Isla Naburot is a small private island in Jordan, Guimaras. We stayed here on our second night in the Mango Capital of the Philippines and it was the best part of our Guimaras vacation.
The island is most accessible via Iloilo and loilo airport to Iloilo pier transfers cost Php 1,600. Boat transfers from Iloilo pier to and from Isla Naburot is Php 5,500. Since we were already in Guimaras, we asked to be picked up from Guimaras pier ((while the owners were fine with us doing away with the Iloilo airport transfers, they declined our request for our own boat to bring us to the island since they do not allow other boats to dock there). Travel time was about an hour, with scenic sea and island views as detailed in this post.
The island’s private dock has this old house, which set the simple but charming ambience of the island and the resort itself.
Isla Naburot had only 6 villas. Why 6? Because it was originally developed as the owner’s private piece of heaven, and each of their 6 children were assigned a villa each. While they opened the other villas to guests, they kept this lovely villa closest to the beach private.
By the way, the reason why they had a mosquito net is because there is no electricity in the island, though they do have solar power, but use is minimal, like in a day, we had power only from 8 AM to 5 PM. Still, there was a stand fan and an abaniko (native fan made of buri), which we didn’t even get to use because the sea breeze and our room’s thatched roof and wooden materials were enough to keep us cool. It rained too on the night of our stay , and it was delightful to be lulled to sleep by the sound of the rain sloshing against the roof.
This was how our bathroom looked like, with separate toilet and shower.
The balcony is my favorite part in our bahay kubo and you can easily see why.
The photo on the lower right is the bahay kubo/room nearest to the dock, while the one with the hammock was higher up in the forested part of the island. While it had no lovely views of the sea, it was the most private.
Aren’t each villa lovely? I loved the attention to detail, including the hammocks, and the unique wheel accents.
The food was the highlight of our stay. We were treated to a feast of the freshest seafood (fish, mussels, crabs, squid, etc), salads, and fruits. And the mangoes were divine! Meals were served at the main hall, where the owners would join us and regale us with the history of the island.
Here’s a teaser photo of my lunch, which consisted of chicken inasal, grilled fish, and tomato salad.
While obviously not landscaped, I loved how everything looked natural flora-wise. There was no order on how hibiscus in different colors, frangipani, and flame tree were grown around the islands, so it was a pleasant surprise to chance upon them during my walks.
A photographer’s paradise
Isla Naburot is a photographer’s paradise. It was as enchanting as it was unspoiled and I had a lovely time going on long walks in and around the island, capturing its beauty while discovering its nooks and crannies.
The water was so clean and clear, though the seafloor had some dead corals, which, according to the owners, were brought about by typhoons. My friend and I were feeling so guilty stepping on the corals so we didn’t linger in the waters, just enough to feel refreshed and for me to snap photos.
Being in the waters also afforded me a nice view of the main hall.
Again, I played around with my camera’s settings to get the above shot, including this succeeding Pop Color effect (I had to tone it down a bit though, because it looked too saturated).
After our swim, we lingered at the main hall. My friend opted to read a book while I opted to again go on a photo-walk. By then, the clouds had darkened, and I though it would rain.
When it was almost sunset, I asked the owners and the staff if the sunset would be visible from the main hall, but they said it wouldn’t be since sunsets were best viewed on the other side of the island, and what I would be seeing from our spot would just be the skyline.
Undeterred, I decided to follow the colorful skyline and I was led to Isla Naburot’s private dock. Since I had nowhere else to go, I did a stake-out to catch the sunset, which paid off.
I stayed there for half an hour, watching in awe while the sun made the sky its canvass to create the above masterpiece.
It was almost dinner time when I came back to the main hall. I decided to freshen up and when I came back, dinner was served. It was another lovely meal (details in a future post), especially since we dined under the stars.
Equally stunning sunrise
I woke up at 5 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep so I opted to catch the sunrise. This was taken from our room’s balcony.
Later, the sun finally broke free, and I was mesmerized to see the mountains and seas enveloped in molten gold.
It’s nice that there were many small boats in the island because they made landscape shots like the above more interesting, though the owner said they’re there primarily for guest use if they wish to explore the nearby islets.
Here and there were these little details that made my photo walk interesting – the big windows that dominated some villas, the unique balcony railings, the old cabinets, the capiz blinds, the wood carvings, the imprint of an insect from broken china…
For a long-time city girl like myself, these were a joy to capture because they reminded me of my childhood (we had a similar cabinet and chinaware when I was a child).
One of the owners sensed my passion in capturing the beauty of the island that he directed me to the main house, which I think is their biggest villa and located behind the main hall.
The main house also had beautiful views of Isla Naburot’s beachfront.
In a nutshell, while expensive at Php 12,000 per night (it’s inclusive of lunch, dinner, and breakfast) for a typical Filipino, I found my Isla Naburot experience worth splurging on.
We only stayed 2 days, but in that short span of time, I fell in love with Isla Naburot, the beautiful place that an Inquirer Lifestyle feature aptly described as, “the island with a soul.”
For inquiries, visit their official Facebook page or call +63918 909 8500.