Iloilo – The Heart of the Philippines


Iloilo City, the capital of Iloilo province, is on the southeast coast of Panay, the Ilonggos or Hiligaynons’ homeland. Iloilo City is on the Iloilo River’s wide mouth, which juts out into the Guimaras Strait. The offshore Guimaras Island shelters it.

Iloilo is one of the country’s loveliest Spanish colonial settlements. Iloilo City is a charming place known for its 16-century churches, ancestral mansions, beautiful gardens, unspoiled beaches, and bustling markets in addition to jusi (raw silk) and piña (pineapple fiber) fabrics.

Iloilo is also the cultural, religious, educational, commercial, manufacturing, and transportation center of the Western Visayas. It has retained some of the period’s genteel charm while remaining the most important port in the region since international shipping opened in 1855. Fortunes were made in sugar during the late 19th century, and some fine old mansions still stand. Life is more relaxed here than in Manila or Cebu…

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