Back in 2009, I looked at the photos I took on this trip to Iloilo and Guimaras and said, “WTH?” I was eight months pregnant and maybe that’s the reason these photos looked totally uninspired. So I shelved them and tried never to look at them again. Oh well, I found them again yesterday and decided to post them just for information’s sake. I still find them totally fugly, uninteresting and uninspired, but it might help someone who wants to know what these places look like.
The Iloilo International Airport is one of the nicest airports in the Philippines; and because it is nicer than other airports, the terminal fee is also expensive at Php200.
The following airlines operate flights in this airport, with corresponding destinations. Noteworthy are the international flights that Cebu Pacific will be operating out of this airport beginning November 2012 – Hong Kong and Singapore. (Source: Wikipedia)
|Airphil Express||Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Manila|
|Cebu Pacific||Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, General Santos [begins November 8, 2012], Hong Kong [begins November 8, 2012], Manila, Puerto Princesa [begins November 9, 2012], Singapore [begins November 9, 2012], Tacloban [begins October 5, 2012]|
|South East Asian Airlines||Manila|
It has nice bathrooms and cafes though making it a good place to hang out if you are early for your flight or experiencing flight delays.
The Front Lounge is a good place for reading and eating La Paz Batchoy, if you are already leaving Iloilo and haven’t had enough of it yet.
It was February and “Valentine’s Day week” so there was an overabundance of hearts all around.
One of the must-see places in the city of Iloilo is the Jaro Cathedral.
The original cathedral was built in 1874 by the order of Mariano Cuartero, the first bishop of Jaro. The cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake in 1948 and restored in 1956 by the order of Jose Ma. Cuenco, who was, in turn, the first archbishop of Jaro.
The cathedral’s style is basically Baroque, with the addition of Gothic elements over many renovations.
It is known as the shrine of Our Lady of the Candles under the original patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.
The bell tower is unusually located across a busy street on the Jaro Plaza. Such construction arrangement is rare in the Philippines. Usually the Churches and their belfries are built adjacent to each other, or at least they are located on the same plot of land. This is a remnant of an older building that collapsed during an earthquake.
The Jaro belfry is one of the few belfries in country that stands apart from the church. It was constructed by the Spaniards to serve also as a watchtower to monitor Muslim invasion from Mindanao. The colonial structure was ruined by an earthquake in 1948, but was restored decades later, in the mid-1990s.
Surrounding the cathedral and sharing the same general location are a variety of archdiocesan and parish offices. There is also a perpetual adoration chapel. About a block away is the archdiocesan seminary and across the plaza is the archbishop’s palace.
The National Historical Institute of the Philippines proclaimed the Jaro Cathedral as a historical landmark in 1976.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines approved the cathedral as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles in January 2012.
Iloilo City is served mostly by passenger jeepneys, white metered taxis and tricycles within the city limits. The passad jeepneys of Iloilo are known for its sleek and sedan-like design. These often serve fixed routes and mostly plies on city’s major and secondary roads. Jeepneys are also the main mode of transportation to other towns. Tricycles serve most secondary roads and city communities.(1)
Iloilo City’s urban planning and architecture reflect the plans of the Spanish colonial and the American colonial administrations. Since Iloilo City is a conglomeration of towns, the districts have their own plaza complexes or town squares which are surrounded by establishments of political and ecclesiastical influence, such as churches and old administrative halls. In 1930, Juan M. Arellano of the Bureau of Public Works designed the schematic plan for Iloilo City, which was influenced by Ebenezer Howard’s “Garden City.”(1)
Iloilo has a lot of beautiful houses and is rich in heritage. Calle Real found in downtown Iloilo is a heritage district. Old buildings constructed in the Commonwealth area showcases unique architecture.
The Iloilo Museum, a repository of Iloilo’s cultural heritage, is also a good place to visit.
Iloilo also has its shares of commercial centers and malls. A Robinsons and an SM Mall can be found in the city.
Deco’s is a good place to have breakfast for its bread and batchoy.
Iloilo is also the nearest and fastest way to get to the island of Guimaras, which is famous for its mangoes. More on that in the next posts.
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