Guimaras is one of the exotic islands in the Philippines. The originally its name was Himal-us but was changed to Guimaras after the folktale of the lovers named Princess Guima and the slave Aras, who defied tradition for their romance. The island was once a sub-province of Iloilo but by virtue of R.A. 7160 it was proclaimed a regular province on May 22, 1992.
The province is basically agricultural, with palay, coconut, mango, vegetables, livestock, poultry, and fishing as major products. Likewise, the major industries in the island are tourism, fruit processing, coconut processing, handicrafts making, mining, and lime production.
Guimaras is lying Southwest of Panay Island and Northwest of Negros Island in Western Visayas with a total land area of 60,465 hectares or 604.65 square kilometers.
Hiligaynon is the main language of the natives although residents of some barangays in Jordan and Nueva Valencia also speak Kinaray-a. English and Tagalog are spoken and understood by the majority of the people in the island.
The island province of Guimaras is composed of five towns: Buenavista (36 barangays), Nueva Valencia (22 barangays), Jordan (14 barangays), San Lorenzo (12 barangays), and Sibunag (12 barangays).
Guimaras has a tropical climate with dry season during the months of November to April and rainy or wet season from May to October.
Tourism, handicraft, food processing, agriculture, and fishing are the major industries of Guimaras. It has scenic and magnificent white sand beaches and island coves. It has the best diving site with its splendid coral reefs and marine life, which are impressing to the sight. The island is also famous for handicrafts like woven “buri” bags, mats, hats, and baskets. It is also famous for its lime industry, mining industry, fruit processing industry, and coconut industry.
Guimaras is home of the famous and the best export-quality mangoes in the Philippines. Mango plantations with golden fruits are scattered in the island. Aside from mangoes, kalamansi and cashew nuts are also abundant. Moreover, the seas of Guimaras teem with fresh fishes, shellfishes, and lobsters. Guimaras also produces a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits, orchids, and root crops.