Sinukuan : A Blessed Tree | MaykExplores

Did you know a tree that has cross in the center of its branch? This is what you call Sinukuan Tree found in Guimaras where locals used to carve as an amulet. This is only gathered during Good Friday and believed that it gives luck and protection to a person who use or wear it.

There was a myth that when the Almighty came down from heaven, the tree bowed down in which the term Sinukuan came from the word “suko” which means ‘surrender‘. 

Keychain is available in Trappist Monastery and in Guisi Lighthouse.

Check this out on how to get there:

GCash Forest : The Unveiling Way to Help Mother Earth | MaykExplores

Who are in favor here to support planting trees campaign through technology? Without physically cultivating but by using your smartphone?

GCash is an e-wallet for electronic transactions like paying bills, purchasing goods and services, and sending or receiving money wherever you are. It is regulated by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. GCash is committed to add and preserve the forest by planting trees in Ipo Watershed Angat Dam located in Norzagaray, Bulacan.

Trees are known to defend us from natural calamities like flash flood and landslide. Aside from its benefits to the environment, some functions include providing oxygen, improving air quality, preserving soil, supporting wildlife, giving livelihood to community, and the most important is conserving water.
Number of trees in the Philippines is depleted to less than 24 percent from its original volume in the 1900s. As the population grows, the forests get fewer. This is alarming!

Here are steps on how it works to help plant and grow real trees through cashless transactions:

  1. Simply download the GCash app on Google Play or Apple Store.
  2. Create your account using your mobile number and undergo verification process to enjoy all the features of the app.
  3. The app features Cash In, Send Money, Save Money, Buy Load, GCash Forest, GCredit, Pay Bills, Pay QR, Bank Transfer, Request Money, Borrow Load, Invest Money, Pay Online, etc.
  4. Transact as many as you can to accumulate energy points (see table below for points.)
  5. Visit the GCash Forest to collect your green energy.
  6. Once completely reach the required energy points at 20,560g , GCash in partnership with WWF and BIOFIN Philippines will plant and grow a Yakal tree in your behalf, certificate will be awarded thru the app.
My first ever certificate and am working for more!
FeatureFunctionEnergy Points
CASH INAdd money thru remittance centers, online banks, convenience stores or over-the-counter.56g (online)
SEND MONEY (Express Send)GCash account to GCash account.106g
SAVE MONEYSave via CIMB (A digital bank)131g
BUY LOADTop-up your mobile with 5% rebate.106g
GCREDITMore transactions, more GScore, more digital Credit Limit.No points
PAY BILLSPay utility bills, cards, etc.253g
PAY QRPay the store or merchant by scanning the QR Code.No points
BANK TRANSFERTransfer amount to any bank with zero conveninece fee to date.131g
GCASH FORESTTransact thru GCash to earn energy in supporting Ipo Watershed.No points

Note that in order to earn corresponding energy points, you need at least P100.00 per transaction. You can also earn points by connecting your health or fitness app to covert steps and activities to green energy.

By doing this, you can skip the line, save paper from any transaction, instant and yet economical as convenience fee for Bank Transfer is waived by Instapay. Plus, enjoy voucher every top-up of mobile load!

GUIMARAS : A Home of Sweet Mangoes| MaykExplores

This sole island was once part of Iloilo and was independently made its way official as province in 1992. Also known as the Mango Capital of the Philippines and as the major producer of sweet mangoes that can be exported international with variety of products such as dried mango, jam, and other delicacies.

One of the major events, a month-long celebration is the Manggahan (Mango) Festival which held usually in May every year, a peak season of sweet and abundant supplies of mango.

Guimaras has only 5 municipalities: Jordan (the business center), Buenavista, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo, and Sibunag. It is one of the smallest provinces in the Philippines. It is a place of pristine beaches too and breathtaking yet greenest sceneries. Getting around the province is easy as below most and suggested destinations can last within a day via private car or tricycle.

Guimaras Day Tour Destinations:

  • Smallest plaza
  • Windmill farm
  • Holy family hills
  • Capitol landmark
  • The Pitstop restaurant
  • Mango plantation
  • Trappist monastery
  • Viewpoint for Lawi bay
  • Camp Alfredo
  • Guisi Lighthouse and beach
  • Alubihod beach

For off season rate (land tour only):

  • Tricycle – P 1000.00
  • Multicab – P 2300.00
  • SUV – P 3000.00
  • Aircon Van – P 3200.00
  • Habal habal – P 800.00
Delicacies available inside made from mango as main ingredient.
Check this link for Iloilo-Guimaras Itinerary and Expenses in 4D3N.

For island hopping rate, 1st hour will cost you P600.00, succeeding hour is at P200.00 good for 1 to 6 persons which includes the following destinations:

  • Ave Maria island
  • Turtle island
  • Baras cave
  • Lamurawan island
  • SEAFDEC (Igang Marine Station)

We notice that there were only few mango fruits while touring the island since it was November. But still we took a bite of fresh mango along Jordan road, ask your driver to drop you off where mango is available.

In fact, the famous pizza atop with real mango can be found at the Pitsop Restaurant located along Jordan road in Barangay San Miguel.

How to get in Guimaras from Iloilo:

Catch a ferry or pump boat in Iloilo Ortiz Wharf that usually leaves every hour. It will take you 15 to 20 minutes of travel for only P25.00 at night and P15.00 at day time.

You can contact Kuya Cherald at 0908-474-8122 or 0917-964-7934 for the Guimaras day tour and ask him some budget accommodation. We spent our overnight stay at Small Wings around Barangay San Miguel in Jordan for only P400.00 each.

Check this link for Iloilo-Guimaras Itinerary and Expenses in 4D3N.

GARIN FARM : A Soulful Journey in Iloilo | MaykExplores

And the angels welcome me. Lol

If you are looking for a recreational and yet heavens-like place, Garin Farm is a good experience to explore in the municipality of San Joaquin. The farm is an agricultural site that includes pilgrimage where the famous cross with 456-step upstairs along with nine biblical scenes (it’s like stairway to heaven) and some activities like zipline, buggy car, kayaking, swimming pool and fishing. You can enjoy the premises for only P150.00 as entrance fee except other activities available in a separate rate. If you opt to stay overnight, there are rooms equipped with full air-conditioned and WI-FI for single, twin, or family room. Check below rates.

Check this link for Iloilo-Guimaras Itinerary and Expenses in 4D3N.

How to get there:

From Iloilo City

It took us almost one hour from Mabini jeep terminal (beside Robinson’s) in Iloilo city (Molo, Mohon, or Arevalo are also commuters loading terminal) to reach Garin farm via sedan-like vehicle that cost at P70.00 per way.

From Carles

Ride a van at P260.00 or Ceres bus (usually, it leaves every hour) going to Iloilo city and alight at Robinson’s mall. There are sedan-like jeepneys that passing through Mabini street at the back of Robinson’s mall. Tell the driver to drop you off at Garin farm.

If you can spare free time for other attractions nearby, you can visit the UNESCO World heritage Miag-ao Church (one of the oldest churches with unique architectural design) , the Old Campo Santo de San Joaquin, the Anoy Rice Terraces and others.

Check this link for Iloilo-Guimaras Itinerary and Expenses in 4D3N.

ISLAS DE GIGANTES : A Hidden Gem in Iloilo | MaykExplores

One of the most spots in the province of Iloilo known to public 6 years ago according to locals is the Islas de Gigantes located in the municipality of Carles particularly barangay Bancal. A group of islands where some are privately owned. About three hours in getting to this popular destination from Iloilo City or airport.

Cabugao Gamay island is the most photograph among the islands with a bit rock climbing in order to view the stretch of powdered sand ending with a forest-like mountain.

Did you know that scallops are priced at P1.00 around Gigantes Island. Yes PISO! Huuuwaaat! That’s why after we had our island hopping, lunch was served in Lantangan beach including the wasay-wasay (a family of oysters) , whole-chicken binakol, dried scallops (served unshell) , and boiled scallops with local seasoning.

A sulit scallops in the island.
Partner with or dip in vinegar.
Eat all you can!

I let myself to eat alot of scallops during our visit since this is inexpensive seafood in Gigantes and yet overpriced around urban places.

Check this link for Iloilo-Guimaras Itinerary and Expenses in 4D3N.

We stayed at Ludy’s Pension House near Bancal gymnasium to easily reach the port for boarding and the Tourism Office for registration. Check their Fb page for more details regarding rate per room. Or you may book online as an alternate reservation.

You can ask assistance from Kuya Angelo at 0948-574-8047 to arrange your Gigantes Island tour for P999.00 only. You can also directly contact Kuya Toto who is an operator of a boat if you are looking for an exclusive group tour via his mobile number at 0910-124-0592.

For van transfer from Iloilo city bound for Carles, you can reach Kuya Patong at 0912-860-6959. We were fetched at Jaro early morning after spending our overnight accommodation with prior notice.

Here's a usual day tour in Gigantes Islands that includes activities like cliff diving, swimming, snorkeling, banana boat and others:
0830 : Meet up at Bancal Port, Carles
0900 :  Registration at Tourism office
0930 - 1600 : Isla Pulupandan, Tangke Enchanted Lagoon, Lantangan beach, Antonia Island, Tinagong Dagat, Cabugao Gamay, and Bantigue Island sandbar.
1600 : Back to Bancal port (end of tour)

Due to bad weather condition in Carles, we were not able to visit Tangke Lagoon while strong waves splash the limestone surrounding the lagoon and need to go back to the port as advised by the boat tour guide.

Check this link for Iloilo-Guimaras Itinerary and Expenses in 4D3N.