Iloilo City Tour

After the amazing Gigantes Islands adventure, we went back to the Iloilo and had one day to explore the city. Joed and Den-den, my high school classmates who works now in Iloilo, were so kind to take a leave at work and guided us around the city. It was 10 years since i've been to Iloilo and now it's more developed and beautiful.

We went to famous tourist spots like churches and old buildings and tasted local food like the famous La Paz Batchoy. We went around by commuting and a lot of walking but it's all worth it! Here's how our day tour in Iloilo went:

Starting our morning tour at the Esplanade, a river side walkable area where people exercise and just relax.

The Iloilo riverbank was once crowded with informal settlers. With the efforts of the local government, they rehabilitated the river and developed the esplanade.

Datu Paiburong statue at the Esplanade. According to stories, he was one of the 10 datus from Borneo who fled the tyranny of Sultan Makatunaw and found refuge in the island of Panay in ancient Philippines.

It is said that in the year 1212 AD, the datus along with their families landed at barangay Siwaragan in San Joaquin, Iloilo. There, they met the Atis or Panay aborigines and bartered golden necklaces and salakot (headgear) filled with gold in exchange for land.

We had breakfast at the oldest coffee shop in Iloilo, Madge Cafe, known for its homebrewed coffee.

At the Jaro Church. The image is of La Virgen de Candelaria which is said to be a growing image, according to the seamstresses who dress up the image.

The Jaro Belfry across the street.

Inside the Jaro Cathedral. This church is said to be a masculine church. All saints that are displayed on the pillars are men only.

The all-male cast adorned at the pillars of the Jaro Cathedral

Up close the Jaro Belfry

Casa Mariquit

The Lizares Mansion

Left to right: Me, Joed, Den-den, Ms. Rory (tour guide), Jotie

Time for the famous La Paz Batchoy! We

Up Next: Museo Iloilo

The Provincial capitol central dome

Masonic floor tiles

Fountain at the courtyard at the Provincial Capitol

The old fountain in front of the old provincial capitol.

View of the river from the roofdeck of the City Hall

The old Provincial capitol now serves as a convention center and function hall for art exhibits or other events.

In just one day we have visited the must-see places in Iloilo, special thanks to our local guides and best friends, Joed and Deet! I've been in Iloilo before but this tour made me realize how beautiful and how much of the city could still be explored. It's full of history, colorful culture, and wonderful people, and I don't even wonder why my friends chose this city as their new home. Iloilo is a liveable, innovative, and advanced city yet it maintained its classic charm. Can't wait to go back in the City of Love!

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