Guimaras Islands Philippines
Guimaras Historical Sites

Guisi Lighthouse (Ruins), Guisi, Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
It was built by the Spanish government in 1894 -1896 as part of the Master Plan for the lighting of the Maritime Coasts of the Philippine Archipelago. The plan was aimed at lighting the Philippine Seas and channels to guide ships in and through the most important sea channels to the ports of Manila, Iloilo, and Cebu. Known as Faro de Punta Luzaran, the lighthouse served as a navigational aid to the fishermen and sailors cruising Panay Gulf. While the original lighthouse is no longer operational a new one has been built by the Philippine Coast Guard.

This station is on Guimaras Island marking the southern entrance to Iloilo in Panay. The lighthouse, a 17.5 m (58 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower, was completed in 1896. It appears similar to the Cabo Bojeador and Cabo Engano lights. The entire light station is in ruins; the lantern is gone from the tower and the roof is gone from the 1-story stone keeper’s house.

At some time after 1920, the light was replaced by what the current list describes only as 38 ft (11.5m) hourglass-shaped metal tower. Painted white, focal plane 34 m (111 ft), white flash every 15 s. no lantern.

Number 12 lighthouse is listed in the 27 major Spanish Lighthouses of the Philippines (in the order listed by Faros Espanoles de Ultramar).

MacArthurs’s Wharf, Sto. Rosario, Buenavista, Guimaras
It is formerly known as “Buenavista Wharf”. It was built by Lt. Douglas MacArthur in 1903 while on duty with the US Corps of Engineers. It was near this place where MacArthur fresh from West Point Germany was ambushed by guerillas which barely missed his head and perhaps could have changed the course of history.

The pre-war era saw the developments of Sto. Rosario. A certain engineering brigade of America troops extended hand of channeling roads from Sto. Rosario to sprouting barangays up north-east of Buenavista like Ambulong (Salvacion), Calingao (New Poblacion), and Camp Jossman Headquarter (Supang).

The said engineering brigade was manned by Douglas MacArthur then 2nd lieutenant. They dug and raked mountains, dumped boulders of rocks and scraped hillsides. They eventually were able to develop a port and a road stretching to a mountain at the right side of Sto. Rosario linking it to Ambulong, Calingao and up to Punta Blanco (San Roque). Calingao would turn out to be the new seat of the municipality of Buenavista after World War II.

The existence of the roads and port was reason enough for houses to line up along the side of the road leading to the port (Punta Pantalan) and the population to grow ten folds. Even people from other barangays migrated to Sto. Rosario. Surely, the presence of American troops was a sight to behold and to enjoy. A new lifestyle was emerging in Sto. Rosario. Barter trade with American ships in the Iloilo straight is very busy and alive. The proximity of the place to Iloilo City was a come-on to migrants. People could easily sail by a paraw back and forth to the city and to Sto. Rosario and be able to savor the excitement of city life. They could watch movies in a theater, eat in a restaurant; and the prospects of the ports, that of Sto. Rosario and Parola and the other side; are promises of a greener pasture.

Punta Blanco Traget Range (Ruins), San Roque, Buenavista, Guimaras
During the American regime, in the leadership of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, there was a shooting range was constructed. It was named Punta Blanco by Douglas Mc Arthur; it was composed of three trails, one in Tinadtaran, in Nazaret and in the Supang located in Camp Jossman. The center of Punta Blanco is located in Mount Sulangon. The construction of Punta Blanco shooting range was started in 1909. They used it as their target range when they were free. Before they went to the said place, they gave a signal or warning to the people of the commencement of their activities. No one knows about the secret of Punta Blanco except Mr. Fernandez who was one of the caretakers of the place. Punta Blanco is estimated at 4000 square meters.

MacArthur / Camp Jossman Headquarters (Ruins), Supang, Buenavista
In 1901-1912 the Americans captured Barangay Supang. A US reservation camp known as Camp Jossman was established. It was composed of regiment of American soldiers and two (2) battalions of the Philippine Scouts. They were responsible for the construction of Sto. Rosario Wharf, Gen. Douglas MacArthur then fresh from US Military School made Supang as their headquarters. Many recreation centers were established in this place. However, in 1912, an order from the US high command came to vacate Camp Jossman and return to the US; all the structures then that were established during the stay of the American soldiers were all demolished. It is now being used by Water District of Buenavista as water reservoir.

Good Shepherd’s Fold Academy, Salvacion, Buenavista, Guimaras
July 8, 1946, the vision to establish a home for orphaned and destitute children had come. Philip Irabon, with the financial assistance from Fil-Chinese Mr. Edward Tan, organized the Good Shepherd’s Fold, Inc. A farmland was bought from the Adventist Mission in Buenavista, Guimaras where the Fold now stands. It offers elementary, secondary, vocational training, practical arts, & science courses.

Roca Encantada, San Miguel, Buenavista, Guimaras
A summerhouse owned by Lopez family built in 1910 on top of a huge rock. It overlooked the legendary islets of the seven sins or the Siete Pecados with the 18th century lighthouse built on one of the islet and at on the other side is the two miles beach area of El Retiro Beach Park. The National Historical Institute declared it as a historical house on August 14, 2002. This summerhouse was already renovated and reclaimed for easy access to the main land.

Travel Quotes:

When traveling with someone, take large does of patience and tolerance with your morning coffee. Helen Hayes

Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs. Susan Sontag

Common dishes

As with most Asian countries, the staple food in the Philippines is rice. It is most often steamed and served during meals.

Leftover rice is often fried with garlic to make sinangag, which is usually served at breakfast together with a fried egg and cured meat or sausages.

More details at Common dishes


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