ILOILO is a province in the Philippines located in the region of Western Visayas. Hiligaynon is the language spoken in Iloilo (or sometimes they call it Ilonggo). Ilonggos are known for their soft-speaking characteristics which most locals and tourist described it as “calm”, “sweet” and “gentle”.
Iloilo City was derived from “irong-irong”, a reference to the native word “irong” which means “nose”.
The term “ilong-ilong” was popularized because of the Chinese traders who mispronounce the “r” sound with “l” sound. It later then evolved into what is now “Iloilo”.
Iloilo City was also referred to as “La Muy Leal Y Noble Ciuded de Iloilo” in Spanish which means “Most Loyal and Noble City”. This is an inscription in the coat of arms from the Royal Decree of 1896 in recognition of the local people’s loyalty to the Spanish crown.
Iloilo was the last Spanish-colonial capital in Asia when Manila surrendered to the United States.
(Source from the web)
THINGS TO DO IN ILOILO
I. CHURCH VISIT
Miag-ao Church also known as the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish.
The St. Anne Parish Church or Molo Church is one of the most beautiful churches in Western Visayas. It is known throughout the Philippines as “the feminist church” because of 16 life-sized female saints that adorned the both side columns of its central aisle. Built in Neo-Gothic-Renaissance architecture style, an edifice of white corral rock, truly a “La Iglesia Bonita” (once exclaimed by Dr. Jose Rizal)
Note: St. Anne is the patroness of childless couples, family harmony, and the afflicted.
Brgy. San Pedro, Molo
Jaro Cathedral also known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles (Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria) . Situated in Jaro, Iloilo City. It was initially place under the patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. The Cathedral is the second national shrine in the Visayas, the first being the Basilica del Santo Nino in Cebu.
II. CITY TOUR
The Yusay-Consing Mansion, popularly known as the Molo Mansion, is a significant and historic house in Molo, Iloilo facing the town plaza and the St. Anne Parish Church.
Built in the 1920s, the Yusay-Consing Mansion was originally owned by Doña Petra Lacson-Yusay. It was later handed down to the family of Timoteo Consing Sr., who served as Iloilo governor from 1935-1937. Presently owned and preserved by Major shopping mall developer, SM Land Inc. The mansion-museum also has a cultural retail shop while the façade is made into a public garden plaza.
Gazebo of Greek Goddesses
The Molo Plaza hosts a Gazebo with six statues of Greek goddesses Aphrodite (love and beauty), Athena (war), Artemis (wilderness, hunt and fertility), Demeter (agriculture), Hera (marriage), and Hestia (domesticity).
Camina Balay na Bato
Avanceña House, now called Camiña Balay nga Bato at Villa Arevalo, Iloilo City. The house still serves as the dwelling place of the 4th generation of Melocoton-Avanceña clan
Camiña Balay nga Bato is a showcase of Ilonggo culture, heritage and gastronomy. It offers guided tours, souvenirs and snacks including the famous tsokolate and Pancit Molo.
20 Osmeña Street
Villa de Arevalo
Phone : (033) 3363858 | 0917 3055355
ILOILO RIVER ESPLANADE
It is a haven for jogging, walking, open-air dining and venue for river water sports. Beautifully designed by Arch. Paolo Alcazaren (who also designed Singapore’s River Esplanade and Quay), the Iloilo Esplanade is a 1.2-kilometer stretch starting from Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue, known as Diversion Road, to Carpenter’s Bridge in Mandurriao District.
Managed by Ayala Malls Group, Atria is an urban renaissance within a fully-integrated, mixed-use development. A unique masterplanned estate with residential, retail, office and hotel components.
Smallville Complex is Iloilo’s nightlife capital and a popular dining and entertainment hub the city. It is located along Diversion Road in Mandurriao District, Iloilo City. A footwalk connects Smallville to the Iloilo River Esplanade to the south and a road joins it with Atria Park District by Ayala on its northern side.
Plazuela de Iloilo
Situated at the Mandurriao District along Benigno Aquino Diversion Road, is a two-storey Spanish-Italian design business hub. Occupied by different restaurants, specialty boutiques and other establishments
Plazuela offers also an activity center at Plaza Mayor with beautifully manicured garden.
Discover and witness beautiful sceneries up northern Iloilo is a must visit! Island hop to beautiful virgin islands, white sand beaches, pristine blue or emerald waters and the mystical rock formation plus don’t forget to eat seafood like the famous fresh catch scallops.
Gigantes has secluded islands that is part of Carles town in Northern Iloilo. The towns of Carles and Estancia are the main jump-off points, which can be reached by land. Travel time to Gigantes (via Carles) takes around 5-6 hours from Iloilo City.
Gigantes Sur and Gigantes Norte, are the two biggest islands in the area.
Most of Gigantes’ major tourist spots can be found on Gigantes Sur. These include Pawikan Cave, Pulopandan island, Antonia Beach – white sand beach with two sides facing the sea Sandbar of Bantigue, Tangke , Salt Water Lagoon and the popular Cabugao Gamay Island. The last three mentioned are wonderful!
Note: For those who are meticulous, don’t expect for a first-rate facilities. The island is not yet fully developed. I recommend, an island day tour hopping to see the hidden gems of Iloilo. Boat rental costs P5,000.00
IV. Iloilo Iconic Food
No vacation is complete without Iloilo Food Binge.
V. Visit the neighboring cities.
Aklan (Kalibo – Boracay)
Land travel from Iloilo to Caticlan takes about 3 hours. This overlooked province has a lot to offer. This place is more of an eco-adventure and cultural place.