Iloilo – The Heart of the Philippines
“Iloilo is at the crossroads of the oriental and west. In Western Visayas, it is the regional center of government, commerce, education, trade and industry. Its culture is a perfect blend of Malay, Spanish, Chinese, and American influences and traditions. Moreover, Iloilo is known for its unparalleled heritage and legacy brought about by this cultural interactions. Wherever you’re coming from, you’ll always feel you’re at home at Iloilo.”
Commerce and Industry
Iloilo City is one of the fastest growing cities in the region. With the new economic and business hubs rising in its districts, Iloilo is sure to be the next big thing in the region.
Local industries include agri-aqua culture, business processes outsourcing, real estates, local handicrafts, and tourism. In every town in the province, these industries drive economic growth and stability.
Festivals and Events
Festivals color the province all year round, from Iloillo Dinagyang (above) and Arevalo Fireworks Display at the beginning of the year, to Kalamay and Iwag Christmas Lights Festival at December (below). Every month, join the celebrations of these festivities and experience a memorable Ilonggo hospitality and adventure.
Pintados de Pasi Festival of Passi City (held every March)
Iloilo is blessed with abundance of natural wonders and resources, and no doubt is becoming a prime travel destination. From flourishing zoological and botanical landscape. to warm and pristine beaches and diving spots, and high altitude mountains for trekking, surely one will find an adventure that will suit their taste.
History and Heritage
Definitely, you’ll never miss the unparalleled heritage of Iloilo. Reflecting the rich and colorful Filipino heritage, Iloilo boasts its old classical and art deco buildings, impressive and massive old Spanish churches, and preHispanic colonial history. There is one for everyone – a tour of this province will make you proud as a Filipino and open your eyes to Ilonggos’ glorious past. A quick trip to Museo Iloilo at the Capitol grounds is a must.
There are many shopping venues in the province. Take a look at our crafts and products. Every town has a product it takes pride of. There are specialty shops in and around Iloilo City selling handicrafts, souvenir items, and more.
Shop at our beautiful and massive malls. Plazuela De Iloilo (below), a classy Spanish-Italian designed mall will surely fix every shopaholics’ desire. Other malls include Gaisano Capital at La Paz and Guanco, SM City Mandurriao and Delgado, Amigo Plaza, and more.
By air, Iloilo can be reached from Cebu, Manila, Davao and Cagayan de Oro airports via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, AirPhil Express, or Zest Air. Flying time from NAIA is approximately 55 minutes. Upon arrival, guests can reach the city proper through jeepneys, buses or taxi.
By Sea, the province can be accessed through its ports located at Iloilo City and Dumangas. Commercial shipping lanes from Manila can reach Iloilo in about 20 hours, sailing 12 times weekly. Ships coming to and from south of the country frequently include Iloilo in their stop overs.
Here are the approximated traveling time from major cities by sea to Iloilo: Cebu (12 hours with daily trips), Zamboanga / CDO (14 hours twice a week), Bacolod City (one hour at most, several times a day through fastcrafts).
For more detailed information in getting in and around Iloilo, here’s the link.
Going Around the Province and the City
Buses, jeepneys, public utility vans (PUV’s) ply the province while taxis and jeepneys ply the city’s well-developed system of road network. Fares are fixed except for taxicabs which have metered fares.
Staying at Iloilo
All hotels are Department of Toursim (DOT) accredited. Guests are assured of their quality, safety, and of course prompt, courteous and reliable service. (see separate page for the list of Iloilo Hotels)
Iloilo Quick Facts
Iloilo is set in a graceful repose between Iloilo and Batiano rivers forming an angle of a nose. Hence, its old name Ilong-Ilong which means noselike. Mountain ranges with peaks as high as almost 7,000 ft. provide natural boundaries between Iloilo and Antique on the west and Capiz on the north. The rest of mainland Iloilo is largely plain with interspersing upland portions.
Iloilo is located in the center of the Philippine archipelago. Strategically located 283 statute miles from Manila, it is the gateway to the flourishing region that is Western Visayas. The province comprises the southeastern part of Panay Island.
Iloilo is composed of two cities and 42 municipalities. It is divided into five (5) congressional districts. It has 1,720 barangays.
Iloilo’s climate is pleasantly tropical with 2 pronounced seasons: the rainy season from June to September, and the dry season from October to May.
The National Statistics Office reported that Iloilo province has a population total of 2,110,588, and Iloilo City has 418,710 as of the 2007 survey.
Language / Dialect
Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) is the main dialect spoken in Iloilo. English and Tagalog are also widely spoken and understood especially in urban areas.
Rice is the major crop in the province of Iloilo. Fish and marine products are considered the main source of livelihood in the first and fifth districts of Iloilo. There are also non-traditional products in the province which include processed food, fruits and vegetables, gifts, furniture, and others. Traditional products include sugar, coco oil, and lime products, among others.
There are 114 private and government banks all throughout the province and city of Iloilo, in addition to 40 rural banks found in most municipalities, at least 6 malls, and many department stores.
For more information on Iloilo, write or call:
Department of Tourism Region VI
Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City
Tourist Information Center (Iloilo)
DOT Information Center (Manila)