Sharing my Travel experiences in ILOILO...
28.07.2012 - 30.07.2012 29 °C
It was my birthday, and I am going on another backpacking travel with Fox that she has arranged months ago, with another dear friend Sugar, to Iloilo. We were excited and a little bit nervous because we are once again going to a place where we know not a soul and a typhoon on it's way.
I have been preparing for this travel, checking places to see and things to do. I have already called two different hotels were we can stay and by the direction I got from both hotels, it shouldn't be difficult to find them. We just need to decide on what we want to do.
Yes, we still have not decided yet because of the weather. One hotel will give us a good starting point if we decide to explore Iloilo and a cheap stay at that, while the other is in the City and is near the port to an entirely different plan, which is to explore Guimaras.
We arrived in Iloilo International Airport and got into one of the pubic airport van that should bring us to Manduriao, Iloilo City. The weather was just fine, there was a little rain but we didn't want to brave crossing the sea so a decision has been reached, we will tour ILOILO instead in the next 3 days and 2 nights.
Our first stop was the Ong-Bun Pension house located in Ledesma, Iloilo City. We took a public jeep to get there and that was when it started raining. The room was okay for the price that we paid, if not for only having two beds, but we were okay. We got to the room and left our things, washed a little and prepared for our first experience in this city.
We went out and had our very first Ted's Oldtimer Batchoy. We went to their branch located at the Diversion Rd. near SM City which is said to be the biggest in the city according to a local.
A big bowl of steaming batchoy was perfect for this rainy weather. Yes, it started raining while we were eating. Like I said it was my birthday, and I received a gift while we were having lunch. I got my very first scrap book.
We then visited a gothic-inspired church in Molo, Iloilo, the Parish of St. Anne.
We went home after the small celebration and I slept from 4pm until midnight. When I woke up I decided to plan where we are going the next day so I checked a few itineraries and came across four different churches worth visiting. So it is set, tomorrow will be a Food for the Spirit day and so I went back to sleep with a map of these churches.
We wake up the next morning in a weather fit for traveling. Today we will be visiting the churches of Iloillo, a few historical places, and satisfy our hunger for authentic Iloilo FOOD.
We took the jeep going to San Joaquin after a quick breakfast from Sari-Sari Store, which is actually a bakeshop that has a small dining area that offers bread, pasta, silogs, and some other local dishes. These jeepneys are located in Super, which is the city's market place. It should not be very hard to find as everyone knows where it is.
We began our food for the spirit trip by going to San Joaquin, Iloilo which took around an hour and a half. We passed a few churches along the way but my plan is to start at the farthest one. Fortunately, we reached the Parish of San Joaquin in a good weather. An interesting part is found in the facade of the Church which is the infamous Rendicion d’ Tetuan or the Battle of Tetuan, where the victory of Spanish soldiers under the leadership of General Leopoldo O’Donnel against the force of the crowned prince of Morocco, Milley Abbacas is immortalized.
A suggestion was given by a local that is worth visiting in San Joaquin, the Garin Farm. It was not in our places to visit so we gave it a little consideration. After taking pictures of the Church, I decided to get information about the place from the net (thanks to SUN Cellular's TRIOPLUS 100 which came with 420 minutes of free internet service).
Garin Farm is actually a vacation place of it's own with rooms and restaurant available for a day tour or an overnight stay, and activities that include swimming, kayaking, and others that you can enjoy during your stay with family and friends or even by yourself. It is a little bit expensive for us during that time so we decided to include this on our next visit to Iloilo.
Next, we took a bus heading to Iloilo's most famous Cathedral found in Miag-ao. The Parish of Miag-ao is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Baroque Churches of the Philippines. The parish is located near the University of the Philipines Visayas (UPV).
Of course, it is fronting the the town plaza. You can miss visiting the UPV but make sure that you visit this church.
After Miag-ao, our next stop will be another church in Guimbal, Iloilo. This church is one of the oldest in the Philippines being around 400 years old.
One would also enjoy enjoy a walk in Guimbal's Plaza which is found just across the parish.
We ended our our church visit at the Our Lady of Candles or more commonly known to visitors as the Jaro Cathedral, which is found in the municipality of Jaro, Iloilo.
The Cathedral has the Our Lady of Candles right above the entrance of the church. The patrons and tourists can see Her by climbing the stairs, very easy right?
One will find it unusual that this Cathedral's Belfry is separated from it by a major road.
After all of this travelling from one cathedral to another, it is now time for us to eat something that is original to Iloilo. It's a choice between two famous restaurants found just behind the Church. You are just going to need a little more patience finding them.
TIP! From the Cathedral, exit at the right gate; from that street you will find [SM Hypermarket[/b] and if you continue on that road you will soon find an intersection.
Going left on that intersection then on the first right corner you will find Afrique's which serves pasta and pizza. We were there on a Sunday and it was closed. Ha!
We found Perri Todd's on the right side of the intersection. Here you will find giant burgers. You can share it, as well as the pasta. Very budget friendly, if you ask me.
After that hearty meal, we decided to stop by Biscocho House which is one of the most famous Pasalubong store in Iloilo. Buy biscocho, butter scotch (they come in different flavors, COOL), pinasugbo, merengue, etc.
This branch is conveniently located at the ground floor of the Jaro Bellevue Pension Haus. When buying from this store you have an option to put your pasalubong in a plastic bag or a Biscocho Pasalubong Box which is priced depending on its size.
Our last stop for the day is to try Iloilo's famous dessert/bakeshop, Duldies which is just a few blocks away from our hotel. It's just across SM Delgado.
If you don't have time to visit the store in Delgado Street, you can always try their desserts as it is also offered in Ted's Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy Diversion Rd. Branch.
Our day three allowed to visit only three places because our schedule to back to Manila is at noon.
Our first stop is the Museum of Iloilo. Find you way here by getting in a jeep that passes by the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.
Next stop is a visit to the Aduanna Tower. Go to this tower by getting to the street across the museum then take a Jaro-CPU Jeep that will pass by JM Basa Street. Get off at the Aduanna Street.
TIP! People may not know this tower by its name, so ask for directions going to the Post Office and beside it is the Iloilo Bureau of Customs. The tower is actually part of the Bureau of Customs.
On this tower you have a view of Iloilo City and the Island of Guimaras.
Our last stop is to the first branch of Mang Inasal. We wanted to take our picture at the store's Monster Cock before it took the city by storm. Unfortunately the store was still closed but we were able to take a picture of the cock.
Since it's closed, we had our lunch at Fiesta which serves affordable meals. This is just across Mang Inasal.