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Guimaras Shopping Guide for Tourists: Taking a Piece of Paradise Home

Guimaras, the “Mango Capital of the Philippines,” is a tropical paradise known for its pristine beaches, laid-back charm, and abundant sweet, succulent mangoes. But beyond its natural beauty, Guimaras offers a delightful shopping experience for tourists. Whether you’re looking for local delicacies to tantalize your taste buds or unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip, consider this Guimaras shopping guide for tourists.

This guide will navigate you through the vibrant shopping scene of Guimaras, from bustling public markets to hidden gem shops. So, grab your shopping bags and get ready to discover this island paradise’s best finds!

dried mangoes from Guimaras shopping guide
Dried mangoes from Guimaras

A Taste of Guimaras: Local Delicacies

Mango Mania

It’s impossible to visit Guimaras without indulging in its most famous product – mangoes! The island offers a symphony of mango flavors, from fresh, juicy mangoes to delectable mango-based treats. Stock up on fresh mangoes to take home, or try some of the local favorites like:

  • Mango Bravo: A layered dessert with ripe mangoes, cream, ladyfingers, and a touch of graham cracker crumbs.
  • Mango pastillas: Chewy, bite-sized candies made with condensed milk and mashed mangoes.
  • Mango ice cream: Refreshing and creamy, this ice cream is bursting with the taste of fresh mangoes.
  • Dried mangoes: A perfect on-the-go snack, they retain their sweetness and chewy texture.

Beyond the Mango

While mangoes reign supreme, Guimaras offers other delectable treats:

  • Ouchà: A savory dish made with shrimp paste, eggplant, okra, and coconut milk.
  • Nata de coco: A jelly-like dessert made from fermented coconut water.
  • Pinasugbo: Savory steamed rice cake wrapped in banana leaves.

Souvenirs with a Story: Native and Indigenous Products

Guimaras is home to talented artisans who create beautiful and unique handicrafts. These souvenirs are not just mementos but art pieces representing the island’s culture and heritage.

  • Handwoven Fabrics: Look for intricately woven fabrics from abaca (banana) fiber. These can be found in table runners, placemats, and even handbags.
  • Shellcraft: Artisans transform seashells into beautiful jewelry, keychains, and decorative items.
  • Woodcarvings: Find skillfully carved wooden figures, bowls, and ornaments that showcase the local artistry.
  • Nipa Products: Nipa, a palm native to the Philippines, creates bags, hats, and other functional items with a natural aesthetic.
guimaras shopping guide souvenir shop in jordan guimaras
Souvenir shop

Public Markets: A Sensory Adventure

Public markets, or “palengkes,” are the heart and soul of Filipino shopping. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and discover a treasure trove of local finds:

  • Fresh Produce: Find the freshest catch of the day, vibrant local vegetables, and of course, an abundance of mangoes in all shapes and sizes.
  • Dried Goods: Stock up on spices, dried fish, and other pantry staples.
  • Local Crafts: Public markets often have stalls selling handcrafted souvenirs at reasonable prices.

Unique Finds: Specialty Shops

Guimaras has a few hidden gem shops offering unique products you won’t find everywhere:

  • OLP Trappist Monastery Gift Shop: The Trappist monks are known for their dedication to prayer and work. Their gift shop sells homemade jams, jellies, and peanut butter with the freshest ingredients.
  • Mango Processing Plants: Witness the process of transforming mangoes into delicious treats and take home some freshly made mango products.

Popular Tourist Buys

Here’s a quick list of items that consistently top the list of tourist purchases in Guimaras:

  • Mangoes (fresh and processed): The undisputed champion!
  • Handwoven fabrics and shellcraft: Beautiful and practical souvenirs.
  • Mango pastillas: A sweet and chewy treat to share with loved ones back home.
  • Dried fish: A taste of the local cuisine to enjoy long after your trip.
  • Nipa products: Eco-friendly and stylish souvenirs.

Insider Tips for Savvy Shoppers

  • Bargaining is expected: Don’t be afraid to bargain for a better price politely in public markets and smaller shops.
  • Support local artisans: Look for shops and stalls that showcase locally made products.
  • Bring eco-friendly bags: Reduce reliance on plastic bags by bringing reusable shopping bags.
  • Pack light and buy bulky items on the way back. If you’re flying in, consider purchasing light items.
hats from guimaras
Hats from Guimaras

Malls with Modern Convenience

While Guimaras’ charm lies in its local shops and markets, a few malls are offering a more modern shopping experience:

  • SM Savemore Guimaras: This supermarket chain provides a convenient option for stocking up on groceries, snacks, and necessities.
  • Robinson’s Place Guimaras: Another supermarket chain with a broader selection of products, including some souvenir items.

Festival Finds: Shopping During Special Events

Guimaras comes alive during its vibrant festivals. If you’re lucky enough to visit during one, be sure to check out the unique offerings:

  • Manggahan Festival (January): Held to celebrate the abundance of mangoes, this festival features a variety of stalls selling mango-based delicacies and unique mango-themed souvenirs.
  • Guimaras Rodeo Festival (April): Immerse yourself in the cowboy culture and explore stalls selling handcrafted items with a rodeo theme.

Planning Your Guimaras Shopping Spree

Here are some tips to help you maximize your shopping experience in Guimaras:

  • Consider your budget: Prices can vary depending on the location and type of shop.
  • Plan your shopping itinerary: Decide which areas you want to explore and what souvenirs interest you.
  • Carry small denominations of Philippine pesos: Smaller shops and stalls might not have change for large bills.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated while exploring, and avoid buying plastic bottles.

Guimaras: More Than Just Souvenirs

While shopping is a fun way to experience Guimaras, remember that the island’s true treasures lie beyond its shops. Make sure to explore its natural beauty, interact with the friendly locals, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Taking a Piece of Paradise Home

Guimaras offers a unique shopping experience that combines the thrill of finding hidden gems with the satisfaction of supporting local artisans and businesses. Guimaras has something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie seeking delectable treats or a treasure hunter searching for one-of-a-kind souvenirs. So, pack your bags, embrace the island’s laid-back charm, and get ready to discover the perfect piece of paradise to take home with you.

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