To compliment my previous post on Visita Iglesia churches, I thought I’d share with you my Guimaras Island trip last January.
If you’re going to Guimaras Island, you’d have to go take a boat from Parola (to get to Buenavista) or Ortiz Port (to get to Jordan). Tourists typically take the Jordan Port route which is a 10-minute ferry ride from Iloilo City.
From afar, one of the very first thing you’ll notice on Guimaras Island is the large cross on top of it. It’s actually the Ave Maria Purisima Shrine located on top of Balaan Bukid Hill in Jordan.
If you want to visit the “Guimaras Island Cross”, then you’d have to do a 45-minute trek to the top. Be sure to bring drinking water with you as the trip can be exhausting.
Walking the path, you’ll notice the 14 Stations of the Cross along the estimated two-mile road. During Holy Week, this path becomes a pilgrimage site for Catholic devotees.
A reenactment of the Passion of Christ is performed here during Good Friday called Ang Pagtaltal sa Guimaras.
When you reach the top, you’ll first be greeted by the Ave Maria Purisima Shrine Chapel.
Don’t forget to go inside and say a little prayer to Mama Mary.
A few meters away, you’ll see the Guimaras cross.
This photo is the closest one I could take. I don’t know if anybody can just go up there beside it. I did try though, but the stairway gate leading up was locked so I just assumed it was off limits.
So I just looked out to Iloilo City and admired the view from the top. Truly a breath taking sight.
Going down the hill is easier. And when you finally finish the trek, you’ll surely get that good sense of accomplishment and satisfaction – which should be because what you did is definitely not a simple walk in the park.
And that’s it. So the next time you’re in Guimaras Island, don’t just hang out at the beach. Try to challenge yourself and do this pilgrimage to Ave Maria Purisima Shrine.
So you can then reward yourself with a Mango Shake – the best and must-try drink you should order when on the island of Guimaras.