|Province of Guimaras|
Map of the Philippines with Guimaras highlighted
|Region||Western Visayas (Region VI)|
|Founded||May 22, 1992|
|• 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|
|• Rank||73rd out of 81|
|• Density||270/km2 (700/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||28th out of 81|
|• Independent cities||0|
|• Component cities||0|
|• Districts||Lone district of Guimaras|
|Time zone||PHT (UTC+8)|
|ZIP code||5044 to 5048|
|ISO 3166 code||PH-GUI|
|Spoken languages||Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, Ati, Tagalog, English|
Guimaras [ɡimaˈɾas] 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. Geologists[who?] 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.
About 1581, Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa, Spanish governor and Captain-General of the Philippine Islands, established a settlement in Guimaras for the purpose of the Christianising the island's natives. He and his subordinates organized the pueblicitos or villages of Nayup under the 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 Jesuits, after which the Dominican order took over Guimaras. The Jesuits, who had established a school in Iloilo and had missions in Molo and Arevalo, charge of the island. By 1755, it was organized into a regular parish. When the population increased considerably, the island was given its municipal status with a seat of government at Tilad (today Buenavista).
American Era and the Second World War
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.
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.
Post-independence and provincial status
Guimaras first gained its status as a sub-province of Iloilo by virtue of R.A. 4667, 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.
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, 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. 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.
|Population census of Guimaras|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
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.
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. Guimaras' largest event of the year is the Manggahan Festival (the Mango Festival). The variety of mangoes produced are also best for making dried mangoes, jam and other delicacies.
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)
Guimaras is subdivided into 5 municipalities:
|Area (km²)||No. of
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- Official map of province. Province of Guimaras
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- Alexander R. Bautista. "The hidden jewel that is Guimaras". Manila Standard Today.
- Stefanie. "Journey of a lifetime". blogspot.
- "Philippine Mangoes Naihain na sa White House at Buckingham Palace". GMA News.
- "Manggahan Festival". guimaras.gov.
- "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.
- "Province: Guimaras". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Guimaras.|
|Iloilo / Santa Ana Bay (Panay Gulf)||Guimaras Strait / Negros Occidental|