Warm smiles, mouthwatering cuisine, laid-back island life—welcome to Iloilo.
This province in the southeastern tip of Panay Island reconciles a surprising range of contradictions. It’s dynamic yet down-to-earth. It has seen widespread urbanization but remains connected to its storied past. And with its capital, Iloilo City (called by some “the City Of Love”), it certainly does prove that there’s a lot to fall in love with this Western Visayan gem.
So whether you are single and in search of new beginnings, or newly-married and about to start a family, here are eight great things about Iloilo if you wish to escape the daily grind in Metro Manila and find a new place to call home.
Colorful Community Life and Fiestas
The local scene in Iloilo is always spirited, with free Zumba classes and other fitness activities being held regularly in public spaces. Nightlife in Iloilo is upbeat, as bars, restaurants, and nightclubs dot the entire capital.
The province’s festivals are also not to be missed. Dinagyang, Iloilo’s most popular festival, is held on the fourth Sunday of January in honor of the Child Jesus or Santo Niño. It is celebrated through street dancing and parades with rhythmic drum beats and ornate costumes.
Other Festivals you might want to check out are Paraw Regatta in February and Pavia’s Carabao Carroza in May.
Sunny Beach Trips
Iloilo is a paradise in itself, with countless beaches you can visit if you’re in need of a quick vitamin sea fix.
A trip to the northernmost part of the province will take you to the unspoiled pristine white sand beaches of Islas de Gigantes. Or if you want to explore marine sanctuaries in a more relaxed setting, head south to the pebble beach of San Joaquin, as well as the gray sand beaches in Miagao, Guimbal, and Oton.
Iloilo dwellers also have the advantage of relatively easy access to top beach destinations like Boracay (about a five-to-six-hour trip by bus then ferry) and the breathtaking Guimaras Island, where you can have a taste of the Philippines’ most luscious mangoes when in season.
All The Delicious Food
Iloilo has a wonderfully vibrant culinary tapestry, being the origin of Filipino favorites such as egg noodle soup batchoy and minced meat dumpling soup pancit molo.
If you’re a huge fan of seafood, you’re also in for a treat here! Their best catch? Oysters. Luscious and briny, Iloilo’s oysters are typically eaten raw, to appreciate its natural flavors, although a lot of restaurants serve baked oysters with garlic and melted cheese—yum!
Tired of the traffic situation in Metro Manila? Iloilo’s roads are a breath of fresh air in comparison.
While the capital experiences traffic jams every now and then, they don’t last for too long as the roads are wide and well-paved, public transportation is convenient and accessible, riding bikes to get around is encouraged, and side streets are being improved to make the entire city walkable.
Balanced Urban Development
Iloilo City excels in city planning and it shows. In trying to achieve urban development, it has emerged as one of the country’s most livable cities, with plans for an even more sustainable future.
Locals get to spend some leisure time in the beautiful Esplanade by the rehabilitated Iloilo River. Heritage streets are being pedestrianized to prevent further damage caused by vehicles.
Iloilo has also become an important financial and business hub in Western Visayas, resulting in a surprising variety of job opportunities. The job growth has spurred the development of urban centers like the Atria Park District—an impeccably-designed mixed-use estate that features retail areas, office spaces, a hospital, a hotel, and a 5.4-hectare residential development by Avida.
Sophisticated Culture and Heritage
If you’re a history buff, you’ll have the most interesting conversations with Ilonggos, who are proudly, deeply rooted in their province’s history.
They speak of their illustrious past with much pride and passion, pointing to Iloilo’s long history: an unbroken line from the pre-Hispanic Madya-as Confederacy to a prosperous sugar entrepot in the colonial era to the present.
This history can be seen in Iloilo’s well-preserved cultural and heritage sites, including the historic Calle Real, Jaro Cathedral, and the UNESCO-listed Miagao Church.
Long known as the University Capital of Western Visayas, Iloilo is recognized as a regional educational powerhouse, whose scholars are easily the equal of graduates from Manila’s best schools.
Some of Iloilo’s most esteemed learning institutions include the West Visayas State University, Central Philippine University, and two campuses of the University of the Philippines.
Ilonggos are well-known for their sweet demeanor and genuine hospitality. Everywhere you go, Ilonggos will greet you with a bright smile or gladly offer you some help if you need it.
They’re incredibly friendly, too, making them some of the easiest people to get along with. Wouldn’t it be nice to call such welcoming people your neighbors? After all, if you’re looking for a new home, you’ll definitely want to get along with the people you’ll be surrounding yourself and your family with.
Ready to make the move? Visit Avida Land now, and start your search for your new home in Iloilo.