Not even a troublesome trip can deny the beauty of the Queen City of the South - Iloilo.
I only have one travel experience made last year. It was not even for leisure but to attend an academic conference. And, with a host all sorts undesirable reasons, this one is really unforgettable. The destination: Iloilo City. To clarify, there is absolutely nothing undesirable about this city. It’s just that our flight to Iloilo was delayed for four hours, and I had to rebook my return flight twice because there was a family emergency involving my mother’s health. Thankfully, my mom survived her ordeal; although she came out of it less than a hundred percent.
Now, enough with painful recollections and more on the city of Iloilo. Iloilo City, aptly dubbed as, the “Queen City of the South”, is the regional center of Western Mindanao, with a population of over 400,000. It is one of the earlier cities to emerge during the time of Spanish colonization.
With the little time that I spent in Iloilo, I appreciated a lot of the old structures in this city. A lot of the buildings are decades old, with some built as early as the late 19th century. Most of these establishments are concentrated in the premier hub for commerce and trading; the famous Calle Real (Royal Street). Throughout the city, other aged structures can be found like ancestral houses and churches, such as the Church of San Jose de Placer, which is located across Plaza Libertad.
At night, you can swing by Small Ville. A commercial complex where one can find several restaurants and pubs. If you are looking for a night of good food and a few drinks, this is the place to go to.
All in all, Iloilo City is very much enjoyable. Had there been no trouble during my trip, I could have explored the city more. And, if another opportunity to visit the city presents itself, I will be ready with my camera, loaded with my favorite film, and a few more rolls reserved in my backpack.