For the first entry on travel, what else would be the best place to highlight but the wonderful city of Iloilo. Being my hometown and living most of my life there, I’d say it is one place that has gone along with the times yet retaining it’s old provincial feel.
For a short 50 minute plane ride from Manila, you’re in for a whole new experience in the city dubbed as the “City of Love”.
Iloilo is pretty much popular for a lot of things. The Dinagyang Festival, which is celebrated every 4th week of January, is a tourist attraction which is highlighted by a competition of tribes. The participants paint themselves black, adorn themselves in lavish tribal costumes and performs synchronized choreography to the beat of drums and percussion. This is also in celebration of the feast of the Sto. Niño.
Another pride of Iloilo are the amazing churches that majestically stands in every town.
The Cathedral of the Nuestra Sra dela Candelaria (Our Lady of Candles) in Jaro is one of the most popular sites and it was where the late Pope John Paul II stopped over when he visited the city. It is also said that the statue of our Lady of Candles enshrined in front of the cathedral is said to have grown in size through the years. Stories has it that many years ago, the stone image was found washed ashore and was merely a foot tall. Now, it is approximately 5 feet.
The church of St. Anne in Molo is also one site to behold. Aside from being tagged as the “feminist” church because of the all-female saints that line the interiors, what makes this church iconic are the 2 red spires towering this Gothic masterpiece.
For approximately a 45 minute drive from the city, one can be amazed by another structure… the church of St. Thomas of Villanova in Miagao. This church is recorded on the World Heritage List sponsored by UNESCO. It’s just so unbelievable how people can build such a structure using only eggs and limestone.
Iloilo City used to be called the Queen’s City of the South and was the home of the sugar barons and other wealthy families. They built their mansions on the island and some of them are still in their splendid glory. Here are a few of them.
Iloilo City is full of cultural heritage but there is another thing that it boasts of… the gastronomic experience that the city has to offer!
Of course there will always be Breakthrough and Tatoy’s in Villa, Ted’s & Deco’s Batchoy in Lapaz… but for me, there are more food places that are not so “out there”. Some of them have been running even way before I was born! So when in Iloilo, here is my list of places and their specialties that you shouldn’t fail to try.
The Angelboy & Lovergirl Pizza from Love & Kisses Pizza, Jalandoni Street, Iloilo City
Lapaz Batchoy from Netong’s Batchoy, Lapaz Public Market
Adobo Flakes, Splash Carwash & Restaurant
Asado Siopao from Kongkee Restaurant
Siopao from Roberto’s
Maki Soup from Dainty Restaurant
Fried Chicken & Chocolate Cake from Uncle Tom’s, Ninoy Aquino Avenue, Diversion Road
Bingka in front of Molo Church
Fresh pandesal from Pan de Buho
Pata and Kansi from Andres Patahan, Mandurriao Plaza
*Photos by Eric Tajanlangit except for Dinagyang Shots. Credits to Greg de los Reyes.