Iloilo City will always have a place in my heart. Not because it is my hometown, but the city has a certain vibe that no other cities have. I have been to a lot of places in the PH and in Asia, but nothing comes close to the old charm that the city exudes.
I relocated to another city 6 years ago, but I always make sure that I go home at least once a month. And for the past 6 years, I have seen how the city evolved from a sleeping province to a vibrant metropolis. Kudos to the hardworking government officials that transformed the city making it more liveable!
Had the chance to walk around the city when I came home during the holiday and thought of making a blog out of it. Although this may not be as comprehensive as the other blogs you have read about Iloilo, but this might a help a little especially in the expenses. And also note that this will be done in 2 parts so I will initially share some nice places to go around the city.
Travel to Iloilo
The city is considered as a major hub, having numerous direct flights from the different cities in the PH. You can take direct flights from Manila, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa and General Santos. They also have direct flights from Singapore and Hong Kong (via Cebu Pacific).
I actually liked the idea that Iloilo has a direct flight to Singapore. SG, being an international hub, you can take a direct flight from ILO to SG then take another flight to your chosen destination (especially if your chosen destination can’t be serviced by MNL).
Always check out airline promos, they have lots of seat sale going to ILO!
By the way, Boracay is a 5 hour drive from Iloilo, so you might also want to include Iloilo in the itinerary prior to your Boracay escapade!
Making your itinerary
Honestly, a 3-day tour is enough to explore the entire city. And you can even include taking a day trip in the nearby Guimaras Island!
Where to go
Go Churching – Iloilo is known to have the most number of churches in one city. And mind you, they are all grand! Check out Jaro Cathedral (one of the national shrines in PH) and Molo Church (a feminist church).
Mansion Hunting – Across Molo Church is the newly restored Molo Mansion. The mansion is now being managed by SM Prime and there, you can purchase souvenirs by Kultura. There is also a coffee shop should you choose to chill like a haciendero. Aside from the Molo Mansion, head your way to Jaro and be amazed to the numerous mansions along the main road. Jaro is known to have housed the most number of mansions, proving that the old town has so many stories to tell.
Riverside strolling – The Iloilo River Esplanade is a testimony that the city is quite responsive in making sure that despite of the progress, environmental protection should also be prioritized. Stroll along the 1 kilometre esplanade and feast your eyes with the beauty of the Iloilo River. Best time to visit is during the afternoon where you can also catch the beautiful Iloilo sunset.
Head downtown – Head down to Calle Real and check out the century old buildings. Most of the buildings are Art Deco designed so better take a lot of photos!
Go beaching – From the city, you can take a 15 minute boat ride going to Guimaras Island. Check out Alubijod and spend the entire day swimming in its white sand beach.
In my next blog, I will share with you some of the best places to fill your tummy with the best food the city can offer!