If one happens to find himself in the Philippines , or the Visayas to be exact, one city is a must visit. Formerly called Ilong ilong due to the province being shaped like a nose (ilong means nose in Filipino and various local dialects), it was cut short to be simply called, Iloilo . There are many attractions that would draw one to a town like this, a few being the very old Spanish era churches. Molo is one of the districts that contain such a church. Called St. Anne s Parish, its interiors were renovated to match the times. The exterior of this classic piece of architecture, however, retains its old school charm. But if there is a structure that epitomizes the colonization of the Spanish in this region, it is Miagao Church . One look at this beautiful relic of the past can transport its viewer to a different time. If you were to ask what the seat of the Catholic faith was in this city, that would be Jaro Cathedral. There are more historical churches within the province, and a tour of them all could take a day or two.
If baroque architecture isn t your cup of tea, then maybe a digestive tour would be more to your liking. Let s start with the local merienda fare, which is the vernacular term for snacks. Biscocho Haus sells some of the best assortment of Ilonggo treats like butterscotch and biscocho, a local crunchy biscuit. If hot and hearty is what you re hunkering for, the Ilonggo s also have a wonderful savory soup called batchoy. First concocted in the district of Lapaz, this dish has warmed the souls of many a Filipino for decades. However, if there s one thing the Iloilo Ilonggo are really known for, it s seafood. There s one place in the city that serves it best, called Breakthrough by the Sea. When you find yourself in this restaurant, and believe me you will, start with some oysters which will only set you US$2. Then, for the main course, it s a must to order grilled Managat. You haven t tried fish until you ve had this dish. Tatoy s is also another recommendable seafood restaurant with delectable grilled dishes.
Now, after you re done burning away all that food, a little fun is in order and there s only one place to go, Smallville. Fans of Superman might raise an eyebrow, but it s totally unrelated. A compound full of dining places, bars, and clubs, this night life village has all the ingredients for a good time. Craving for a steak dinner? Try Mojave or Red. Maybe imported beers are your thing. If so, then Brewery is the place to go. If you like drinking on a balcony while looking at the bustling life below, then a stop at Bourbon Street will do you fine. When you re eager for a festive, energetic party atmosphere, head to Flow Superclub, Iloilo s premiere party place.
Aside from all of that, the hospitable residents and mostly quiet provincial life make Iloilo the perfect place for a relaxing vacation in a blooming city.