Once again, a storm had an impact on our beach trip.  This time around, it was the lingering devastation of last year’s Typhoon Frank.  Broken piers and rock-littered shores greeted us.  On the positive side, it gave the island a more romantic quality.

Kupo Wharf, Brgy. San Isidro, Guimaras

Kupo Wharf, Brgy. San Isidro, Guimaras

Western Pier, Nagarao Island

Western Pier, Nagarao Island

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Guimaras had to endure two major catastrophes in 4 years – the Petron oil spill and Typhoon Frank.   But she survives, with an altered beauty but still charming, nevertheless.

The Journey to Nagarao

Nagarao is a private island, one of several tiny islands around mainland Guimaras.  Iloilo City is the gateway to Guimaras.  A ferry from Fort San Pedro takes you to Jordan Wharf in mainland Guimaras in less than 15 minutes.  From there, it’s an hour’s ride through narrow rough roads (with short stretches of paved portions) to Kupo Wharf in Barangay San Isidro.  Finally, it’s another 10-minute pump boat ride to Nagarao island.  Be prepared for really roughing it.  In the piers, expect to walk down steep stone steps carved out of a seawall and upon rock piles that resulted from a typhoon’s fury.

On The Island

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That is one of the first things you see upon docking on the Western Pier.  We were greeted by Helen Stummer, the owner of the island/resort.  She’s a typical Ilongga, very friendly and charming.  It turned out that we were the only guests in the resort.  Well, there’s the German, Hors, but he doesn’t really count as a guest since he owns a cottage there and comes every year.

There is no electricity in Nagarao.  The lights are solar-powered, and a generator is used from 6pm to 6am, so you could still have air conditioning in your room at night should you prefer to do so.  It is very quiet around the island.  The only sounds come from the wind (and it is very windy!) and the ocean – and the occasional chickens and insects.

The light gold sand is fine enough, and there are plenty of beautiful shells to collect.  It is not as ideal for swimming like Boracay or the other sandy beaches in the Philippines.  You really have to wait for high tide, and then there are the rocks.  Not really sharp, but slippery especially the moss-covered ones.  We were only able to swim on our second morning, since the first one was spent settling in and exploring, while the last one was spent packing since we had to leave the island by 10am.

It was a lazy vacation for us.  I wrote in an earlier post that I’m not looking for adventure on this one, and indeed, we didn’t have any – except for the journey itself.  It was heaven to simply wake up at dawn, watch the sun come up, eat scrumptious meals, spend the rest of the day in beach and around the island, read and nap on a hammock, watch the sunset, and have a good night’s sleep.

To be continued…

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