Iloilo City. Many historic and beautiful churches to visit on Panay Island. Take care.

  8. Hi Dave,

    Is your part of the subdivision within the boundaries of Oton or maybe San Miguel? If that is the case, your utility companies may not be those of Iloilo City’s.

    I think ILECO 1 serves Oton and San Miguel, while PECO serves Iloilo City. About water in subdivisions, you are better off digging your own well for everyday washing, just like what we do in Metropolis. For drinking water, Jesus could be your savior.

    1. Neil, yes, we are within the boundaries of Oton and have ILECO. If we planned to stay at that location we could have a well dug but since we are renting and our landlord will not have a well dug, we’ll just live with the present situation until we move to our new home next year. Our neighbor has a well, but the water is muddy and not even useful enough for washing with.

      And you’re right, Jesus provides us with all the “holy water” we need. Nice guy. And, Son of Jesus, Mike, has been going out with our niece, April, who lives with us. Mike is a good kid.

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