Iloilo is known as among the Philippines’ main gate cities and bustling tourist destinations. It is currently one of the most traveled to and visited destinations in the country. The province is offering good accommodations where travelers and vacationers could comfortably stay while exploring and enjoying the province’s interesting culture and sceneries.
The province is a graceful repose between Batiano and Iloilo rivers, which form angles resembling a nose. Thus, the name Ilong-Ilong (ilong is a Filipino word for nose), meaning nose-like. There are mountain ranges in the province. Most of the land area is plain land that intersperse the upland portions.
The provincial capital, Iloilo City is also the capital of region 6. It is a busy economic center in the Western Visayas. It has an international airport that links the province to other major destinations in the country, as well as to the other cities in the world. The port complex in the area is busy as there are millions of kilograms of sea produce that are shipped annually. The banking industry is strong, so tourists do not usually worry about withdrawing and transacting money through available finance and banking institutions.
Iloilo comprises the southeastern portion of the Panay Island. Geographically, the province is literally at the center of the Philippine archipelago. It is the main gateway to the flourishing Western Visayas region. It has 42 towns. The province is neighboring Antique and Capiz in the west and the Jintotolo Channel in the north. Rice is the main crop, while fish and marine products are considered as usual sources of livelihood by locals.
Leisure is the main tourism attraction of the province. In the town of Sta. Barbara is the oldest golf course in the Philippines. The facility was put up in 1907. Iloilo is noted for facilitating Panay mountain biking, especially off the coast near the Guimaras Islands. Food enthusiasts would be delighted by the local dishes, including the unique and famous Ilonggo original, Lapaz Batchoy, a noodle soup combined with pork entrails, chicharon, and liver.
Iloilo is one of the provinces with the most number of local festivals. Here are the top of the long list:
Dinagyang Festival – held every fourth weekend of January in Iloilo City, this colorful cavalcade is honoring the Holy Child Jesus; it is considered Iloilo’s version of Kalibo, Aklan’s Ati-Atihan Festival.
Paraw Regatta – held on varying dates at Iloilo Strait is a race among colorful and swift native outriggers in the water body between Iloilo City and the Guimaras Island.
Feast of our Lady of Candles – held every February 2 at Jaro. This is the biggest and grandest religious pageantry in the region. The festivity symbolizes the province’s affluence and generosity when it comes to merrymaking.
Pasungay – held every second Saturday of January stages bullfights at the hillside of the town of San Joaquin.
Fireworks Display and Contest – held every third Sunday of January at Arevalo town is a dazzling display of blazing lights and sparkles that highlight the District Fiesta.
- Tultugan Festival – held on December 29 at Maasin is a feast that promotes the municipality’s bamboo industry.
How to get there
The fastest and most convenient way is through air. Daily flights are offered from Metro Manila and other key local cities to Iloilo City. Travelers could take a car ride for a long adventure or a bus ride. Some travelers like to take the long route of going to Cebu first before going to Iloilo via Negros Occidental. There are also boat or ferry trips going to Iloilo City from Metro Manila, Cebu, and other key national ports.