Himal-us: An Eternal Beauty

To see the world is a delight. To try new things is an adventure, and to explore new places is always a surprise.

I have long adopted the above maxim; and I am convinced that for every  big step in our lives–every adventure we embark on–a great deal of inspiration is required. Traveling is not an exception. Maybe, that is why I treat my travels, every random and planned trips, as a state of transcendental meditation, an emotional rush, an unraveling of hidden surprises. It is about connecting with the wonders and beauty of mother nature–leaving behind for a while the hustle-and-bustle life in the city.

A few weekends ago, my vagabond feet took me to an enchanting destination–unmarred by commerce–and bearing a folklore rife with love and sacrifice. Oral tradition narrates that this island, known to ancient tribes as Himal-us, owed its name to two star-crossed lovers–Princess Guima and the slave, Aras.

Rejecting the betrothal by her father to another nobleman, Princess Guima eloped with Aras on board a small craft. Fortune, it seemed, was against the lovers, as the calm waters became a violent, unforgiving sea–equal in intensity to the king’s rage–devouring the flimsy boat they were in… and right before his very eyes, Princess Guima and Aras slowly disappeared to the bottom of the dark ocean, lost forever but finally together for all eternity.

Bereaved and full of remorse, the repentant king lost grasp of reality and ran to the island’s highest peak, shouting the lovers’ names until his death: Guimaaaaaa! Araaaaaaas!

There is, indeed, something alluring about the tiny island subprovince of Guimaras. Everywhere you look, you are met with rich gems–emerald hills and mountains, lapis lazuli and blue sapphire seas, agate and citrine beaches–all under a sky that transforms from spessartite garnet to fiery ruby red in the summer.

Guimaras is also a haven for religiosity. I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t been taken in by the beauty of the green, rocky hill called Balaan Bukid (Holy Mountain), where the annual Pagtaltal sa Balaan Bukid is being observed every Good Friday. The festival is Guimaras’ version of the Senakulo, the highlight of which is the Pieta

Sadly, unbeknownst to many tourists and visitors, Guimaras was badly affected by an oil spill from the the tanker, Solar 1, which sank off the northern coast of the island in August 2006. Although no or little evidence of the spill is visible to the casual observer, and the beaches are seemingly back to their pristine best, it will take decades for the island’s mangrove ecosystems (and fish stocks) to fully recover. It it, thus, a testament to nature’s resilience that this marine turtle survive and thrive in Pawikan Beach.


You can contact (SMS or call) Lindon Monreal–at mobile telephone number 0948-9272661–in advance to arrange a tour that best fits your schedule. His local knowledge of the different sights on the island province is invaluable to independent travelers and backpackers.

About Seeing with Brahmin eyes
My sense of humor can be keen, sarcastic, silly or corny -- sometimes all at once. I enjoy meeting new people with no preconceived ideas about what or what is not possible. You get much more out of life by being open minded and willing. I'm an easy going, good-natured person who loves life and loves people. I'm both optimistic and realistic and pretty objective when it comes to assessing situations, events, etc. In general I am a very positive person and you'll usually find we with a smile on my face.

2 Responses to Himal-us: An Eternal Beauty

  1. Lindon Monreal says:

    sir tnx xa pag post ng # q maraming salamat po..malaking tulong po skin godbless po xa inyo…

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