Iloilo has good business and tourist attractions
By Johnny Novera, 08-07-2018
AS MENTIONED in our article last week, maybe it helps that a
research firm, KMC Savills, has listed Iloilo as
a booming metro in the Visayas.
We are glad that we are now getting noticed in other
parts of the country and even abroad as a business and
For example, we had that visit in March this year
of a 50-man business delegation from the UK, led by
their own Philippine Ambassador, and see
for themselves the reported growth and potentials of
our city for business or investment.
On Aug. 23 to 26, 2018 the officers and members of the
Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) are also
coming on a Fly-Drive Caravan to Iloilo and Guimaras. This is
a good group because many of them are in business or in the
"Going West", as they call their tour, should make
us feel complimented that "they described Iloilo
as the premier province and gateway of the
Western Visayas region covering 42 towns and two cities
spread over 600 square kilometers of charming
countryside. With the four-lane widening of
major highways and concreting of interior roads in
the province, driving in Iloilo and even commuting is
a pleasurable experience," they said.
They listed the following itinerary for their province-wide
1) Ephrathah Farm - a sprawling
resort and farm of rolling hills in Badiangan
town, about 45 minutes from the airport, especially known for
its dragon fruit plantation
2) Jaro - a heritage
district where some ancestral
homes of ilustrado families of Iloilo are
still found to this day. The pioneering sugar farmers of
Negros were Ilonggos and Iloilo became the first province in
pre-war days to produce many millionaires and the
first city to host a "millionaire's row" of
3) Molo - Known as the origin of the
delectable pancit molo, it is another
antiquarian district with old structures like the St.
Anne Church, with the gazebo in the plaza and the
Yusay-Consing Mansion now known as Molo
Mansion. A few steps away is the Iloilo
Esplanade. This is an urban renewal project of the
city government to revive a dead river and along it there is now a
multi-phased promenade being built on both banks.
4) Tigbauan - It has the Southeast Asian Fisheries and
Development Center or SEAFDEC on a 40-hectare site, with its
research laboratories. A must-see is the Fish World Museum, the
only kind in the country to give visitors an
appreciation of the rich fish resources of the region.
5) Miag-ao - home to the iconic Santo Tomas de
Villanueva Church that has graced many travel posters,
and inscribed in the Unesco World Heritage List. Miag-ao
is also known for its
hand-woven hablon cloth as materials of
the patadyong garments for women and the
barong for men.
6) San Joaquin - This western-most town
of Iloilo's claim to fame is its roadside mortuary chapel
of their public cemetery. This circa-1890 brick and stone
Neo-Gothic chapel is elevated from the ground and enclosed by a
stone gate, punctuated by angel statues and the risen Christ,
with ornate funerary sculptures for a stylish transition
into the afterlife. A side trip to the Garin Farm
Pilgrimage Resort has become popular lately. It offers
recreation such as boating, zip line and fishing. But its most
photographed portion is the religious area with life-size
sculptures depicting Biblical stories from the creation of
the world to the ascension of Christ.
7) Santa Barbara - The historic Santa Barbara Church is
the site of the first raising of the Philippine flag in
the Visayas in November 1898 by Ilonggo revolutionaries under
General Martin Delgado. Adding color to the momentous
event is the dramatic means by which a woman smuggled the flag
beneath her patadyong skirt into the town right
before the Spanish guards. A museum across the plaza
immortalizes the exploits of Ilonggo freedom fighters during
that shining moment in history. A giant flag
on a 100-foot flagpole now proudly flies on the spot to
symbolize the Filipino libertarian ideals.
We have taken this opportunity to list the foregoing
tourist spots in our column along the idea we expressed
before that many Ilonggos have not toured
our own city and province. The irony is that
some of us have even travelled to foreign countries.
Iloilo has good business and tourist attractions.
Are you all aware of them?