Iloilo is located in Western Visayas (Region 6). It is known as the “Heart of the Philippines” primarily because of the location, which is at the center of the Philippine archipelago. This is where we started our 4 day vacation (in Iloilo city to be exact) along with Gigantes Island and Guimaras. We were a group of 6 and to make things easier, we agreed to get some help with a trusted travel agency for this trip.
Easiest route is to travel by air. We managed to book a flight and arrived in Iloilo around 11:00 AM and started the tour right away. First, we visited a couple of churches namely Jaro Cathedral, San Jose Church, St. Clement’s Church, and Molo Church. Jaro Cathedral was built in 1864, the first and only cathedral during that time. It is now one of the oldest churches here. As for the other churches, we just spent a couple of minutes inside as we only had one day to tour Iloilo.
We also went to some of the old mansions. Kultura, which we typically see inside SM malls, has a branch inside the Molo Mansion. Souvenirs and shirts are sold for a higher price compared to other stalls. Another mansion we visited is Nelly’s Garden. It was named after Don Vicente Lopez’ eldest daughter, Nelly. Outside the mansion is a lovely garden which has been maintained until now. Inside the house are pictures of the Lopez family which will give you an idea how elegant parties were done during those days. Another mansion that the Lopez family owned is Casa Mariquit. It is the former home of Vice President Fernando Lopez. Compared to Nelly’s Garden, Casa Mariquit is not well maintained. There is only one caretaker who is also the repair man and the tour guide.
We had lunch at Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood restaurant before going to the hotel. They offer a wide array of dishes for a cheap price. They have a big parking space for tourist vans and a lot of tables and chairs, mainly because a lot of travel agencies take their guests at this restaurant. Their native fried chicken is a must try!
After the activities we had for the day, we checked in at Diversion 21 Hotel. It is conveniently located close to other food establishments and malls. There’s no need to worry if you need to buy some food or groceries. The hotel itself is neat and the staff were friendly. We went to bed early as we need to leave the hotel by 3:00 AM the following day to go to Gigantes Island.
I wish we had more time to wander. I know for a fact that there are a lot to explore and see but due to our itinerary, we only had a few to squeeze in on our schedule. Here are some of the pictures during our Iloilo trip.
Share your Iloilo trip too! Who knows, we might go back and visit places we weren’t able to. Feel free to comment down your suggestions.
Til next time,