Iloilo | Balaang Bukid Shrine - Guimaras Island

I'm here in Iloilo City for a conference, and one of our activities is visiting Guimaras Island. Guimaras Island of Iloilo is known for the sweetest mangoes which are actually meant for Export to other countries. 

From the mainland of Iloilo City, Guimaras Island is 15 minutes Motorized Banca (boat) away. The Motorized Banca ducks at Jordan, Guimaras where the majority of the boats are that crosses to Iloilo City. 

From Jordan Port, you will see the big cross up the mountain and some wind turbines like that of Bangin windmill in Ilocos Norte. Our activity for the say started with going up the Balaang Bukid Shrine. 

Before coming to Iloilo, I did not bother to do some research because I am confident that the group has prepared itineraries for us. And yes, I don't have any idea at all about Balaang Bukid Shrine, which makes the trip fascinating for me. 

Going up the hill is not new to me. I have been mountaineering quite a lot when I was younger. But I have to admit, that I am not in good shape for the climb. The organizers assured us that it is very much doable. To make it a lot easier, it would also be great to go through and pray the Via Crucis while going up the mountain. 


Bala-an Bukid is a landmark in Guimaras known for being a pilgrimage site of Catholic devotees, especially during the Holy Week. This popular site is situated atop Bundulan Point, a short peninsula jutting into the Iloilo Harbor, one of the safest harbors in the world!

Bala-an Bukid, whose Hiligaynon name when translated into English means “Holy Mountain,” is marked by a chapel and a white cross at its peak. The large cross, which is visible throughout the neighboring towns of Jordan and the City and Province of Iloilo, is the culminating point in a Holy Week ritual which includes the world-famous “Ang Pagtaltal sa Bala-an Bukid.”

Trekkers are rewarded with a scenic view of Iloilo City and Jordan, Guimaras once they reach the top. Also on the summit of Balaan Bukid, is the Chapel of Ave Maria Purisima and a huge cross, which can be seen as far away as from Iloilo City’s coast. The peak of Balaan Bukid is a perfect place to relax and reflect because of the serene and tranquil atmosphere.[Source: Discover Guimaras]

Pagtaltal is the re-enactment of the Passion of Christ held annually on Good Friday, and it culminates at the top of Balaan Bukid.  Re-enactors in full costume ‘parade’ up Balaan Bukid with one of them playing the role of ‘Jesus’ carrying the Cross all the way up the mountain and ultimately and actually being crucified to end the annual Pageant. [Source: Historic Philippines]


The experience was unexplainable. While I'm catching my breath and pushing myself up the mountain. I just keep on praying for me to reach the peak safe and for the rest of the members going up to reach the peak of Balaang Bukid. The trail is clear, and there are pit stops, yes the stations of the cross. It was like experiencing the sacrifices of Christ during the passion of the cross. 
#SfcPreIcon2017 delegates
And when you reach the top, it was like heaven. The cool breeze makes you forget how hard it is going up the mountain. 
Well, going down is another story. hehe


Planning for a trip to Guimaras Island?


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