Iloilo-Guimaras: On A Budget (Part 2)

Posted: September 20, 2012 in Blog, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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Iloilo-Guimaras: On A Budget (Part 2)
Traveling Around should not be Expensive
ITLOG_No. 15
(05-10.07.2012)

Waking up to the fresh smell of sea water, we prepared our scheduled island hopping around nearby Guimaras Island which we booked the day before, hopping on the boat we headed first for SEAFDEC/AQD at around 0615hrs.

SEAFDEC/AQD was established in 1973 to conduct research, develop technologies, disseminate information, and train people in the farming of fishes, crustaceans, mollusks, and seaweeds for food, livelihood, equity, and sustainable development.
The Philippines, as host, provides AQD the physical facilities and the funds for operations and the salaries of researchers, scientists, and service personnel. The Philippine Technical and Administrative Committee (PTAC) for SEAFDEC is a special committee of the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. PTAC oversees the operations of AQD.
AQD works closely with various universities, fishery schools, and government agencies in the Philippines. AQD also has strong linkages with foreign research and academic institutions and international agencies.

In 2006, AQD opened its Mariculture Park at its Igang Marine Station in Guimaras to the private sector. Commercial production was mostly for abalone and milkfish. At present, sediment and water quality around the mariculture area are regularly being monitored to ensure environmental integrity.

Here is where we saw a fish (Lapu-Lapu) as big as a scooter, which would scoop up fishes thrown to it with its gaping mouth, and Abalone hatchery (where they sell abalone too), other fishes like Bangus as big as my thighs, Pampano and others. We were toured around by the guard on duty named Jonathan, because it was still too early for the regular employees but he know is way and explains everything in detail.

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Next islands that we visited were the islands of Ave Maria (owned again by the Lopez Clan), Turtle Island, where turtles returns and lays eggs on the beach, Baras Island (owned by the Ayala’s), and we even entered a small cave where there were lots of bats. We even toured the other Islands, which we could not go near because it was privately owned. We even got to see an island owned by a nun, which in the Philippine law could not own a property (well only in the Philippines).

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We headed back to Raymens Beach Resort at 0939hrs and ate our breakfast, after which, we prepared our things and waited for our guide to take us back to Jordan Port and to buy Mangoes along the way.

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We were picked up by Mai around 1200hrs and headed for San Miguel to buy fresh Mangoes to bring back home, but along the way, one of the tires of his trike and we had to pass by a shop to fix his flat tire, heading for the store we got 2 boxes of fresh green Mangoes then we headed for Jordan port for our trip back to Iloilo. Saying our thanks and goodbyes, we boarded the ferry and by the time it was full we headed to Ortiz Wharf, where we got off and then took a ride going to Ong Bun Pension House where we checked in our bags. Feeling hungry by this time, we took a ride going to a famous place here in Iloilo called Tatoy’s Manuka and Seafood Restaurant.

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Built in the 70’s by Honorato Tiburan Espinosa, Tatoy’s started only as a nipa shack with three tables tucked in a corner across from the beach. Because he was a fisherman, Honorato (Tatoy) harness his knowledge if the sea to source only the best and freshest seafood for his customers – and prepared these with the honesty and simplicity of an instinctive cook.

When the word of mouth spread, the place become deluged with customers, and Tatoy’s was on its way to becoming the venerable institution it now is, with a beach front property that includes an indoor dining room, an outdoor pavilion and a convention hall. Although eight of his nine children help in the restaurant (the other one runs a separate restaurant named Nes and Tats), Tatoy and his wife are still active in the day-to-day operations. Often he can be found wiping a table clean or even serving the customers himself.

Here we ordered Oysters, Grilled Fish (Managat), Grilled Liempo, Fresh Green Mangoes and Lato (Seaweeds) and for dessert, Ripe Mangoes. After lunch, we took the jeep (Villa-Baybayin) back to the city proper and headed for Iloilo Museum, where we took our time going around and learning about the displays which were mostly replicas and the original pieces we said to be in the National Museum in Manila (which we visited some time ago but did not see it there).

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An impressive collection of Iloilo’s cultural heritage which includes stone age native pottery; fossils; jewelry; burial sites; trade pottery from China, Annam and Siam; era photos. Mementos and war relics; a British sunken ship; Spanish-era Filipino sculpture; and modern art done by Ilonggo artists and craftsmen.

Museo Iloilo, the first gov’t sponsored museum outside Metro Manila, was designed by Ilongo architect Sergio Penasales.

Museo Iloilo’s permanent exhibit covers the cultural history of Western Visayas from prehistory to contemporary history. Inside is the carbon-q4 dated fossils, the swords and spears of the Mondo tribe of Panay, and the permanent exhibit showing an Ati family.

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After the museum, we headed back to Ong Bun Pension House and rest for the night. For tomorrow we will be traveling to Miag-ao, and visit one of the Baroque churched listed in the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Waking up a little bit late, we prepared our selves for our trip to Miag-ao. We took the Baluarte Jeep and headed for super where we took a jeep going to Miag-ao, which costs Php50.00. arriving at Miag-ao, we heard mass first at Miag-ao church, then ate breakfast at a small eatery, we then headed back to the church where we took photos of Miag-ao Church.

Miag-ao Church (also known as the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva) in the town of Miagao, Iloilo is an Augustinian-built baroque church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between 1787 and 1797, its fortress-like design suggests its dual purpose as a place of worship and as a fort used in defending the town against moro raiders.

Miag-ao’s first parish church, was constructed near the Tumagbok River in Ubos by Nicolas Pangkug, the first town capitan (equivalent to today’s town mayor). It was completed three years before the first assignment of a Spanish priest in Miag-ao, consequent to the creation of the Miag-ao parish on 15 May 1734. The first church was burned by Muslim pirates, in 1741.
The second church was constructed on the same site in 1747 under the guidance of the parish priest, Fray Fernando Camporedondo. This was also burned and looted by pirates in May 1754.
Construction of the present church began in 1787 while Fray Francisco M. Gonzales, O.S.A. was the parish priest of the town and Domingo Libo-on was gobernadorcillo. It was completed in 1797. It served as fortress against Muslim raiders. During the revolution, the church was 1898 destroyed and subsequently rebuilt. It was damaged again by earthquake in 1948. Restoration was completed in 1962. Under Archbishop Jose Ma. Cuenco, Parish Priest Fernando S. Javillo and Mayor Dioscoro Mueda.
By virtue of P.D. 260, 1 August 1973 as amended by P.D. 375, 14 January 1974, this church was declared as a National Landmark. In 1994, it was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Sites.

Miag-ao Church exhibits various architectural designs, with the predominance of baroque and local artistic elements. Its facade employs diverse relief motifs, and period styles. These are carved on local carbonaceous limestone of soft yellow ochre color.
The adobe used in building the church is made from silt and clay that can only be found in this part of Iloilo, giving the building a unique warm-yellowish glow. Flying buttresses from the side of the church walls are typical of the “earthquake baroque” design reminiscent of churches in Ilocos, particularly Panay Church and Vigan Cathedral. The church’s simple interior is highlighted by a striking gold-plated retablo.
In Baroque-Romanesque style, the church sinks six meters deep into the ground with walls one-and-a-half meters thick and buttresses three times thicker. A heavy frieze and decorative balusters separate the first level from the second as well as the integrated pediment. Columns flank the arched entrance and the lateral sections. The facade has a very subdued vertical movement, mostly overwhelmed by the sweeping horizontal curves and arched portals and saints’ niches. The strong horizontal movement of the first level is contrasted by the sharp rise of the pediment. The whole structure, is flanked by massive bell towers, that almost resemble medieval castle towers. The two structures are dissimilar in design because they were commissioned by two different Parish Priests.

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After taking photos of the Church, we took the Jeep back to the city proper and went down at Robinson’s Mall where we ate halo-halo because of the hot weather. Then I walked around Iloilo taking photos of what ever I could.

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The next day would just be lazing around all morning, ate lunch at a fast food area then bought more souvenirs to bring back home. Went back to Ong Bun to pack our bags and rested a bit, then went out for an early dinner at Deco’s La Paz Bachoy, which tasted salty to me (I would prefer Ted’s La Paz Bachoy) and then had halo-halo at Chowking.

Back to Ong Bun to rest for the night because of our early flight the next day. Waking up around 0300hrs to prepare for our trip and by 0400hrs we took a cab going to the airport, arriving there early, and the airport still closed. After checking in our bags, we headed for the departure area and waited for our flight back to Manila which left at around 0600hrs, arriving in Manila at 0710hrs and headed for home to rest.

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This was a trip worth going to, with a small budget that we spent going around Iloilo and Guimaras. After arriving in Manila, I saw that we have not gone to another church near Miag-ao, which is the San Joaquin Church… well maybe on our next trip back to Iloilo.

Till the next trip… HAPPY TRAILS!!!

Thanks to:

Marvin Tanutan (Mai)
09236389891

– for being our guide in Guimaras, and showed as around the place.

All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

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