I was in Iloilo twice this year but mostly just in transit because my real destination is my hidden paradise. However, this time around, I spent a little bit time to roam around and get to know the city a bit more. Here is a list of what I did that you can do too ^_^
If you are on a budget:
Consider taking jeepneys and tricycles instead of taxi cabs to destinations you wanted to go. It’s better if you get a front seat beside the driver so you can ask around for directions. This will make your rides an adventure in itself.
Skip the malls and head for the public market where prices are far less. You’ll support the local community plus you’ll get to interact with Ilonggos and learn some culture. If it gets too hot, go back to the mall xD
Batchoy, a native delicacy, should be on the list of what to eat in Iloilo. For an original La Paz Batchoy treat, look for the jeepney ride where the sign board says La Paz, then ask to go down at La Paz Public Market. Once there, ask around where the Netong Original Batchoy is located, then reward yourself for finding it by ordering the native specialty.
Now if you have moolah to spend:
Pamper yourself and hang out in posh coffee shops in the Italian inspired mall at Plazuela de Iloilo located beside SM City. Senator Benigno Aquino Avenue, Mandurriao
But if you need some place that is equally artsy yet jives with nature, you can head to Uncle Toms, same street as SM City and Plazuela de Iloilo but a few minutes away via jeep. The restaurant transmits a peaceful vibe, perfect for business gatherings or just hanging out
I’m not much of a party person and prefer secret hideaways to read a book or two.. but if you are a party animal, I should tell you to hang out at Smallville arcade.. that’s what manong jeepney and taxi driver told me.. maybe they party there too who knows :P
But there is a new park hangout in town called Esplanade, which is an inspired version of The Esplanade in Singapore. Stroll along the romantic scene beside the river at night, and have beers and grills at nearby restaurants. Esplanade extends from Treñas Boulevard in Mandurriao all the way to Drilon Bridge in La Paz.
So there you go.. if you know places and stuff to do in Iloilo, pretty please share so I can do that too next time im in the city where people speaks the sweetest. ^_^
UP NEXT! Please vote for your travel charity at Travel Blogging Calendar, Empowerment workshop in Leyte, Global Travel Bloggers Calendar Project, and Backpacking while volunteering in Mindanao (and beyond) soon!