Day 1: Iloilo City, Iloilo - Solo Backpacking Western Visayas

October 2017 - Molo Mansion, Iloilo City, Iloilo - Philippines


I went on a road trip to Calatagan, Batangas with my friends the day before my flight to Iloilo.I really did not plan to go but I was convinced to do so. Then, I had to take the last trip from Calatagan to Manila at 4pm. My friend Liezah went back with me and we got back in Manila at around 9:30 pm. The traffic along Tagaytay was tiring and made us so hungry. We had our dinner at Mcdonald's Roxas Boulevard and rested for a while there. When Liezah needed to go home, we went on our separate ways. I booked a Grab to the NAIA Terminal 4 and I arrived at the airport early at around midnight. But I guess it was all good since it started to rain. I charged both of my phones and wifi modem then sat near the charging station. I also thought that I could take a nap or rest while waiting for the boarding time. I was not actually sure if I was able to sleep or take a nap until I was already in the departure area but I knew that I just closed my eyes at times, lol. I got tired from traveling from Batangas to Manila, given the traffic jam somewhere Tagaytay. We were asked to board the plane at 3:40 am and due to unexpected reasons, the flight was delayed. We waited for another 40-50 minutes onboard the plane. Finally, it departed and we arrived Iloilo at around 5:35 am. There was an Ati-atihan dance troupe performance at the lobby when we got there. I went straight to the van station bound to SM Iloilo and tita Girlie texted me and said she’d meet me at the Jaro Cathedral. 




Jaro Cathedral



I didn’t have any idea but I just asked someone in the van how to get there and he kindly gave me instructions. I took a jeep van to Leganes and asked to be dropped off Jaro Cathedral. I was surprised that the fare was only 5 pesos! The driver dropped me off pointing to the Jaro Plaza and said the cathedral is just near it. It was not difficult to find the church. It looked very nice and beautiful from afar. There was an ongoing Sunday mass and in front of the church I saw tita Girlie and a little girl with her. I approached them and we were very happy to see each other again. Tita Girlie is a friend of my aunt from a medical team years ago and I was glad she was hosting my stay in Iloilo. The last time I saw her, I was 12. She introduced me to little Yse, her niece and she is 12.



Netong's Original Special La Paz Batchoy



Tita Girlie said we should eat our breakfast and took me to La Paz to taste the famous La Paz Batchoy of Iloilo city. We ate at Netong’s Batchoy located inside the La Paz Public Market. It was all good and satisfying. Then, we went back to their home in Mandurriao. Their house was very cute and comfortable, she offered me to lay on their bed and said I can sleep and rest for a while before going to church. At last, I was able to take a powernap! She woke me by the time we needed to prepare and head out. I was excited to see VCF Iloilo City! We attended the 11 am service and afterwards we decided to go back home for a while before having our lunch out. Consequently, I fell fast asleep again, lol.



L-R: Yse, tita Girlie and me at VCF Iloilo


So, we went out at around 3 pm, they took me to Molo to see the Molo Mansion and the Molo church, which were famous old landmarks in the area. There was also a Greek tea house near the church. I roamed around to take pictures while they ate some fish balls at the plaza.



Molo Church


Then, we headed to the River Esplanade and enjoyed a walk along the walkway to Boardwalk. 


River Esplanade


When we were already at the Boardwalk, we decided to eat our lunch and dinner at Ramboy’s Restaurant. Tita Girlie ordered a lot of food and I got stuffed later. The food was all good and delightful. It was raining, when we settled to go home. While waiting for a taxi, I saw that there were many Korean tourists around the area. 



Ramboy's



Next, we were on the taxi but suddenly Yse demanded to go to SNR Shopping Mall and so we did. It turned out that tita Girlie promised to buy her something in return of having good grades. Cool. While we were looking around, I surprisingly bumped into my good old friends, Ria and Jay! I thought they were living in another province. It was very nice to see them again and we took some silly pictures together to show our common friends on Facebook, lol. Later on, Yse finally completed all she needed and paid at the counter.




L-R: Ria, Jay and me at SNR 




We got home at around 9 pm, all ready for bed. It was such a fine Sunday I thought. Before dozing off to sleep, I just reviewed my notes on the where abouts and where tos in Guimaras. Tita Girlie also gave me some tips on how to get to the Ortiz Wharf.  The next day, we all woke up early and we had breakfast together. Yse needed to go to school, tita Girlie went to work and I went on my way to Guimaras. I spent the whole day there and it was raining when I got back to Ortiz wharf. I took the jeep van with Jaro CPU signage and I asked the driver to drop me off Jollibee Jaro, hoping to meet up with Tita Girlie and Yse. There was traffic, it took a while to travel and then when the driver told me to alight, I did. However, when I texted Tita Girlie I was at the wrong Jollibee, so she gave me instructions on how to get to my destination. It was difficult to ride a jeep van from there, I was very tired so I decided to take a taxi going straight to their house in Mandurriao. There was traffic everywhere, I got I bit sleepy but fortunately I remembered where to alight. Tita Girlie was already preparing food when I arrived. I shared a little about my Guimaras experience and they were happy to hear it over dinner. Before bedtime, we talked a little about my plan for the next day. I was going to Antique and Aklan and planned to be back a day after. Tita Girlie said she’d go with me to the terminal but I assured I could go by myself, I just needed to know how to get there. The following day, I went off to my destinations in Tibiao and Malay. Eventually, I stayed 2 nights in Boracay and did not have the chance to meet up with tita Girlie in Iloilo before I had my flight back to Manila. I will be forever grateful for their kindness and generosity to me while I was in the city.



*Transportation Expenses:

Manila - Iloilo City
-Air Asia Airfare (round trip) = 2,619.00



READ NEXT >> Day 2: Guimaras Island - Solo Backpacking Western Visayas



Comments

  1. This sounds like a fun time! It's always exciting when you can bump into friends.

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  2. Looks like you really had fun and it can be seen in the photos, really nice.

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  3. WOW! The Jaro Cathedral is stunning! I absolutely adore old structures like that!

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  4. This sounds like a great and adventurous day !

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  5. Sounds like you had a really great time! I always find when travelling I tire more, because I don't want to sleep, in case I miss something.

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  6. Sounds like you had a fun trip. So much to see and do and you ran into a friend, imagine that!

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  7. You are such a confident traveler! Staying with family sounds relaxing and fun.

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  8. Looks like you guys had an amazing time, hopefully this year I do more traveling!

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  9. Sounds like you had a great and interesting day. This city is so beautiful and I would love to visit. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. The pictures are really nice! Thanks for sharing your experiences on the trip! I think you had a great time!

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  11. I haven’t been in Iloilo. I will definitely visit Jaro Cathedral. I want to try the food too.

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  12. I like visiting historical places like this . I have been to the battle ground in Corregidor Island . I believe it was part of Bataan.

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  13. Bumping into old friends while on a trip is like the cherry on the cake. Looks like you had a lot of fun on your trip. The place looks beautiful through your pictures.

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  14. Your pictures are amazing! I'd love to come visit. Sounds like you had a great time.

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  15. Glad that you enjoyed yourself. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

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  16. Glad you had so much fun from Batangas to Iloilo city. It was a fun ride. Adventures like this is totally worth it.

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  17. Hubby and I went to Iloilo last 2014 but mostly stayed in Guimaras for a beach trip. The place we only visited was the Miag-ao Church few hours before our flight.

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  18. I have never heard of this city before. It would be nice to visit the Philippines one day.

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  19. I have never heard of this place! It looks like such a cool place to visit!

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  20. That sounds like the best trip ever. I would love to visit the Philippines. I had a friend go once and they had tons of fun. It was one of their top 3 vacation spots according to them.

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  21. this looks like a really great trip. You look like you had fun. I had never heard of this place before so now i have learnt something new :)

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