One of the most visited cities in the country, Iloilo is located in the heart of the Philippine archipelago and a city in the southeast part of Panay Island in Visayas. The city is a gateway to various island paradises in the country such as Guimaras, so if you’re planning to go there you might as well visit Iloilo City first. The city has a relaxing and peaceful ambiance and a must place to visit if you are tired of the chaotic city life. Iloilo City has a lot of churches and fun festivals for tourists to enjoy and experience and I’ll list here some of the things to do and places to visit in Iloilo so let’s start.
1. Miag-ao Catholic Church – The church was built between 1787 and 1789 was also known as the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva and it was designed as a fort defending the town against the Moro raiders and a cathedral. The church has a very beautiful and sturdy. You should check it out if you just like to enjoy the architecture or worship. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Jaro Cathedral – Also known as National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles, Jaro Cathedral is located in the district of Jaro in Iloilo City. The church was originally under the patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungaryand it was built in 1874 by Bishop Mariano Cuartero and unfortunately was destroyed in 1948 and later repaired in 1956. The bell tower of the church is located in Jaro Plaza and it is separated from the church because it was the original tower when the church was destroyed.
3. Iloilo City on Dinagyang Festival – You can also enjoy the Dinagyang Festival if you’re in the city around the month of January. The festival is held both in honor of the arrival of the Malay settlers in Panay and also to honor Santo Nino. The festival consists of performances, mobile riders and parading bands. You should check it out if you are in the city in that month. It’s a very colourful and fun festival for everyone to enjoy!
4. Museo Iloilo – If you are interested to learn a bit of history and culture about Iloilo and the Philippines then you should probably visit this place. The museum has a very impressive collection of Iloilo’s cultural heritage that consist of fossils, stone-age native pottery, burial sites and a whole lot more from that time period.
5. Bulabog Putian National Park – The park is Iloilo’s Protected Natural Reserve and is located in Dingle. You can go hiking or trekking in the park. This place has a lot of huge trees and it has 13 known caves to visit and explore. If you like to have an adventure in the wilderness, then this a must place to visit.
These are just some of the top five places to visit in Iloilo City, spend few more days and discover more interesting sights to see.
Have you been to Iloilo City? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations.