Straddling the boundary between the islands of Panay and Negros, Guimaras Island is afforded with a superb location in the Panay Gulf. Renowned for its pristine beaches, wide range of accommodations and huge selections of activities, and the sweetest mangoes that can’t be found anywhere in the world, Guimaras Island is indeed the ultimate tropical destination.
Hosting a population of approximately 170,000 hospitable residents, Guimaras Island is more than just a tourist destination—it has a thriving community with an interesting history, incredible landmarks, and a great sense of environmental and agricultural responsibility.
Guimaras is considered one of the most pristine islands in the Philippines. Its original name was “Himal-us” but was later changed to “Guimaras” after the folktale of the ill-fated lovers, Princess Guima and the slave Aras, who defied tradition with their romance. The island was once a sub-province of Iloilo but by the virtue of R.A. 7160, it was proclaimed a regular province on May 22, 1992.
The province of Guimaras is comprised of a mainland and clusters of small islands and islets. The mainland dominates in terms of land area, about 98 percent of the total provincial area. The 42 islets, which encompass Taklong islands are utilized for marine research activities.
Guimaras is surrounded by a body of water in which Guimaras Strait comprises the largest of the western side of the island. It is the most important water body used for navigation. Large and small boats going in and out of the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras pass through the Strait, making it an important economic driver that facilitates economic activities for both provinces.
There’s plenty to do during your Discover Guimaras holiday. Enjoy a wide selection of island and mountain resorts offering an abundance of water sports and activities; visit historical and religious sites that introduce the dynamic and vibrant history of the island; experience different adventures via the ecotourism and agritourism sites; traverse in glowing freshwater caves, and participate in year-round events and festivals depicting the cultural heritage of Guimaras Islands.
Visit us and experience blissful blend of community-based rural tourism through our educational and heritage sites. Go island-hopping and sightseeing. Experience Guimaras Island’s laid-back culture by visiting our exciting agri-eco-adventure circuits!
About 1581, Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa, Spanish governor and Captain-General of the Philippine Islands, established a settlement in Guimaras for the purpose of the Christianising the island’s natives. He and his subordinates organized the pueblicitos or villages of Nayup under the patronage of Saint Peter the Apostle, and Igang, with Saint Anne as patroness.
Guimaras first gained its status as a sub-province of Iloilo by virtue of R.A. 4667, which was enacted by the Congress on 18 June 1966. It was proclaimed as a regular and full-fledged province on 22 May 1992 after a plebiscite was conducted to ratify the approval of its conversion pursuant to Section 462 of R.A. 7160.
Shortly after Guimaras acquired its provincial status, President Fidel V. Ramos appointed Emily Relucio-Lopez as its first Governor.
The province is basically agricultural with palay, coconut, mango, vegetables, livestock, poultry and fishing as major products. Its major industries are tourism, fruit processing, coconut processing, fish farming, handicrafts making, mining, quarrying , and lime production.
Guimaras is well known for its agricultural crops, particularly mangoes, where some 50,000 of these trees are planted. The Guimaras Island is famous for producing some of the sweetest mangoes in the world. Guimaras mangoes are reportedly served at the White House and Buckingham Palace. Guimaras’ largest event of the year is The Manggahan Festival (the Mango Festival). The variety of mangoes produced are also used for making dried mangoes, jam and other delicacies.