I had a very simple Day 9; I just wanted to observe the people in what others call “The City of Love,” that until now I do not know why this city is called that way. Is it because of Ilonggo’s sweet charm? Do you know why?
D-I-Y Iloilo City Proper Walking Tour. Being a runner, I started my own tour at Km.0 (it would be better if you would have a Iloilo City map from the Tourism office), where the Old Capitol and The Arroyo Marker (not of ex-PGMA but of the late Sen. Jose Ma. Arroyo) were. As usual, I visited the Provincial Tourism office (to ask for advice and free maps/brochures), then walk along Muelle St. enjoying the Iloilo River on your left. I turned right to Arroyo St. and feast on the bustling Chinese stores,
these stores have been doing business for decades already (how we need to emulate the Chinese for I see them doing business in every city I set my foot on- in Hanoi, Phom Pehn, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Surigao, Naga, Cebu, etc). You can find something old or “burloloys” here for pasalubong, me I’m contended in taking some memories through the power of my lenses. Continue walking and go towards JM Basa St., if you are keen enough you notice the long lines in Roberto’s, known for its delicious Siopao. You should buy their Queen Siopao and bring some more home. But for now, I’m contented with the regular one because of budget constraints. End the walk when you see Plaza Libertad.
Even though I avoid going to the mall during this backpacking trip, I find myself entering SM City Iloilo. Why? Because I learned that there is a One Town One Product (OTOP) display there. I took this opportunity and glance at some Iloilo products, a nice way to learn something about culture and livelihood. I also bought mango juice (delicious, refreshing, sweet, pulpy and cheap too) and a “nito” ring for myself. I want to bring home something from Iloilo.
D-I-Y Jaro, Iloilo City Walking Tour. From SM City I boarded the jeepney going Jaro. Get off the jeep when I saw the Jaro Cathedral and Old Belfry. I also discovered a small kiosk selling freshly baked “bibingka” (rice cake) in front of an old house just beside the Cathedral. I started to wander on the street and bought some hot bibingkas for merienda (do you know that merienda and siesta are among the many Spanish influences to us Filipinos?). So I took this time to feel this old Spanish settlement, to imagine the vibe this old city has to offer while awestruck with the countless old houses dating back the Spanish era. This also brings me to the conclusion that this city is rich and busy in her olden days. I was also amazed the big white structure nestled among the fine grass squared by heavy-duty iron bars – The Old House of Don Ramon Lopez also known as the White House of Iloilo. I wish I can enter that next time.
Before finally saying farewell to this prosperous city, I want to gather my thoughts and write some important learnings the 9 days has transpired in this backpacking trip.
I then boarded the jeepney going to Tabuk Bus Terminal, I’m excited to see Roxas City, Capiz– the fourth province in my itinerary. It was raining halfway the trip to Roxas City. From Passi City to Dao I was fortunate to have a seatmate, Richanne Rodriguez, who became a guide on board. She was helpful in teaching me some Ilonggo and Hiligaynon words while explaining everything we pass by- from coconuts to stone carvings along the way- it made the bus ride less boring. Thanks Richanne! I set foot on Roxas City by 5:42pm.
More pictures of sites to see in Iloilo City:
Day 9 Expenses in Philippine Peso
P20 Trisikad (Resort – Villa)
P14 Jeepney (Villa – Iloilo City Proper)
P7 Jeepney (Plaza – Atrium)
P39 Siopao at Roberto’s (to transfer photos and update FB status/twitter)
P7 Jeepney (Plaza – SM City Iloilo)
P6 Mango Juice (from OTOP)
P10 Nito Ring (from OTOP as souvenir)
P7 Jeepney (SM – Jaro)
P20 Special Bibingka
P7 Jeepney (Jaro – Tabuk Bus Terminal)
P139 Bus (Tabuk, Iloilo – Roxas City), non-aircon bus, (air-conditioned bus cost P175)
Php 276 (US$6 or €4.30) This is my third time to over-spend but I have no choice. I don’t have to worry about that because I still have excess during the past days. Tomorrow I’m sure I will save a lot. See you at Roxas City, Capiz on the next post!
Important Note: By now, I’ve been 9 days away from my hometown, Los Banos, Laguna.
Provinces I’ve visited so far: Negros Occidental, Guimaras and Iloilo,
Cities: Silay City, Bacolod City, La Carlota City, Kabankalan City (Negros Occidental) and Iloilo City.
Total Money Spent: PhP 2,184.50 or US$47.50 (all-in: transportaion, food, accomodation, etc. after 9 days)
Average Expenses: Php 242.73/day (still within budget, excess of Php8/day)
Excess Budget: Php 65.50 (that means I can spend Php 315.50 on Day 10)