Iloilo City, the City of Love

Bell Tower, Jaro Plaza, Iloilo City

It was my first time to visit Iloilo City last week during the GrabTaxi launch there. So i am sharing my first hand experience during my 2 day visit.

The moment you arrive in Iloilo, you’ll notice the airport there is big, comparable to Cebu and much better than the other airports i have been too from the South of the Philippines.

Of course, the first destination will always be the Hotel where you can check-in your luggages before you go on a tour. This time, we were booked at INJAP HOTEL which was the tallest structure so far and situated right in front of SM City Iloilo. I took 2 shots, the first image is taken from the main lobby entrance, while the next image was taken from the window of the GDR Taxi that fetched us from the airport using the GrabTaxi app.



Going to SM City Iloilo is quick and safe coming from the Hotel as there is an elevated walkway, the one you see on the left of the picture.


So once we were settled in the rooms, we head out for lunch at the Buto’t Balat restaurant which was located at the side of SM City Iloilo. We were able to taste the different native dishes of Iloilo. Pardon for not sharing some pics as i was busy with the spoon and fork.


After a hearty lunch, we headed out to Jaro Plaza where the famous Bell Tower, an ancient structure can be seen and also the Jaro Cathedral. They were actually situated in a rotonda (roundabout) which is a busy street where public and private utility traverse. This shot of the Bell Tower was actually taken at the stairs going up the Jaro Cathedral.


Here’s a shot of the Jaro Cathedral taken from the main gate entrance.


Here’s a shot of the facade of the Cathedral where you can see devotees on the loft saying their prayers for their private personal intentions.


Since there was no mass, the Cathedral gates were closed and here’s what it looks like inside.


On the loft at the 2nd floor, you will see the Book of Intentions.


So it’s a 141 year old Church.


After a church visit, we go to the famous and original Biscocho Haus where sweets and delicacies for pasalubong can be bought.


Then we visited San Jose Church right beside the seat of power in Iloilo. This time, the gates were open and i was able to say my prayers and was able to go near the altar. I was amazed seeing the little Santo Nino.


To cool off the heat, we settled for a while at Villa Beach resort and waited for dark so we can head to another Iloilo treat for dinner.


So after cooling off, we headed for Tatoy’s where it is the biggest local seafood restaurant i have been to in the Philippines.


We actually had a mini presscon with Natasha Bautista, Acting General Manager for GrabTaxi Philippines.  Here’s a short video clip from Digital Spidey where Natasha invites Ilonggos to try the app. And since we feasted with seafood, we were eating with barehands (kinamot in bisaya, kamayan in tagalog).


The next day we had the parade and headed right after to SmallVille. It’s not the place where Clark Kent was raised. It’s a strip where restaurants, hotel and the venue, a conference area where events take place.

And if you like gelatos, biscuits, cakes, sweets for short, Nothing but desserts is the place for you. We met up with the Iloilo bloggers here. Thanks for the treat! I love the fruity flavored gelatos.


Right before heading to the airport, we begged the team to go to La Paz market, where the very famous La Paz Batchoy originated. We had our snacks at Deco La Paz Batchoy and it was a sumptuous treat of hot soup, noodles, garlic and chicharon. Don’t forget the locally made puto. By  this time, my camera was already packed in my backpack so no more photos were taken.



Eli has 28 years of extensive IT sales expertise in Data, voice and network security and integrating them is his masterpiece. Photography and writing is his passion. Growing up as a kid, his father taught him to use the steel bodied Pentax and Hanimex 135mm film and single-direction flash, Polaroid cameras, and before going digital, he used mini DV tape with his Canon videocam. He now shoots with his Canon EOS 30D. Photography and blogging is a powerful mixture for him.

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