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Iloilo Travel Guide

Itinerary, Things to do, How to get there and more

“City of Love”. “Heart of the Philippines”. Just some nicknames of the capital city of Iloilo, formerly called as the “Queen City of the South’. One of the country’s oldest cities - founded in 1581, Iloilo City is one of Panay Island’s best destinations. From being the center of the sugar industry to slowly growing as one of the Philippines’ developed cities, the city of the sweet and gentle speaking Ilonggos is a mixture of fabulous festivals, superb native food and fine architecture.

Where to go in Iloilo

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Antonia Island

Barangay Gabi Gigantes Sur Carles, Iloilo, Western Visayas, 5019, Philippines

Bantique Island Sandbar

Barangay Gabi Gigantes Sur Carles, Iloilo, Western Visayas, 5019, Philippines

Bingawan Baptist Church Inc.

Derecho st. Poblacion Bingawan, Iloilo, Western Visayas, 5041, Philippines

Bugnayan Marine Sanctuary and Marine Park

Barangays Lawigan-Igcadlum San Joaquin, Iloilo, Western Visayas, 5024, Philippines

How to Get Here

Getting Here
Getting to Iloilo City is easy by air or by sea.

By air: The Iloilo International Airport, the Philippines’ fourth busiest airport and said to be one of the country’s beautiful airports, receives domestic and international airlines - - serving flights to and from major cities of the country as well as direct international flights to and from Hongkong and Singapore.

Here is the list of the airlines operating at Iloilo International Airport:
· Philippine Airlines
· Cebu Pacific
· Philippines AirAsia

It is also nice to know that the Iloilo International Airport is just 30 minutes away from the city proper. Flight duration is as follows:
· From Manila – 45 to 55 minutes
· From Cebu – 25 to 30 minutes
· From CDO – 45 minutes
· From Davao – 1 hour

By sea: Being a coastal city, travelling to Iloilo City is also available through RORO and other sea vessel that operates within the Visayas region. Of course travel time depends on the ship/ferry companies that serve the route.

Popular Food

An influence of Chinese cooking, Pansit Molo is a soup dish made of dumplings with chicken strips and a flavorful thick broth. This yummy soup is from the town of Molo and best known for its non-traditional noodle or pancit appearance.

Iloilo has a queen, up to this day! The famous Queen Siopao, 7 inches in diameter, is a sure hearty eat and can only be found in Calle Real, the city’s oldest business area. Filled with Chinese sausage, bacon, boiled egg, chicken and pork adobo, the Queen Siopao is not readily available everyday unlike its smaller varieties called King and Jumbo siopao.

A classic Ilonggos delicacy, suman sa ibos is usually served during fiestas and other celebrations. Best paired with muscovado sugar, you’ll never go wrong pairing it with ripe mangoes or native chocolate as well. Forget the details of diet when this Filipino rice cake is on the table waiting for you.

Fresh bounty from the sea abound this Visayas urbanized city. Oysters, paired with ‘sinamak’, a spicy vinegar, will surely make you want to add another cup of hot rice. And the roasted native chicken called “daraag” which is marinated in calamansi and vinegar and stuffed with sampaloc leaves and lemongrass is to die for.

First on the list is Iloilo’s famous culinary offering – the comforting La Paz Batchoy! Originated in La Paz, hence the name, this noodle soup is made of round noodles, chicken stock, pork organs, beef loin, shrimp stock and topped with a generous amount of pork cracklings. Comforting and filling, no one can say no to this beautiful combination, right?

Best Time to Go

BEST TIME TO GO
Just like the rest of the Philippines, Iloilo City enjoys the wet and dry seasons. The best time to go to Iloilo City is during the dry months, especially in January when Dinagyang, Iloilo’s biggest and grandest festival takes place. Moreover, February, March and December are fairly good months to explore the city. Though, during December, airline and maritime tickets and hotel accommodations are a bit pricey. April and May are considered as the warmest months, but sea temperature is good for swimming yearlong.

Tropical island wear is recommended as in any other place of the Philippine Islands. Stroll around in your classic white tee and other clothes in natural fibers. Put on an ample amount of sunscreen when checking out the historic central commercial district of the city or the scenic countryside of the whole province.

You might want to avoid July and September as these are rainiest months and nothing much to do. But, whatever month you want to travel to the City of Love, interesting sights and sounds is indeed waiting in every nook and cranny of this Western Visayas region.

What to Do

Go Church Hopping
An architecture addict? Curious about old, massive churches? Then Iloilo City is your excellent travel destination. Treasured churches that talk about history, invasion, craftsmanship and devotion to faith are very evident in each revered structure.
See the city’s interesting landmarks
Get the feel of the bygone era when exploring the old downtown district; see the lifestyle of the rich Ilonggos through the well preserved houses and mansions and learn a thing or two about the illustrious past of these landmarks.
Get acquainted with local food
The city is responsible for giving us one of Filipino’s comfort foods – the batchoy. Go ahead, dash down to La Paz Market and make yourself the judge for the delectable batchoy in the city. Or see for yourself the queue of people for the famous siopao sold only in Iloilo City. Don’t forget to partake fresh, affordable seafood that would definitely satiate your hunger. There’s more to try in this city, I tell you, so be ready! Namit gid, you’ll say!

Estimated Costs

Estimated Cost per person
Travel Transportation
Domestic flight to Iloilo from Manila, as well as other PH cities, varies from one airline to another. But airplane ticket starts from Php 2, 000.00 (don’t forget to look for airline tickets promo!), while RORO ride costs at least P900.00 depending on the bus operator and the service class (e.g. aircon or non-aircon bus).

Accommodation
Iloilo City has hotels and pension houses for the budget travelers who wants to explore the city. Most easy on the pocket is a P 330.00 room per night and those who wants to splurge should shell out at least Php 4,000.00 per night in a 3 star hotel

Food
Your P 150.00 – P 180.00 can buy a decent, filling meal in the city. But if you want to indulge a little, get ready to fork out at least P350.00.

Tourist attraction entrance fee
Php 20.00 – Php 200.00

Taxi Fare
Flagdown rate Php 40.00 for the first 500 meters. Average taxi fare within the city is around Php 70.00 to Php 150.00.

Jeepney Fare
Minimum fare Php 6.50

Average price per day
Php 1,800.00 - P 2,000.00

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