Iloilo – Heritage
Haven of Panay
Iloilo, one of the
provinces found in the Panay Island is rich with cultural
and historical treasures. These include the Jaro Cathedral,
Miagao Church, San Joaquin Church, Casa Real de Iloilo,
Panay Liberation Marker, and more.
Its other treasures are not found on the streets but
on the dining table, The Illongo’s prowess in
the kitchen manifests in their array of mouthwatering
dishes, the most famous of which is the La Paz Batchoy
1. Population –
1,691, 878 (as of 2007 Census)
2. Land Area – 5,324 sq. km
3. Capital – Iloilo City
4. Language/Dialect –, English, and Filipino
- Lambunao (known for Tinagong Dagat)
- New Lucena
- San Dionisio
- San Enrique
- San Joaquin
- San Miguel
- San Rafael
- Santa Barbara
Famous For ...
Built in 1864, it is the seat of the Archdiocese of
This national landmark boasts of a Filipino native façade
and a unique explosion of botanical motif reminiscent
of Aztec Art.
Dinagyang is Iloilo's counterpart of the famous Ati-atihan
Festival of Aklan. It is highlighted with locals in
blackk soot dancing to the beat of the drums
A race among swift and colorful native outriggers in
the Iloilo strait with participants from Iloilo and
the nearby province of Guimaras.
This 18-hole 37-hectare of golf course is the oldest
in the country.
La Paz Batchoy
Savor the taste of the famous La Paz Batchoy, a noodle
soup with pig’s entrails, liver, and fried skin,
locally called chicaron.
Places of Interest
Location: Commission Civil St., Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo
It contains collections of Magdalena Jalandoni's works,
the first Republic Cultural Heritage awardee in Literature
Location: 251 Lopez Jaena St., Baluarte Molo, Iloilo
Tour Days: Monday – Friday
Tour Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
He founded the Makinaugalingon Press in Iloilo City
that stresses the awareness and educates Filipino of
the Hiligaynon Literature. The museum was built to display
valuable memorabilia, facts about the social and cultural
literature of the Hiligaynon and the English & Spanish
literature dating from the last quarter of the 19th
century up to the 6th decade of the 20th century.
Location: Bonifacio Drive, Jaro, Iloilo
Entrance Fee: P5.00
Museo Iloilo, the first gov’t sponsored museum
outside Metro Manila, was designed by Ilongo architect
Sergio Penasales. Inside are artifact dating as far
as the pre-Spanish era like burial jars, trade pottery
from China, fossils, jewelery, weapons of the Mondos
(descendants of pre-Malay Indonesians), and more.
Location: JM Basa St. - Iznart St., Iloilo Provincial
The Calle Real is referred as the “Escolta”
of Iloilo City. It spans from Plaza Alfonso XII (now
known as Plaza Libertad) all the way to Plazoleta Gay
and the location of commercial establishments, the Casa
Real (Iloilo Provincial Capitol) as well as the residences
of the Ilonggo elite. The building in the area were
all built during the Spanish occupation. In order to
preserve them, they are well taken care of and were
re-used as commercial establishments.
Location: Tigbauan, Iloilo
Constructed in 1575, it is unique due to its Latin American
architecture. It has one of the most beautiful modern-type
interiors made up of colorful stone murals.
Location: San Joaquin, Iloilo
Highlighting the church’s façade it an
intricate sculptural relief depicting the Spanish victory
over Moroccan forces in the Battle of Tetuan. Entitiled
“Rendicion de Tetuan”, the low relief mural
captures the drama of victory where cavalry and infantry
are tearing down Moorish defense. The National Historical
Institute and National Commission have declared it for
Culture and the Arts as a National Cultural Treasure.
Location: J.M. Basa – Dela Rama – Zamora
St., Downtown, Iloilo City, Iloilo
This is where the flag of the First Philippine Republic
was raised in triumph after Spain surrendered Iloilo,
her last capital in the islands, to the revolutionaries
led by Gen. Martin Delgado on December 25, 1898
Location: General Hughes Highway, iloilo City, Iloilo
Also known as Fort Nuestra Senora del Rosario, it was
built between 1603 and 1616 and measured 60 by 60 meters.
The walls were composed of cut outs of Guimaras rocks
afort sannd coral stonesfrom along the Panay Coast.
It is approximately 12 feet high from low tide of the
sea and 30 feet thick.
Location: Brgy. Baybay Norte, Poblacion, Miagao, Iloilo
Constructed using the same materials as the Roman Catholic
church of Miagao, the tower was used to detect Moro
invaders during the Pre-hispanic and Hispanic perdio.
Now, is is being used as a Barangay Hall of Baybay Norte.
Location: Guimbal, Iloilo
Locally called as Bantayan, each of the five 17thcentury
watchtowers located in different sites along the shoreline
area of the poblacion were used to guard the coast and
look out for marauding Moro pirates. As the years passed
by, only three of these bantayans survived the forces
Location: Balantang, Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo
This place witnessed of the bloodiest battle of the
guerrilla forces led by Col. Macario Peralta, Jr., from
Feb.6 until March 20, 1945 until the liberation of Iloilo.
It is also the only military cemetery established outside
Location: Tigbauan, Iloilo
The marker commemorates the Liberation of Panay and
Romblon Island from the Japanese Imperial Army on March
18, 1945 by the joint American Forces and the Filipino
guerrillas led by Col. Macario Peralta, Jr.
Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary (Jaro Cathedral)
Location: Jaro District, Iloilo City, Iloilo
Built in 1864, the year the district was named a diocese
by Pope Pius IX, the Jaro Cathedral is the first and only
cathedral in Panay Island. It houses the limestone image
of Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (Lady of the Candles),
which was declared by Pope John Paul VI as the Patroness
of Western Visayas.
Santo Tomas de Villanueva (Miagao Church)
Location: Miagao, Iloilo
This declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in 1797,
features a uniquely Filipino façade. It is decorated
with a relief sculpture of St. Christopher carrying
the Christ Child amidst coconut, papaya, and guava shrubs.
The church sinks six (6) meters deep into the ground
because of its walls which measures one and a half (1
½) meters thick and buttresses thrice thicker.
St. Anne (Molo Church)
Location: Molo District, Iloilo City, Iloilo
Built in 1831, the church houses 16 images of female
saints, including St. Anne, thus earning the nickname
“women’s church’. It is a mixture
of Gothic and Romanesque architecture, with Gothic dominant
in the interiors of the church.
de Arevalo Church
Location: Arevalo District, Iloilo City, Iloilo
The church is the keeper of the third oldest Santo Nino
image in the Philippines, dating back to 1581.
Location: Sta. Barbara, Iloilo
Established in 1907, it is considered as the oldest
existing golf course in the Philippines. British Engineers
of the Philippine Railway Corporation built the 18-hole
golf course. It was used as a barracks of the American
forces during World War II.
Location: Brgy. Tungay, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo
Built in 1921 during the Commonwealth period, this serves
as the first gravity irrigation dam in Iloilo. It supplies
water to the rice fields in Barangay Miraga, Agutayan-Lupa,
Lanag, and Cabugao as well as other barangays in Pavia
and Leganes, Iloilo.
Location: Lambunao, Iloilo
The school’s main building displays a striking
resemblance to the National Diet Building in Tokyo,
Japan. Thus, it is considered as its little or “mini”
version. The school sits regally atop a hill, where
a great view of Lambunao’s highlands can be seen.
Location: Guimbal, Iloilo
US President Roosevelt ordered the construction during
the American Occupation. It is approximately 0.350 kilometers
long and made of Pittsburgh Steel, which were imported
from Virginia, USA. It is the longest steel bridge in
Location: Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo
It is one of the few belfries in the country that stands
apart from the church. It was ruined by an earthquake
in 1948 but was restored by the Iloilo City Government
during the last decade of the 1900s.
Location: Igbaras, Iloilo
Its cool and fresh blue waters attract foreign and local
tourists every year. The Nadsadjan Falls measures 100
feet in length, spewing water on a giant cauldron-like
natural swimming pool. A compelling grotto located under
an old Balete tree near the falls is also worth a visit.
Gigantes Norte and Sur
Location: Carles, Iloilo
Unexplored by the locals themselves, the island is a
hidden paradise with white sand beaches, colorful marine
life, and extraordinary land formations.
Location: Isla de Gigantes Sur, Carles, Iloilo
This is a saltwater lagoon formed by a surrounding wall
of monolithic cliffs. Tourists can take a dip and immerse
themselves in the serenity of nature.
Location: Isla de Gigantes Sur, Carles, Iloilo
The cave has caverns inside with unique rock formations.
The cave is well ighted because of the openings on the
cave’s roof. Which form an atrium of sorts.
Location: Brgy. Buaya, Carles, Iloilo
During the 1970’s to the early 1980’s, Sicogon
Island was the country’s premier beach resort
before the discovery of Boracay. Its white sand beach
is lined up with coconut trees. Its waters are rich
in aquatic treasures such as coral reefs and rare marine
life. During its heyday, it has its own operational
Location: Sicogon Island, Carles, Iloilo
Its summit gives a commanding view of the nearby islands.
Its forested slopes are acclaimed to be the haven of
wild boars, bald eagles, pitcher plants, and various
species of flora and fauna.
Location: Concepcion, Iloilo
The town of Concepcion is blessed with one of the most
scenic seascapes in the whole province. Forming a safe
natural harbor for Concepcion Bay are 16 islands connected
by azure waters and rich marine life.
1. Agho Island
2. Bag-o Abo Island
3. Bag-o Isi Island
4. Bag-o Sipol or Chico Island
5. Baliguian Island
6. Bocot Island
7. Botlog Island
8. Bulibadiangan Island
9. Colebra or Bago-alas Island
10. Danao-danao Island
11. Igbon Island
12. Malangabang Island
13. Pan de Azucar Island
14. Sombrero Island
15. Tago Island
16. Tagubanhan Island
Location: Bulabudiangan Island, Concepcion, Iloilo
It is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and just
about any water recreation activity. A unique feature
of the island is the shifting white sandbar, which would
shift form left to right depending on the direction
of the wind.
(Mt. Pan de Azucar)
Location: Pan de Azucar Island, Concepcion, Iloilo
It is the tallest peak in the islands and the second
tallest in Panay. It has spectacular crags and a very
steep incline, the reason why some consider it the steepest
mountain in the country. It is also home to white-breasted
hawks and a community of wild monkeys.
Place: Iloilo City, Iloilo
Date: Third to fourth week of January
Much like the Ati-atihan Festival, it is a celebration
to honor the conversion of the natives to Christianity
and to give respect to the Holy Child Jesus. Locals
put on black soot and dance joyously in the streets.
Dinagyang comes from the Illongo word dagyang meaning
Place: Miagao, Iloilo
Date: First week of February
The highlight of this celebration is the Salakayan Presentation
– a street dance-drama depicting the victorious
battle of May 7, 1754 waged by the local defenders against
the Muslim marauders. Other activities include food
fair, agro-industrial and trade fair, antique and photo
exhibit, literary-musical contests, civic and float
parade, evening socials, fashion shows, and the coronation
of the Queen of Miagao.
Place: Iloilo City, Iloilo
A festival that began in 1973, it is a race among seafarers
on colorful sailboats called paraws in the straits between
Guimaras Island and the city of Iloilo. Included in
the yearly celebration is the Pinta Paraw, where professional
and amateur artists paint the sails, a day before it
actually take off. Another fascinating event is called
Pintawo body-painting contest.
Place: Calinog, Iloilo
Date: Last Sunday of January
The festival aims to preserve the culture of the Panay
Bukidnons, aborigines of the mountainous parts of Calinog,
through the unique ethnic rituals and chants that they
still practice to this date. Hirinugyaw is a Hiligaynon
word meaning ‘merry making’ and Sugidadonay
is a tern meaning ‘to engage in a conversation’
Place: Santa Barbara, Iloilo
Date: November 17
The festival celebrates the momentous event when the
Philippine Flag was fists hoisted outside Luzon Island.
Kahilwayan is a Hiligaynon word for ‘freedom’.
The highlight of the event is the dance presentation
re-enacting the “Cry of Sta. Barbara”, which
happened on November 17, 1898 when the Spanish forces
surrendered to the Filipino Revolucionarios led by General
Iloilo Wedding Article
Weddings: More Fun in Iloilo
Iloilo City is a wedding destination filled with fun, pleasure, and love. Activities that top the list of adventurous couples include strolling along Calle Real's classical houses, savoring authentic La Paz batchoy, and enjoying the colorful Dinagyang Festival held in veneration of the Sto. Niño. Its old-world atmosphere inspires many couples to exchange their wedding vows among its many historical churches.
read more about weddings in Iloilo...
An Extravagant Wedding with Iloilo's Culture and Tradition
Iloilo is known as The Haven Gateway in Western Visayas because of its fascinating natural attractions. Its cascading waterfalls and awesome white-sand beaches, perfect for an Iloilo beach wedding, are just some of the natural wonders Iloilo offers. Iloilo's historical churches, which are ideal wedding ceremony venues for couples who have deep Catholic roots, are also excellent sights for tourists in Iloilo.
read more about weddings in Iloilo ...
How to get there
Iloilo can be reached by taking an hour flight from
Manila. There are also flights bound from Cebu.
Trave time from there is 25 minutes.
Travel time from Manila Port Area to Iloilo City
is 20 hours. There are vessels bound for Iloilo
that come from Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu,
and Bacolod City daily. Sea vessels dock at Dumangas
Port in Iloilo City