From being the “Queen City of the South to the City of Love, this province in the Western Visayas region has a lot to offer. Ilonggos’ sweet sounding accent of their local Hiligaynon language to the their warm and affectionate demeanor are a few things which make Iloilo’s moniker the “City of Love” well-deserved.
Understandably, Iloilo is considered to be one of the most livable cities in the Philippines. Upon touchdown from their international airport, the pleasantry and comfort are already evident. One of the examples is that the city has a diversion road where automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians can share the road effectively. These are just some of the things that make living in this city truly worthwhile, and that buying a house and lot in Iloilo, like Amaia Scapes Iloilo, and billeting your residence there is feasible.
Moreover, the place is also teeming with travel opportunities and so many vibrant places to see. Undoubtedly, the city has a lot to offer in terms of rich cultural history and heritage, a great array of local food and restaurants, and panoramic and scenic tourist spots. Here are just some of the places you can visit to truly immerse yourself in an Iloilo experience.
1) Jaro Cathedral
Iloilo has innumerable old churches rich in history. However, if there is one that you must absolutely visit, it would be Jaro Cathedral. The cathedral hosts the revered image of Our Lady of the Candles displayed on the front façade, and remains to be the only figure in the country that was canonically crowned by the late John Paul II. Local devotees collectively believe that the image grants wishes. Regardless of your belief, the awe-inspiring devotion of the parishioners and the rich historic past of this church are two aspects that make this place worth the visit.
2) Calle Real
Also known as Iloilo’s heritage street, Calle Real is a beautiful stretch with an arresting sight of restored establishments that still conduct business up to this day. The street is prolific with two-story residential and commercial buildings, whose architecture is inspired by 10th and early 20th century European and American influence. Baroque, Venetian-inspired, art-deco, and art nouveau are just a few of the architectural structures you can find here.
3) Casa Mariquit
Known to have a thriving sugar industry, Iloilo was one of the cities where the rich and affluent lived back in the day. Wealth was manifested from how their houses were styled and built. These ancestral mansions, homes, and casas have stood the test of time and are still existing today. Casa Mariquit is at least 200 years old and was built for Mariquit Javellana Lopez by her father. It may have been two centuries old by now, but it is very well-maintained, and it is one of the old mansions in the city still open to the public. For a minimal fee, you can get access inside the casa filled with paintings and other memorabilia kept clean.
4) Lizares Mansion
History buffs can rejoice as Iloilo is a city filled to the brim with old mansions and casas they can explore. Apart from Casa Mariquit, Lizares Mansion is another ancestral home worthy of a visit. Today, it is a property of the Angelicum School, but it was originally built by Don Emiliano Lizares for his family in 1937. During the World War II, the mansion was reportedly used by the Japanese as their headquarters, while the family fled and sought refuge in another town. It has been said that many Filipino prisoners of war were tortured, killed, and eventually buried in the mansion’s basement. As this lore gained momentum, so does the rumor that the mansion is haunted too, in which supernatural enthusiasts with a penchant for reconnoitering archaic houses would find interesting.
5) Injap Tower Hotel
A tour in the city of Iloilo would be incomplete without capping off your trip with a gastronomic adventure. For foodies craving Singaporean dishes, indulge your appetite in Horizon Café at Injap Tower Hotel. Not only is the food superb, but you get an excellent view while enjoying your meal as well.
6) Madge Café
Complete your Iloilo experience by having a taste of the city’s authentic brewed coffee. Madge Café serves their coffee cold and in a tin can, which adds to the unassuming flair of this coffee shop. The ambiance of this café pretty much makes up for the fact that the place is not air-conditioned. Additionally, you can see your coffee brew the old-fashioned way – a sure treat for coffee connoisseurs.
Smallville is considered the central hub for locals who are night owls as it is considered the capital of the nightlife scene. It is where locals converge to go eat, drink, and spend a fun night out in the city. Smallville is a complex of restaurants, bars, and clubs. With so many establishments in one place, everyone can certainly find something to do in this bustling premier nightlife district.
Make your Iloilo trip and adventure come to life by visiting any of the places stated above. Whether you may be a historical buff, a food connoisseur, a devout Christian, or a nightlife enthusiast, there is always something for everyone in Iloilo!