Revisiting Iloilo

Vegetable Tunnel

Michael Madriaga

A few months ago, we featured the beautiful city of Iloilo, a destination that’s only about 5-6 hours away from Caticlan. When I first visited the city, I made a promise to myself that I would come back, as there are still a lot of destinations to explore.

Last month, our office decided to visit Iloilo, armed with Boracay Sun newspapers to be distributed and also to discover places around the area. Even if it was raining hard during our stay, it never stopped us from visiting some of its famous attractions.

Miag-ao Church

miag-ao churchAlso known as the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, Miag-ao Church is a piece of living history and a treasure to the province of Iloilo. Built in the 1700s, the church is one of the oldest in our country and has also been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The church is also one of the last four standing Baroque Spanish-era structures in the Philippines. Its facade is uniquely designed with a coconut tree symbolizing the tree of life and various icons depicting the local culture and tradition of Iloilo. Two bell towers stand at its side, which also stood as watchtowers during the Hispanic times.

Inside the church, a gold-plated retablo is on display with the images of St. Joseph, St. Thomas of Villanova, and a crucifix in the middle. The altar of Miag-ao church is also very iconic as it is the same altar used during the 1700s.

UP Visayas Miag-ao Campus

UP Visayas Miag-ao CampusOn our way to the next destination, we passed by the UPV Miag-ao campus. As a graduate of the renowned State University, I have been collecting photos of different UP campuses around our country.

At the entrance of the campus, you will be welcomed by the Oblation, the famous sculpture depicting Jose Rizal’s Mi Ultimo Adios. The nude sculpture with outstretched arms, open hands, lifted head, and closed eyes, symbolizes the selfless offering of oneself to his country.

Garinfarm Pilgrimage Resort

Garinfarm Pilgrimage ResortA 3-in-1 destination, Garinfarm combines agri-tourism, adventure, and pilgrimage in one place. Located in the town of San Joaquin, Iloilo, this is the perfect place for those who want to savor delectable dishes cooked from organic ingredients, and at the same time have a peaceful place for prayers.

Upon entering the farm, you will come across a tunnel where different vegetables are planted and see some fruits dangling from the vines. Along the way, different cages of farm animals are also on display.

Upon reaching the restaurant that offers different Filipino dishes and desserts, you will see a towering cross that has a 480-step stairway. This is one of the most famous attractions for pilgrims who visit the farm. Overlooking the restaurant’s balcony, you will be amazed by their manmade lakes that are perfect for activities like boating, waterball, and even swimming. There is also a 600-meter zipline for those looking for some extreme adventure.

Sheridan Boutique Resort

Sheridan Resort IloiloSituated in Oton Iloilo, Sheridan takes pride in providing world-class amenities to its guests. Just an hour ride from the city center, you will experience Sheridan’s Balinese-inspired oasis with their cozy guestrooms and well-maintained gardens. What amazed me the most are their wide swimming pools and their fishpond where you could also do some fishing. It’s like an all-in-one resort that will surely make your Iloilo travel one of a kind.

If there’s something that I really loved about revisiting Iloilo, it is that it never fails to amaze me. And yes, there are really a lot that Iloilo has to offer and I’m quite sure that no matter how often I visit this place, it will always give me something new and exciting.

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