Getting ready for Dinagyang Festival? This Travel Guide that I and Regine made would be of great help, promise.
Its very simple, we describe and give travel tips about Iloilo City. So, here it is:
Iloilo City Travel Guide Collab with Regine of Between Coordinates.
1. Describe Iloilo City.
Regine says: Iloilo City is home to several historical landmarks, old churches and buildings, delicious local cuisine, friendly Ilonggos, and of course this city boasts it’s much awaited world-class Dinagyang Festival every January.
James says: For me, Iloilo City is a steamy bowl of batchoy. A noodle soup with pork innards poured with hot steamy pork broth topped with chicharon, egg, friend garlic and onion springs. Hmmmm…. (Drool?)
2. What we like most about Iloilo City?
Regine says: I love the rich Spanish-colonial charm it exudes (the smell, look, and feel of some 100-year old buildings), the friendly and “malambing” people, and the pocket-friendly gastronomic finds. The city is a small metropolis which is both a blend of “laid-back living” and “busy work lifestyle” which I fondly like the most.
James says: Batchoy and batchoy. haha Seriously, batchoy (and maybe chicken inasal). I like the simple but beautiful Ilonggas, they are sweet and friendly. I also like how they preserved the heritage buildings and ancestral houses, applying adaptive reuse to some of them. Did I say I like Ilonggas? Yep, I like them 🙂
3. Is there anything the local government can do (or stop doing) in order to make Iloilo City more tourist-friendly.
Regine says: I believe the government is doing good in terms of making Iloilo tourist-friendly. The efforts could be seen in several tourism projects all around the city including the Molo Church and Plaza restoration, more so with cultural and historical site preservation.
James says: The last time I was there (May 2012), I saw they are renovating a lot of tourist attractions like the Old Capitol and the old business district. I actually like what they are doing with regards to tourism promotion, very organized.
4. Don’t go home without seeing/visiting/experiencing.
Regine says: Don’t go home without visiting the different old churches within the city: Molo, Jaro, San Jose. Take a stroll at the Iloilo Esplanade, the Fort San Pedro, Sto. Rosario Street near Plaza Libertad, Calle Real, Mulle Loney, and of course, the night life at Smallville. If you’re in the city on the 3rd Sunday of January, catch the Dinagyang Festival in along Iloilo downtown area. Another attraction is Paraw Regatta, held during February.
James says: Aside from the old churches, don’t miss roaming around the city proper. I have created a DIY walking tour: A Walk to Remember on the Old Streets of Iloilo City
5. Don’t go home without trying/eating ________.
Regine says: Don’t go home without trying Ted’s Old Timer La Paz Batchoy at Lapaz Public Market, coffee at Madge’s (inside the market or another branch at Diversion Road), cheesecakes at Dulgies (Delgado or Diversion Road – inside Ted’s), siopao at Roberto’s (at Calle Real), and of course, seafoods at Villa and Oton’s very popular “Grilled Oysters” at Allan’s.
James says: Plus one on Ted’s Old Timer, Roberto’s Siopao and Madge’s Cafe. I love dinuguan and molo soup too at JD Cafe. Batchoy and Madge’s can be found at the La Paz Public Market. There are many branches of JD in Iloilo City, just ask around.
6. Traveler’s Tip:
Regine says: To really enjoy the city, take the local jeepney and I promise you that you’ll see, hear, and feel Iloilo not as a tourist but as a resident. Don’t hesitate to ask for directions – most people will simply help you around.
James says: Iloilo City can be too hot, bring a bottle of water. Be observant of the old buildings around the city especially in the city proper, they even have the dates built engraved on the buildings. Have a leisurely walk beside the Iloilo river near SmallVille, its very relaxing.
7. Recommendation Hotel, Inn?
Regine says: A great night view of the bustling city can be seen atop Atrium Mall where The Days Hotel is a great place to stay. Along the same street is Sarabia Manor Hotel – for the swanky rooms. Budget-friendly hotels wound include Highway21, Century 21, Smallville 21, and Fine Rock Hotel. Affordable inns include City Corporate Inn, Circle Inn, and Ong Bun Pension House.
James says: The cheapest is Ong Bun, its recommended for budget-travelers (Php250 and up).
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Thanks Regine for collaborating with JourneyingJames for this Iloilo City post.
You can check Regine’s blog- Between Coordinates (which is by the way, sooooo rocking cool! Her blog is an inspiration for me because she knows what she likes and pursues it with focus.); connect with her on Facebook- Between Coordinates; and follow her on Twitter: @IamRegineGarcia.
Hope this simple guide would help you are you are prepping up for the Dinagyang Festival.
You can read my past articles about Iloilo City below:
- Iloilo & Guimaras Travel Guide on Mabuhay Magazine
- A Walk to Remember on the Old Streets of Iloilo City
If you want to join the Travel Bloggers Collab, please do email me at journeyingjames(AT)gmail(DOT)com together with the place you want to talk about. I want to learn from you and see from your perspective.