Iloilo is known as the Asia’s City of love because of its highly-urbanized city in the Philippines. It is located at the western part of Panay Island and famous for its world-class Dinagyang Festival and mouth-watering Lapaz Batchoy. It is indeed unique of its own cultural heritage, colonial mansions, clean-air and old churches spotted in and around the city. It is also the last Spanish-colonial capital in Asia when Manila surrendered to the United States and it can be seen through its historical buildings and heritages.
ONE DAY CITY TOUR
Exploring the Beauty of Esplanade II
Early in the morning, my cousin invited us to walk from home to Esplanade which is formerly known as Trenas Boulevard. It is considered as a lovely riverside and popular tourist spot with peaceful and relaxing views of Iloilo River. Morning strolling, jogging, biking on its brick pathway are perfect to do as you savor the breathtaking view. Various recreational activities and fun areas are fortunately found here.
As we walked, my feet never felt tired because of the awe-inspiring view and seemed like I’m not in the Philippines. The place specifically the roads were cleaned and the people are really well-disciplined. It looks like Paris that I always see on the internet as well as on the magazines. This is really perfect for people, especially children to play, relax and enjoy.
“WOW! This is mind-blowing,” all I can utter when we’re enjoying this place. The flowers, trees, brick pathway, silent-clean river, fun areas and sweet people completed and made my morning walk with my cousins extra wonderful.
According to my cousin, the best time to visit this is during early in the morning and late afternoon hours when the sun is little and the sky sparks with the starry-eyed creating soft twilight.
After visiting the four River Esplanades, we went to Yusay-Consing Mansion but it was too early so we just waited at the gate wearing sad and gloomy face. This is popularly known as Molo Mansion – the Neglected Mansion, is one of the significant and historic houses in Molo facing the town plaza (which is under renovation as of May 2017) and the St. Anne Parish Church. The look from the outside is lovely what more inside?! It’s similar to the Ruins of Talisay, Bacolod but both are obviously beautiful especially when the glimmering lights lit at evening.
From Manila, you can fly to Iloilo (estimated cost of Php3,000++, round trip, one hour). From Iloilo Airport, you can hail a cab and ask to be dropped off at your destination. You can also ride jeepneys marked with routes “Villa/Arevalo” or “Molo”.
The third destination from Molo Mansion was in BO’s coffee since we’re all feeling the tiredness of our feet. As we entered the coffee shop, crews started yelling “Maayong Aga” and their voices sound sweet and they’re all accommodating and approachable. We stayed there for almost half an hour while waiting for my other cousin, then suddenly we heard the voice teaching a group of people on the other table. Still, the place filled with silence and it’s kind of relaxing and comforting. From here, we dropped by in Calle Real Road, the city’s old central business district and other corners of the downtown area like Plaza Libertad, and the Provincial Capitol grounds. It was also clean and disciplined place.
The fourth destination was at Atria/Ayala District Park and Kapideco, San Rafael which we perceived the amazing structured of the Donato M. Pison Monument. We just listened to my cousin as he acted as a tour guide and took many pictures for he’s also a photographer. (What a talented man he is!)
We had our heavenly lunch in the Floating Restaurant at Villa Baybay which is known as one of the best seafood trips in Iloilo. And it was our fifth destination. There, we ordered many kinds of seafood to full our crying stomach but the bill was so cheap and since my cousin volunteered to treat us, then he’s in-charge in paying for it. “Happy Tummy,” and got a chance to taste the steam Talaba which is incredibly tasty but still, the baked ones are my faves and the best!
LUNCH BE LIKE 🙂
After taking our lunch, we headed to SM Iloilo City via jeep (2 rides if I’m not mistaken and it was so cheap unlike in Manila) and toured in tourist floor area. We looked for a SB stall but its occupied so we opted to visit the Iloilo Convention Center with the unusual and unique design of it. It was incredibly superb! After, we directed to Festive Walk Parade to see the different Spanish design of buildings and some were still under construction. So I’m looking forward to going back again here!
Since, it’s afternoon already, we went to the 13th Street Espresso Megaworld to cold ourselves because all of us were tired and sweating. We ordered frappucino and two ice cream flavors.
After we got cold, we rushed at home but we dropped by for a couple of minutes in Jaro Church which known as the FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH in the PHILIPPINES and in front of this is the BELFRY also popularly known as BELL TOWER located across a busy street, on Jaro Plaza.
Indeed, Iloilo is a look alike of Paris which filled of disciplined and sweet people as well as its historical heritages and extravagant tourist spots. Its majestic and beautiful old and new buildings and infrastructures are like in Venice or other European cities. Also, the Iloilo River during morning and sunset within the Esplanade is absolutely beautiful, stunning and a perfect scenery for a romantic wedding proposal or any special occasion.
The beauty of its places, impeccable taste of food and sweet Ilonggos and Ilonggas make the City full of love and people who visit this would never leave this place without wearing the huge smiles on their faces for it is worth-visiting and worth-loving city. Truly, the Asia’s City of Love with clean places and disciplined individuals.
Till I see you Iloilo City! Thank you for a blast adventure and tour with you! See you soon!