Towns and Cities
Brief History
  • Archaeologists and geologist believe that the island was once connected to the Panay mainland.
  • During the pre-Hispanic era, Guimaras was known as Himal-us or Paghimud-us meaning “to struggle for survival” and it was peopled by aborigines who fled the mainland and migrated to the island.
  • Folklore says that Guimaras was named after the impetuous but ill-fated lovers, Princess Guima and the slave Aras.  Forcefully betrothed by her father to a man of noble parentage, Princess Guima, defying royal tradition for her love, escaped with Aras on a small, frail bamboo raft but were lost in the raging sea.  From then on, whenever there are strong winds stirring the seas, people seem to hear the lovers' names being cried out  by the princess' repentant father.
  • It was also said to have been named by Spanish missionary either from a peninsula in Portugal, Guimara in the provinces of Leon and Galeria, Guimera in Catalonia, Guimar in Canary Island or Guimaran in the other province of Spain.
  • Guimaras was placed by the Spaniards under the jurisdiction of Dumangas in Iloilo province.
  • After the capture of Iloilo City on February 11, 1899, Camp Jossman in Buenavista was established as a military reservation and headquarters for American forces in Panay.
  • Guimaras was created as a sub-province of Iloilo on June 18, 1966 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4667
  • It became a separate province on May 11, 1992 by virtue of Republic Act No. 7160.  Emily Relucio Lopez was named as the first governor.

The province has two pronounced seasons.  It is wet from May to October and dry from November to April.


Called “Mango Country,” Guimaras has 8,000 hectares (about 20% of total land area) of mango orchards with over 143,000 carabao mango trees (63% of which are bearing) and is site of the National Mango Research and Development Center (NMRDC), the only one of its kind in the country.

Location and Topography

This island province is bounded on the north and northwest by the 1.5-nautical mile wide Iloilo Strait, on the east and southeast by the six-nautical mile wide Guimaras Strait and on the south and southwest by Panay Gulf.  The 579-sq. km. main island is an uplifted coral platform with its surface eroded to a gently sloping and rugged, undulating upland.  Its highest point is the 252-m. high Mt. Bontoc. Numerous coral islets lie off the south and southeast coasts and coral reefs line the eastern shore.

General Information
  • Capital: Jordan
  • Area (sq. kms.): 604.65
  • Population (2007): 151,238 Guimarasnons
  • Income Class: Fourth
  • No. of Barangays: 98
  • No. of Cities: None
  • No. of Districts: 1
  • No. of Towns: 5 (Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo and Sibunag)
  • Area Code: 033

Ilonggo is the major dialect spoken by the Guimarasnons.  Residents of some barangays in Jordan and Nueva Valencia speak Kinaray-a, a variant of Hiligaynon.

Tourist Information Center
  • Guimaras Trade and Information Center (GTIC) - University of Iloilo, Iloilo City (fronting Central Market)
  • Office of the Governor - Provincial Capitol, Brgy. San Miguel, Jordan (tel: 581-3349-50 & 237-1111)
  • Provincial Tourism Office - Provincial Capitol, Brgy. San Miguel, Jordan (tel: 237-1134).  Website:
  • Tourism Guest Assistance Center - Jordan Wharf.

Electricity is 220 volts and 60 cycles.  Electric power is distributed by the Guimaras Electric Cooperative (GUIMELCO). 95 barangays and 16,568 households (70%) are energized



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