Iloilo Esplanade

Iloilo Esplanade
The Iloilo Esplanade is a developing tourist destination in the City of Love, Iloilo City. Over the years, the city government has geared its efforts towards health and green development for sustainability goals. This is a government project in the public realm. The initial part of this project is included in a larger project to provide both sides of the Iloilo River with esplanades. Now, the Iloilo Esplanade goes along the whole stretch of the riverbanks of Iloilo River, Photo From: Rhick Lars Vladimer Albay The Phase One of the Iloilo Esplanade is 1.2 kilometers long between Drilon and Carpenter Bridges in Iloilo. This site was an existing dike road devoid of shade while the road was used by locals for recreation, such as jogging and biking.  This portion was originally built as a flood control measure. However, the Iloilo City Government realized and reconsidered and finally decided to build a linear park instead of a road. Former Senate President Franklin Drilon supported the project using the funds from his Priority Development Assistance Fund, together with former Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and incumbent Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas who was at the time the Iloilo City congressman. The esplanade project was launched as a key component of their Iloilo River Improvement initiative. The redesign highlighted its effect on Iloilo’s public amenities being the favorite jogging venue for Illongos. As a project that creates an identity for Iloilo it is one of the most posted Iloilo destinations on social media platforms. The project also has improved real estate values. The Iloilo River Development Council was at the forefront of the campaign for river rehabilitation. It also involved various sectors, including private business groups and educational institutions. River cleanups was enjoined by a lot of businesses as part of their corporate social responsibility projects. On the other hand, schools had river cleanups as part of their national service training programs.  With this project, there were about 1,000 informal settlers along the river who were relocated into proper housing sites with the coordination of the administration of former Mayor Jed Mabilog. The Iloilo Esplanade project had a renowned Filipino architect and PGAA Creative Design founder Paulo Alcazaren to draw up layouts and designs for the public linear park. He also worked on the Singapore Quay and River Esplanade. The Iloilo Esplanade has garnered several major awards. This includes the 2017 GantimPALA Excellence Award for Institutional Projects by the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects, 2018 Haligi ng Dangal Award for the Landscape Architecture category in the 2018 National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Haligi ng Dangal Awards, and 2018 Galing Pook Award for Iloilo River Development by Galing Pook Foundation. Iloilo City Government’s Iloilo Esplanade has been benchmarked by the other local governments in the country. This project also inspired other similar public infrastructure projects, including the Iloilo Bike Lane, Bacolod Esplanade, Malandog Hamtic Antique Esplanade, and San Jose Antique Esplanade, among others. The Iloilo Esplanade is today’s home of physical activities and nature appreciation. People frequent the esplanade for walking, jogging, biking, fishing, and Zumba. With more development in this project, skateboarding, pedal boating, and kayaking are also enjoyed by many. Looking into the future, Iloilo River is expected to be one of the liveliest recreation spots in the city.

Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Iloilo

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