Guimaras Island’s Best Kept Secret

Mar 28, 2011 by

Years ago, our friend Rhods Solis told us about this secret place she went to in Guimaras that is not open to the public. She said she had access to the place because she took some footages for a documentary that she was working on at that time. We listened to her stories of awe about this private inland wildlife resort and we had a hard time imagining that such place could actually exist in Guimaras Island Province (a 10-minute boat-ride away from Iloilo City). Little did we know that time will come that we will get to see the secret place for ourselves. And Rhods was right. It was a place that gave me the biggest surprise of my life. Is this really here all this time? The place is a pot of gold in a rainbow’s end. And too bad you can only listen to what I have got to say about it (with a few photos to support it).

The place is called Lumbija. Hush please.

Our team from Iloilo led by Kevin were invited by the provincial officials of Guimaras to handle this year’s Mutya ng Guimaras. I will be the choreographer of the show and the show will be directed by Kevin. As scheduled, we went to Guimaras yesterday to do the photoshoot with the girls. The location was going to be in Lumbija. Lumbija is actually the name of the barangay where the private wildlife resort is located. It is about 40 minutes away from the pier. The way to the main entrance is a detour from the national highway, so the off-road experience was rough and the road was single lane. The entrance to the resort reminded me of the film Jurassic Park, where a huge edifice that is rustic served as a gate. Beyond the imposing gates, our adventure officially started.

Lumbija is owned by a business magnate who is known as HGB. The resort is more or less 100 hectares — it’s a space big enough to compete with zoos of international standards. The collection of species number to about 170 and there are 1,300+ animals inside the wildlife sanctuary. Lumbija also has its own incubation equipment for breeding their animal collection. The structures are not yet completely finished, but based on what I have seen, they are putting up huge structures: a hotel inside a mega-sized aviary, villas, museum of antiques,  restaurants, gift shops, etc. Some only needed paint and it’s ready!It’s just utterly exciting! This being said, I’m sure HGB will open the park to the public once it is ready.

The animal collection is extensive. My colleague, Eman, even used cuss words to describe his feeling of extreme disbelief. Lumbija has everything! Tigers, pumas, chimpanzees, birds and cowls from A-Z, spotted deers, Galapagos, a cub (which will of course become a lion eventually), OHMYGOD! I was going insane! The park administrator told us that they are bringing in Elephants and Giraffes! What the?!?!?!

While the girls were having a shoot with photographer Paul Chiongson, I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the park. It reminded me of Night Safari at Singapore and the zoos I have been to abroad. It is the next HUGE thing, trust me. So while I need to contain myself from this overflowing excitement, you just have to wait until HGB and his team brings to the public their treasure called Lumbija.

The vast landscapes being done towards the main pavillion of Lumbija

Temporary cages until their free-roaming area is ready for their use

Peacocks! Lots of them! Inside a huge aviary!

Genuine pounded silver on the ceiling of the restaurant bridge

Getting ready for lunch with a breathtaking view of the park

Buffet lunch with the team (there were only 15 of us)

Terrace overlooking the private villas. Sosyal!

Fantastic landscapes and subtle structures that blend with the lushness of Lumbija. Hayyy...

One of the locations for the shoot

The main reception building

Eman, Kevin and Rupert taking some photographs (of themselves)

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4 Comments

  1. TrykezHighflyer

    OMG.. I so wanna go there… haaay, I just wanna ask from which Pier is it 40 minutes away from, Jordan or Buenavista??

    • bobby

      Sorry I forgot to mention. hehehe.. It’s 40 minutes away from Jordan… But it’s not yet open to the public. Hehehe…

  2. mabeck

    Temporary cages until their free-roaming area is ready for their use –> good caption. just in time before nag init akon talinga. hehe

  3. Haydee Geganzo Jimenea

    Can’t wait for it to open, am sure it will be a spectacular experience to be there and see it…

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