Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fascinated with ILOILO

Iloilo—Island of southern mellowness and charm. You can’t rush through Iloilo. Take things as natives do: easy. Which is really the best way to appreciate its wealth of ancestral houses and churches. While you’re there be sure to shop for their pina and jusi, delicate fabrics woven from pineapple and banana fibers, and then hand-embroidered for Filipino costumes like the barong tagalog. Try to visit during Dinagyang Festival or Paraw Regatta.

The Festival's main food crispy roasted pigs or "lechon."

Paraw Regatta in Action

La Fiesta Hotel in downtown Iloilo City.

Amigo Terrace Hotel

My gracious host Hotel Del Rio, where I had met the most hospitable people. 

The President's choice of hotel to stay when in Iloilo, The Sarabia Hotel.

There were a lot of reasons to visit Iloilo, aside from its friendly people, the freshest bounty from the sea can also be found in Iloilo. There were also lots of historical places in the city including the church where it was believed that Dr. Jose Rizal  dropped by on his way to Dapitan. The UNESCO World heritage church in Miagao is also a must see for travelers. Don't forget to eat Diwal, Lato and the popular rice cake called "magkayakap" where two rice cakes were joined together by a banana leaf. 

I've been fascinated with Iloilo. It has the charm of the past and it has its own uniqueness. For one, it's the only place in the Philippines that has a gender-sensitive type of church. I mean, there's a church that only had Saints that were all men and another one that had all women Saints. It also had the Lopez owned Boat House and Nelly's garden. What's more? I've observed that it's only in Iloilo that people would leave their bags when they commune during mass and they'd find out their bags later in the same place, without any doubt. How trustworthy and honest Ilonggos are, weren't they?
More than its rich culture and wonderful scenic spots, its uniqueness among all the other places I've been to, I guess Iloilo fascinated me all the more because of its people. They're "malambing" and very approachable. Find out and see for yourselves.


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