The Walks of Kulot

October 6, 2009, 3:43 pm
Filed under: WOK in VISAYAS | Tags: , , , , , ,

Jaro, Ilo-Ilo. A place once featured in a TELECOM TV commercial, wherein a college student calls his Dad in Jaro to tell him that he’s no longer taking up medicine but instead will shift into Fine Arts. “Kung saan ka masaya, Suportahan Taka!” this line instantly became a hit and became a household line everywhere. Anyway, this line was also stuck in my head until I went to Ilo-Ilo.

A view of Ilo-Ilo City

A view of Ilo-Ilo City

An island tucked in the middle of the archipelago, Ilo-Ilo is a progressive community not very different from Metro Manila. With malls, establishments and a couple of high rise buildings, Ilo-Ilo City is a city on its way to becoming an urban hub in the Western Visayas region.

Inside the Ilo-Ilo Airport

Inside the Ilo-Ilo Airport

With its newly opened Airport, the Ilo-Ilo serves as a gateway to neighboring islands in the region such as Bacolod, Catcilan, and Capiz. What’s remarkable about this place is that amidst its progressive economy, the Ilonggos are still able to preserve their heritage and culture. Spanish influences in architecture are apparent in houses and buildings, which are preserved up-to-date.

An Atillan house in Jaro

An Atillan house in Jaro

Old Antillan houses are still preserved and line up the streets in Jaro and other neighboring towns. In addition to this, old churches are well preserved and is flocked by devout Catholics on Sundays–a testament of the Illongos religiosity. One remarkable church in Ilo-Ilo is the San Jose Church (see Footprints) situated in front of Plaza Libertad. For architecture enthusiast this place is worth seeing because of its Spanish-inspired architecture.

A pasture in Ilo-Ilo

A pasture in Ilo-Ilo

Daing: A staple in every Filipino breakfast

Daing: A salty dried fish. Common in Pinoy breakfast.

Hectares of land are kept untouched from commercialism because many of these pastures are used as rice fields and for grazing livestock and ranching. Daing (dried fish), the pungent-smelling yet tasty breakfast viand is also one of the main exports of the island.

The famous Guimaras mangoes.

The famous Guimaras mangoes.

An island in Guimaras

An island in Guimaras

Just accross the San Pedro Port, about an hour boat ride is the Guimaras Island. Known for its sweet mangoes and white sand beaches, Guimaras is indeed a tropical paradise to those who love the sand and the sea. Indeed, Ilo-Ilo offers the best of both worlds–a booming urban metropolis where the luxury of modern living is within your reach at the same time it is a place where one can unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature.


But what’s most remarkable about this place is its people. The Illongo’s warm smiles will make you feel that you are indeed welcomed in their place. Definitely, Ilo-Ilo is a place worth coming back to.


The interiors of the San Jose Church. The church is flocked by devout Catholics every Sunday.

The interiors of the San Jose Church. The church is flocked by devout Catholics every Sunday.

San Jose Church

Known to be the most historic Church in Ilo-Ilo and is popular because of its Byzantine-Neoclassic architecture similar to the Church of Valencia del Cid in Spain.

The San Pedro Port

The San Pedro Port

San Pedro Port

An image of Christ with His arms outstretched facing the sea (similarto the Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro but only smaller in size) is the landmark of the port. Unfortunately, this landmark needs major rehabilitation because of its dilapidated and vandalized walls.


Deco’s La Paz Batchoy

I was told that I was not in Ilo-Ilo if I haven’t tasted their famous La Paz Batchoy. Good thing, Deco’s restaurant, known to be the original La Paz batchoy is just across our hotel. This famous noodle soup bowl is mixed with pork meat and liver called batchoy and garnished with small bits of onion stalk and chicharon. Best paired with hot pandesal. Nothing beats the original La Paz batchoy compared to its instant noodle counterpart; it’s definitely worth a try! Namit Gid!

The Biscocho Haus in Jaro

The Biscocho Haus in Jaro


A famous pasalubong from Ilo-Ilo is the Biscocho (toasted bread coated with milk and sugar) and the Original Biscocho Haus in Ilo-Ilo is the place to go to buy this sweet treat. But aside from the Biscocho, other treats such as the Galletas, Barquillos, Piyaya, etc. can be bought there. Their butterscotch is also a must-try! They have stores in Jaro (the original store), SM Ilo-Ilo and near the airport.


Illongo is one of my favorite dialects in the Philippines. But I don’t know how to speak in Ilonggo. Why my favorite? Because Illongos sound sweet/soft-spoken (malambing) when they speak. Their accent is soft and makes them sound calm even if they are mad. One of my favorite Illongo word is palangga, which refers to a person you love.

Your smile will be forever remembered.

Your smile will forever be remembered.

Aside from their sweet accent, I think the Illongos are naturally friendly people. This portrait (pictured above) is one of my favorite shots I’ve taken in Ilo-Ilo. It shows how a simple smile can give life to a picture. The old lady in the photo gamely smiled for the camera when I asked if I could take a photo of her. The sincerity and genuineness of her smile is felt in this photo.


Too bad, my stay in Ilo-Ilo was only for a short period of time. I am sure that there are still many places to see in this region. If you’re a culture buff and would love to know more about the history of a place, then Ilo-Ilo is the place to go. But for the more adventurous traveler, take a trip to Guimaras and enjoy its pristine white sand beaches and indulge its sweet mangoes. If given the chance to be back, I will surely spend more time touring the city and taking shots of its old Antillan houses. Till then, Ilo-Ilo.


8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Awesome photos of your Iloilo adventure!

Comment by fortuitous faery

Thank you for passing by and for the kind comment 🙂

Comment by walksofkulot

Great job on the site, it looks wonderful. I am going to bookmark it and will make sure to check often

Comment by club magazine

thanks for passing by and reading my articles.

Comment by walksofkulot

Wow,i like your adventure to Iloilo, we miss that place so much. I know it is now very progressive especially today, theres really a lot of progress there. I love this place for a lot of reasons. I will come home there again, thank you so much for this wonderful site…ILOILO the Heart of the Philippines.

Comment by Arnel

Hi Sir Arnel! Thank you for your comment. I am glad that in my own simple way such as this, I was able to bring you back closer to home. I hope that you will keep visiting WOK. Again, Thank you very much.

Comment by walksofkulot

Kulot,I really like your adventure especially in Iloilo i really love to visit that beautiful place.And i want also to witness their Festival ther the Dinagyang Festival as the Best Festival of the Country. I know it is a very lovely and a beautiful city.

Comment by bob

Hi Bob! Thank you for your kind comments. I agree with everything that you’ve said. Too bad I wasn’t able to attend their Dinagyang Festival, hopefully next year. Anyway, I hope that you continue visiting WOK.

Comment by walksofkulot

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