I have always wanted to visit Iloilo City, Philippines because of its unique history, culture, and cuisine. A lot of Filipinos already know that it is home to the endearing and kind-hearted Ilonggos.
Luckily, my good friend Jenny Mendoza shared with me some travel tips when she went on a quick tour to “the heart of the Philippines”. Read on to find out where to go and what to do in The City of Love.
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What To Eat:
LA PAZ BATCHOY
The first order of business when visiting Iloilo is tasting their famous La Paz Batchoy. It is a delicious noodle soup made pork, chicken, and vegetables. Go to Netong’s Original Special Lapaz Batchoy for the best Batchoy experience! Address: Public Market, Rizal St, La Paz, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines (for the best Batchoy experience) and another branch at the back of Seda Atria
Where To Go:
The Molo Church (St. Anne Parish Church) is also known as the “feminist church”. It has an all-women ensemble of saints represented in 16 statues perched on the aisle pillars. Now, that’s my kind of church! Address: San Pedro St, Molo, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo, Philippines
The Jaro Cathedral is one of Iloilo’s oldest churches. It was declared a world heritage site in 1976. It is also known as the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Metropolitan Cathedral in 1951. Address: Jaro, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo, Philippines
Do you enjoy going to museums? The Museo Iloilo showcases treasures from its rich history and connects their importance to the present. It is a great place for children to hop on a trip to the past. Address: Iloilo City Proper, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo, Philippines
The Iloilo City Hall also has a small museum that is open to the public. In the picture below, I am wearing a headdress for the Dinagyang Festival, a religious and cultural festival held on the 3rd Sunday of January or right after the Sinulog in Cebu.
Aside from its heritage sites, Iloilo City is also known for its being a business district. Here you can find the Atria Park District, Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park, and the Smallville Complex. Why don’t you head on over to SM City Iloilo for a unique Filipino malling experience?
Where To Stay:
The Mansion in Iloilo City is one of the most prominent landmarks in Iloilo City. It is also just a short drive away from historical sites and the business centers. Also accessible are ferries to Guimaras, Palawan, Bacolod, CDO, and Cebu. The Iloilo International Airport is only 45 minutes away. My workmates and I had such an amazing stay here, and I highly recommend it!
Where To Buy Souvenirs and Gifts
The Original Biscocho Haus is the best place to buy delicious food souvenirs. Here you can find the famous Biscocho, or toasted bread crackers with butter and sugar. You can also buy other sweets such as butterscotch, fruit tarts, piaya, cookies, and tablea (chocolate tablets).
Another place where you can buy your pasalubong is Merzci. It is a known- brand of pasalubong treats from Bacolod. It has already expanded its branches to Iloilo.