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Iloilo

Iloilo

Unique churches and historical landmarks mix with forests, mountains, and beaches
By Bianca Ma. Guerrero

Overview

Occupying the southeastern portion of Panay Island in the Western Visayas Region is the province of Iloilo.

Iloilo is known for its rich historical sites, numerous natural attractions, and colorful festivals. There are a number of beautiful churches scattered throughout the province, as well as beaches, coves, and mountains.

History

  • In 1212, ten Bornean datus bought Panay Island from Negrito Chief Marikudo for a golden salakot (hat) and a golden necklace. One of the ten datus, Datu Paiburong, was given the territory that is now known as Iloilo.
  • The Spaniards, led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, came to Panay in 1566 and established a settlement in Ogtong, which is now Oton, Iloilo. The seat of Spanish power was in La Villa de Arevalo, but because Moro pirates would often raid the area, the Spaniards moved to the village of Irong-Irong (now Iloilo City) and built Fort San Pedro.
  • The capital city of Iloilo became a chartered city on the 25th of August, 1937.

Travelers' Attractions

There is no lack of places of interest for any kind of traveler in Iloilo.

  • Mountaineers, spelunkers, and other adventure seekers can explore caves and climb mountains such as Mt. Napulak or Mt. Manaphag.
  • Beach bums can enjoy swimming and sunbathing along the white sand beach on Sicogon Island, or the romantic beach on Danao-Danao and Basiao Island.
  • History buffs will enjoy visiting all the notable churches and historical sites, such as the Miag-ao Church and Fort San Pedro.

Getting There and Away

  • Iloilo Airport is located between Sta. Barbara and Cabatuan. Philippine Airlines, Zest Air, and Cebu Pacific have daily Iloilo flights to and from Manila and Cebu, while Air Philippines has daily flights to and from Cebu.
  • Boats and car ferries can take visitors to Iloilo via Negros Navigation, Sulpicio Lines, Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, Superferry, and FF Cruz Shipping.
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Lapaz Batchoy is a favorite among Filipino foods.

Museo Iloilo

Museo Iloilo's permanent exhibit traces the history of Western Visayas from precolonial times to contemporary history.

Miag-ao Church

Aside from being a church, Miag-ao Church was also built as a fortress.
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