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Province of Guimaras
Official seal of Guimaras
Region (Region VI)
Founded May 22, 1992
Capital Jordan
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Congressman JC Rahman A. Nava (LP)
 • Governor Samuel T. Gumarin (LP)
 • Vice Governor Vicente B. De Asis (LP)
 • Total 604.57 km2 (233.43 sq mi)
Area rank 76th out of 81
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 162,943
 • Rank 73rd out of 81
 • Density 270/km2 (700/sq mi)
 • Density rank 28th out of 81
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 5
 • Barangays 98
 • Districts Lone district of Guimaras
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 5044 to 5048
Spoken languages Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, Ati, Tagalog, English

Guimaras is a fourth class island province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Among the smallest provinces, its capital is Jordan. The island is located in the Panay Gulf, between the islands of Panay and Negros. To the northwest is the province of Iloilo and to the southeast is Negros Occidental.

The province consists primarily of Guimaras Island, and also includes Inampulugan, Guiwanon (or Guiuanon), Panobolon, Natunga, Nadulao, and many minor surrounding islands.[3] Geologists have concluded that the island once formed one landmass with Panay.

Guimaras, formerly known as Himal-us, was a sub-province of Iloilo until it was made an independent province on May 22, 1992.


  • History 1
    • Spanish Era 1.1
    • American era and the Second World War 1.2
    • Post-independence and provincial status 1.3
    • Guimaras oil spill 1.4
  • Demographics 2
  • Economy 3
  • Transportation 4
  • Government 5
  • Political divisions 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Spanish Era

About 1581, patronage of Saint Peter the Apostle, and Igang with Saint Anne as patroness.

Evangelization of Guimaras occurred around the same time the friars were making inroads in Panay. The Augustinians established the visitas (chapelries) of Nayup and Igang as subordinate to Oton, Iloilo. Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas, the 7th Spanish Governor-General, noted in a 20 June 1591 report to King Philip II that the friars of Oton made regular visits to the island.

In 1742, the island came under the jurisdiction of Dumangas – now known as Iloilo, until 1751 when the Augustinian Order was replaced by the Buenavista).

American era and the Second World War

Under American rule, the Guimarasnons were given the opportunity to elect their municipal president in 1908.[4]

Douglas MacArthur, a fresh graduate from West Point as a Second Lieutenant at the age of 23, came to Iloilo as the head of the company of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They constructed roads and the Sto. Rosario Wharf, presently named MacArthur's Wharf, which are still in use today. In November 1903, while working on Guimaras, he was ambushed by a pair of Filipino brigands or guerrillas; he shot and killed both with his pistol.[5]

In 1942, Japanese Imperial forces landed on Guimaras Island as the Empire of Japan began its occupation of the country during the Second World War.

In 1945, the combined United States and Philippine Commonwealth forces landed on Guimaras Island, attacking the Japanese and defeating them in the Battle of Guimaras, which led to the liberation of the island.[6]

Post-independence and provincial status

Guimaras gained its status as a sub-province of Iloilo by virtue of R.A. 4667,[7] which was enacted by 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.[8]

Shortly after Guimaras acquired its provincial status, President Fidel V. Ramos appointed Emily Relucio-López as its first Governor.

The province of Guimaras was originally composed up of three municipalities: Buenavista, Jordan, and Nueva Valencia. In 1995, by virtue of Republic Act No. 7896 and Republic Act No. 7897,[9] the municipalities of Sibunag and San Lorenzo were created in the province of Guimaras. The two new municipalities officially acquired their municipal status after the May 8, 1995 plebiscite held simultaneously with the local election.

Ernesto L. Gedalanga was the first appointed mayor of Sibunag and Arsenio Zambarrano was also appointed mayor of San Lorenzo. The temporary seat of government of the Municipality of Sibunag is at Barangay Dasal while the temporary seat of Government of the Municipality of San Lorenzo is at Barangay Cabano.

Guimaras oil spill

In August 2006, the Guimaras oil spill occurred. The 998-ton M/T Solar 1, chartered by Petron (the Philippines’ largest oil refiner), carrying 2.4 million litres of bunker fuel, sank 17 kilometres off the island's southern coast, contaminating 24 km2.[10] The Philippine Coast Guard called this the worst oil spill in the country’s history. According to officials, 1,000 hectares of mangroves were affected, including parts of the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve.


The people of Guimaras are considered as Guimarasnon and their languages are Hiligaynon and Kinaray-a as it was once a sub-province of Iloilo. Hiligaynon is the major language spoken, although the people can understand and speak Tagalog and English.


Mangoes galore in the Guimaras Manggahan Festival.

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.[11][12][13] Guimaras' largest event of the year is the Manggahan Festival (the Mango Festival).[14] The variety of mangoes produced are also best for making dried mangoes, jam and other delicacies.

Guimaras greenery


From Guimaras, a view of Iloilo City across the Iloilo Strait.

Located southeast of Panay, Guimaras is separated from Iloilo by the Iloilo Strait, a narrow channel which takes about fifteen minutes to cross by pump boat from Ortiz Iloilo to Jordan, Guimaras. Other ferries leave from the Parola wharf in Iloilo to the municipality of Buenavista, Guimaras. The Parola wharf is used exclusively whenever the water is rough and whenever there is a typhoon especially by the ferries from Jordan-Ortiz. There is also a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ferry that travels around five times a day but mostly it is used to travel cargoes such as hundred and more sacks of charcoals and root crops from Guimaras to Iloilo.


House of Representatives: Joaquin Carlos Rahman A. Nava (Liberal Party)

Governor: Samuel T. Gumarin (Liberal Party)

Vice Governor: Vicente B. De Asis (Liberal Party)

Political divisions

Political map of Guimaras

Guimaras is subdivided into 5 municipalities:

Municipality Population
Area (km²)[16] No. of
Buenavista 46,703 128.26 36
Jordan (capital) 34,791 126.11 14
Nueva Valencia 37,852 137.12 22
San Lorenzo 24,032 93.04 12
Sibunag 19,565 120.04 14

See also


  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Official map of province. Province of Guimaras
  4. ^ "Guimaras History". Islands Philippines. 
  5. ^ Clayton, James, D. (1970). "Volume 1, 1880–1941", The Years of MacArthur. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 87–89.  
  6. ^ "US Army in WW II". Robert Ross Smith. 
  10. ^ "Guimaras Oil Spill". 
  11. ^ Alexander R. Bautista. "The hidden jewel that is Guimaras". Manila Standard Today. 
  12. ^ Stefanie. "Journey of a lifetime". blogspot. 
  13. ^ "Philippine Mangoes Naihain na sa White House at Buckingham Palace". GMA News. 
  14. ^ "Manggahan Festival". 
  15. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Province: Guimaras". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 

External links

  • Provincial Government of Guimaras
  • Guimaras grabs tourism alternative
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