Guimaras is one of the exotic islands in
the Philippines. The originally its name was Himal-us but
was changed to Guimaras after the folktale of the lovers named
Princess Guima and the slave Aras, who defied tradition for
their romance. The island was once a sub-province of Iloilo
but by virtue of R.A. 7160 it was proclaimed a regular province
on May 22, 1992.
The province is basically agricultural, with
palay, coconut, mango, vegetables, livestock, poultry, and
fishing as major products. Likewise, the major industries
in the island are tourism, fruit processing, coconut processing,
handicrafts making, mining, and lime production.
People and Culture
The people of Guimaras are considered as
Ilonggo and their languages are Hiligaynon and Kinaray-a as
it was once a sub-province of Iloilo. Hiligaynon is the major
language spoken although the people can understand and speak
Tagalog and English. Many foreigners are known to own big
lands, ships and major businesses. Many Indians are known
to have the biggest lands in Guimaras.
southwest of Panay, Guimaras is separated physically from
Iloilo by a narrow channel, which takes about fifteen minutes
to cross by pumpboat from the Ortiz landing on Iloilo to Jordan.
There are two other ways to get there, the Parola wharf in
Iloilo to the municipality of Buenavista. The Parola wharf
is used exclusively when ever the water is rough. There also
is a roll on roll off (RORO) ferry that travels around five
times a day and is used by the Iloilo bicycle clubs on Sunday
to travel to Guimaras.
Geologists opine that the island formed one landmass with
Panay in the past. Guimaras was formerly known as Himal-us
Guimaras is also famous for its beaches. Clear blue waters,
white sand and marine life rivals that of Boracay.Commonly
visited ones are at Roca Encantada, ALubihod and Puerto del
Climate - Guimaras has a tropical climate
with dry season during the months of November to April and
rainy or wet season from May to October.
handicraft, food processing, agriculture, and fishing are
the major industries of Guimaras. It has scenic and magnificent
white sand beaches and island coves. It has the best diving
site with its splendid coral reefs and marine life, which
are impressing to the sight. The island is also famous for
handicrafts like woven “buri” bags, mats, hats,
and baskets. It is also famous for its lime industry, mining
industry, fruit processing industry, and coconut industry.
Guimaras is home of the famous and the best
export-quality mangoes in the Philippines. Mango plantations
with golden fruits are scattered in the island. Aside from
mangoes, kalamansi and cashew nuts are also abundant. Moreover,
the seas of Guimaras teem with fresh fishes, shellfishes,
and lobsters. Guimaras also produces a variety of fresh vegetables
and fruits, orchids, and root crops.