Holy Week 2018 @ Guimaras Island

Last Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, me and three other college friends headed to Guimaras Island for a day trip. We went to Balaan Bukid, a popular pilgrimage site during Holy Week. We also went to Tatlong Pulo. Guimaras Island is just one short boat ride from Iloilo City. I went with the same people from the Antique trip last year, and though some of our batchmates were not able to go with us, the four of us still had a great time.

It's my first time to go to a pilgrimage of some kind for Holy Week. Balaan Bukid has a huge cross that can be seen from Iloilo City, and it is one of the island's popular landmarks and tourist destinations. During Holy Week there are special trips that lead directly to the foot of Balaan Bukid.

As we climbed up, there were fourteen stations depicting the story of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. As I'm not a Catholic, I'm not really familiar with the traditions and prayers that they do on Holy Week. It was interesting to observe people and listen to prayers. People usually light a candle on every station, and there are vendors selling candles for the visitors. It wasn't that tiring as we paused for a while to pray and meditate on each station.

After the fourteen stations, we finally reached the summit. There were the small chapel and the huge concrete cross. There were many people at the top and I even saw some people I know. I found the descent more difficult than going up since I'm not really used to hiking. My last 'hike' was Mararison Island in Antique.

Here are some pictures below. I don't take selfies much, so I just post pictures of my friends, the landscapes, sceneries, and objects.

Station 2: Christ carrying the cross

Iloilo City in view

Pilgrims climbing up

The view of Guimaras island from above

Lighting candles

View of Iloilo City from the summit

A chapel with a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary

At the foot of the cross
After Balaan Bukid, we went to Jordan and ate lunch in the original The Pit Stop restaurant which serves the famous "Mango Pizza." They also have a more accessible branch for Ilonggos in SM City Southpoint.

Our next stop was Tatlong Pulo. The trip to the destination was arduous and rough, and we had to walk/hike on the way. We just hung out and talked for the whole afternoon and bought a juicy watermelon (which got some *jealous* glances from passersby). We went home by 5 in the afternoon.

Sea view

Perfect for a summer afternoon
I'm sure there's still a lot to see in Guimaras. Until next time!

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