Saturday, September 23, 2006

What is Guimaras?

Guimaras is an island province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Guimaras is part of the Panay group of islands. Lying mid-way between the islands of Panay and Negros, the island of Guimaras is a broad and flat plain with undulating hills. It is an upthrusted coralline bed that gradually peaks at the center. The narrow Iloilo Strait separates the island from Panay and the shallow Guimaras Strait separates it from Negros. There are coral islands along the southeastern coast of the island and reefs along the western coast.

Guimaras is considered one of the exotic islands in the Philippines. The original name was Himal-us but was changed to Guimaras after the folktale of the ill-fated lovers named Princess Guima and the slave Aras, who defied tradition for their romance. The island was once a sub-province of Iloilo but by virtue of R.A. 7160 it was proclaimed a regular province on May 22, 1992.

Guimaras is home of the famous and the best export-quality mangoes in the Philippines. Mango plantations bearing their golden fruits are scattered in the island. Aside from mangoes, kalamansi and cashew nuts are also abundant. Moreover, the seas of Guimaras teem with fresh fishes, shellfishes, and lobsters. Guimaras also produces a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits, orchids, and root crops.

Surrounding the main island are the islets of Inampulugan, Tando, Nadulao, Panobolon, Natunga, Nagarao, Naburot, Guiwanon, and a few others.

Guimaras is known for its splendid white sand beaches and island coves. The seas of Guimaras teem with fresh fishes, shellfishes, and corals.

Guimaras has a tropical climate with dry season during the months of November to April and rainy or wet season on May to October.

Hiligaynon is the main language of the natives although residents of some barangays in Jordan and Nueva Valencia also speak Kinaray-a. English and Tagalog are spoken and understood by the majority of the people in the island.

Guimaras is subdivided into 5 municipalities namely: Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo, and Sibunag

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