What was once a sleepy little city is now starting to boom into a bustling metropolis that doesn’t sleep. This is an apt description of the current state of Iloilo City, the center of affairs in the Western Visayas Region in the Philippines. Located in the southern portion of Panay Island, the city fondly nicknamed “The City of Love” has grown into a highly urbanized area in recent years thanks to the many infrastructure projects that were being done. These projects have given Iloilo City a boost in commerce and tourism, and many in the ticket booking business have taken notice
The influx of tourists have enticed many airlines to provide low cost business flights for potential customers, so that they may get to some of Iloilo City’s best spots. The Iloilo River Esplanade, shown in the picture, is a perfect metaphor of the city’s progression through the years. In the 1990’s to the late 2000’s, the area was nothing more than a riverbank filled with shanties that house informal settlers and homeless people. Through the government’s initiative, those living along Iloilo River’s coastline were relocated to various housing projects, and a boardwalk-like esplanade that was decorated with plants and several kinds of trees, including a Fire Tree, whose fiery flowers bloom in the summer, and when paired with the sunset, gives the tree a fiery glow.
There are many things to do at the Iloilo River Esplanade. Morning and afternoon joggers use it for their daily routine. Lovers take slow walks, and is perfectly romantic because the Esplanade provides a great view of the sunset. Students practice their dance routines at the mini park at the end of the boardwalk. Tourists can also find several anglers trying their luck to catch fish with their fishing rods along the riverbanks as well.
This is just a small sample of what Iloilo City has to offer to anyone who wants to try experience Ilonggo culture. It is truly a memorable experience that will no doubt linger in the minds of visitors.