2018 ILOILO CITY TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET, LIST OF HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
With a good transportation system visiting Iloilo City from my hometown Bacolod becomes pleasurable. The Negrense Bloggers and some friends from the media and Bacolod Camera Club visited Iloilo City via Fast Cat.
About Fast Cat
Fast Cat is the only shipping company in the country which operates catamaran Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) ferries. Designed fitted for the sea conditions and weather in the Philippines by Sea Transport Solutions of Australia.
Along with her sister companies, Philtranco and JAM Liner Inc. , the Fast Cat was put up to provide seamless travel in the entire Philippine Archipelago.
Philtranco is serving the routes of Southern Tagalog, Bicol, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
Located in scenic Panay Island, The Province of Iloilo with Iloilo City as its capital is one of the most peaceful places in the country, populated by a people who can be characterized for their being personable and for being unpretentiously gentle and soft-spoken. Their composition and their overall composure as a people are the stuff of legends as they are characteristically soft-spoken with a lilting dialect that seems to strum the proverbial strings of your heart. Rarely will you find an Ilonggo who would be cut differently from the cloth – as they all seem to be possessed of the same qualities that mark them as quite unique individuals.
It has been said that the province and its capital city’s name is derived from the term Irong-Irong or Ilong-Ilong – which is explained by the convergence of the Iloilo and Batiano Rivers forming a rather prominent nose-like landscape when viewed from above. Through the years, the name has been contracted, hence the name, Iloilo. No matter if this tale is true or not, the important thing is that the place seems to be a veritable factory of the most even-keeled people with a predisposition for a personality that borders on the sweet.
There are 42 municipalities and one city in the province and each place boasts of something that really sets it apart from the rest. The province is also known for its agriculture, regularly producing products which are staples for exportation. Being an island, it is also teeming with rich marine life, some of which are protected, some of which are for commercial consumption. The biodiversity of the province is quite pronounced with several indigenous species of flora and fauna to be found in its borders.
It is also the recognized trade center of the Western Visayas region, with several important trading posts, international ports and airports servicing millions of visitors and serving as conduits for billions of pesos’ worth of trade. This province is also a center for education with several prominent universities and educational institutions producing the best minds in the fields of science, engineering, agriculture and the social arts.
As Ilonggos are all inclined to be merry and love to be part of any kind of merrymaking, it comes as no surprise that every month, there is something to be celebrated – from feasts of patron saints, to mythical figures, to historical events and the like. It seems that for Ilonggos, there’s always a reason to be engaged in a little bit of merrymaking – probably one of the many reasons why their personalities and their culture have earned their province the moniker – the Heart of the Philippines. Their vibrancy and their capacity for merriment are truly things that help to establish the beat of the country’s proverbial heart.
The famous San Joaquin Campo Santo located in San Joaquin in Iloilo, Philippines. This famous landmark was declared as National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines along with San Joaquin Church
Exploring the province will also bring you to many entertaining surprises. Graceful and elegant artifacts and relics of a time long past can be perused in its museums with each piece seemingly whispering its secrets to your ear. Preserved houses of historical figures, as well as those with religious significance, dot the landscape. If you can, take a side trip to Graciano Lopez Jaena’s hometown of Jaro and be ready to enter a totally different enclave of vintage houses maintained to exacting specifications. You would find yourself as if you are living in the past – with the elitist rich of the Ilonggo people seeming to watch over every move.
Iloilo’s Arevalo District is also another place to behold. Those who are into horticulture would appreciate the variety of blooms that dot the front of the village houses all year-round. Those who want to find native textiles such as sinamay, jusi and the like would also do well to drop by the district as it houses the famed Ilonggo weavers.
Top: Molo Plaza, Below: Miagao Church
Iloilo also houses several architectural wonders of religious significance – the Miag-ao Fortress Church, San Joaquin Church as well as the Sta. Barbara Church all highlight different facades which would make any visitor with an eye for such features satisfied.
But gastronauts would surely find Iloilo’s rich cuisine highly exceptional and satisfying to their discerning palate. Bakeries regularly churn out torones, galletas, biscochos, broas, hojaldres and banadas – among other exotic sounding biscuits and bread products. Take to the streets and the restaurants to sample the famed pancit molo and la paz batchoy – noodles enriched with flavorful broth, as well as their chicken binakol.
Iloilo beats the life into the vibrant culture of the Philippines – infusing it with such elements that help it to separate Filipino culture from the rest. While it may have its own regional flavor, it does add to the vibrant and ever-evolving culture that is truly Filipino.
1-Day Iloilo Itinerary
Below is our itinerary for our Iloilo Heritage Tour. Our tour around the city was via Philtranco Bus.
4:30 am – assembly time at Banago Port, Bacolod
5:00 am – 7: 00 am from Bacolod to Iloilo via FastCat (see below for the fare and schedule )
7:00 am – 9 :00 am Miagao Church
9:00 am – 10:00 am San Joaquin Cemetery
10:00-12:30 – Garin Farm
12:30 -1:30 pm – lunch in Arevalo
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm- Molo Church, Mansion, and Plaza
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm- Camina, Balay na Bato
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Arevalo Weavers
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Dinner at Atria /Netong’s Batchoy
8:00 pm – 10 PM – Trip to Bacolod (via fast Cat)
Things to Do in Iloilo City | Tourist Attractions
There are so many things that you can do when in Iloilo City. Below are some of the famous attractions of the city and some other activities which you will surely enjoy.
Enjoy Guimaras Island
Iloilo City is a gateway to many destinations. Just 15 minutes away from the City, you will reach Guimaras island which is loaded with tourist attractions.
This UNESCO Heritage Church is one of the oldest church in the country. In my own personal point of view, the Miagao Church is one of the churches in the Philippines with the most beautiful facade. Please click the link to read my review – Miagao Church
Experience Islas de Gigantes
One of the most beautiful tourist spots in Western Visayas is the Islas de Gigantes found on the Carles, Iloilo. I have outlined in the travel guide details on what to see and do on the island. Please click here for the Islas de Gigantes Travel Guide
Side trip to Bacolod City
Bacolod City is just an hour fast craft ride from Iloilo City. You can easily take a day trip or even stay for 3-4 days in Bacolod to maximize your visit in the Visayas. Listed below are some article to help you out if you plan a side trip in Bacolod City.
Iloilo City is home to the famed Dinagyang Festival held every January in honor of the Sto. Nino. Please click here for the detailed Dinagyang Schedule of Activities.
List of Budget Hotels in Iloilo City
Iloilo City Has a wide array of hotels ready to serve any guests. In your next visit, you can book a room by simply clicking on the links below. Most of these hotels offer discounted rates.
180 De Leon Street, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Circle Inn – Iloilo City Center
Iznart Street, Maria Clara, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines
Days Hotel Iloilo
The Atrium at the Capitol, Cor Gen. Luna- Bonifacio Dr, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
District 21 Hotel
Donato M.Pison Avenue Brgy. San Rafael Mandurriao, Mandurriao, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
DIVERSION 21 HOTEL
Benigno Aquino Avenue Service Road, Mandurriao, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Go Hotels Iloilo
Ledesma Street, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines
GT Hotel Iloilo
De Leon Street Iloilo City, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Harbor Town Hotel
corner JM Basa – Aldeguer Streets, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines
Hotel Del Rio
M.H. Del Pilar St., Molo, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Iloilo Business Hotel
Benigno Aquino Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Iloilo Budget Inn – Jaro
E.L. 98, 12 Castilla Street, Jaro, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Iloilo Midtown Hotel
corner Yulo – Iznart Streets, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Injap Tower Hotel
West Diversion Road, Manduarriao, Mandurriao, Iloilo, Philippines
La Fiesta Hotel
M.H. Del Pilar Street, Molo, Molo, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Mo2 Westown Hotel and Resort
Glicerio T. Pison Benigno Aquino Drive, Mandurriao, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
One Lourdes Dormitel
Cor. Fuentes and Ledesma Sts, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Corner Delgado and Fuentes Streets, Iloilo, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Times Square Building, General Luna Street, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Richmonde Hotel Iloilo
Megaworld Boulevard cor. Enterprise Road, Iloilo Business Park, Mandurriao, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
SMALLVILLE 21 HOTEL
Pasencia T. Pison Avenue, Smallville Complex, Mandurriao, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
101 General Luna Street Iloilo City Philippines, City Proper, Iloilo, Philippines,
Luna Street cor. Arroyo Magdalo St. (In Front of St Clements Parish), Lapaz, La Paz, Iloilo, Philippines, 5000
Miag-ao Church, Iloilo
How to Get to Iloilo
Iloilo by Air
Iloilo is being served by her new International Airport located in Cabatuan. Several airlines have flights daily and weekly on various routes as follows: Iloilo – Manila; Iloilo – Cebu; Iloilo – Davao; Iloilo – Cagayan; Iloilo – General Santos; Iloilo – Puerto Princesa and Iloilo – Tacloban. The airport also has It also has two (2) flights/week from Iloilo to Hong Kong and three (3) flights/ weekly from Iloilo to Singapore.
To get to the airport from the city, one can take a van at the terminal located at SM City at PHP 55/person or you can take a taxi.
Iloilo by Sea
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has a terminal in Lapuz, Iloilo City serving Iloilo-Bacolod passengers. Simply ask around to get to the Fast Cat Terminal which is just located within the area. The Fort San Pedro has several trips for Iloilo-Manila Route; Iloilo to Cagayan Route; and Iloilo to Cebu Route.
For Iloilo-Guimaras Route, just proceed to the Parola Terminal. They have 30 trips daily.
There are also trips for Bacolod-Iloilo Passengers at the Port of Dumangas-Naluyu-an, around 29 kilometers east from Iloilo City.
University of the Philippines-Visayas
Fast Cat Iloilo-Bacolod Route Schedule and Route
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