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Iloilo City, historic town

March 22, 2014 Michelle Towns to visit

Iloilo City Map

Iloilo City Map

Every country uses different advertising media to make sure that its tourist spots will be included in the travel itinerary of any travel enthusiast. But Iloilo Philippines may not need this at all. The word of mouth used as an advertising tool by the tourists who visited the city will convince you to visit it as well. These tourists may talk about the food or may be the historical places they have been but they will never forget to tell you about the people. The locals, also known as Ilonggos, are gem. They definitely know how to get mad but one thing’s for sure, you’ll never notice that. They are the sweetest and nicest people on earth.

About the city

Chinese traders who came in the city during the early years of the 19th century did trade for their business. They called the city “ilong-ilong” instead of “irong-irong” which was the original name of the city. Because of their frequent business, the people started to get used to the term spoken by the Chinese traders. The name of the city then evolved to Iloilo City.

Irong river Iloilo

Irong river

“Irong” means nose which is also the shape of Iloilo River.

Where to Stay

Hotels in Iloilo vary by class including standard, economy and budget. Among the standard class hotels include The Grand Dame Hotel, Iloilo Business Hotel, Amigo Terrace Hotel ,Westown Hotel, Hotel del Rio, Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center and Iloilo Grand Hotel.

The economy class includes Century 21 Hotel, Eon Centennial Plaza Hotel, Highway 21 Hotel, The Grand Tower Suites, Iloilo Midtown Hotel, Arthur Suites Boutique Hotel, Circle Inn Hotel and Suites, Harbor Town Hotel and Smallville 21 Hotel.

Iloilo FLEUR DE LIZ INNBudget hotels include Kahilwayan Inn, Vista Inn and Fleur de Liz Inn.

What to do

The history of the city can be reflected through its achitectural design of churches, houses, roads and monuments. The Molo Church is popular with its Baroque designs while the Jaro Cathedral is built with Romanesque revival architecture. Standing apart the Jaro Cathedral is the Jaro Belfry which was restored after a major earthquake in 1948.

You can experience a blast from the past in your travel itinerary by visiting the historical street Calle Real. This is the heritage site of the city which was a central business district of the region. Most of the designs of the buildings include art-deco, art-nouveau, baroque and Venetian.

Other Iloilo tourist attractions include the mansions of sugar barons built before the war. Ledesma Mansion, Eusebio Villanueva Mansion, Antillian House of Sanson-Montinola, Nelly’s Garden, Jalandoni-Montinola Mansion, Lopez-Vito Mansion, Locsin Mansion, Casa Mariquit, Tienda Antigua and Villa Lizares are among the ancestral houses in the city.

Calle Real Iloilo

Calle Real Iloilo

Several historical landmarks are also worth the visit including Fort San Pedro, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, Mulle Loney, Carpenter Bridge, Old Provincial Capitol, Museo de Iloilo, Replica of the Spanish Crown of Queen Regent Ysabel II and Philippine American Cemetery.

A food trip must be included in your travel itinerary when visiting Iloilo. The popular must try dishes are La Paz Batchoy and Pancit Molo. Rice cakes also vary including Baye-Baye and Ibus. Sweet treats are also available including the Biscocho, Pinasugbo and Barquillos.



The city has its own feast called the Dinagyang Festival celebrated during the last week of January. If you miss the schedule there are a lot of places to include in your travel itinerary like you just read above. One thing is for sure, no matter what time or day you visit the City of Love you’ll be treated by the locals with politeness and thoughtfulness.

How to get to Iloilo City

Manila to Iloilo by Air

Take a direct flight from Manila to Iloilo City which will take about 55 minutes. The new airport is a 30-minute ride from the city proper.

Manila to Iloilo by Sea

A longer trip is also available which will take up to 20 hours by large shipping lines.


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