Perched on the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, the province of Iloilo is a thriving tourist hub blessed with a wealth of tropical beaches and other wondrous natural attractions. As a major province during the country’s Spanish Colonial Era, Iloilo also is known as a host to some of the country’s best and most beautiful historic buildings. Skyscanner finds out that while Iloilo does not get the publicity of its neighbor Cebu, it is slowly becoming a major tourist destination in the country.
Whether you are a foreign tourist or a local traveler, there are a lot of reasons for you to visit the beautiful province of Iloilo.
1. Dinagyang Festival
Celebrated during the 4th Sunday of January, the Dinagyang Festival is an annual event that showcases the fun-loving spirit, passionate devotion, colorful history and rich heritage of the Illongos, the people from Iloilo. Aptly named as one of the most spectacular festivals in the Philippines, the Dinagayn festival is a religious thanksgiving in honor to the patron Santo Niño.
Read more: Top 5 out-of-town food trips
2. Miag-ao Church
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, the Miag-ao Church is truly one of the finest and most photographed architectural gems in the whole Philippines. Built by the Spanish Augustinian missionaries in 1786, this majestic historic monument features an Aztec-Baroque architectural design with a unique blend of native and Spanish influences. Besides its stunning architecture, the Mia-go Church is also known as a living legacy of the way life as well as the culture of the Illonggos a few centuries ago.
Photo Credit: SweetCaroline
A trip to the province of Iloilo is an amazing culinary journey that would satisfy your gastronomic urges and taste buds. Aside from its nationally famous dish, the La Paz Batchoy, Iloilo also has other scrumptious dishes, including the Alique rice and the Managist fish (popularly known as mangrove jack or red snapper) as well as the Biscocho, an artisan Spanish biscuit.
Photo Credit: Juan Paulo
4. World’s sweetest mango
Speaking of food, no trip to the province of Iloilo is complete without getting a taste of the Guimaras mango, the world’s sweetest mango according to the Guinness Book of world record. Word has it that these sweet mangoes are being served in prominent residences like the Buckingham Palace and White House. Now, if you want to savor something that princes and presidents would eat, do not miss out on the opportunity to taste the world’s sweetest mango.
5. The Bolodadiangan Island
With its winding and long stunning white sand bar, it is no surprise that the Bolodadiangan Island is a sandbar that has become a favorite beach spot in Iloilo. When the water on the island recedes, this sparking and majestic sandbar emerges and would extend to the nearby island.
Read more 9 Amazing Sandbars in the Philippines
6. Side trip to Isla de Gigantes
Located on the northern end of Iloilo, the Isla de Gigantes is a group of secluded islands that are teeming with beautiful rock formations, vibrant marine life and white sand beaches.
There is something about the province of Iloilo that separates it from the other tourist destinations in the Philippines. Does its colorful history and wealth in natural wonders have something to do with it? Nope, try again. Despite its numerous awe-inspiring attractions, delightful local delicacies and breathtaking festivals, Ilolio will always be known for its hospitable and friendly locals. At Iloilo, rest assured that you will get to experience Filipino hospitality at its finest.