Let's Travel and Discover the Secrets of ILOILO

WELCOME to Iloilo, A Province that dances with the rhythm of the past and the promise of the future. HALA BIRA!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Heritage Houses of Arevalo

Arevalo is known as Iloilo city's garden district and the province's flower capital. It's old Spanish name was 'Villa Rica de Arevalo' which means that it is amongst the most important Hispanic settlements in the country. Here also lies the third oldest Sto. Niño in the Philippines, one of the city's oldest traditional weaving centres and many of the city's last well preserved colonial houses.
These colonial houses are fine examples of a typical hispanic house or 'Bahay na Bato' wherein the lower half is built of hewn stone or baked bricks while the upper part is built of strong wood.
A trip to Arevalo will not only make you adore it's flower filled streets or it's notable seaside restaurants but in some way, it will make you realize that a 'Once a upon a time' drama did exist along it's peaceful and historic streets like the rest of the city themselves.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Krystalville Inland Resort at Janiuay

Ilonggos, like most filipinos, love celebrating special occasions at beaches, restaurants or inland resorts where they could have fun at pools or simply socialize with other people. However, to those who want to spend a relaxing day out all by themselves or with the company of their closest friends then why not travel up the town of Janiuay in the central part of the province, to a resort called 'Krystalville', which is simply 10-15 minutes away from the town itself. With a fully furnished bean-shaped pool, some well built thatched sheds where visitors could gather up and have their meals, and a social gathering area where friends can enjoy a good karaoke experience, tourists will simply have fun making good memories that they'll surely never forget.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Iloilo Paintings for Donations

Iloilo on Foot us currently looking for donors and advertisers who are supportive of the cause to promote Iloilo as one of the Philippines' best tourism destinations. To help promote Iloilo to the world, the webmaster encourages Ilonggos, Filipinos and other avid readers of this blog to help by donating.
BUT WAIT! There's a twist!
For every $50 or P2500 Donation, the management will send back a painting of Iloilo (since the webmaster is a well trained visual artist and painter as well) as a thanksgiving. The donor may also request what theme or subject of the painting he would love to recieve. The bigger the Donation, the bigger the painting. Your donations will help Iloilo Onfoot be on track and updated and so your donations, in exchange for a painting as a thanksgiving souvenir will remind you that you have been a vital part of this travel program.

If you are interested, leave a comment to this post or send an email at pacificleopard@yahoo.com...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Explore Iloilo On The Philippine Blog Awards '09

Explore Iloilo, the premier travel blog of Iloilo, is on it's way to the Philippine Blog Awards '09, an anual award giving body recognizing Filipino bloggers arround the world. Explore Iloilo has done so much in promoting Iloilo as travel destination and for such I will vote the blog for the category: "Blogger's Choice" special award. The manager and owner of Explore Iloilo is my good friend, Mr. Marcos Caratao Jr., who is also a known travel photographer in the entire province. He has worked well to promote Iloilo and blogging to Ilonggos. In fact, I believe that he is amongst the most successful Ilonggo bloggers in the country.
So if you're a blogger and if you're asking why vote ExploreIloilo, then go visit Explore Iloilo yourself and be captivated for this one travel blog showcases the artistic talents of one great blogger that has inspired Ilonggos to fly out into the blogosphere.
Vamos Marcos!!!
Vamos Explore Iloilo!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Valeria Street; Iloilo's Restaurant Avenue

Looking for a good place to eat or celebrate some important occasion? Then Valeria Street in Iloilo City is a perfect destination. Here, tourists and locals can get one of the best Ilonggo cuisines without spending too much. La Sallete Building, in front of SM Delgado is known for its restaurants like Ted's and Nandings both proud of their famed La Paz Batchoy. If Noodles and Soup doesn't fit you, then try Mang Inasal, a famous restaurant for the grilled chicken lovers.
Another breakthrough restaurant located in Valeria Street is Green Mango known for their desserts and a variety of mouth watery delicacies that will surely give you a reason to come back again and again and again.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stories behind the beautiful Cabatuan Church

Considered as one of the most beautiful churches in the Philippines, the church of Cabatuan in the heart of Iloilo province is also amongst the most exemplary examples of Colonial architecture in the country.
What tourists should know about this church is that it is an example of an Earthquake Baroque Structure hidden the simplest details of Neoclassicism, making it a unique mixture colonial art and architecture.
Interiorly, a tourist will find the largest altar and the tallest stone retable in all of Iloilo and perhaps in the entire Visayan Islands. It also boasts its spacious baptistery that has an artistic neoclassic retable of it's own, a detail that is not common with churches in the region.
Inside, before the huge stone retable, is the replica of the 'Arc of the Covenant', an important artifact in Christian History and is also known for it's beautiful collection of stained glass windows. The Santo Niño de Cabatuan like the Santo Niño de Santa Barbara are known for their unique appearance. The Santo Niño inspired the creation of newer versions built for an empty retable in Bacolor Church in Pampanga.
So why should tourist add this remarkable heritage destination to their itenary? Well, I guess it's because it is obviously something they shouldn't miss while in Iloilo.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Colonial Heritage of Molo

Molo, once a thriving colonial district in the coast of Iloilo City, is often referred as the 'Athens of the Region' for it is the hometown of many political leaders in our country. Molo holds a rich heritage that will interest tourist and travelers like for instance, the magnificent Molo Church, known to many as the church of women.
However, If you're in Molo, it is advisible that you visit the town's heritage street that is Calle San Pedro where one of the historical Locsin mansions can be found. One of the heritage houses which dates back from the early 1800's was said to have housed the builders of the famous gothic church of the town.
The Pison house, another Spanish Era brick mansion, which is located in the same street can be remembered as one of the settings of an episode of "Maala-ala Mo kaya", a famous television show in the Philippines.
San Pedro Street in the heart of Molo is an interesting place to visit for traveling photographers who would want to capture what Iloilo City would have looked like centuries ago.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mo2 Westown Hotel at Smallville Iloilo

Iloilo is known as one of the country's gate cities and tourist destinations and being one of the most traveled parts of the Philippines, Iloilo offers its best hotels where travelers and guests can stay while enjoying the province's beautiful culture and sceneries.
One of the most accessible hotels in the city is the Mo2 Westown Hotel that is located in near Smallville in Pison Street, Iloilo's premier entertainment and dining centre. It has been acclaimed as one of the best and affordable hotels in the city of Iloilo.
What makes it a good place to stay is that it is strategically located in the part of the city that is not far from malls, tourist destinations and entertainment centers and thus guests will find it easy to travel the city without going too far. The hotel is also located near famous ilonggo restaurants like Krua Thai, Freska, Afriques and cofee shops like Cofee Break and Bluejay. Guests who are into nightlife will simply enjoy nearby clubs and bars where people gather to have fun and socialize.
For reservations and more information please contact
Phone No: (033) 5095678 /3202225 / 508-1234 Fax: 320-2225 Mobile: (63)928-502-9585 or email atE-mail: mo2westown_ilo@yahoo.com

Friday, July 24, 2009

El Dorado Waterpark: Iloilo City's Premier Pool Resort

Smallville is known as Iloilo City's most popular dining and entertainment center where people gather to enjoy great food, parties or simply have sometime together with friends. However, tourists and locals can now have fun with the newest feature of Smallville that is the 'El Dorado Waterpark'.
The waterpark which is part of the Mo2 Complex is adjacent to Westown Hotel and is the most accessible inland resort in the entire city of Iloilo. It is located in the smallville area behind Mo2 ice and beside mo2 Westown hotel. It is perhaps one of the most visited waterparks in Iloilo City and a good place for events and daytime parties.
El Dorado is an ancient South American legend about a lost city of gold and thus this inspired the unique theme of the resort which is Pre-Spanish America or Mayan. The resort is known for its lovely pool with features like that of Mayan temples and its fine poolside rooms available for those who would like to spend a night or two at the waterpark.
The entrance fee is 100 pesos but guests and tourists can bring in their very own food. For more inquiries you may contact mo2 Iloilo at (033) 5095678 /3202225 / 508-1234; (63)928-502-9585 or email at mo2westown_ilo@yahoo.com.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Calle Santo Rosario: Iloilo's Heritage Street

Welcome to Santo Rosario street, one of the oldest and most historical avenues in city of Iloilo. Calle Santo Rosario is known for a number of Spanish Era houses that would welcome tourists whenever they would pass by or visit the coastal part of the city. Evident in their architectural forms, these houses typically shows what Iloilo streets looked long before war and modernization changed the humble city.
The street appears to be like a simpler and smaller version of Vigan's Calle Crisologo that is the most well preserved Spanish-Filipino village in all of the Philippines. Another feature that would delight tourists is that Calle Santo Rosario is located very near Plaza Libertad and San Jose Church which are perhaps the most popular tourist attractions in the downtown city. The street also leads to the ruins of Casino Espanol de Iloilo, one of the earliest social centers for Spanish Filipinos in the country.
What makes Calle Santo Rosario special is that, perhaps in the entire province, it has the most intact collection of heritage buildings dating from the Spanish rule to the American colonial period. It adds up as one of downtown Iloilo's historical points like Hughes Street and the famous Calle Real that is definitely touristy in their very own ways.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Tree of Bondage: A Monument of Pain

The historic province of Iloilo is known as the last Spanish territory in the Philippines and has been also considered as one if the most heavily hispanized regions in the country, like Manila and Cebu. The province boasts its majestic Spanish heritage like many of its centuries old colonial churches and mansions and so as its numerous traditions that has been preserved and still practiced for many generations.
In the Spanish regime, when the Hispanic government initiated the construction of roads, bridges, churches and other public buildings, a system called 'Polo Y Servicios' arose which stands for 'forced labor' and was practiced in almost every part of Spanish territory in the country. In the town of Cabatuan lies one of the few monuments of 'Polo Y Servicios' in the country. This monument is a centuries old calachuchi tree known to locals as the 'tree of Bondage'. The living monument was believed to have been where Indios (Native Filipinos) were tied and whipped as a punishment. This form of punishment was used during the construction of the great red brick Church and the town's public square in the early 1800's.
The tree of Bondage is indeed a unique monument, a tourist attraction that does not only represent a town but rather, a part of the great Filipino History that was untold for years.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Capilla de Igbaras: A Remnant of a Glorious Temple

What we have here is a historical religious structure that looks more like a small medieval fortress rather than a chapel built for prayers. Does it remind you of the castles of Northern Europe? Actually the Chapel in Igbaras located just beside the town church is one of the surviving parts of what was once one of the magnificent Spanish Era churches in the province of Iloilo. The original structure was built of yellowish sandstone during the late 19th century but sadly, the temple was ruined in the midst of the 20th century by the 1945 earthquake.
The chapel still stands as one of the extant proofs of Igbaras rich History. The design is simple but the colonial feel is still expressed by its arched portals and windows. It is believed to be the base of the old church's belltower and what is interesring is that it has preserved it's vaulted stone ceiling after all these years.
Igbaras is a rural town located in the Southwestern parts of Iloilo between Miagao and Guimbal which are also noted for their collections of Heritage structures. The Igbaras Chapel truly prooves that wherever a tourist may travel in Iloilo, there is always an interesting place to visit.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Iloilo's Biscocho Haus

A tourist's stay in Iloilo will never be complete if he missed the savoury delights of Biscocho Haus that is one of the most popular bakeshop and pasalubong stores in the entire province. The main branch is located near Jaro Plaza and is known for its delicious 'Biscochos' or toasted bread with milk and sugar. 

Biscocho Haus has been a popular destination for tourists and locals looking for some good snacks and sweets. The enterprise was started on 1975 and soon after, branches began to spread out all over Iloilo where tourists and guests could easily buy some of Biscocho Haus' famous pastries. Biscocho Haus is also known for their butterscotch and piyaya which are also famous Ilonggo delicacies.

Tourists can also buy Biscocho Haus products at the city's major malls like SM City, Robinson's Place and Gaisano. A new branch was also opened in Pavia  where travelers from or going to the New Iloilo Airport can stop over and buy some pastries which they could bring home.

For more information about Biscocho Haus, pls. contact

Biscocho Haus, Main Branch

Lopez Jaena St, Jaro, Iloilo City

(033) 329-0864, (033) 329-0862, (033) 336-4751

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Beaches of Iloilo

Strategically located in the southern shores of Panay Island. Iloilo is not only blessed with magnificent heritage destinations but also with fine beaches that stretches from the northeastern to southern points of the island and this makes Iloilo one of the best beach capitals of the country.

Anhawan Resort is possibly the best beach resort near the city of Iloilo. It is one affordable destination where activities are not only meant for some summer fun but for every occassion as well. Anhawan is located in the town of Oton and is known for its huge party-ready cottages, a nice pool, good service crew and affordable food.A further trip south and you'll reach the towns of Tigbauan and Guimbal which is possibly the beach resort haven of the entire Iloilo province. The towns' most visited beach resorts would be Sol y Mar, Bantayan and Shamrock. Bantayan is known for A Historic Hispanic Watch Tower nearby.

If you take the other way north to the fishing capitals of Iloilo, then you'll not only find some good seafood restaurants but a list of white sand beach resorts in Concepcion, Carles and Ajuy. Marbuena Beach resort in Ajuy and SandBar Island Resort in Bulubadiangan, Concepcion offer a perfect place to spend a relaxing beach vacation where a tourist can indulge themselves in the serene crystal clear waters surrounding the islands.

Anhawan Beach Resort, Oton - (+63)(33)3358949, (+63)9209544138, (+63)9224866475
Sol y Mar Family Beach Resort, Tigbauan - (+63)(033) 511-8288
Shamrock Beach Resort, Guimbal - (+63)(33)5120199
Bantayan Beach Resort, Guimbal - (63)(33)3155009/5120014

Marbuena Island Resort - (+63)(33)8552875
Sandbar Beach Resort - (+63)9068197516

Friday, May 22, 2009

Janiuay Cemetery and the Arches of Heavenly Splendor

One of Iloilo’s most picturesque places was once included in the famed pages of National Geographic, this is the beautiful cemetery of Janiuay, the most artistic Spanish Colonial cemetery in the entire Philippines. Janiuay Cemetery is a beautiful example of Neogothic architecture. Tourist will be intrigued and awed by the architecture of this historical destination since the entire structure is perched on a hill and is approached by a grand flight of stairs that is not a very common arrangement for a cemetery. The main arch-gate has a pointed arc decorated by a cluster of ionic poles and simple rosettes. Two other arches flank the main arch-gate, however, the arcs of these gates are Tudor in style and are more ornate compared to the central gate. On the heart of the cemetery lies a Neo-gothic chapel. The windows of this chapel are amongst the most artistic renditions of Gothic Geometric style found in all of Iloilo.
The cemetery of Janiuay is amongst the country's greatest architectural achievements. It is a unique tourist destination because it showcases the artistry of Iloilo's golden era of colonial art.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Iloilo's Summer Destinations: Beaches of Guimaras

When you're talking about summer, thoughts that would flash on your mind would possibly be the sun and sand and the waves and when you talk about beaches, there's no other place to go but Western Visayas where the beaches are playfully colored with hues of creamy yellow, pale pink, white and brown. The region's or perhaps the country's most popular summer destination would be Boracay that is in  Aklan, a province North of Iloilo. The Island of Boracay that is known for it's pure white beaches, is where all good things happen: fun rides, all night parties, exotic souvenirs and some good and safe places to stay overnight.

However, if your budget doesn't suggest that you can go to Boracay this summer, then you should know that there are some good options near Iloilo City that you'll surely enjoy as well that doesn't require you of spending too much. Guimaras is a nearby Island which is just a boat ride away from the downtown city port and is known not only for it's delicious mangoes but for its beaches which are said to be almost as white as the beaches of Boracay. Two popular white sand destination would be Alubihod in New Valencia, which is an hour away from the Jordan Port and Guisi Beach which is a good place for a peaceful vacation.

Alubihod is lined with Beach Resorts and a small Hotel where you can check in for a night for 800 to 1000 pesos. Also in Nueva Valencia is the Guisi Beach, a very relaxing and serene place that is perfect for those who wants to escape the hassles of urbanity. The sole manager of the Guisi is  Clear water Beach Resort where you could have a cottage to stay overnight for 400 pesos, 1200 pesos or a better spacious airconditioned one for 1600 pesos. Clearwater Beach Resort is also visited by tourist because of the ruins of the Old Spanish Light House on the top of a nearby hill-cliff.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Courtyard of Alimodian Church

Before it was ruined by an earthquake, the Alimodian Church once showcased the tallest Bell tower in all of Western Visayas. The structure was built of brownish limestone and was a magnificent example of a Neoclassic structure with elaborate classical details. The church then had a very large Convent that was also said to be the longest in the entire province of Iloilo.
In 1948, the church was devastated by an earthquake that also ruined many churches in the region. The fine bell tower collapsed and so as many of the significant parts of the temple. What was left of the church was then restored and the ruins of the grand convent was then transformed into a small courtyard that is known in Iloilo for it's aviary and a collection of floras sprawling from one corner to another. 
The church's old bell that was made centuries ago is being displayed at one corner of the courtyard while some paintings about the history of the church and of the town are being showcased at the lower part of the convent ruins.
Though not very impressive as many of the other Historical tourist destinations in Iloilo, the Alimodian Church carries an old world ambiance that breathes a peaceful charm and a relaxing atmosphere to every visitor, a very feature that reasons why the structure is one wonderful tourist site.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tigbauan Church and her Intricate Facade

Considered as one of the earliest Churches built in the Philippines, The Church of San Juan de Sahagun in the coastal town of Tigbauan was constructed in the 16th century, in a time when some towns in Iloilo were not yet even established. Like the churches of Miag-ao and San Joaquin, the facade of Tigbauan Church is overwhelmed by artistic carvings. The facade however  is inspired by Churrisgueresque Architecture, a type of Baroque architecture that originated in Spain and flourished in Mexico and Texas, thus making the church the only one of it's kind in the country.
The sprawling 'bas-relief' decorating the facade portal appears to be like a 'retablo' and is overwhelmed by floral designs, a very intricate version of the Agustinian symbol of the transfixed heart and a cherub that appears to be more like a crown of the church door.
What makes Tigbauan Church unique is that the walls of the interior is built with beautiful mosaics depicting important events in Christ's life. This feature, makes the church a one of a kind tourist destination and an art gallery that is surprisingly awe-spiring.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Andoks Mansion

An old Mansion turned into a restuarant, well that's not a first but I guess you'd still love the thought that your dining in one of most historical places in the city. Andoks is a popular Chicken Fastfood Restaurant which was established a few years ago. One of it's first branches in Iloilo City was at Jaro when the old orange mansion in front of the public park was turned into a restaurant which everyone knew as 'Ihaw-ihaw republic'. 'Ihaw-ihaw' is another way of roasting meat and is also known as 'inasal' that is a popular delicacy in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod. 

The Old mansion is mexican inspired perhaps because of it's festive colors and overwhelming arched details. The mansion is known for its lovely intricate portal which is neoclassic and the rest of the house is detailed using the styles of Art Deco.

If you're simply looking for place to nibble on some good food, or simply give your feet some rest or refresh yourself with coolers then try visiting Andoks, a dining center that is tinged with a spice of history.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Museo Iloilo: Where History Comes Alive

'Museo Iloilo' is the provincial Museum of Iloilo. It is located near the Provincial Capitol and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the province since it is located strategically near important government and liesure centres in the city. The Museum hosts many of the province's historical treasures like potteries found even before in the Spaniards arrived in the island of Panay and so as religious artifact of the Hispanio-Filipino Era. The Museum also displays a variety of Ilonggo paintings and sculptures both modern and antique. Weaponries and armories of the Filipino-Spanish War in the late 1800th century and some artificats from the second world war are interesting finds as well.

There is also a mini-library and photo gallery where you can learn many things about the province through eductaional books and rare pre-war photographs that showcases the colonial beauty of prewar Iloilo and the simple life of the Ilonggos before modernization arrived in the islands.

If you want to learn many things about Iloilo like how life was during the colonial Era and how Iloilo took hold of it's victory from its invaders or simply see notable ilonggo artistry, then I suggest you to visit Museo Iloilo, a place where the History of the province is brought back to life.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Baluarte Hill: A place teeming with Hope

As Filipino tradition, Roman Catholics would go to pilgrim sites such as local calvary hills and sacred mountains every Good Friday to pray, ask forgiveness and give thanks to God.  In Iloilo alone there are about more than five pilgrim hills to visit. I went to Baluarte Cross located in one of the hills of Balic in the town of Cabatuan. The Baluarte Cross was established many decades ago as a replica to the more Historical Pamul-ogan hill, also in the same town, that is about three hundred years old.

Every Good Friday, hundreds and possibly almost a thousand people would come to Cabatuan and visit the Cross at Baluarte hill. The Faith of these pilgrims would fill the air with solemnity as those who are asking of a miracle would come to the cross at the peak of the hill and pray to God. 

If it is not Lent Season, some people would just gather to have good picnic at the top of hill, some would simply enjoy the magnificent scenery of the fields, mountains and of the nearby hills as the very shade of trees and the cool breeze refreshes the soul. Baluarte Hill is one of the most interesting places in the province of Iloilo. It is a Religious Tourist Site that is worth visiting for it was indeed built by the people's Faith and Devotion to God, a sign that Jesus Christ towers all over the world and so as in our hearts.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Campo Santo de San Joaquin

I have been there for so many times but I still get caught in awe whenever I would step into the magnificent walls of the San Joaquin Cemetery. Known as the most beautiful Spanish colonial cemetery in Iloilo and in the Philippines, the cemetery is popular for its very intricate chapel which is described to be like a crown sitting on top of a hill at the very center. 

The chapel which is of Baroque architecture that combines Chinese and Spanish Artistry is built of white coral and fossil stones alternating with red bricks. Decorations vary from intricate floral carvings to pointed finials to a simple cemetery emblem, the skull and crossbones. What makes the cemetery more attractive is that the beautiful chapel is approached by a flight of stairs. On the walls before the chapel are niches each carrying statues of Saints, most of which were recently reinstalled.

The San Joaquin Cemetery, along with the San Joaquin Church is known as one of Iloilo's Most important tourist attractions since it plays a great role in literature and history. The Province even cosiders these heritage sites as Historical Gems.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Iloilo: 'A Visita Iglesia'


Visita Iglesia is a known Roman Catholic tradition where Christians would visit seven churches to pray as part of their pilgrimage for the lent season or 'Semana Santa'. This custom was passed to the Filipinos by the Spaniards who brought Christianity in the Philippine Islands and has been practiced for many centuries as part of the religion's faithful devotion to God. 

When in the city, one may adore the beautiful spires of Molo Church which is also known as the church of women because of the domination of female saints inside the church. The Cathedral of Jaro and the Church of San Jose are also interesting points to spend solemn moments with the Divine Being. Off the city, a traveler may find the Magnificent Sta. Barbara Church and Convent, known for it's moorish architecture possibly inspired by churches of Southern Spain. The road north leads to the massive Cabatuan Church that is the largest red brick structures in the entire country and also considered as one of the greatest architectural acheivements of its era. One may also take the road west where three beautiful baroque churches await travelers; there's the beautifully decorated Guimbal Church with its flowery designs, the famous Miagao Church, a world heritage site and known fort its unique Aztec-like design and finally, the San Joaquin Church, which is also known as the gem of the island for it's unique bas-relief facade depicting the victory of the Christians in Morocco.

There are actually more than twenty beautiful churches to visit in Iloilo. Wherever you are in the province, there is one historical temple nearby. However, it is not important if you visit many churches, what matters most is that you know and you feel that God is in your heart that is the very temple of faith within you.  Happy Lent Season everyone.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dingle Church: Another Historical Treasure

If there is any historical tourist site in the province of Iloilo that would stand out with simplicity and with a soft country feel then it would be the humble stone church of Saint John the Baptist in the peaceful town of Dingle. Built in the late 1800's the church is considered as one of the most remarkable structures there is in Iloilo. The presence of a single belfry adds a sense of uniqueness to the whole structure and though the facade suggests simplicity, the interior however speaks of Neoclassic extravagance.

Built in Earthquake Baroque architecture, the gold-like walls of the church stand out as well as it's distinct style. The church will remind us of pilgrim chapels in the Europe and Latin America where not much architectural details are used and there is not much emphasis on size which further appeals to a peaceful and serene atmosphere. Though the church was not built to outshine other neighboring temples, its simplicity always carries a certain charm that makes it a beautiful site to behold.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Iloilo DINAGYANG 2009

Energy soars as the thundering roars of drums and cheers of 'Hala Biras' filled the street of Iloilo... It's Dinagyang.... The Best Tourism Event there is in the Philippines...

Dinagyang is considered as Iloilo's most prominent tourist magnet. Aside from the province's Centuries old Historic Churches, local delicacies, ancestral buildings and friendly people, Iloilo is also known to be one of the Philippines' festival Countries. Iloilo's Dinagyang, Like Cebu's Sinulog and Kalibo's Ati-atihan is a showcase of the unique mixture of the Iloilo's Hispanic and Native Culture. Stories of the past and of how the city became dedicated to Christianity is expressed by dances and ancient music of drums and lyres. Each warrior-dancers stomp their feet and cheer "Viva Senior Santo Nino" that means Long Live the Child Jesus and "Hala Bira" meaning Keep it going or Come On.

And who made it big this year?

Champion: Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National high School
1st: Tribu Bola-Bola of Iloilo National High School
2nd: Tribu Ilonganon of Jlandoni National High School
3rd: Tribu Silak of Molo National High School
4th: Tribu Himal-us from the province of Guimaras

The streets of Iloilo were filled with a great number of spectators both local and foreign. Aside from the Festival itself, many activities await guests and tourists... the city teems with life and vibrant colors. So If you missed Dinagyang this year...There will always be next year... And expect that Dinagyang well be even much better than how it has been the year before so you should totally come back again and again and again as if it was first time. 

Happy Dinagyang Season!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Dinagyang Festival Countdown and Events

It's January...The festival season of Iloilo... and that means that before the month ends, we will be experiencing a wave of fun and excitement...

This January 25, 2009, the streets of Iloilo will once again be filled with lively colors as the 'Best Tourism Event' in the country comes to life... Tourist from all over the Philippines and in some parts of the world gather in the streets of Iloilo City to witness groups or 'Tribu' of dancers performing in the streets in their colorful costumes. Dinagyang is celebrated to commemorate the coming of Christianity in the Island of Panay. 

Here is the final list of competing 'Ati' tribes that will grace the streets of Iloilo City this Dinagyang Season...

1. Tribu Paghidaet
2. Tribu Ilonganon
3. Ang Taga Jaro
4. Tribu Silak
5. Tribu Atub-Atub
6. Tribu Panagat ( formerly Tribu Parianon)
7. Tribu Pag-asa
8. Tribu Pana-ad
9. Tribu Molave
10. Tribu Aninipay
11. Tribu Milagrosa (formerly Tribu Baryohanon)
12. Tribu Bantu
13. Tribu Hamili
14. Tribu Angola
15. Tribu Himala
16. Tribu Himal- us
17. Tribu Bola- Bola

So who will fill the streets with winning thunders of "Hala Biras"? Well, visit Iloilo and find out... Visit Iloilo and expect a vacation that you will never forget because it is the season of dance and music. It is the season of merry making. It is the season of Dinagyang.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Puerto de Muelle Loney; History beyond the seas...

Muelle Loney Street, one of the most important sea ports in the Philippines is one of the many reasons why Iloilo flourished in the Hispanic and American Era as a vital trading city.

The Muelle Loney St. is the busiest seaport in Iloilo and Panay. In 1855, the port was opened to international trade thus spurring the city's trading industrty making Iloilo City one of the wealthiest cities in the country. Goods from all over the province and neighboring Islands like Guimaras and Negros are sent to Iloilo before being exported out of the country.

However, The glory of Muelle Loney didn't last longer because some ports were established in the nearby Islands in the early 20th century. Today Muelle Loney still serves as the portal between Negros, Guimaras and Iloilo. Now, the wealth that it once claimed is only manifested by some if its old historic buildings of which some were forgotten by time itself...