Iloilo News & Events

๐—š๐—”๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—ฅ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ข๐— ๐—œ๐—– ๐—ฃ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—”๐—ฆ๐—จ๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—ฆ ๐—”๐—ก๐—— ๐— ๐—ข๐—ฅ๐—˜ | ๐—ช๐—ต๐˜† ๐—œ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ

Molo Church from a distance, also known as Saint Anne Parish Church, is a Roman Catholic church in Iloilo City (Photo by Rory Visco)

Whatโ€™s not to love about Iloilo? Let us count the ways, but there are way too many that it wouldnโ€™t fit in a single story.

The province of Iloilo is often hailed, though not largely enough, as the โ€œHeart of the Philippinesโ€ owing to its geographical location sitting right smack in the middle of the country. It also boasts of its own share of historical landmarks, picturesque beaches and islands, and other natural wonders, plus also the renowned hospitality of the Ilonggos, long touted as a group of people who seem to remain calm and non-confrontational even if they are supposedly angry, perhaps because of the charming tone of the Hiligaynon dialect when spoken.

the famous iloilo sunset
The famous Iloilo sunset

But perhaps the latest singular honor that the province received was when Iloilo City, the provinceโ€™s capital, was declared a UNESCO City of Gastronomy based on the latest UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) for 2023. This makes Iloilo City one of only three cities to become part of this prestigious network, the other two being Baguio (Crafts and Folk Arts in 2017) and Cebu (Design, 2019), with Iloilo City being the first city in the country under the Gastronomy category.

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Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo (Photo from the hotelโ€™s official website)

With Iloilo City emerging as the next most favored destination by both foreign and domestic travelers, the Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo, a sought-after haven of simplified comfort yet exudes luxurious amenities that is situated inside the Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City, invited a group of print and online media practitioners to have a taste of what Iloilo and its capital has to offer in terms of old-world charm matched with invigorating hospitality.

Camiรฑa Balay nga Bato

SITUATED in Brgy. Sta. Filomena Arevalo in Iloilo City, Camiรฑa Balay nga Bato is a century-old edifice that used to be owned by the prominent Avanceรฑa family, specifically Don Fernando Avanceรฑa and his wife, Eulalia Abaja, and is now owned by the Camiรฑas family.

camina balay nga bato frontage
Camiรฑa Balay nga Bato

This heritage house was then transformed into a museum and is likewise a restaurant serving various Ilonggo delicacies, particularly the popular homemade โ€œtsokolate tablea,โ€ which boasts of a rich and almost mind-altering flavor profile. In 2015, Camiรฑa Balay nga Bato was declared as an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum of the Philippines.

one of the majestic dining tables inside camina balay nga bato
One of the majestic dining tables inside Camina Balay nga Bato

Arevalo district, as explained by our tour guide, is also the home of the famous Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival and is also known as the largest traditional craft event in Asia and the largest sailing event in the country.

The Molo Church

CONSTRUCTED in 1831, Molo Church, of the popular churches in Iloilo, is often called the โ€œwomenโ€™s churchโ€ due to the fact that it features female saints inside such as St. Anne, the patron saint of Molo.

molo church
Molo Church

Since cement was not yet available at the time of its construction, the guide said thousands or perhaps millions of beaten egg whites were used as a form of binder for the stones. When asked what happened to the egg yolks, the guide said that was when popular local delicacies like the โ€œbiscochoโ€ and the โ€œbutterscotchโ€ came to life.

The Molo Mansion

FORMERLY known as the Lacson-Yusay Mansion, the Molo Mansion is situated right across the Molo Church and the likewise popular Molo Plaza and was built back in 1926.

molofotojet
The Molo Mansion

It was already being considered for demolition at one time, but Iloiloโ€™s historians and tour guides protested heavily against the plan. Good thing that retail giant SM bought the place in 2015 and was made to become, aside from a heritage house, a center where tourists can buy their โ€œpasalubongโ€ through SMโ€™s Kultura Filipino store located inside the house.

8 Villa Beach Restaurant

AFTER an ocean cruise tour courtesy of Epic Escapes, where the media guests were taken via a boat ride with โ€œmillionaire-like feelsโ€ somewhere in the middle of the ocean between Guimaras and Iloilo, the group was then feted with a simple yet tummy-busting, from-sea-to-table gastronomic fare care of 8 Villa Beach Restaurant.

8 villa beach house signage
8 Villa Beach House signage

It was a delightful culinary experience for the group who tasted delicious yet fully sustainable cuisine that was sourced responsibly right out of the ocean and cooked to perfection by 8 Villaโ€™s owner Ian Verona. Fresh catch, local vibe, and fantastic beach ambiance were all the perfect ingredients that made the groupโ€™s tiring yet incredible day truly worthwhile.

Videos by Rory Visco/BM

The four-day Iloilo jaunt prepared for the media by Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo, in partnership with Cebu Pacific, Epic Escapes, the Iloilo City Tourism Office, Department of Tourism in Region VI, and Southwest Tours, was just part of the hotelโ€™s efforts as its sixth-anniversary nears and to launch the second season of its โ€œFusion Fiesta,โ€ which aims to create lasting memories through shared stories, adventures, and milestones.

ilocy concierge 0014 hor wide
Courtyard by Marriott Iloiloโ€™s Concierge Lounge (Photo from the hotelโ€™s official website)

What made the entire trip very memorable and yes, one-of-a-kind was the ever-welcoming presence of our host as represented by the affable Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo hotel manager Joy Alonte, the dynamic Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing Lala Quilantang, the alluring Director of Sales Noena Elizabeth โ€œEllieโ€ Alarcon, and youthful Archiemedes โ€œArchieโ€ Nicasio, Cluster Director of Marketing Communications. Weโ€™re already looking forward to our next visit.ย All photos by Rory Visco except when indicated.

Image credits:ย Rory Visco

Read more: https://businessmirror.com.ph/…/gastronomic…/…

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๐—œ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ผ ๐—–๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—™๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—™๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ: ๐—” ๐—–๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—œ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ผ ๐—š๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—บ๐˜† ๐—˜๐˜…๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฐ

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