Fun things to do in Iloilo City

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Iloilo City

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    Eat Seafood

    by machomikemd Written May 25, 2012

    Panay Island is known as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines and the whole region, of which Iloilo City is included, has many seafood restaurants and stalls that offer a dizzying variety of local seafoods, both freshly caught and harvested from the fishing farms and they are very cheap. The varieties are endless like Tanigue, Blue Marlin, Crabs, Oysters, Milkfish, Mahi Mahi and more. they are cooked in an endless variety but most are grilled or made into kilawin or into Siningang (sour broth) and again are very cheap. When in Iloilo City, you must try to eat the cheap but flavorful seafoods of Iloilo.

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    Jaro Cathedral Belfry

    by machomikemd Written May 25, 2012

    In Most Roman Catholic Churches in the Philippines, the belfry is usually located beside the Church or cathedral but here at the Jaro Cathedral, it is located across the streep in fron of the park since it is the remains of the earlier Jaro Church that was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1700's.

    Iloilo City has many churches and has two major cathedrals, This Jaro Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jaro which has control of the churches of Iloilo Province. The Bell Tower of the Church is located across the street from the church of which it was the remains of the original chruch before it was destroyed by an earthquake. The original cathedral was built in 1874 by the first bishop of Jaro, Mariano Cuartero, O.P. It was destroyed by an earthquake in January 1948 and later repaired in 1956 by the first Archbishop of Jaro, Jose Maria Cuenco. It is known as the shrine of Our Lady of the Candles under the original patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and is open everyday for both parishioners and gawking tourists. The Cathedral is just beside a big SM Supermarket.

    Opens: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm everyday

    the Jaro Belfry part of the destroyed church just across the jaro cathedral goingn ton then church going to the church from downtown
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    Jaro Cathedral

    by machomikemd Written May 25, 2012

    Iloilo City has many churches and has two major cathedrals, This Jaro Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jaro which has control of the churches of Iloilo Province. The Bell Tower of the Church is located across the street from the church of which it was the remains of the original chruch before it was destroyed by an earthquake. The original cathedral was built in 1874 by the first bishop of Jaro, Mariano Cuartero, O.P. It was destroyed by an earthquake in January 1948 and later repaired in 1956 by the first Archbishop of Jaro, Jose Maria Cuenco. It is known as the shrine of Our Lady of the Candles under the original patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and is open everyday for both parishioners and gawking tourists. The Cathedral is just beside a big SM Supermarket.

    Opens: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm everyday

    facade the cathedral inside at night Our Lady of Candles
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    Take pictures of old houses..

    by kemisteryoso Updated Sep 3, 2011

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    I saw many old houses in Iloilo city but since I have problem with my battery I took only some. Most are typical Spanish Houses or what we called "Bahay na Bato". Houses with concrete first floors and wooden second floors.

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    Go To The Dinagyang Festival

    by cyndymc Updated May 12, 2011

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    The Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is considered the best of the best festivals in the Philippines. It is a religious and cultural festivity in Iloilo City celebrated for the dual purpose of honoring the Santo Nino (Holy Child Jesus) and celebrating the arrival of the Malay settlers in Panay, and the concomitant selling of the island by the Atis. Dinagyang is a month-long city celebration but the culminating activities are held every fourth Sunday of January, just a week after Cebu’s Sinulog and Aklan’s Ati-Atihan.

    The 2011 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival was a celebration of green life, conceived to push barangays and towns to protect the environment and take on new directions for a more vibrant, prosperous, healthy and safe community living. The Dinagyang Festival had for its 2011 theme "Senor Santo Nino: Source of Our Unity, Bond of Our Family", while the tagline was "Iloilo’s Finest, Nation’s Best."

    Hubby and I were fortunate to have gone to the 2011 Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City. It was a dream photo shoot for us who are both photography enthusiasts, with special interest on local festivals. We had the honor and privilege of being accepted by the Dinagyang committee for media accreditation to cover the festival as accredited photographers. Lady luck was with us; we were assigned to Judging Area No. 2 near the Provincial Capitol. It was a choice place because we would get to see the Dinagyang Tribes perform right infront of us.

    2011 Dinagyang Festival Dinagyang Festival Is A Tribute To Sto. Nino Tribe Competing For Ati Streetdance Contest In Honor of  Sto. Nino Dinagyang Tribes Honor Sto. Nino
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    Food Trip: Savor Ilonggo Cuisine

    by cyndymc Updated May 12, 2011

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    Dinagyang Food Festival is a much awaited event by both locals and tourists. For four days starting January 20, 2010, the major streets in the City Proper were closed to traffic, from Delgado Street to Iznart & Quezon Streets, and from Ledesma to Valeria Streets up to Gen. Luna. The streets were lined with kiosks and food stalls selling fresh oysters, catfish and other seafoods that people asked to be cooked the way they wanted their food (grilled or steamed or whatever). There were also all kinds of Ilonggo BBQ and Ilonggo delicacies. Of course, there were cold beer and softdrinks. At the Capitol grounds, we also saw many BBQ stalls and kiosks of participating restaurants.

    It was so amusing seeing all kinds of foods cooked the Ilonggo way. My mouth watered for their oysters and catfish, but hubby reminded me that I didn't have my anti-allergy medication that day and we didn't have time to look for the nearest pharmacy, so I shouldn't take the risk of having an allergy attack that day.

    Chicken, Pork, Squid & Catfish For Grilling Kiosks Being Prepared @ Capitol Grounds Assorted BBQ Cuts @ Dinagyang Food Festival Fresh Oyster For Only P30-35/Basin
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    Best Coffee Yet!

    by nengmaui Updated Mar 25, 2011

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    I'm a coffee lover and I am from Iloilo. Though I don't live there at the moment, I know a good coffee when I taste one. It could be a matter of having tasted so many variant of commercialized coffee that my taste buds have changed its taste preferences to something organic or, I could just probably be pulling your leg just so I can get you to visit my hometown. Either way, the choice you pick is the best.

    If you don't have an astute preference in dining or coffee drinking style, Madge Cafe is a must-visit place if you are in Iloilo City. Its location is within the La Paz Market, which is not difficult to find at all. Your landmark would be The Grand Dame Hotel that is right across the market.

    What you get.
    The coffee they serve is brewed the old-fashioned way. Once you enter the place, you will see where they make your coffee. You will not find any of the expensive coffeemaker that you normally see at Starbucks, though. Also, don't expect to see a wide variety of coffee menu list. At Madge, the classics prevail! Even when they don't have a wide coffee selection, the taste of what they brew is just too difficult to resist. It's so far, my favorite blend of coffee!

    What they serve.
    Madge doesn't only serve coffee for politicians, health buffs, or tourists. They have a selection of various Filipino viand, soup, Ilonggo delicacies, and drinks.

    How it looks.
    At first glance, it looks ordinary. But once you get inside, the noticeable display of mugs with names arranged on the mounted cupboard behind the ladies making the coffee is interesting. A friend who introduced me to the place tells me that the mugs were owned by regular customers of the cafe so that each time they come for a cuppa joe, they have their own mug to use -- personalized especially for them!

    How much?
    I normally order a strong cup of coffee and three buttered pan de sal in under 80 pesos!

    What else is there?
    I have to make a statement about the owner of the cafe. He is such a warm and friendly person. He is very accommodating and it's only in this kind of place where I can sincerely feel the gratitude that this owner has to give to his visitors.

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    Visita Iglesia

    by cyndymc Updated Mar 24, 2011

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    The Province of Iloilo is known for beautiful heritage churches in its municipalities. You need not go far to see a sample of such heritage church. Within Iloilo City, you can visit either or both of the Molo Church a.k.a. St. Anne Parish and/or Jaro Cathedral. Then there's Sto. Nino de Arevalo Parish, a small church serving as home to the 3rd oldest original image of the Sto. Nino.

    In the City Proper, you'll find another heritage church, the San Jose Parish. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to take photos since there were always ceremonies being held there during the Dinagyang festivity.

    Jaro Cathedral Molo Church Sto. Nino de Arevalo Parish
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    Museum Visit

    by cyndymc Written Mar 10, 2011

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    While strolling at the Capitol compound, I noticed Museo Iloilo. I went inside, paid the admission fee and made a cursory look. I wasn’t impressed with the display in the museum. They lacked information materials. The absence of proper labels in the showcases was very disappointing. There wasn’t even a systematic flow of visitor traffic to the displays/showcases. Ventilation was very poor; it was so hot inside. I didn’t stay long. I couldn’t help but compare it with other museums which had a very organized display of artifacts. I left without that good feeling of having absorbed Iloilo’s rich history. I was wondering why the museum looked neglected. I hope to see it in a better state when I come back.

    Museo Iloilo Museo Iloilo Admission Fees & Museum Hours
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    Have A Glimpse Of The Old Provincial Capitol Bldg.

    by cyndymc Updated Mar 10, 2011

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    Like other old capitol buildings in other provinces of the Philippines, the old Iloilo Provincial Capitol was known as Casa Real. The Casa Real building has undergone a lot of repairs, renovations and extentions since it became Iloilo's seat of the civil government in 1901. The place was then used as a military garrison by Japanese Imperial Forces during WWII.

    When the much bigger new Provincial Capitol building was built, the original capitol building was not given much attention. The National Historical Institute (NHI) took notice and early this year, declared it as a "National Historical Site". Today, there is a move to restore the architecture of Casa Real to its original style. The Casa Real building is envisioned to be a big tourist attraction as historical landmark in the city. When the restoration project is finally complete, the building will serve as showcase of Iloilo’s rich heritage.

    Old Provincial Capitol Behind Arroyo Fountain Old Provincial Capitol
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    Refresh Yourself By The Arroyo Fountain

    by cyndymc Updated Mar 10, 2011

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    As previously mentioned, hubby and I were fortunate to have been granted Media/Photographers’ IDs for the 2011 Dinagyang Festival. We were assigned to shoot pictures from Judging Area #2, which is near the old Provincial Capitol. Since many streets have already been closed to give way to the street dancers, we went to look for the site a day prior to the festival so we would know how to get there by walking from our hotel in case a taxi couldn’t bring us there.

    I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful fountain with neo-classical design in the middle of the street. Many locals gathered to refresh themselves or meet up with some people there. Based on its marker, it was built in 1927. I wondered why it was placed in the middle of a main street of the commercial district where there are nearby malls, retail outlets and dining places instead of the Capitol’s grounds. I learned later that the fountain, known as the Arroyo Fountain, was erected there neither for aesthetics to enhance the landscape of the Capitol, nor for utter display of political power. Far from that… it was erected as a beautiful Kilometer Zero Landmark, serving as the starting gauge to any point in Panay or the city proper.

    I also learned that the sculptures of the 4 fountain ladies carrying a big ornately designed basin on top of their heads are strategically positioned. The ladies symbolize the four directions: North, South, East and West. Thus, one lady is facing the North, one is facing the South, one is positioned to the East, and another to the West.

    Arroyo fountain was not named after the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but after Sen. Jose Maria Arroyo, the great grandfather of her husband, former First Gentleman, Mike Arroyo. He was a prominent, respected and well-loved son of Iloilo. He is given credit as the author of Republic Act 3222 establishing the Iloilo Metropolitan Waterworks in the City.

    Trivia: The original sculptures depicted the ladies with half-naked bodies. Though artfully rendered, the Catholic Church reportedly took offense and influenced the local government to do something about the seeming obscenity. Thus, the sculptors altered the design and the ladies were carved clad with flowing robes like Greek goddesses.

    Arroyo Fountain Arroyo Fountain Marker of Arroyo Fountain The Fountain Ladies: North, East, West, South
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    Be Amazed By The "Luces In The SKy"

    by cyndymc Written Mar 10, 2011

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    For the past years, "Luces in the Sky" delighted thousands of spectators. The 2011 Dinagyang PyrOlympics called "Luces in the Sky" proved to be a major pyrotechnic event showcasing the best fireworks display of 13 shooters representing different pyrotechnic production companies all over the country. This year’s Fireworks Competition was a 2-part show held at SM City Iloilo last January 20-21, 2011. A guest pyrotechnic company from Singapore added grandeur to the event.

    Hubby and I were invited to a cocktail-dinner to witness the "Luces in the Sky" from SM City Iloilo’s Penthouse. As the fireworks began, our dinner and program were deserted by guests who scampered to the terrace to watch the myriad of blasting colors with child-like abandon.

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    Witness The Dinagyang Ati Competition

    by cyndymc Written Mar 9, 2011

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    The much-awaited main highlight of the Dinagyang Festival is the Ati Competition. Every year, competing tribes with dark brown skin, colorful costumes and intricate head gear perform in fast-paced choreography accompanied by heart-pounding tribal music and highly charged beating of drums. Amidst all the frenzy, the tribes pay homage to the real center of festivities, the Holy Child Jesus. Usually towards the end of their performance, the tribes raise an image of Sto. Nino and shout “Viva, Viva, Senor Sto. Nino!”

    Dinagyang Ati Competition is definitely an adrenaline rush experience not only for the performing tribes but for the photographers and audience as well. When the Ati Competition finally ended, I was still in high spirits. The Dinagyang Festival truly deserves the reputation of being the best of the best festivals in the Philippines. We'd love to return next year for another exciting festival.

    2011 Ati Competition Grand Champion: Tribu Pan-ay Tribu Pan-ay Warrior Tribu Bantu's Number For Ati Competition Tribu Paghidaet,2011 1st Runner Up for Ati Contest Tribu Bola-Bola, 2011 2nd Runner Up
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    Don't Miss The Kasadyahan

    by cyndymc Updated Mar 9, 2011

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    Some tourists come only to watch the grand streetdance or Ati competion, but equal attention must be given to the "Kasadyahan". "Kasadyahan" is the Hiligaynon (local dialect) term for "merrymaking".

    We went to the “Kasadyahan”, the first contest for the Dinagyang Festival. Only the best festival performances by tribes in the towns of Iloilo Province were chosen by the Dinagyang Committee to compete that day. Each tribe presented a dramatic pageantry and choreography that illustrated their tribe’s profuse thanksgiving, tribute and honor to the Divine Creator, and at the same time showed their cultural practices on environmental awareness and protection. This year, there were 9 competing tribes from selected towns and 2 guest (non-competing) groups from schools.

    I enjoyed watching all the tribes perform; sometimes I had to stop taking pictures if only to concentrate on every move of the tribes. I was really impressed by the support given to the performers by their respective local leaders. The mayor and other local officials were present to coach and cheer them.

    2011 Kasadyahan Champion: Tribu Pantat Mayor of Badiangan Lent Support To Grupo Pandayan Grupo Pandayan Of Badiangan Cyndymc With Mayor Of Badiangan Tribu Kasag Prepares To Perform at 2011 Kasadyahan
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    Visita Iglesia: St. Ann Parish Church/ Molo Church

    by kemisteryoso Updated Oct 17, 2010

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    Since Molo is the first district coming from the south, we made it our our last destination on our second day in Iloilo, when we explored its southern towns. We went to the farthest and alighted to each town as we travel back to Iloilo City.

    Molo Church is one among the churches in the Philippines with Gothic structure with some romanesque touches. It is made of coral stones just like most churches in the Island. The 1st and 2nd level of the facade is embellished with corinthian and tuscan pilasters with roman window spirelets and gothic architecture dominates the third level. An engrave image of St. Ann can be seen on the 2nd level of the facade.
    On the inside, it is romanesque with few gothic touches but the wooden retablos have gothic features so the church is more gothic. I saw frescos on the wall and ceiling near the main entrance. The old broken bell of The church was displayed near the last seat of the right aisle.
    There are 16 female saints positioned on each pillars heading to the altar that's why many call it as the "Most Feminist Church " in the Philippines. Among the female saints I remember are St. Juliana, St. Lucia, St. Rosa de Lima, St. Teresita, St. Claire, St. Cecilia, St. Margarita and St. Marta, St. Monica and St. Margaret Mary.

    In 1992, St. Anne Parish Church of Molo was formally declared as a national landmark by the National Historical Institute.

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