What to buy:
Iloilo city was primarily an old fishing town which developed all thru the years to a major hub in the Visayas islands. Locals have developed crafting skills that spans from fabric to carving. On the street i found this fairly made schooner (am i right?) replicas in varying sizes. Wanted to take one home if i had a place for it. Unfortunately ...
What to pay: Large = P800
Medium = P300
Small = P200
It may take some skill to find the shops specializing in embroidered pina and jusi, the local woven fabric-craft of Iloilo. It takes painstaking skill to weave pina fibers from the leaves of a special pineapple variety, knot them in a continuous delicate filament and thread a weaving loom for this filament to transform to a very fabric simply called pina. Usually hand-embroidered traditionally in techniques handed down from generation to generation, the famous pina fabric is made into the Philippines' national costume, the Barong Tagalog, worn during formal events.
Jusi is fibers extracted from banana plant and follows much the same process. The result of such treatments on pineapple and banana fibers is a pearly fabric that subtly shine in the light. Newer techniques like dyeing these fabrics and modern treatment to fabrics has resulted to modern styles and fabric strength.
What to buy: Check for quality - evenness of weave, color and consistency of embroidery.
Deco's own pasalubong store! Just located next door from Deco's La Paz Batchoy at La Sallette Bldg along Valeria Street. Here, one will find all known pasalubong delicacies brands and products from all over Iloilo - Biscocho Haus, Deocampo, Trappist Monastery, etc ... with very little price difference. They'll even pack them free in a Deco's branded box for your convenience if you leave Iloilo by plane.
Even SM supermarket across the street do not have a more complete line of pasalubong products and brands in their shelves. The friendly and helpful staff comes as a big plus too.
What to pay: less than Php2.00 price difference from price of sources
Numerous small kiosks advertising "baye-baye" lined the road going to the airport at Sta. Barbara town of Iloilo province. We got so curious we just can't leave Iloilo without checking it out.
What to buy: Baye-baye (pronounced ba-ye-ba-ye) is a pastry made from lightly sweetened sticky rice and flour shaped in 4-inch cylinders and wrapped in wax paper. A pack contains about 6 pieces and sold for around P25. From those coming from Luzon island in the Philippines, it's very similar to the espasol of Laguna.
What to pay: about P25 for half a dozen pieces
Iloilo boasts of a grand tradition of producing handloomed fabrics made from fibers of banana (locally called "jusi" pronounced HUSI), pineapple ("piña"), and sinamay.
And this grand tradition lives on in Iloilo's most popular dealer for such fibers - the Iloilo Sinamay Dealer.
Jusi and piña fabrics are usually sewn into local dresses - barong Tagalog for men, gowns for women - which are traditional clothes for weddings and formal occasions. The fabrics are further enhanced by intricate embroidery handsewn by skilled artisans.
What to buy: Jusi and piña fabric with intricate handmade embroidery.
What to pay: Starting from about US$10
At the entrance gate of the Miag-ao Church grounds, a small mobile cottage is put up to showcase and sell local crafts and foods. Best location for it considering that mostly of Miag-ao tourists primarily come to visit the church, hence not missing the shop.
What to buy: Hand-made souvenirs made in Miag-ao. T-shirts. Local snack foods.
What to pay: Fixed Price - reasonable enough.
Freshly-prepared food delicacies packed in plastic wrappers. Fast service.
What to buy: Buy here the pasalubongs or your wake-up food while driving on the road. Biscocho, tarts, chips, yema and other local food delicacies Iloilo is famous of.
What to pay: Reasonable prices being a 1st hand outlet.
My husband is what they call a "balikbayan" -- a Filipino returning home. It's customary that balikbayans bring their family stuff when they come to visit. We didn't bring anything during our recent trip, and SAM'S SHOES solved our problem.
Sam's is located in JM Basa, Iloilo's old town. I hear there are more branches, but I'm not sure where they are. They sell shoes coming in all shapes and sizes. Other than the variety, their products come incredibly cheap! My husband's family had a spree! We must have bought 20+ pairs of footwear and the total cost us less than $100. I've never seen anything like it. I myself bought 2 pairs of flip flops that I've been wearing for the past 4 months.
My mother-in-law tells me that SAM'S SHOES has provided them with shoes for decades. It's become like an Ilonggo tradition. So if you're from abroad and are worrying that you didn't bring home enough, just take your family to Sam's!
What to buy: Le Chic Slippers
Men's Formal shoes
What to pay: It's incredibly cheap! I'd say a tenth of what the shoe would cost in first world countries
This is the newest, biggest and best mall in Iloilo City. Here you can find everything you need -- from groceries, pasalubongs, household appliance and more!
We've got it all for you!!
What to pay: prices are reasonable!
I am a true blue Ilonggo, having been born and bred in the city, but it took me so many years to discover that we have some of the world's best cookies right in our own "backyard!"
I only discovered them in December 2004, when a friend took me to Iloilo Sinamay Dealer (please see "Exquisite local fabrics" tip above). Right at the ground floor of the old Spanish home, which doubles as a shop, is Mama's Kitchen offering the most scrumptious and chewy cookies this side of the planet.
Mama's Kitchen prepare their cookies ala-home-made, right inside the compound. The mango chewies are simply divine - the creamy, chewy, not-so-sweet dough spiked by the tropical flavor of what is arguably the best-tasting mangoes in the world, melts in your mouth!
What to buy: The mango chewies are a must-take home goodie. They offer other cookie varieties - chocolate chip, cashews, etc., but it's the mango chewies that have captivated my taste buds!
What to pay: 180 pesos per box (about US$3.50)
Another good place to get those souvenirs (and even bigger ticket items) is the city's Central Market. The local handicraft section there is a every souvenir hunter's paradise - baskets, bamboo craft, local fabric, etc. - all at very reasonable prices (and don't be afraid to bargain!). Plus, it's location - the city's major (wet) market - affords you a glimpse into the everyday life of ordinary Ilonggos.
What to buy: While at the Central Market, you might as well explore it, and sample its other offerings - fresh fruits and vegetables, the freshest seafood, local cuisine, dried fish and seafood (great takehome ideas, too) and lots more!
What to pay: Very reasonable prices, and don't be afraid to bargain!
This is a one-stop shop for quality local crafts. The shop offers a wide variety of products, for which Iloilo has been famous for, from delicate pastries to exquisite shell and wood crafts to intricately embroidered pineapple and abaca fabrics.
Clearly, a showcase of Ilonggo ingenuity and artistry
What to buy: You name it, they are most likely to have it - bags and baskets, gifts and houseware, bamboo/wikcer furniture, ceramics, native delicacies, herbal medicines, woodcraft, shellcraft, bamboocraft, handmade paper products, handwoven fabrics, crochet dresses, paintings and artwork, T-shirt souvenirs, and lots more!
What to pay: Depends on your budget
dried fish is extremely popular here. It's even served at breakfast. Salty, crunch, fishy.
What to buy: just about any type of local dried fish can be had here.
Fish galore, all kinds of fish, freshly caught and cleaned or sold whole.
What to buy: Fish, caught fresh daily.
What to pay: cheap, haggle if you want
any local food your heart desires (and more)
What to buy: I actually am not a fan of the sausage here, but many people swear by it. Try it an judge for yourself.
What to pay: cheap
I spent more than two months in total in 2008 and 2009. It is high class hotel in central Iloilo...more
The Atrium At The Capitol Cor
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
It's built along the Iloilo river. Have great sunset during summer. A small hotel with small...more