1) Extremely kind Ilonggos
Mostly, the Filipinos are kind, caring and loving, but Ilonggos are by far the kindest and the most caring and loving. Aside from their smiling faces and casual faces, the locals tend to be very helpful and sincere. Not to mention, the locals are also curious but in a good way. They ask questions as a way to learn somehow about you and your culture.
Like other provinces and cities, Iloilo is best described not just by its history and culture, but also its culinary art. Firstly, the city is located coast side of Panay Island. Seafood restaurants abound! Secondly, Iloilo City is a home to famous La Paz batchoy, a noodle dish served with hot broth and crunchy chicharon. Other must-eats are pancit molo, biscocho, pinasugbo, barquillos, baye-baye and ibus.
3) Colorful celebrations and festivals
The most spectacular highlight of Iloilo City is its Dinagyang Festival, celebrated every fourth weekend of January annually. Tribal dances are performed in rhythmical dance beats and wearing flamboyant costumes. Other famous festivals are Jaro Fiesta, Candelaria and Paraw Regatta.
Traffic jams are a staple in big cities. Traffic also happens in Iloilo City, but not as bad as here in Manila and Quezon City wherein traffic congestion is the main problem the authorities face. Perhaps, the reason is the fewer number of people and vehicles on the road and thus wider road space. This also means lesser travel time from your home to work and vice versa. Ilonggos also travel on flood-free roads. A flood control project was initiated in the city, and since then, there have been very few flooding incidents.
Iloilo is the gateway to other tourist destinations such as Boracay and Guimaras. Boracay is just a few hours of travel from the city on a bus. Just ride a bus going to Caticlan then a ferry going to Boracay. That’s 6-hour bus ride and 15-minute ferry ride, respectively. Guimaras is closer it only takes a 15-minute ferry ride from Iloilo to Guimaras, specifically from Ortiz Wharf to Jordan Wharf.
Iloilo boasts of its ancient history and culture. For instance, its churches standout with their baroque architectural designs. Calle Real is an epitome of the Spanish influence along with other colonial houses, plazas and streets.
7) Physically active locals
Iloilo City government puts a premium to the health of the Ilonggos. However, there are not many gyms or health clubs in the city. There are free zumba classes on various sports complexes, and the instructors are among the well-respected in the field. There are also cycling and running events happening throughout the year. Iloilo is a bike-friendly city. In fact, the city celebrated a bike festival last March 2014.
Investment opportunities come pouring in after the local government’s initiative to clear the city from floods. Nowadays, domestic and foreign investors are eyeing because of its potential. Iloilo is also being groomed as the next important business center in the Philippines. In fact, in October 2015, it will host the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Council) conference.
Evidently, one cannot completely define Iloilo without the mention of its culture, places and people. If relocating to another city is your main goal, then make it Iloilo. It is surely worth the investment!
Image credit: BalticMuse.com