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Flights to Ilo-Ilo
 
 

 
General Information
 
Location and accessibility
Located 238 statute miles from Manila, Iloilo is the gateway of the Western Visayas Region. The province comprises the southeastern part of Panay Island. Iloilo is 55 minutes by plane from Manila, 30 minutes from Cebu, 90 minutes from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, and one hour 45 minutes away from Gen. Santos City. Should you opt to go by sea, Sulpicio Lines, Negros Navigation and Aboitiz have ships plying from Manila (19 hours), Cagayan De Oro City (16 hours), Zamboanga City (14 hours), Cotabato (26 hours), Bacolod (a 2-hour ferry service), and Guimaras (a 20-minute ferry pumpboat service).

Natural boundaries, such as mountain ranges with peaks as high as 7,000 ft., lie between Iloilo and Antique on the west and Capiz on the north. Mainland Iloilo is composed of plain interspersed with upland portions. The capital, Iloilo City, rests between the Iloilo and Batino rivers which from the angle of a nose. This location is the root of the province's old name, ilong-ilong which means "noselike".

Climate
The climate is tropical, with two pronounced seasons: rainy from June to Septmeber and dry, from October to May.

Language
Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) is the major dialect, although English and Tagalog are also widely spoken and understood, especially in urban areas.

Political Subdivision
Iloilo is made up of the city and 43 municipalities, and divided into five congressional districts. Iloilo province has 1,720 barangays.

Major Industries
Iloilo province is primarily the commercial and trade center of Western Visayas, with commercial, industrial development and rural banks, financial and investment houses, insurance companies, and realestate agencies and developers. Nevertheless, agriculture is the province's main source of livelihood. In fact, Iloilo's production of rice, sugar and mango has made it one of the country's top agricultural producers.

Fishing is the second biggest industry, for Iloilo has rich fishing grounds. This is the site of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center which conducts researches on the spawning of milkfish and prawns; and the University of Philippines (Miag-ao) which is the center of marine and aquatic studies in the Philippines. The multi-million peso Iloilo Fish Port also helps maximize the production of inland and deep-sea fisheries in Western Visayas.

The Iloilo Commercial Port Complex, the first island pier in the country, is a multi- purpose port terminal which caters to both domestic and foreign containerized and convention sites.

Cottage industries include pottery, ceramics-making, weaving, woodcraft and handicraft.

Transportation, tourist and telecommunication facilities
Shipping campanies, bus and taxicab operators, car rental agencies, travel and tour operators will help you on your way to any point you wish to go. The PAL office at the domestic airport will help you make arrangements for connecting flights to your next destinations. Should you find yourself in a fix, contact the mearest Departmant of Tourism information booth.

Iloilo has six major hotels and numerous pension houses to accomodate tourists, and which may also serve as convention sites.

Shopping complexes, restaurants, native food centers, sports and recreational facilities are ready to enter to your shopping, dining and leisure needs. Here's a tip : to those who wish to go on a gastronomical adventure may visit the native reataurants along Villa Beach, downtown Iloilo area or along Diversion Road. You may also get up before dawn and visit the Iloilo Fishing Port, when the fishermen unload their catch; there are many food stalls willing to cook the dripping - fresh seafood for your sumptuous meal. Most establishments open for business at 8 AM; close at 5 PM (government offices), 3 PM (banks), and 7 PM (most commercial establishments). Post offices, telegraph and telephone companies ensure that you are constantly in touch with the world. Iloilo's ideal location makes it easy for people from neighboring provinces to avail of these facilities.

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Philippine s' Southern Gateway
 
Iloilo province, and its beautiful city, ranks as one of the country's foremost centers of culture, industry and trade. Located on the southwestern tip of Panay Island between the Iloilo River and the Guimara Strait, its attributes as the repository of architectural and artistic legacies, as the promising point of progress in aquaculture, and as a trove of unexplored tourist attractions give it an allure so bewitching as not to be missed.

Iloilo is the cradle of early Philippine civilization. The telltale marks of such cultural influences live on in the century-old houses, the period churches, the colorful festivals, and in the enterprising bloodline of its people. Iloilo has a glorious past as the land's great sugarbowl and the locale of the haciendas of the old rich - whose scions and daughters turned down the centuries into the dons and donas of powerful economic dynasties.

Some of the testimonies to this awesome heritage are the churches. Nowhere else can church tours prove so rewarding. The Miag-ao Fortress Church is a grand example of a medieval bastion church with onrnate floral designs on the facade; another colossal monument is the San Joaquin Church and cemetery known for its bas relief featuring the Castilian and Moorish wars, while its cemetery is picturesque for its hexagonal chapel with rose windows and twin-tiered balustrades that lead to its entrance; meanwhile, three staircases lead to the historic rock; whereas the Rennaissance - inspired Molo Church and orphanage, the Asilo de Molo, are unique for their architecture as well as for a rare product, hand-embroidered barong Pilipino in pina cloth; the Pavia Church is a red brick and coral windows cases and rightfully deserves a place in one's travelogue. These churches are no farther than two hours' distance from each other.

Iloilo's is a byword for its famous festival - the Dinagyang, a local mardigras. Held every January in honor of the Infant Jesus, the festival is a major tourist attraction. Another even Iloilo is known for is the Paraw Regatta. Which is participated in by local and foreign sportsmen.

Iloilo is a trove of historical sites. Tour the province's famous sunset strip, Fort San Pedro or the flower-decked La Villa Rica de Arevalo, site of the Hispanic governance. Or one can visit another historical landmark, Plaza Libertad in the central city district where the flag of the Philippine revolutionaries was first raised upon Spain's final surrender. Old paintings, tapestries, furniture and memorabilia may be viewed in the Museo Iloilo and also in private galleries deeo in the heart of the city.

Iloilo may be relished by nature trips to its delightful beaches that are best for swimming, snorkeling and other water sports.

Igbaras, an hour and fifteen minute's drive from the city is sure to captivate visitors with its waterfalls, climbing hills, crystal caves and springs. Another cave haunt is Dingle, only 35 minutes from the city proper - it also boasts of a number of religious shrines and healing springwaters. Sicogon Island and the Islas de Gigantes are nearby isles which are laced with shimmering sands and deep blue waters that teem with marine life and corals. Pavia, a ten minutes drive by jeepney, is noted for its red brick Church while memories of the past may be evoked by visits to Janiuay, where ruins of abbeys, cemeteries and watchtowers still stand to mesmerize the traveller. For a view of grand mountain canyons, a drop-by at Bucari Mountain Ranges in Leon 28 kilometers away is simply thrilling.

Visits to the colleges of agriculture in Leon and Lambunao, and the fisheries college of Barotac Nuevo. Show that the province is a hive of economic progress.

Today, Iloilo still reigns as the gateway to the Visayan belt. Its riches are more plentiful than ever on the combined merits of industrial significance, historical antiquity and natural poetry.

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Places of Interest
 
Museo Iloilo
An impressive collection of Iloilo's cultural heritage which includes stone age native pottery; fossils; jewelry; burial sites; trade pottery from China, Annam and Siam; era photos. Mementos and war relics; a British sunken ship; Spanish-era Filipino sculpture; and modern art done by Ilonggo artists and craftmen.

Jaro
A district 3 kms. away from the city where one can see the old colonial homes of sugar barons and Spanish - Filipino mansions of the rich. Other attraction : the antique shops and its being the seat of Catholicism in Western Visayas.

Jaro Cathedral
This seat of the Jaro Arch bishoric is approximately 3 kms. from the city proper. Miag-ao Church. Declared a national landmark in 1973 through P.D. 260, this church has an architectural style reminiscent of the Aztecs. It was built in 1786 and is located 40 kms. south west of Iloilo City. It is a UNESCO World Heritage lister.

Sta. Barbara Golf Course
Located 16 kms. north of Iloilo City, this 37-hectare, 18-hole course built in 1907 is the oldest in the Philippines.

Panay Liberation Market
The market commemorates the American libreation of Panay Island from the japanese invaders in 1945.

Janiuay Cemetery
Built in 1875, this famous Spanish-Filipino cemetery is made of cut stone and fossil rocks and features three imposing stairways and two Gothic doors. Its is 32 kms. from the city.

Sicogon Island
Five kilometers away from the Estancia town proper is this 1,104-hectare palm fringed island with while sand beaches.

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