Our branch visited Iloilo for our summer outing just a couple of weeks after small boats capsizing along the Iloilo – Guimaras strait with death toll at 31 filled the headlines for days.
The mishaps didn’t hinder us from crossing the strait for 15 minutes to Guimaras Island though. The weather was good and the coast guards found it good to let our coaster board the ferry as we went to Guimaras on our first day.
We had lunch at Tatoy’s, one of the most famous restaurant chains in Iloilo, as our first stop from the airport. On the table before us were loads of “talaba” (shells), chicken soup, sisig, and fish among others.
On the way to the pier for Guimaras Island, our tour guide introduced us to old buildings and houses scattered within the city, all preserved and can be traced way back during the Spanish colonization.
We found mango bars, dried mangoes, coffee with mango, and all goods with mangoes at Sta Hildegarda Cafe in Guimaras Island.
Guimaras Island has 27 wind turbines, all with amazingly huge 35-meter long blades. It was my first time to see a wind turbine and I just want to go inside one so badly. Maybe it’s the engineer in me who badly wants to actually witness what is inside and how it works.
It’s understandably not allowed to get inside the turbines though. The closest I can get is to request from PHINMA Energy for an educational trip. This would be one thing to look forward to for me if I ever get back.
We woke up very early in the morning for a 3-hour ride to Carles Port where our boat for our island hopping on Gigantes Islands is waiting for us.
Cabugao Island is also known as the Selfie Island because it is where people willingly queue under the heat of the sun just to get a photo with the most famous and iconic background in Gigantes Islands. We didn’t wait for the very long queue though.
The dragon boat at Antonia Island threw us to the sea without warning on our last round.
Iloilo surprised me with its rich culture, distinct cuisine, 8-lane streets, and a whole lot of preserved structures built way back in the early 1900s.
Gigantes Islands and Guimaras Island made our visit more enriching and filled with adventure.
The economically booming city with its rich cultural heritage even surprised me more when our tour guide informed us that they have a handful of reputable universities, all located within the city. Wow!
Watch our vlog for this trip here to actually see more of the Iloilo cuisine prepared before us and the destinations we visited. Our itinerary, transportation, and accommodation were all smoothly arranged by Buenas Grande Travel and Tours. You can contact them through their page here for tour package rates and inquiries.
I never thought another metropolis, aside from Manila, Cebu, and Davao, exists in my own dear country until I got to step my foot in Iloilo.
The City of Love is indeed a city to visit in the Philippines. 🙂
Natasha is a full-time banker who gets to take a breather when she travels. She loves being challenged. Adventures and whatever engages her logic get her excited.