Everybody knows I’m fiercely in love with Davao but if there’s one place I’d consider relocating to, it would be Iloilo. Iloilo is a small city with a whole lot to offer.
Historical and Cultural Tours
I love that Iloilo has a lot of nice architecture and historical places from our colonial past. The photowalk I did with friends was very interesting. We took a walk around downtown for several hours. We had a friend, who’s a history nut, do the tour with us and he shared some very interesting anecdotes. We ended up in Fort San Pedro to watch the sunset over Guimaras. Such a beautiful site. And a great place to have your photos taken.
Recently, I was able to visit and take a tour of the Camiño Balai nga Bato in Villa de Arevalo. It is a well-preserved house from the colonial times. The Camiños was one of the pioneers in the Iloilo weaving industry. And the entire ground floor used to be dedicated to weavers and weaving looms. Most of it still is now. The modern weavers create various sinamay and other cloths that would make for great Filipiniana wear. The Camiños still live in the house so there are a lot of modern gadgets and appliances inside the household. The tour includes a taste of heavenly hot tsokolate paired with kinihad. Kinihad is toasted bread.
The Sinamay House is nearby so we also dropped by to admire the old house and take a look at some of the beautiful sinamay cloth for sale.
If you’re a foodie like me. Iloilo will definitely make you happy.
Iloilo is known for its abundance of fresh seafood. Most of it come from Roxas and other nearby towns, but they are still fresh and affordable in Iloilo. My favorite restaurant in Iloilo is Breakthrough. They have a selection of fresh seafood and an abundance of oysters. You can have your pick of seafood and have them cooked the way you want them… grilled, steamed, in a soup, or kinilaw (ceviche). It’s by the sea so it’s quite far.
Good thing they now have Ponsyon by Breakthrough in Plazuela Iloilo, right in the middle of downtown, a stone’s throw away from SM Iloilo. Try the Aligue Rice, Baked Scallops, and the sinigang.
A few doors away, also in Plazuela Iloilo, is Maridel’s. Maridel’s serves up a very strong brewed coffee, perfect to drink with any of the delectable cakes and pastries they sell. My personal picks are the Lemon Meringue Pie, the Heaven or Hell Cake, and the Vodka Cake (it’s like rhum cake, only with vodka).
If you like sweets, you must also try some goodies from Mama’s Kitchen. It is also located at the Sinamay House. They sells crisps which are thin crispy cookies. My favorite is the Pinipig Chocolate Crisp. Mmm… It’s great to munch on while you’re touring the city or as pasalubong to give to your friends.
And of course, no trip to Iloilo is complete without buying pasalubong from Biscocho Haus. I find that biscocho makes the aunts and uncles happy while butterscotch and barquiron makes the cousins and friends happy. There are other companies that sell these but I think Biscocho Haus is still the best.
Biscocho Haus in Jaro has a restaurant, Carlito’s. They serve delicious food,as well. You might want to try their Molo Soup and the Baye Baye ala Mode.
Another place to visit for good food and some drinks is Bourbon Street. They have great food. Try their pasta or their beef stew. Or maybe just have a few drinks.
If you want to party hard, I suggest you drop by Flow in Smallville. The place is great and it is said that this is where the beautiful people hang out. (Probably why my friends brought our group there. LOL!)
Both Bourbon Street and Flow are located in Smallville, the center of Iloilo’s nightlife. There are also lots of other bars, restaurants, cafes, and even hotels in the area.
There’s definitely a lot of things to do and enjoy in Iloilo. It’s a place I’ll always look forward to going back to.
During my two visits there, I stayed at One Lourdes Dormitel, a great place for budget travelers. And at Eon Centennial Plaza located at the heart of the city, and not too expensive, as well.
So what are you waiting for? Discover history, food, and an exciting party scene in Iloilo. 😉
For more information on Camiño Balai nga Bato, visit their page.
The Eon Centennial Plaza Hotel is located along Jalandoni Street. Visit their site.
AirPhil Express flies to Iloilo from Davao and vice-versa daily. AirPhil Express also flies to Iloilo from Manila, Cebu, and General Santos.