Nestled in the heart of Western Visayas, Iloilo is a province that boasts of rich culture, history, and natural beauty. From stunning beaches to towering landmarks, Iloilo has something to offer for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, this province has a lot in store for you.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best things to do in Iloilo. We’ll explore the hidden gems that make this place unique, from the colorful festivals to the mouth-watering cuisine. Join us as we uncover the treasures of Iloilo and discover why it’s becoming one of the hottest tourist destinations in the Philippines. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and let’s explore Iloilo together!
Things to do in Iloilo
Historical and cultural attractions
Iloilo is a province steeped in history and culture. Its rich past is evident in the various landmarks and attractions that dot the landscape. One of the must-visit destinations in Iloilo is the Molo Church, also known as the Church of St. Anne. This stunning church was built in the 19th century and is known for its intricate Gothic-inspired architecture. Another significant historical landmark is the Jaro Cathedral, which dates back to the 19th century and is a popular destination for religious pilgrims.
Another cultural attraction in Iloilo is the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA), which showcases contemporary Filipino art. The museum houses a collection of paintings, sculptures, and other artworks depicting the Philippines’ unique culture and history. The National Museum Western Visayas Regional Museum Complex is also worth a visit, where you can learn about the history and culture of the region.
If you’re interested in learning more about the rich culinary heritage of Iloilo, a visit to the Museo Iloilo is a must. This museum features exhibits that showcase the region’s different traditional dishes and cooking methods. You can also take part in cooking classes and food tours to get a taste of the local cuisine.
Food and dining experiences
Iloilo is known for its delicious cuisine, which is a fusion of different flavors and influences. One of the most popular dishes in Iloilo is the La Paz Batchoy, a savory noodle soup made with pork, liver, and egg. Another must-try dish is the Pancit Molo, a dumpling soup that is a local delicacy. You can also sample seafood dishes such as grilled fish and shrimp cooked fresh and served with garlic rice.
For a unique dining experience, head to Tatoy’s Manokan Restaurant in Villa Arevalo, which is famous for its grilled chicken. The restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike and is known for its casual and relaxed atmosphere. Another popular dining spot is Breakthrough Restaurant, which serves a variety of seafood dishes and offers stunning views of the ocean.
Nature and adventure activities
Iloilo is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the Philippines. The beaches in Iloilo are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Some of the best beaches in Iloilo include Islas de Gigantes, Concepcion, and Sicogon Island. These beaches offer crystal clear waters and pristine white sand, making them the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway.
If you’re looking for adventure, head to the Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort in San Joaquin. This resort features a unique attraction, a 480-step staircase that leads to a breathtaking view of the surrounding rice fields. Another adventure destination in Iloilo is the Madge Lake in January, where you can rent a kayak or go fishing.
Festivals and events
Iloilo is known for its vibrant festivals and events, which celebrate the province’s rich culture and history. One of the most popular festivals in Iloilo is the Dinagyang Festival, which is held every January and attracts thousands of visitors worldwide.
The festival is a tribute to the Santo Niño and features colorful parades, street performances, and traditional dances.
Another popular festival in Iloilo is the Paraw Regatta, which is held every February and features a sailboat race along the Iloilo Strait. The festival also includes cultural performances and a food fair, where you can sample local delicacies.
Iloilo is a shopper’s paradise, with a variety of malls, markets, and boutiques to choose from. One of the most popular shopping destinations in Iloilo is the SM City Iloilo, which features a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Another popular mall is the Robinsons Place Iloilo, which offers a mix of high-end and budget-friendly shops.
If you’re looking for local products and souvenirs, head to the Jaro Public Market, which is known for its fresh produce, handicrafts, and local delicacies. You can also visit the Sinamay House in Miagao, which sells beautifully crafted bags, hats, and other accessories made from natural fibers.
Nightlife and entertainment
Iloilo has a lively nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. One of the most popular bars in Iloilo is the Brewery Gastropub, which offers a wide selection of craft beers and delicious pub food. Another popular spot is the Smallville Complex, which features a variety of bars and clubs that cater to different tastes.
For a unique entertainment experience, head to the Esplanade Riverfront, which hosts a variety of events and performances throughout the year. You can also catch a movie at the SM City Iloilo Cinemas, which feature the latest Hollywood and local films.
Iloilo is a province that is rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. From stunning beaches to towering landmarks, there is something for everyone in this province. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Iloilo has a lot to offer. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and let’s explore Iloilo together!