Iloilo Diaries Day 3: Things To Do in Iloilo!
In contrast with our Day 1 in Iloilo, full-packed ang aming Day 3. This is also our last full day in the city, kaya talagang sinulit namin ang buong araw and explored all the recommended sites!
Sa totoo lang, dati hindi ko alam kung ano ang must-sees, must-do, and must-pasalubong when you visit Iloilo. Alam ko lang na magkalapit sila ng Bacolod. Aside from that, alam ko lang din na ang mga Ilonggo ang pinaka sweet daw ang tono ng pananalita. Hindi ko sure kung may connect dito, pero ang last na stock knowledge ko about Iloilo is that they call themselves "The City Of Love". ❤
Some souvenirs I got from Iloilo: A festival necklace from Injap Tower Hotel, a native bag from a market in front of Garin Farm's entrance, and a 365 Days of Happiness notebook from Injap.
Artsy shot pag mag isa ka sa room, haha!
I think nag work naman yung little knowledge ko about the city, sobrang low ang expectations ko when I went there kaya ang daming surprises for me when we toured around. I left the city nang may deeper appreciation for it. Hindi lang ako, madami din nag message sakin nagsasabing "Maganda pala sa Iloilo!?" Nakakatuwa lang na at least naging way to show my family and friends na must-visit din ang city na ito through my photos (may kasama yang pag bubuhat ng bangko lol).
Also known as the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, the Miagao Church is located in no other than Miagao, Iloilo! Ang standout sakin while looking at this church is its outside design, sobrang detailed and hindi lang the usual na brick facade! I also learned that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of our country's Baroque Spanish-era churches.
Sobrang naamaze ako sa details!
Garin Farm Pilgrimage - Stairway to Heaven ♥️
Since super quick lang naman talaga ang church visits, we had time to spare before our lunch so Brian looked up another site that we can go to. Sobrang swerte, malapit lapit na daw ang Garin Farm na nasa aking Iloilo Bucket List!
Price and Time:
Bilang quick stop-over lang namin ang Garin Farm, dumirecho na kami kaagad sa (for me) main attraction nya which is the Stairway To Heaven. But now that I am looking at this price list signage na nakapaskil entrance, ang dami pa palang pwedeng activities sa Garin Farm: Pwede mag zipline, horseback riding, scooter, kayak, billiards, etcetera. Ang laki pala nyan!!
This is how the entrance looks like. Maraming signages na nagwawarn na since it's a farm, expect foul odor. You will also see random vegetables hanging from the dome vines na sobrang cool, and from time to time makaka kita ka din ng animals like goats and chickens!
So karipas nga kami since may time limit, so I just took random photos on our way to Stairway To Heaven. Nung nakita ko yung super taas na stairs inisip ko nalang na kinaya ko din naman yung Batu Caves ng Malaysia na mas madaming tao na kasabay ka umakyat-baba ng stairs (mas nakaka hilo)... Plus wala namang monkeys dito hehehe. Nakaka hingal padin though!
Later on I realized that the whole process of getting to the white world that I've seen so many times on social media made the whole experience more worth it. Again, hindi lang sya photo zone or Instagram destination. You'll go through so much before reaching "heaven"... And isa palang sa challenges yung 456 steps na kailangan mong akyatin!
Kaya pa Seph!? Hehehe! Vlogging while
Ayaw ko na sana post to para walang spoilers when you go here yourself, but oh well, hindi nalang ako siguro masyado mag lalagay ng captions!
You will pass through a dark tunnel, and parang swabeng plot twist sa isang pelikula, the end of the tunnel is "Heaven". Nakakadala din yung ang lakas ng speakers with booming music "HALLELUJAH! Hallelujah! Halleeeelujaaah!".
Ang ganda ganda ganda, hindi ko alam kung nasisilaw lang ako sa sobrang puti, o medyo may onting nangingilid na na tears hehehe.
Expectation vs Reality though, NAPAKADAMING TAO! Hahaha! Okay lang din, again, hindi naman ito photo zone na kelangan walang tao.
Kaya THANK YOU Marcelo for editing this picture hahaha!
Thank you Lissa, we found a spot na wala talagang tao!
If I can only recommend one place to eat while in Iloilo, it's at the Camiña Balay Na Bato. Hindi ka lang mabubusog sa pagkain, but also in history. Ang ganda ng ancestral house and ang sarap ng food! I love that they have an intro video that everyone had to watch first before they go up for their buffet lunch.
Every inch of the house was well-preserved and full of story. Kahit gutom na ako, mas inuna ko pa mag ikot at tignan yung mga details like the photos, vase (na galing pa daw Islas De Gigantes!), capiz windows (para daw presko kahit mainit ang panahon), typewriter, sewing machine, plates, etcetera. Mabuti nalang hindi pa uso KonMari noon! 😆
Legit Crazy Rich Asians! Long time ago according to the video we watched, ang mga visitors lang daw na may kaya sa buhay ang pwede maka akyat dito! But of course ngayon very welcoming and open na ang house to guests.
Upstairs is the beautiful buffet set-up! Fun fact, they serve Ilonggo delicacies. Must tries are the molo soup and the tsokolate drink!
Ang daming gulay, thank you!
Last complete group pic before Lissa left for the airport!
Parehas churches ang last two stops namin for the day! Ang interesting detail about these churches is that yung isa panay all-female ang saints na nakahilera sa loob ng simbahan, the other one naman all-male!
Molo Church according to the internet: "Neo-Gothic colonial church, built in 1831, with a white-coral facade & statues of female saints."
Jaro Cathedral naman yung may all-male saints inside the church, a response to Molo's all-female saints.. May ongoing mass when we entered.
There are two notable features I only saw in this cathedral, first is yung bell tower nya na kailangan mo pang tumawid para mapuntahan. Usually ang bell tower side-by-side ng church, but nagka earthquake daw noon kaya nasira ang church at natira nalang yung tower.
Second distinct feature are the stairs outside the front of the cathedral, na nagbibigay ng parang terrace over the main entrance, and leading to a shrine of Our Lady of the Candles. Marami ang tumitigil dun para mag dasal at mag sindi ng kandila. Dun kami nag stay muna just enjoying the view, the cool air, and each other's company.
Inabutan na kami ng sunset, lending us better view and pictures of Jaro Cathedral and its bell tower.
Dinagyang Floats Parade of Lights
From Jaro Cathedral heading back to our area, sobrang traffic na because of road closures for Dinagyang. May lights parade din daw that night, so expected nadin na hindi na uusad ang mga sasakyan para makadaan ang mga floats. Naka laro at natalo na kami sa Confetti when we all agreed na bumaba na ng van at maglakad nalang! Best decision ever! Yung nadadaanan namin the other days na punong puno ng sasakyan going to our hotel from SM Iloilo, panay tao na ang nakaharang! Ang babaw pero ang sarap sa pakiramdam na nakiki pyesta na kami talaga! ❤
Sinalubong na namin ang Dinagyang Floats Parade of Lights, and ang saya to celebrate with both locals and tourists enjoying all the spectacle and music.
Ang sarap din ng dinner namin dito! Actually, lahat ng meals namin in Iloilo walang patalo! I had the gising gising, garlic rice, and garlic kang kong.
Tawang tawa padin kami dito ni Trice dahil sa mga kalokohan ng iba nong parade hehehe. (JALEBE! HETE! 😂)
Of course, bilang last night na namin huhu, we availed Injap Tower Hotel's Spa Circle. Ang sarap, first time ko to try hot stone massage and sobrang sulit sa lahat ng pagod namin sa pag akyat sa Garin Farm, at lalo na sa ilang buwan ako na hindi nakapag pamasahe! 😄
To be continued...
Watch Day 3 Snippets:
Read more of my Iloilo 2019 trip HERE.
Special thanks to Brian, Bennix, and Injap Tower Hotel for having me!!!