5 Places to Visit in Iloilo

Go back in time when you visit stunning Iloilo.

By Mathew S. Chan
July 21, 2015


Iloilo is the "Festival Capital of Western Visayas," having at least one festival per month with the exception of July. Some of their colorful festivities date back to Spanish times, and Iloilo has updated them to create a new local flavor. The province is also home to plenty of sites from the city proper to Jaro district. Here are 5 must-visit places in Iloilo.

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1.    Calle Real
Calle Real is the center of Iloilo City. It stretches from Plaza Libertad all the way to to the Iloilo Provincial Capitol. It has been the shopping and entertainment district of the city since the 1930s and is also considered to be the "Escolta" of Iloilo. Here you'll be able to see buildings that have survived the test of time. You can just enjoy seeing history and culture unfold as you walk down the street.

2.    St. Anne’s Church
St. Anne’s Church is known for being a feminist church. It features 16 life-size statues of female saints found on the pillars inside the church. The church itself is beautiful and memorable with its Gothic architecture, most evident on the pointed towers and pulpits.

3.    La Villa de Arevalo
Arevalo was the first town in the country to be named after a Spanish town: Villa de Arevalo in Avila, Spain. The two towns share striking resemblances to each other. La Villa de Arevalo is the flower capital of Iloilo, thanks to its huge amount of flower gardens. If you love flowers or want to buy some, this is the place to go.

4.    Iloilo River Esplanade
The Iloilo River Esplanade was opened in 2012 in an effort to rehabilitate the Iloilo River and turn it into a tourist attraction. The Esplanade or Promenade is a nice place for walking around, jogging, or having a picnic. If you are looking for a pleasant place to chill and hang out without having to spend money, this is the perfect place for you.

5.    Jaro District

Jaro is one of six districts in Iloilo City. It is the cradle of Roman Catholic institutions in the area. One of the highlights of the district is the art deco-inspired police station that was once the municipal hall. The district also has a lot of 19th century architecture. Must-see sites include Jaro Cathedral, Palacio Arzobispal, and Jaro Belfry.

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