We visited Iloilo for client meeting with IT resellers. There are plenty! It just goes to show that this is really a progressive city.
Now since this was a business trip, my exploration to this Philippines province is limited to the time that i finish all the meetings. Thankfully, we did. So we need to sieze the remainder of the day, right? We finished by around 4:30pm as far as I can remember. Here are the places that I was able to visit:
Museo Iloilo – located near the City Capiital. You won’t miss it for sure. Entrance is PHP 50 but I think this is a bit pricey because the entire museum is small. It houses one set of bone dug up some where in Iloilo with burial urns. There are also exhibits about prehistoric inhabitant of the Island of Panay. There is also a corner on the pinia fabrics that they produce. War memorabiliaas include a bunch of money during the Japanese occupation, a uniform form an American soldier. and other altileries. Of course a musuem in the Philippines would not be complete with out Catholic relics.
Jaro Cathedral – where the seat of their patron Our Lady of Candles is located. This also houses all male saints although I don’t know why that is. When we got there, the gates were closed but the statue of Our Lady of Candles was accessible. Fronting the cathedral is this old belfry made of bricks. A plaza was also there where you can visit Lopez Jaena’s statue. He’s a Filipino writer during the Spanish occupation. Although I’m not sure about that. Geez, I think I have to brush up on my Philipine history (hehehe)
Molo Church – also known as the St. Anne Parish Church. This church is older than the Jaro Cathedral by more than 30 years. Both are almost 200 years old. This church also houses all the female saints which surprisingly I know very few of. The church was open and thankfully we were able to get inside. Twas the same as that of other old churches around the counrty. In front of the chruch was a plaza which has a pavillion which has statues of all Greek goddesses which I really don’t get.
Plazuela de Iloilo – this is a newly opened plaza of with plush restaurants with a mix of foreign and local restos. Must tries are seafood particularly lukons (shrimps) and kadios (sour beef stew with beans), molo soup (i didn’t have this but it was highly recommended by locals)
Well those were the places that I was able to visit. Let me just add the following:
1. A trip to Iloilo is not complete with out eating authentic batchoy either from the street stalls, a fast food chain, or a resto, it would all taste the same: DELICIOUS. Try Ted’s. If you like it, say “namit” which means delicious.
2. If you have time, go the the port and ride for 15 minutes to reach Guimaras: one of Philippine’s island where you can find pristine beaches (well, there is a LOT through out the country).
3. Visit Iloilo on January and you’ll experience the Dinagyang Festival and enjoy street dancers and performers during the festivities.
4. Get around the city by jeepney. It cost just PHP 7.50 per ride. Way cheaper than riding a taxi which has the same rates as those in Manila. Just make sure to ask you hotel to know which ones to ride to get to your destination although you can ask almost anyone.
5. Visit the Department of Tourism office near the Museo Iloilo to know more on places to visit and activities to do is worth it. People are really accomodating. Places to visit around the city is limited but I’m pretty sure there is more out side of the city!
Well there you have it. I enjoyed Iloilo really although it was short and limited. I would return most probably to visit Guimaras island. But also when, can I get back to you on that? LOL