Farah Ramos' Blog

A Second Look at Iloilo City

Posted in Adventures by Farah Ramos on August 30, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 — This was my second time to visit Iloilo. Once again, just like in almost all of my trips, I had an ‘amazing race’ during my brief stay in this city. A few hours before my flight back to Manila, I made sure I get to see the beauty of the city, taste the delicious delicacies, and buy some pasalubong.

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Of course having a photo taken at the Iloilo River Esplanade is a must! It just makes the trip official with the “I am Iloilo” as my background. It’s such a feast for the eyes, both the river as well as the riverbank are clean! I sniff the air, half expecting the river stinks. Fortunately, the air is fresh, with no smell at all. And look at this photo, not a single trash can be seen:

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It’s such an inspiring story. My friends from Iloilo say this was totally different before as there were riverbank settlers back then. But with the cooperation of the Iloilo residents to the government’s plan to rehabilitate the river, it has become this beautiful. All the efforts that the Iloilo government did from the planning until the execution should be shared to all the leaders that are responsible for developing all the other rivers in the country.

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Even if I am not a resident of Iloilo, I can’t help myself from being proud of what it has become. This is my second time in Iloilo and even if I was already amazed by what I saw then, I am even more impressed this time. The roads are bigger now, there are a lot of businesses that will soon open.

The Ilonggos are proud of their city government and the programs that they are doing. I have a slight pang of jealousy because I want to feel the same kind of pride I have with the entire country. The good news is, this just goes to show that it is possible to have a country like Iloilo. And the biggest part of this success is the residents’ support their city government, they have confidence and trust with their leaders and that’s actually how it’s supposed to be. It’s a team effort after all.


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Next stop: The Lizares Mansion

The Lizares Mansion (see photo above) was built in 1937 by the sugar barons at that time. During the World War II, the Lizares-Gamboa family left for Pototan, Iloilo. During that time, the Japanese army turned the mansion into their headquarters. People believe that the basement was where the tortured Filipinos were dumped. After the war, the family returned. In 1950, Don Emiliano Lizares died so the mansion was leased to a businessman who turned it into a casino. The city mayor had it closed down. In 1962, it was sold to the Dominicans and in 1978, it became the Angelicum School Iloilo.

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Since I compressed all my activities in one day, I was so hungry when the photo above was taken (I am grumpy when I’m hungry!). Iloilo is known for their La Paz Batchoy. My friends told me that the authentic La Paz Batchoy can be found in the market so off I went to the La Paz Market and chose Netong’s Original Special La Paz Batchoy.

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Look at that Batchoy! It has egg, crushed chicharon, chunks of chicken breast, loins of beef, innards of pork, vegetables, and of course the noodles and soup. I had to ask for an extra soup after I finished my bowl, it was that delicious!

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My trip won’t be complete without trying out the coffee from Madge Cafe. Since 1941, it has been Iloilo’s iconic coffee shop. It only costs P25! I am no coffee drinker but if I were an Iloilo resident, I’d be a frequent customer and would definitely choose Madge Cafe over the famous coffee shops that we have now. It is affordable and I love the ambience of the place. I like how laid-back it is, very relaxing.
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And then after all the wandering, the inevitable had to happen. I had to pack my stuff and head back to Manila. See you again, Iloilo!

 

Have a look at my post during my first time in Iloilo: https://farahramos.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/april-28-30-2010-iloilo-city/

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