Published: January 12th 2011January 7th 2011
A world-renowned religious structure now included in the UNESCO World Heritage Lis
Inspired by the movie Eat Pray Love, relating to the character of Liz, considering the sudden change in my life right now-hitting rock bottom at 28. I decided to go soul-searching and self-reflecting. I do not have any money to spend for an out of the country tour like Liz but I was fortunate to have gifted by friends last Christmas a plane ticket to Iloilo Province here in the Philippines.
I think Iloilo is a great place to explore the three planes of self:Physical, Emotional and Spiritual in the way Liz did in Italy, India and Indonesia and me doing the local version.
I have been to Iloilo before, this trip will be my third visit but it seems like there is always something new to experience and this is the Best ever. EAT
I love to eat. Am very adventurous when it comes to food and I make sure not to return home without trying the cuisine unique to the place. I also collect printed tissues which I commonly get from the restaurants, coffee shops etc… in my travels. I not just taste the delicious food the province of Iloilo has to offer but also bring home
Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos, through Presidential Decree No. 260 dated August 1, 1973, declared Miagao Catholic Church a national shrine
a souvenir tissue just like in Al Dente
located at Sarabia Manor
where we had our first day dinner. Just like in the movie I indulged myself in pasta and wine my Italy version. I ordered Pasta Carbonarra with its creamy white sauce and crispy bacon bits and additional God Father’s Pizza topped with pepperoni, beef, bell pepper, onions, olives and mozzarella cheese in a super thin crust. While a glass of 2008 Merlot Cabernay, one of Al Dente’s house wines to sooth my senses. Knowing me a meal will not be complete without dessert and my all time favourite sticking to the Italian version I had Tiramisu.
The following day I head out of Iloilo City to the town of Oton
to savour the fresh catch of the day- Oysters at Allan’s Original Talabahan
. Since lloilo Province is part of Panay Island it is surrounded by water and fresh seafood is a local delicacy. At Allan’s I ordered their best seller Baked Oysters with minced garlic and cheese on top. I just can’t get enough of the freshness that I had Fresh Oysters dipped in vinegar, soy sauce with kalamansi and my lunch was a success.
Its artistic facade is decorated witha relief sculpture of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child amidst coconut, papaya and guava shrubs. A large stone image of St. Thomas of Villanova, parish patron saint, dominates the center.
spent the whole afternoon touring out of the city that I looked forward to dinner. Still immense to the idea of the movie again I ordered pasta, Linguine Meatballs at Perritodds in Jaro
. I also tried Perritodds famous Grilled Cheese Burger the size of a plate and my shirt says it all “life is short Eat” while sipping a glass of Frozen Iced Tea.
Just like Liz, I had my friends to enjoy the food in this wonderful place I met up with Paul, Rachelle and Ian early Sunday morning at JD Bakery Cafe
with my favourite C’s- Coffee and Ciabatta bread just a great meal to start our day of walking in the streets of Iloilo.
Sweating and hungry we head of to Salvi’s Grill
forcing the waiter to open their restaurant and serve us brunch hehehe. Ilonggos which are typically sweet took our orders as we lounge around their bamboo cabanas with lots of large cushions and coffee table sized dining. We sat and lay on the bamboo floor while tossing our Tanduay Ice, alcohol intake at noon time-imagine that. We partnered our drinks with the deadly Crispy Pata and Buttered Chicken with lots of gravy…as
Miagao Church was awarded a historical marker by the Philippine Historical Commission on February 16, 1963
in bowls of gravy. These viands eaten together with the sticky rice as in super sticky Suman rice as Ian described it. Carbohydrates overload I spent the whole afternoon sleeping and woke up just in time for dinner. Deco’s La Paz Batchoy
kept me busy that night, the warm soup coupled with Manapla (puto or rice cake) is such a hearty meal before watching The Tourist.
Lunch was my last meal in this wonderful place called The Mango Tree at Mandurriao
. I’ve been hoping to visit this place the first time I saw it online and now I finally experienced the amazing food they offer and the secluded and romantic ambience it exudes. The entrance does not have much of an appeal just a typical parking for 3 cars or so but once you reach the receiving area and peek on the garden. The huge mango tree at the center welcomes you. We opted to dine indoors because it was quite humid outside although for sure during dinner when all the twinkle and capiz lights were on dining al fresco is much better-more romantic. I ordered Seafood Paella served in a huge bowl filled with mussels, squid, shrimp,
Carved life-size statues of the Pope flank the main entrance
chorizo and peppers and their house special Sizzling Bulalo Steak with mashed potato and sizzling gravy yehey! The steak was cooked well, tender and juicy so good a must try when you visit The Mango Tree. Here comes dessert what else but Mango Crepe with ice cream yummy. I have been busy eating at Iloilo. I had satisfied my cravings without guilt of gaining a few pounds because I had all of it pleasurably. PRAY
I am not a very religious person but I can say that I’m spiritual. I only pray once a day to glorify, give thanks to the Lord, ask for forgiveness, guidance and blessing for the day. While touring Iloilo I noticed that in almost every town there is a church so I decided to go on church hopping.
First is the Miagao Church
a must see site because it is a world-renowned religious structure now included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was declared as a national shrine by Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos, through Presidential Decree No. 260 dated August 1, 1973. It took us an hour to reach Miagao from Iloilo City it was a long windy trip. When we arrived
with his coat-of-arms flank the main entrance
in front of Miagao church I was in total awe seeing the baroque-romanesque styled church. Its artistic facade is decorated with a relief sculpture of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child amidst coconut, papaya and guava shrubs. A large stone image of St. Thomas of Villanova, parish patron saint, dominates the center. Carved life-size statues of the Pope and St. Henry with their coat-of-arms above them flank the main entrance. Supporting the facade are the twin belfries, one towering two-storeys and the other three-storeys high all in yellowish colour. Too bad the church was close when we arrived I just managed to peep into the windows and holes on the walls. It was nice to see and know that renovations and care were given to this heritage site because it was truly a 'Philippine Church'. I was feeling a little uneasy after the tour of Miagao church that I needed to use the ladies room, we asked around and the Police in Miagao are so accommodating that they let us used their lavatory inside the station near the investigation room, creepy…hehehe.
Next stop is the Guimbal Church
and its Iron cast church doors it is a newly restored 400
year old church made of yellow adobe and coral stones, one of the oldest in the country.The Public Plaza with Dr. Jose Rizal’s monument at the centre is known for its beautiful ornamental plants and landscapes, the plaza is described by many as the little Luneta of southern Iloilo. At the far end of the plaza is the New Municipal Building which houses local and national government offices in the municipality. It is branded by many as the “Parthenon of Western Visayas.” In front of the Athenian conceived open coliseum and an amphitheatre where cultural shows, programs, sports, activities, and public gatherings are held.
Third church will be St. Anne Parish Church in Molo
. Molo Church is famous for its Gothic-Renaissance architecture with its distinct red towers. Its Gothic features are its towers, its altar and the pulpit while its Renaissance features are with its dome and other designs in its interior. Aside from its architecture this church is also famous and dubbed as a “feminist” church with the presence of 16 statues of female saints inside. There is a wedding ceremony when we arrived at Molo church we are quite lucky being able to enter and see the
interiors up close.
Then one Sunday morning I meet up with my friends at Jaro Cathedral
to attend mass. I’ve been here before but the grandeur of the cathedral is just amazing, it’s painted ceiling, gold plated columns and the newly renovated shrine at the façade. As the priest preached in English I listened tentatively. The mass is about Baptism, the unity of God with humanity then suddenly his tone changed into Ilonggo what??? I looked at the T.V. monitor to look for sub-title or translation but there’s none even Rachelle ask what now? I tried to listened more until I understood what the priest homily was. It was amazing how a person can learn or understand another language just by frequently hearing it. I may now be interested in learning to speak their dialect. But at that moment as the mass ended I took a deep breath and thank the Lord for all the blessings he had given to me and I pray for safety where ever my adventures take me. LOVE
There are so much more beautiful sights and sites in Iloilo that one will surely fall in love. I for one had fallen in Love
Supporting the facade are the twin belfries, one towering two-storeys and the other three-storeys high
with Iloilo and in Iloilo…One of them is Fort San Pedro
amidst the dilapidated structure and tile floor is the amazing view of the Sea best seen during sunset although we went there at high noon. We can feel the strong winds, and hear the splashes of water against the boulders. That made me hope that what we have right now will be as strong as the wind, as tough as the boulders and as long live as Fort San Pedro.
I know Iloilo will not break my heart. It will give me the courage and let me believed love can conquer time and space
In my Getaway place called Iloilo…
There are more photos below