Iloilo · Philippines · Travel Tales

Travel Tales: A late Visita Iglesia in Iloilo City

This is Part 3 of my Region VI/Boracay-Guimaras-Iloilo trip. The first part can be found here (Leg 1: Boracay), and the second part here (Leg 2: Guimaras).

Leg 3: Iloilo City

Since we had a few more hours left before our flight on our last day, we decided to take a short tour of Iloilo City. We left Guimaras toward noontime after buying more pasalubong and mangoes that we brought home. (We got our mangoes for P60/kg. In other stores, they could go as high as P85 as they weren’t in season yet, but the ones we bought had some shallow spots on their skin. Tastes the same, though!)

At the Ortiz Port back in Iloilo City, we were able to get a jeepney driver to take us around the city and to the airport. The whole thing cost us P1500 after much haggling. Later in the day, after the long ride, we were to realize that it was worth it.

We hadn’t planned this part of trip thoroughly, but thanks to our jeepney driver and Globe 3G, we were able to go to the following places around the city:

1) Molo Cathedral

Parish of St. Anne / Molo Church
Interior

Found in the Molo district of Iloilo City, Molo Church has been called a “women’s church” — notice the statues of female saints on its pillars. They remind me of all those female saints we parade during Santacruzan! Just like the three other churches we visited, the altars, and the paintings on the domed ceilings, amazed me. Jose Rizal visited this church on his way to Dapitan.

2) Biscotcho House

No pics, but it has the best-tasting butterscotch bars ever.

3) Jaro Cathedral

Parish of Our Lady of Candles / Jaro Cathedral
Belfry seen from the doors of the church

Jaro Cathedral really is massive and impressive from the outside. There is an image of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria that you can see on top of those steps on the facade of the cathedral. Apparently, this image is miraculous because she grows over the years. It is also rather unusual since the belfry is found across the street, next to the plaza. It’s a national landmark as proclaimed by the National Historical Institute.

4) Batchoy at La Paz District

Iloilo must have been a pancit haven in the old times — why else would pancit molo and La Paz batchoy be named after two of its districts? For our late lunch, we had La Paz batchoy and puto at this place in La Paz. Apparently it’s quite popular, even though we were the only people there then, because on its walls are pictures of the proprietor with Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez, among others.

Obligatory mirror shot at the batchoy restaurant

5) San Jose Church

San Jose Church wasn’t as impressive as the other churches, but I liked such details as the old pipe organ at the choir loft and the antique lamps hanging from the pillars.

San Jose Church

Our jeep passed by a few landmarks on the side too, like Calle Real, Chinatown, and the Lopez mansion. Sadly we didn’t get to see the church at Miag-ao (a World Heritage Site) because it was two hours away, and we had no time for such a trip. Maybe someday.

Travel to the Iloilo Airport took a while because it was in the city outskirts — which was actually good, as it beats battling traffic and smog to get to an airport that’s still in the metropolis (ahem, NAIA). Our flight via Cebu Pacific was delayed by about an hour, as it had been when I departed from Manila — delays and overbookings seem to happen a lot to Cebu Pac this month! I hope they improve their services, as being a budget airline is no excuse to be a mediocre one 🙂

Finally, I just want to say that an awesome travel group makes for an awesome trip. 🙂 Looking forward to the next trip with them!

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