Iloilo: The Next Big Thing

 

I once compared Iloilo with Charlottesville in Virginia. Click here to read that entry. Why the comparison? They are both historic sites with great heritage locations to boast of. Iloilo even has more to offer. It is not only a province with a deep cultural past, it also has some of the most beautiful beaches. Not to mention great food and hospitable people.

Here is a taste of what to expect from Iloilo:

 

Old Churches

Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ National Hero, visited Molo Church in the 1800’s along his way to his exile in Dapitan in Mindanao. Miagao Church, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and Jaro Cathedral, home of the miraculous Lady of the Candle are also located in Iloilo. Most towns in the province have old churches to boast of. Click here to check out all the other churches.

 Molo Church 2010

 

 

Old Mansions

As one of the most important province during the Spanish era, sugar barons and the  elite built mansions to showcase their wealth. Nelly’s Garden was once the residence of the Lopez Family, but was now turned into a museum. Other mansions worth having a glimpse of are: Villa Lizares (now Angelicum School), Casa Montinola y Sanson, and Ledesma Ancestral House.

 

  Nelly's Garden

 

Top Universities

 The main building of the University of the Philippines – Iloilo City Campus was Iloilo’s City Hall from 1936 until the 1950s. The building is one of the legacies of Juan Arellano who is considered to be one of the countrys’ founding fathers of architecture. He is the same man who designed the Manila Post Office Building, Jones Bridge, and the Metropolitan Theater.  Other outstanding universities and colleges in the province are: University of San Agustin, Central Philippine University, West Visayas State University, University of Iloilo, and Iloilo Doctor’s College.

 

UP in the Visayas

 

Historic Downtown

Spanish influence is evident in the architecture of the buildings in this district. Walking the streets of J.M. Baza (Calle Real), Iznart, Aldeguer, and Guanco would transport anyone back to the past.  Calle Real was (and still is, because of its low-cost buys) the center of commerce. As the Save Calle Real page mention: It is a Living Museum of Iloilo’s Glorious Past.

 

Calle Real

 

 

Muelle Loney

This harbour was witness to international market as early as the 1800s due to the boom of sugar trade in 19th century Western Visayas. It is named after British Consul Nicholas Loney, who is considered the father of the sugar industry in Panay and Negros region.

 

Aduana 2010

 

Beaches

Iloilo is not only endowed with glorious historical sites. It also has some of the most idyllic and pristine white sand beaches. Grab your sandals and head to Carles and Concepcion in the northern part of the province. Closeby, is Guimaras Island, which is 15 minutes away by boat. If you yearn for the island party mood, Boracay is just a 6-hour bus ride away.

 

Antonia Island 2010

 

  Agho Island 2009

 

The province may have a long way to go. It needs to exert more effort towards the preservation of its heritage sites, encourage more tourists to visit its beaches, and appreciate its local cuisine, but it is on its way. Truly, it is the next big thing.

 

 

Getting There:

By Air. There are various airline companies that fly to Iloilo daily several times a day. These are: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, Air Philippines, and Zest Airways. Travel time from Manila is 45 minutes, 35 minutes from Cebu, and 2 hours from Davao City.

By Sea. There are several ports that service the province and there are several shipping companies that sail to Iloilo. Shipping companies that service the Manila-Iloilo-Manila route are: Negros Navigation and Superferry. While shipping companies that operate the route, Bacolod-Iloilo-Bacolod are: Ocean Fast Ferries, SuperCat, Weesam Express, and Aleson Shipping Lines. Click here to check the schedules. Travel time from Manila is about 20 hours, 14 hours from Zamboanga or Cagayan de Oro, 12 hours from Cebu, and 50 minutes from Bacolod. Other ports are located in Estancia and Dumangas.

By RoRo. With the governments’ program called Strong Republic Nautical Highway, Iloilo is just a bus ride away. Philtranco, Ceres Liner,  Bachelor Express, and Gasat all have routes going to Iloilo. You can even bring your vehicles without any hassle.

 

 

 

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~ by Happy Sole on April 15, 2010.

8 Responses to “Iloilo: The Next Big Thing”

  1. thanks for dropping by, i enjoy reading this article…

  2. […] Spend a week in Iloilo and leave a different person. Eat batchoy (noodle soup), pray in century old churches, and fall in love. After all, it is the City of Love. Disclaimer: You will not find Javier Bardem and James Franco there. Read more … […]

  3. very informative..

  4. […] Aside from spanish colonial churches and mansions, or its pristine beaches, Iloilo boasts of its delectable La Paz Batchoy and Pancit Molo. Get a swiff of the sweet and salty aroma and you might forget your name. Read on how to get to Iloilo, here. […]

  5. Reblogged this on wanhandredwan and commented:
    Iloilo for New7Wonders Cities!

  6. i wish someday,i will go in carles

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