Lazada Philippines

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Iloilo: A City of Then and Now

IILOILO - Visiting this province has been a dream of mine since last year. I've read a lot of great stories about this spot and seen a lot of wonderful photographs depicting how this province keeps on managing its rich culture and wonderful current developments hand-in-hand. 

Iloilo may have a lot in common with Manila when it comes to structures, developments and many more, but for me, being a true-blooded ManileƱo visiting this province and experiencing Iloilo's lif - even for just a day - it made me feel its sweet appeal that will made me decide to visit it again.

I, and two of my superfriends, arrived at Iloilo around lunch time then. With a sun that's on top of us and with streets as busy as a flowing stream, we got in to Iloilo through its Muelle Loney Port. Muelle Loney Port, considering it's limited space was enough proof to me to see how this province will share its wonders to me. The place was clean and organize, how I really wish we always have this kind of ports.

Since we have a boat to catch and a trip to made at Guimaras, we left the port via a tricycle to another port, Port Ortiz. The tricycle fare cost us Php30.00.

Port Ortiz

After that amazing nature tripping at Guimaras, we went back here in Iloilo to continue our Western Visayas escapade. This time, we got back to the city through Port Ortiz and from Port Ortiz, we saw this inn that served as our home here in Ilolilo - City Corporate Inn.

City Corporate Inn
(read my blog about City Corporate Inn here.)

City Corporate Inn is just a 5-minute walk from the port, so we really didn't spent much time travelling.

Part of our itinerary on this journey was to visit the amazing churches of this province - a "Pray in Iloilo" trip. Iloilo being known as a very religious province from the south, we knew that this trip will have a wonderful story.

After checking in at City Corporate Inn, we just unpacked some of our stuff and headed down south to San Joaquin Church.

San Joaquin Church
(read my blog about San Joaquin Church here.)

From our hotel, we took a jeepney ride to Super where the jeepneys going to the southern part of Iloilo are located. The jeepney fare in Iloilo is almost the same as to Manila's jeepney fare, but the ride from Super to San Joaquin cost a little higher, Php60.00 one way, since the distance is quite long and the travel time was almost an hour or so, depending on the traffic at the city.

It was almost 5:00 p.m. when we started travelling, the streets in the city became busier and air became cooler. Though, everything seemed to be moving, it was not a riot to see, my ideal busy but not-so-busy peak hour. ^_^

Side of Miag-ao Church

It was already dusk when we arrived at San Joaquin, though we didn't had a chance to see the interior of their church, just looking at its facade made me feel blessed. It was a nice old church -  Iloilo's gem, indeed!

After some minutes of checking out the area, we decided to leave the place and took a public non-air conditioned bus going back to the city. We passed by the University of the Philippines - Iloilo and the Miag-ao Church. I really wanted to drop by at this San Joaquin's twin church, but my friends told me to stay put since there's no light coming from the church anymore and taking a picture of it would be impossible.

After an hour, we arrived at the city's bus terminal, and since our stomach were all grumbling, we decided to pay a visit to Iloilo's foodie destination - Tatoy's Manokan.

Tatoy's Manokan
(read my blog about Tatoy's Manokan here.)

The place reminded me of Seaside of SM Mall of Asia, but only this one has no sea, only sand. Hehe.

Since, we were really starving, we ordered quite a lot of food. From the appetizing seafood, Paella Valenciana, to my personal favourite Chicharon Bulaklak and down to their fresh fruits that refreshed us from that very long road trip.

Tatoy's Manokan is a must-visit place if you are really up for some Iloilo's sumptuous dishes!

We finished having our dinner at around 9:00 p.m., so we hailed a cab and headed back to our hotel. Taxi cabs in Iloilo operate 24 hours just like here in Manila, and the fare is a little less from Manila's regular fare.

SM Dominga

The following morning, we woke up early. Having a half-of-the-day sked to check out Iloilo's other places, we first headed to Ted's La Paz Batchoy for our breakfast. Luckily, the one nearest to us is in front of SM Dominga, so we didn't spent so much time on travelling again. I had their Extra Super La Paz Batchoy, while my two friends had the Special one, since they both don't like pig's kidney.

Ted's Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy
(read my blog about Ted's Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy here.)

 It was my first time to try original Iloilo's La Paz Batchoy and I truly, truly enjoyed it!

After that fulfilling breakfast, and since SM Dominga was still close then, I begged to my friends to travel a little far north to check out Jaro Cathedral. With me paying the taxi fare, they agreed and I'm very happy! ^_^

Jaro is located at the northern part of Iloilo City. A 10-minute cab-ride, we found ourselves in front of one of the majestic churches in this district, the Jaro Cathedral.

Jaro Cathedral
(read my blog about Jaro Cathedral here.)

But before we stepped inside this wonderful church, we take a look at the separated belfry first where Graciano Lopez-Jaena was said to be baptized in. This belfry is actually on the opposite side of the street, where Jaro Plaza was also located - a view that is hard to miss.

Since our clock was ticking fast, after some few minutes there, we immediately went inside the Jaro Cathedral to pray and thank the creator for bringing us there. My friends lit up some colorful candles after then we decided to see the balcony where an image of Madonna and Child was located.

This church is really worth-visiting for.

We hailed a cab again to take us back to SM Dominga. In there, we bought some "pasalubongs" and some souvenir shirts before heading to our next Iloilo destination - Calle Real.

Calle Real
(read my blog about Calle Real here.)

Part of our plan was to drop by there to buy more "pasalubongs", but when we noticed that the place was just  like a Divisoria or Quiapo, we opted to stay inside our cab. Us, hailing from Tondo, Manila, this scene is so ordinary so we just asked our nice driver to take us to Plaza Libertad.

Plaza Libertad
(read my blog about Plaza Libertad here.)

Oh, we were so lucky that the cab driver that we had on this trip was from Manila, too. Coming from Sta. Ana, Manila, he said that his family decided to stay here in Iloilo and they've been living in here for 11 years now. Because of that, we got some nice good info about the province that put a smile to our faces.

After that short trip from SM Dominga, passing by Calle Real, our feet stepped on one of Rizal's plaza in Iloilo - the Plaza Libertad.

There's really nothing much to see about the place, except for the young Rizal's monument. And so, after taking some photos, we went to the opposite side of the plaza, where this nice old-looking church was looking down on us - San Jose Parish Placer.

San Jose Parish Placer
(read my blog about San Jose Parish Placer here.)

Upon our arrival, we saw the mayor's car parked at the gate of the church. When we peeked in, we saw a grand wedding mass happening, so as to not steal any attention and so as to capture some of that wedding, we walked inside silently and moved like ninjas. Hehehe.

Newly weds in this old church... LOVELY!

We didn't finish the ceremony since we have a 12 noon ferry trip to catch, so even with a heavy heart, we bid goodbye to Iloilo and headed back to our hotel, packed our stuff and bid goodbye to City Corporate Inn, too.

We arrived at Muelle Loney Port at around 11:30 a.m. To our surprise, our ferry trip back to Bacolod, our next province to explore, was moved to 1:00 p.m. My two friends decided to just stay in SuperCat Terminal and have something to eat, while I, asked them a favor to look after my stuff, because I went loitering around the port area to take pictures.

SuperCat Terminal

My Samsung phone has a GPS and I located an interesting spot that I can take a look at while waiting for our ferry - and my friends didn't know that I was gone some 3 kilometers away from them. ^_^ Well, not until I came back. Hehehe.

I went to this place they called Ruins of Fort San Pedro.

Ruins of Fort San Pedro
(read my blog about Ruins of Fort San Pedro here.)

Though, I didn't know anything about this place, I braved myself in discovering what it is in there.

I rented a pedicab and asked the driver to take there. He agreed to my Php50.00 back-and-forth fare deal, and so in 15 minutes, I found myself taking pictures of the facade of the place.

It was not a place any tourist would go to, but since I am this kind of person who appreciates beauty even to its smallest part, I had a great time seeing this place. This is the last spot I've seen of Iloilo, and though it wasn't that grand, it made me realize how this little province called Iloilo embraced the modern world and still keeping and protecting it's history.

Thank you, Iloilo. I know I still have a lot of stuff to know about you.
I just hope that I can see you again soon, and experience your Dinagyang Festival.
I guess, it is safe to say TIL THEN! ^_^


  1. Aww. I miss Iloilo. BTW, my dad and my relatives are from Lapuz :))

  2. tatoy's manokan is actually near the sea, just across the street.maybe you missed it because it's already dark..that SM is located in Delgado street thus they call it SM Delgado..

  3. Awwwww. It is so touching it is like I am with you in one of your great adventures. I love it:D


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