Jun 19

Leaving RoRo at Dumangas port on Panay after coming from BacolodGetting from Negros to Panay Island had us first use the RoRo service which connects the major islands here in the Philippines.

It’s actually an easy and straight-forward process. You arrive at the RoRo terminal, buy a ticket for your vehicle, pay departure or port tax and off you go.

Drive your car, bike, tricycle or whatever vehicle you paid for onto a RoRo ship and you are set to make it to the next big island. From Bacolod on Negros there are several routes, but the most popular one is to get to the neighboring island Panay:

RoRo rules!

The whole trip was something around 400 Pesos. The RoRo ships from Bacolod actually land a bit further north-east, at an almost forgotten port called Dumangas. This one was established with the help (and probably money) from Japan, as was revealed via big advertising letters. A few kilometers to the west and you will reach Iloilo.

A lonely tricycle on the ferry from Iloilo to GuimarasIloilo is the capital and largest town on Panay Island.

Just south of Iloilo is Guimaras island located, a smaller island just between Panay and Negros – it’s most popular for its Mango fruits.

The Mangoes from Guimaras are mostly exported and even served at the White House in Washington or in Buckingham Palace in London!

Guimaras – Mango Heaven

I liked the mangoes here not only because of their sweetness, but they are also exceptionally smooth and practically melt in your mouth.

Ahhhhh – simply delicious! ;-)

Most people don’t know, that Guimaras also has white beaches to offer. We were about to find out.

How to get there? You guessed it! Via RoRo ship. This time one way costs around 300 Pesos.

White beaches are said to be found at Alubihod or Puerto Del Mar in the Southern part of the island.

Alubihod Beach on Guimaras IslandAlubihod Bay is the most well-known white beach and boasts a very nice beach – almost similar to Boracay quality. The sand is just a little less white and not so powdery. But the beach is still stunning, even during rainy season!

The waters are clear blue and you can swim to the surrounding smaller islands or take an outrigger boat for island hopping.

There is a Coin Videoke box and cheap drinks are offered also.

Guimaras – the next Boracay? Not just yet!

View from Alubihod Beach on Guimaras - unfortunately not the perfect weatherUnfortunately the 4 resorts, which are located at that bay, aren’t so great. They all offer basically the same room rates, which start at 800 Peso for a simple room with bed(s) and CR in the room (but no fan or A/C) while Aircon rooms start only at 1.400 Pesos or even 1.700 Pesos.

Note that there is no TV in the room, no hot water and breakfast isn’t included as well. The rooms are basic at best and some are pretty rundown.

Although all of the resorts had troubles filling their rooms now during rainy season, most were not willing to give any discount on the room rates.

Great views in the hills of GuimarasAnyway – as the weather wasn’t at its best – it was raining with only a few short breaks – we decided to stay only one night and drove off the next morning.

Somewhere I heard that in the north of Guimaras is a place called Rocas Encatada, which should have also some white beaches. So we drove across the whole island within just 2 hours. But same weather there also – and nothing to see far and wide of white, powdery beaches. No problem – back to Iloilo then.

Back to Iloilo and onwards…

The night was spent in the Riverside Inn in Iloilo, which was clean and good value for money (A/C rooms with Cable-TV starting at 800 Pesos). An early start into the next day should actually give plenty of room to explore and discover.

Little did we know, that this day should become the hardest day in the Tricycle Diaries so far…but sorry for now. You have to wait a while to read more about that in the next episode…

Tricycle Diaries – Repairs and Maintenance:

Some Welding required for the Tricycle – At km 570, some heavy potholes in the north of Guimaras took their toll on the frame of the sidecar. One of the 3 supporting front beams, which connect the sidecar to the ‘butterfly’ (the frame of the bike), gave way and broke off at its welding point. Luckily, a Welding shop is never too far away in the Philippines, so that wasn’t too big a problem. After finding one, 20 minutes and 120 Peso later, everything was fixed again and we continued to roam the island.

– At km 640, the sidecar wheel got stuck in a deep side-road pocket just in front of the Riverside Inn in Iloilo – when with a sad ‘plong’ sound a supporting rear beam broke. Another Welding shop fixed that in 15 minutes for 150 Pesos.

Tricycle Diaries Trip MapTo follow a more up-to-date version of the Tricycle Route, check out this Google Map here, which is updated more often, than the posting frequency at nomad4ever currently allows.

Also – new pictures are constantly uploaded to Flickr here, if a good internet connection is available. So far either Smart Bro 3G/HSDPA, Globe Visibility 3G or the Hotel Wifi Connection did their job pretty well. ;-)

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written by Chris

23 Responses to “The Tricycle Diaries – RoRo from Negros to Panay and on to Guimaras Island”

  1. DanNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Good stuff Chris, has to be one of the more unique ways I’ve seen a nomad using to travel around for a while. Guimaras Island looks like a paradise, will make a note of that one.

  2. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Dan, Guimaras surely has something going for it. It’s pretty laid-back and undeveloped, even rough. The Mangoes there simply rock! The people are friendly and supportive. I just wish the resorts would be a bit better value for money, but maybe that looks different when the rain seizes and the sun is out. :D

  3. CathyNo Gravatar SWITZERLAND Says:

    What you are doing is really really cool!!!!!!!! I would like to do that one day…but maybe on a 4X4..hehehe…

    One question: Are there still signs of the oil spill in Guimaras?


  4. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Nothing to see anymore of any oil spill. I heard that it was cleared already a few years back. The beaches are in pristine condition! And the roads on Guimaras are mainly (except the North maybe) in good shape also, so no need for your 4×4 yet, Cathy! :D

  5. LorraineNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi there! I’m following your travels in the Philippines. Great stuff! Well I also want to check out if you’ve found some place I haven’t too yet so I’ll have some new ideas to go to. :D Yep I’m that odd local who likes to explore the country when not discovering the rest of the world.

    Since you’re already in Panay Island, check out Antique, particularly the town of Pandan. A quiet fishing town with lovely beaches and zero tourist. One of the not so known destinations which I usually would like to keep to myself but hey, I’m all for your ultimate trike experience! ;-) I can help out with info, no problem. Happy travels!

  6. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Lorraine, passed through Antique already, we stayed 1 night in San Jose de Buenavista. From there arrived in Pandan only shortly before nightfall, that’s why no staying there longer this time, as it was still some way towards Caticlan. But there will always be another time!

    Currently on Mindoro (made it today from Roxas to Puerto Galera). Do you have any tips on what not to forget to visit around here? :-/

  7. LorraineNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Well it looks like you’ll be bunking down a bit to let the typhoon do it’s thing. I must admit I don’t go around much when in Puerto Galera because I’m usually underwater a lot and well, the nights are either getting dragged to watch bar shows or getting drunk (the things I put up with male friends!) I’m not sure where in PG you are now but if you’ve gotten tired of the beach and the sea hike up to the mountains and check out the waterfalls (Aninuan and the Tamaraw) or visit the Mangyan village (ethnic tribe).

  8. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Lorraine, you are right, it’s raining cats and dogs since last night. So it will probably be a few days of rest, which is a good thing also. If only there weren’t those constant brownouts…Tamaraw Falls already seen when arriving/coming from Calapan – what a nice surprise; after coming around the curve and you are suddenly just next to a 30m waterfall! :D

  9. MJNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi! I live in the Philippines but sad to say I haven’t been to Guimaras. Planning to visit soon though. Thanks for featuring our country in your blog :D

  10. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    MJ, Guimaras it quite a nice laid-back island, I’m sure you will like it! I noticed, you have a pictures of the Taal Volcano on your site, that’s were I am currently. Almost got the same angle for the picture, was yours at the Taal Vista Hotel viewpoint in Tagaytay? ;-)

  11. MJNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    hi! really? oh my shot was taken from Gerry’s restaurant in Tagaytay :D Have you tried the sisig there? It’s one of the best! :D

  12. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    MJ, oohhh I missed that one. So one more reason to return to Tagaytay some day… ;-)

  13. JoannaNo Gravatar CHINA Says:

    Hi Chris, nice stuff here.You know what, I was born in Nueva Valencia,Guimaras in an islet called Unisan. It’s very nice and very laid back..I have relatives all over the place though we opt to stay in Negros Occidental now.Nueva Valencia is the unchartered Edens of Guimaras because of their remoteness but really cool.Panobolon Island for example could be well compared to Boracay because of its long stretch of powdery white sand.Now i miss home!Wish I could go back home soon and visit my birthplace. I’m China now by the way..Goodluck on your tricycle expeditions. =D>

  14. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hey Joanna, I bet China is also very nice! There are so many things to do and see, I wouldn’t know where to start. Was only in Hong Kong a few times and visiting Beijing and the Great Wall, although before 1996. There must be so many changes!

    Homesickness is a good thing and reminds us of where we are coming from and why we are in a new country. Too bad I didn’t make it to Panobolon when on Guimaras, sounds like a cool, yet remote place to check out. So when are you going back for a visit? ;-)

  15. JoannaNo Gravatar CHINA Says:

    Yeah, I’ve been to Great Wall last February and it was snowing the whole time we were there which makes it so difficult to go farther.But all in all,it was very fun.I am currently working in Qingdao,a nice coastal city in Shandong Province.I may go home on December and probably visit Guimaras because we have some ancestral land to divide and papers needed to be processed.Well its an island property so I am planning to save and make my small mango farm coz we have some existing century old mangoes and lately it’s been neglected so I want to utilize it.Panobolon is remote and accessible only by boat and it’s very laid back and I guess there are very few foreign tourist ever went there.I remember though when i was younger, we are a host family to a peace corps volunteer from USA and we always go to Guimaras by “Paraw” or the local sailboat..We actually have pumpboat and sailboat..this is a novel already..lol

  16. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Joanna, I like your novel, hehe! Nice read already so far. How did you cope with the temperature differences, being used to hot/humid weather and then in the Chinese cold?

    And you will have your own mango farm soon? That sounds like the stuff of what dreams are really made of! I was thinking of going back to Guimaras some day during summer, when it’s not so wet everywhere, guess I probably missed the best parts due to bad weather. Panobolon sounds like something I should make a mental note of to then check out further…

  17. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Chris,

    If ever you are going to make it to Palawan in December, may be we can hitch a ride on your trike. Oh yeah, will be in Pangasinan tomorrow, Bicol next weekend- Northern Mindanao next month, then back in Luzon (Baler, Ifugao, Sagada (again)) October. Possibly either Batanes or Siquijor in November and Puerto Princesa, Sabang, Port Barton and El Nido in Dec.! Oh yeah, Kalibo (Atiatihan) and Romblon in January and Sorsogon and Albay in February. Game on?


  18. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Ryan, it looks pretty hard to catch you for sure, always on the run! :D I definitely want to make it again to Palawan (El Nido, Sabang this time), but probably without the Tricycle. The roads on Palawan are just not good enough, it would be too hard a punishment just to drive a few kilometers there. Come by here in the Visayas and you can have a ride anytime! ;-)

  19. CharviNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:


    I encourage you to visit and relax on an island off northern tip of Antique. The Municipality of Caluya along its coastal islands Sibato and Sibolo will give you the exclusion that you will rarely experience from most Philippine destinations. You get to enjoy dusk ’til dawn walk and photography. It’s white sand beaches and marine life are well preserved. It’s my hometown, not that i’m promoting it because i’m a local but because I also do volunteer work for the marine sanctuary establish early this year by Philippine Spotted Deer Conservation Foundation.

  20. JayNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    =)) Hello Chris! Bro your a cool guy. You got more balls than me traveling around on a tricycle hahaha. I been going some ghetto travel as well bro. We need to chat some more. Been in PI for 9 months now and going strong now. I been here since I was 23 and my story was similiar to your… 24 now..

  21. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Charvi, I left meanwhile the Philippines, but will surely return! Thanks for your recommendation – it’s noted – and hopefully I have the chance to go there during one of my next visits.

    Jay, glad you enjoy the Philippines. though I don’t know what ghetto travel is. :-/

  22. 6 Months Philippines – the Best, the Good, the Ugly » nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] This journey saw me visiting most of the main islands and regions, like Oriental and Occidental Negros, Panay, Guimaras, Mindoro, Luzon, Bicol, Samar, Leyte and […]

  23. Arnold SizonNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Roro is one of the exciting rides because you will be able to reach your destination immediately. This is commonly used when you will be going in Panay Island.

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