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One of my British friends on Guimaras recently experienced a nightmarish journey. Because Paul has extraordinary patience and fortitude, he recently endured a five-hour wait to reach Guimaras.

In fact, it actually took him 5 ½ hours to reach his palatial estate on our island province at 9:30 pm. Paul and his lovely wife were traveling the infamous Iloilo Strait. The ill-fated passageway was the scene of a tragedy at sea on August 3 which claimed 31 lives.

Brit Endures 5-Hour Wait to Reach Guimaras from Iloilo

Paul and Janeth arrived at the Parola Terminal at 4:00 pm. My British friend estimated the long line at the fast craft ticket office to be more than 500, possibly even a thousand!

Pump boat travel had been suspended due to inclement weather. Tropical Storm Jenny had been pounding the region with high winds and heavy rains. To complicate matters, the RORO, roll-on, roll-off ferry, wasn’t operating due to low tide conditions.

roro in guimaras

Paul, a senior, a year younger than me, was able to bypass the long lines but to no avail. Seniors have priority in the Philippines. However, No tickets were being issued at the time. It was another 30 minutes before he was able to secure a couple of tickets.

Some passengers didn’t arrive home in Guimaras until 10:40 pm that evening. The trip from Iloilo to Jordan Wharf in Guimaras normally takes 15 minutes.

The Storm Hits

Our niece, April, has been staying with us since this past June. However, she had to catch a flight to Manila on Tuesday, Sept.3. April was going to join her Mom and Stepfather and look for a job. She has an accounting degree.

April’s twin sister Michelle teaches at her auntie’s private learning center, Joyful School, in Guimaras.

In light of what our friends Paul and Janeth had to endure, I wasn’t looking forward to our trip to Iloilo City.

I awoke at 3 am on Tuesday morning. It’s my daily duty to boil the water to be used for our coffee. The dirty kitchen cook stoves, stoked by firewood collected on our premises, provides the fuel. While we have a LP-gas fueled stove, why waste the LP if you already have free firewood available.

our dirty kitchen and pump room
Our dirty kitchen

Then the wind and pounding torrential rains began. Tropical Storm Liwayway was slamming our region. I checked the online forecast. It called for a possible clearing after nine am. April’s flight was leaving at 3:45 pm.

We wanted to accompany our niece to Iloilo City. However, we first had to try and make our way to the nearby island. The pump boats wouldn’t be allowed to operate in the rain. Therefore, the fast craft and RORO would be packed to capacity. I had to make an executive decision. And fast.


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