The tropical world competes to grow the best mangoes. The bragging and puffery are legendary, and it is all a waste of time. First of all, mangoes are the world's most fantastic fruits. Other claimants to that crown will always be pretenders, and anyone who claims that durian is No. 1 lost their taste buds in the last gorilla attack.
Guimaras Island in the Philippines has the world's sweetest mangoes, and if you don't believe me, ask anyone from Guimaras.
The people on this small island protect their mangoes from any outside influence. No other mangoes are allowed to come into the island. They want their mangoes to remain the sweetest ever. There are claims that these are the only mangoes permitted in the kitchen of Buckingham Palace and the White House.
Things to Do in Guimaras
During the mango season, which is around May, people flock to this island to have a taste of their mangoes. They have stalls offering "All You Can Eat Mangoes" for a minimal fee.
But there is much more in Guimaras than mangoes. The beaches are also stunning, and there are resorts for every budget. The underwater caves are remarkable, and tropical fish in their millions flock there, probably having heard of the mangoes.
My favourite place is the Trappist Monastery, where you can sit and be at peace with the chanting of the monks in the background. The Trappist also makes the most delicious guava jelly, and they have also added to the list of products that are world championship class. So, put Guimaras on your lifetime bucket list.
How to Go to Guimaras
It's relatively easy to visit the island. You can fly from Manila or Cebu to Iloilo. The flight is about an hour and 10 minutes from Manila and about 50 minutes from Cebu.
From the Iloilo airport in Cabatuan, by taxi, it is about 45 minutes to reach the Ortiz and Parola Wharf, where you can take a quick boat to sunny Guimaras (Jordan Wharf). There's a boat every 30 minutes, and the crossing to the island only takes 15 minutes.
Once there, remember to try their mango pizza. It's delicious.
Plan to stay a few days to eat and drink mangoes in every possible form and get some beach time and diving in before you have to leave heaven.