Iloilo, the land of… Authentic La Paz Batchoy.
Went there after going to the Masskara Festival in Bacolod. In my opinion, the best time to go to Iloilo is during the Dinagyang Festival (held every 4th Sunday of January). You might get bored (like me) if you go there any other day.
We stayed at the Four Season Hotel (without the S). I would not recommend this hotel to anyone. Aside from the missing S, most of the staff are not friendly. The towels that are supposed to be white are gray (they looked like clean rags). The signal on the TV (cable) was horrible. And there was no water when we first got to our rooms!
However, their room rates are very cheap. The Standard Double Room only costs P1,050 (23 USD). And their Suite only costs P1,900 (41 USD). If you plan to stay at this hotel, I suggest you get the Suite or one of their Deluxe Rooms (P1,200-P1,350 or 26-29 USD). And bring your own towels!
Delgado cor. Fuentes Sts., Iloilo City 5000 Philippines
Tel. (63)(33) 336-1070, Fax (63)(33) 509-3888
Mobile No. +63 919-8249222
PLACES TO GO TO:
- Miagao Church – located in the town of Miagao, the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva, I’m pretty sure, is a beautiful Church. It is one of the oldest churches in Iloilo. Too bad, it was being renovated when we went there. The intricate designs were blocked by a lot of ugly ass steel scaffolding. Finding the church in this state after traveling for an hour is very disappointing. Note to self: Try to find out if a place is under renovation before going there.
- Jaro Cathedral – located near the Jaro plaza. Like Miagao Church, it is also one of the oldest churches in Iloilo. We were so unlucky because the cathedral was also being renovated when we went there (must be the season for renovating churches in Iloilo). And since it was already too dark, I wasn’t able to clearly see what the church looks like. We were able to see the statue of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria though. Legend has it that the image was originally only a foot tall. No one knows why and how it has grown quite large over the years.
WHERE TO EAT:
- Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafoods – Overrated and expensive! The oysters are cheap though.
- Deco’s – I loved their La Paz Batchoy (see topmost picture)! For only P50-60 (less than 2 USD), you get to taste a bowl of really, really, really good noodles. And you can ask for more “sabaw” (broth) if you want.
- Bourbon Street – Located somewhere in Smallville (which is like the Eastwood or High Street of Iloilo). I ordered Puttanesca (which looked like it was soaked in achuete. It was so red!) and Seafood Pizza (see pictures below). I didn’t like the food that much. It was bland for my taste and too expensive. Some of my friends loved the ribs and the chicken though.
- Breakthrough – Some say, this place is better than Tatoy’s.
- Ted’s Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy
- Pat-Pat’s Kansi House – Best known for their “Kansi” or “Bulalo” (bone marrow soup).
- Nothing But Desserts and Coffee Break
- Mojave Grill and Steakhouse
- Regatta’s Grill and Maki
- Tijuana Bar
I’d like to go back to Iloilo during the Dinagyang Festival then go straight to Boracay! Woohoo!