World Visitors

Free counters!

Ocean Breeze Visitors Around The Globe

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Iloilo City Places Of Interests

International Hotel As Part of the Heritage Buildings in Casa Real, Iloilo City Proper 

Iloilo River Esplanade 

Plaza Libertad fronting Iloilo City Hall


The capital of Iloilo, the city of Iloilo is situated between Iloilo and Batiano river is forming in a shape of a nose hence the old name of Iloilo, "Ilong-ilong," which means looks like a nose. The city, considered as noble city of Western Visayas is modern and cosmopolitan.

One of the safest port in the country is the Muelle Loney  named after Nicholas Loney, a British businessman and known as the "Father of the Sugar Industry in Western Visayas". The island of Guimaras protects the port from harsh winds. The port is opened to world trade in 1855.

The Fort San Pedro near port of Iloilo was built by the Spaniards in 1619 to protect the city from the raids of the Dutch pirates who blocked all the entrances and exits of the city for three days. Aside from the Dutch, the fort was also attacked by the British, Americans and Japanese. It was in this fort that the first commercial plane, the Iloilo-Negros Air Express Co. was born on February 3, 1933 by the Lopez brothers.

The beautiful and green Plaza Libertad was formerly known as Plaza Alfonso XII is full of history. It was here where the flag of the first Filipino republic was raised on December 26, 1898 after the Spanish forces surrender in Iloilo, Spain's last capital in Asia, to the revolutionaries headed by General Martin Delgado.

Calle Real, the often called Escolta of Iloilo during the Spanish colonial period, is the today's Jose Ma. Basa (J.M. Basa) St.  is the liveliest street in the commercial district of the city. It was even mentioned by Dr. Jose Rizal in his diary on August 4, 1896 when he visited Iloilo on board the ship "España" from Dapitan stating: "The memory of the liveliness and attractiveness of Escolta brings forth the joy in me." Rizal bought a buri hat at a Lebanese-owned bazaar on the location of the present-day Cine Palace aka Regent Theater fronting Freedom Grandstand. Calle Real or JM Basa is home to the colonial era heritage buildings built during the American colonial period and other contemporary buildings.

Central Market is located at the junction of Aldeguer and Guanco Sts.  Ledesma Street, on the other hand, is the longest commercial street in the city and is often called Avenida Rizal due to its length. It starts from Plazoleta Gay where the four streets intersects - Iznart, J.M. Basa, Arroyo and Ledesma. The old and new provincial capitol of Iloilo is at the northern end of Iznart Street known as the Bonifacio Drive.

The iconic Museo Iloilo at the Bonifacio Drive located besides the Iloilo Provincial Capitol built by the Board of Travel and Tourist Industry (today's Department of Tourism) is a repository of Iloilo's colorful past of inherited culture. Carbon 14 which approximate or foretells the date and age of the shell fossils and stones indicates the age of Panay Island; pieces of tools and equipment of early men during the Stone age, native potteries, decorated jeweled teeth, jewelries excavated from the burial sites before the arrival of the Spaniards, potteries and porcelains imported from China, Annam and Siam that were found at the tombs of the natives, tombs discovered in caves prohibited from public entry, images and memories of revolutions against Spain and America, World War II relics like the famous radio transmitters that established the first communication connection in the Philippines with the United States and Australia after the soldiers surrender to the Japanese. relics recovered from the remains of the capsized British ships near Guimaras, Filipino sculptures during the Spanish colonial period, gallery of old and modern visual arts created by Ilonggo artists. The cultural wealth is artfully arranged and exhibited. Museo Iloilo is a noble building which honors and glorifies the visual environment of Iloilo city just like a modern Parthenon, an art that reflects a Scandinavian architecture, standing at the imposing podium at the compound of the Provincial Capitol. The museum is a joint project of the provincial government and the Board of Travel and Tourist Industry which is now the Department of Tourism.


Known as the "Athens of the Philippines," the district produced a lot of great Ilonggos, including seven (7) senators of the Philippine republic, seven (7) governors of Iloilo and four (4) justices of the Supreme Court aside from cabinet secretaries who served different administrations. The senators wee Francisco Villanueva, Esteban de la Rama, Esperidion Guanco, Jose Ma. Arroyo, Francisco C. Zulueta, Jose C. Zulueta and Rodolfo T. Ganzon. The governors were Raymundo Melliza, Amando Avanceña, Gregorio Yulo, Mariano Arroyo, Jose Yulo-Delgado, Timoteo Consing and Jose Zulueta. The justices were Raymundo Melliza, Gregorio Araneta, Felicisimo Feria and Chief Justice Ramon Avanceña.

Birthplace of the delicious Pancit Molo and also home of the sweetmeats, Panaderia de Molo.

The feminist church of St. Anne is a Gothic-Renaissance in style visited by Dr. Jose Rizal on August 4, 1896. The impressive church captured the poetic vision of Dr. Rizal when he chance upon it for his visit to his dear classmate and friend, Raymundo Melliza (his classmate in University of Santo Tomas in Manila and in Spain). Rizal is on his way to Manila from Dapitan and made a short trip to Iloilo. The unique church features several columns of statues of female saints thus the nickname "Feminist Church."

Asilo de Molo orphanage where the noble garments used on rare occasions by church leaders and dignitaries were handmade crafted, designed and embroidered by the young orphans under the guidance and supervision of the nuns.

Formerly called Parian in the old days because it is the home of the largest community of Chinese of La Villa de Arevalo.

Collections of Filipino sculptures during the period of colonialism and artifacts in the tombs owned by lawyer Jose Tiongco.

Shell craft factory in Lopez-Jaena owned by the Soriano family.

Molo also produced several other leaders of the revolution in Panay more than any other towns and districts with this size and population even the town of Jaro. Almost all of the members of the Comite Conspirador, the secret junta who plans a revolutions were natives of Molo. They are Perfecto Salas, Jovito Jusay, Ramon Avanceña, Angel Corteza, Francisco Villanueva, and Raymundo Melliza.

The three citizens of Molo, Angel Corteza, Raymundo Melliza and Pablo Araneta are outstanding generals of the revolution.

Cornelio Melliza, father of Raymundo and Isidro de la Rama, father of Esteban de la Rama, became shipping tycoons who managed the first passenger shipping lines in the Visayas.

The families of Yulo, Lacson, Locsin, Yusay, Araneta, de la Rama, Corteza, Conlu, Consing, Montelibano and Segovia searched for vassal lands in Negros and created the province into a vast emporium of sugar.

In field of arts and literature, Angel Magahum Sr. and Gimeno Damaso wrote some music and sarsuela that is widely recognized by many.


- 6 kilometers southwest of the city proper
- seat of the alcaldia in the early days of Spanish occupation of Iloilo
- center of weaving and embroidery of jusi, pineapples and hablon
- established in 1581 by Governor-General Gonzalo Ronquillo who gave the name "La Villa de
  Arevalo" in memory of his hometown and birthplace in Avila, Spain becoming one of the first places in the Philippines to be named in Spanish. The town became the capital of politics, religion and military in Panay. It became the financier of the Spanish expedition against the Moors in Mindanao and in Moluccas.
- It is also the first Spanish community attacked by an English pirate, Sir Thomas Cavendish considered to be the third person to circumnavigate the world. He raided Arevalo in 1588.
- Flower capital of Iloilo, where potted plants, flowers, bouquets and wreaths can be bought and even brought to other provinces.
- Pyrotechnics and firecracker capital of Iloilo because the district is known for its firecrackers and fireworks
- Its prominent attraction is the Villa Beach along the coast which boasts several resorts and an outdoor nightlife such as open air restaurants and bars and also the starting venue of the popular and
oldest sailing competition in Asia, Paraw Regatta.
- It is also home to the 3rd oldest image of Sto. Niño or Holy Child Jesus in the Philippines after the images in Cebu and in Tondo, Manila, respectively.

It was called by the Augustinians, "Patria de Varios Hombres Celebres" or town featuring various personalities and figures;

  * Melecio Figueroa, a friend and acquaintance of Rizal in Spain and known in Europe as the greatest Filipino engraving artist is a native of Arevalo. Figueroa designed or engraved the Conant coins (named after monetary expert Charles Arthur Conant), national coin during those times. The figure of a woman in the silver coin is a picture or image of her daughter Blanca.

   * Francisco Varona, journalist, labor union leader, statesman who served twice as a Congressman was born in Arevalo.

   * The patriot, social worker, feminist and woman suffragist Sofia Reyes de Veyra is from Villa.

  * Some of the outstanding Villanon includes former governor Amado Avanceña who served during the American occupation.

  * Father Anselmo Avanceña, one of the founders of the famous Colegio de Sta. Ana of Molo, one of the most honored priest, also a writer, translator, editor, creator and social worker.

  * Councilors Crispino Melocoton and Joaquin Abadilla, bishop Felipe Molina and former Iloilo City Mayor, Reinario J. Ticao.


  - 3 kilometers from city proper
  - birthplace of the greatest Filipino orator and journalist, Graciano Lopez-Jaena.
  - site of Jaro Archbishopric which covers the entire  Western Visayas region
  - home to a number of colonial sculptures and structures, heritage colonial houses (images of saints
  - made of wood, stone and ivory), Chinese porcelains and other artifacts collections in the houses of Mrs. Lourdes Dellota and Mrs. Leticia Jesena.
 - Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral also known as the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Cathedral
 - elegant mansions of sugar barons and Antillean houses with Spanish motif owned by the Montinola.

  - Elegant Jaro Municipal Hall that became a police station but is now undergoing restoration and renovation to serve as the main office of National Museum Western Visayas regional branch.

  - Central Philippine University

  Children of Jaro includes:
    *Former Vice President of the Philippines, Fernando Lopez
    *Don Aurelio Montinola established Amon Trading Corporation
    *Senator Ruperto Montinola known as Colossus of the South
    *Senator and Governor Jose B. Ledesma;
    *Senator Ramon Lopez, philanthropist and hero Gil Lopez, revolutionary leader, grandfather of world class musicians and artists Kabayao
    *Secretary of Finance, Rufino G. Hechanova
    *General Rafael Jalandoni, Staff Commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines


   - established in 1867 and home to the world famous La Paz batchoy
    - St. Clement's Redemptorist Church equivalent to the Baclaran church because of its devotion. The first church in the country to have a devotion to the Mother of Perpetual Help which was started in 1946.


     Iloilo Business Park, mixed use, master-planned development by Megaworld Corporation in the former old Mandurriao airport.

     the beautiful and very clean Iloilo River Esplanade

Photo Sources:


  1. Hello Dreamcatcher,
    My parents met in Batuan during the Japanese period. I believe Mayor Eusebio Reyes had also taken refuge on this island not far from Estancia or Carles. I can't find it on any map. All I see are similar sounding names in Bohol and Masbate. Can you help me find Batuan? Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Kenneth,

      Thanks for reading my posts here. Anyway based on what you said. I never knew a place here in Iloilo named Batuan. The only town here in Iloilo with the spelling is Cabatuan but based on your description of island not far from Estancia or Carles it might also be one of the islands in those towns and in the town of Concepcion. It might also be the Isla de Gigantes or Sicogon Island as these islands are both near Carles, Estancia or Concepcion and can be reached through any of these towns. But I will still consult this with other people who knows these places better than I do. ;)

    2. Kenneth someone said it is Punta Batuanan in Calagnaan Island off the east coast of Estancia, Iloilo just northwest of the famed Sicogon Island. Check the map on the link below:


Nuffnang Ad