The Palayag Festival is a celebration done by the townspeople of Buenavista in Guimaras every third Sunday of January. This festival is abundant in cultural and tradition from the oldest town of the province.
The festival showcases different kinds of presentations such as songs, dances, and musical tableau that describe the multiple influences of the town. It is also celebrated to honor the town’s Patron Saint, Sr. Sto. Nino. “Palayag” marked a new footprint during the 2008 Buenavista Centennial Celebration. They defined “Palayag” as to sail through, “Layag”-using water vessel. This is indeed a Kinaradto form of sea travel.
Swift “Paraos,” connected Iloilo and Guimaras. In the 1850s, Iloilo was opened by Sir James Bowring, a British governor of Hongkong, as an international port. Negros then had no harbor for bigger ships, so they used Guimaras as a trans-shipment points to Iloilo. This gave an explanation why Jordan Wharf has the sugar bulk. While Jordan Wharf was prospering, Buenavista was still enjoying its sandy shore.
Dr. Jose P. Rizal stated in his diary in August 4, 1896, “Opposite Iloilo there is an island where the families go for picnics…. there are various vessels with foreign flags….” The land being referred to is surely Guimaras and the picnic place is the white sand, the “pasil of baybay”. “Baybay”(which is presently called Sto. Rosario), was the beach where sailboats from Guimaras Island daily bring in cargoes of fruit, fish and vegetables to Iloilo City. The same beach had been a subject for panting by an artist, Miguel Zaragoza (1849-1923), and being exclaimed “Buena Vista” by the Iloilo Spanish Gobernadorcillo. The present-day wharf was just constructed during World War II, the time of Gen. Douglas McArthur.
The beauty of the place as coupled by the craft of the people in miniature boat making was not just a culture by accident, but a culture rooted in the past. The natural beauty of the place and the economy of the town is dramatically boosted up by the swift and gaily “layag”-using sea vessel. Thus, PALAYAG is a festival of the beauty of the town and the hospitality of the Buenavistahanons which can only be experienced by other people if they will travel, trek and tour the places.
“Gani, dali na, PALAYAG ‘ta pa-BUENAVISTA.”
Here is a list of hotels and inns for your stay in the province:
- Shirven Hotel - San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
- Pine Haven Hotel - Islander Village, San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
- Small Wings Pension Inn - San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
- Miewa Pension House - Mclain, Buenavista, Guimaras
- OLP-Trappist Monastery Guest House - San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
- Guisi Heritage Cottage - Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
Here is a list of some of the restaurants, bars and cafes located in the city:
- NVDS Refreshment/ Tita Nels Refreshment - Mclain, Buenavista, Guimaras
- Gladys Refreshment (Carinderia & Videoke) - Rizal, Jordan
- Paul and Michelle Kitchenette - Rizal, Jordan
- Toms Place Bar and Refreshment - Hoskyn, Jordan
- Dans Batchoy - Rizal & San Miguel, Jordan
- OLP-Trappist Monastery - Located at San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras.
- Guimaras Trade & Information Center - Located at Pasalubong Center, Provincial Capitol, San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras.
- Immaculate Heart of Mary Enterprise (Contemplative Outreach to the Poor, Inc.) - Located at the Old Site, San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
- Guimaras Best Pasalubong Center - Located at New Site, San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
- Genned-Up Pasalubong Center - Located at New Site, San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras
Iloilo City is the gateway to Guimaras. Guimaras can be reached by air or boat from Manila via Iloilo City and by pumpboat in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental. The island province is 20-30 minutes by motorboat or ferry boat from Parola, Ortiz, Muelle Loney or Lapuz wharves in Iloilo City. Direct travel to Guimaras is possible by light planes, which can land at the Guimaras Feeder Airport.
Jeepney and tricycles are also available as a mode of transportation when touring the province from one town to another.
Please check the Guimaras official website for more information about the transportation schedules and locations.