When I signed up for Air Asia’s inaugural flight from Laguindingan to Iloilo, the first thing that came to my mind is to visit all those centuries-old churches and heritage houses. I love exploring historic places so IIoilo, with its rich colonial legacy, is a perfect destination for me. The plan was to fly-in on a Tuesday morning and then fly-out on Thursday afternoon. I only have more or less 48 hours to explore the province. I know the schedule is quiet tight but I was determined to see as many places as I can.

Along with 4 other Iligan bloggers, we designed an itinerary primary revolving around religious sites. But if we have time we will visit other places of interest that we pass along the way.

We arrived in Iloilo at noon and went straight to Madison Hotel for check-in and took a nap. By mid-afternoon we were ready to go. I’m sharing below the details of our itinerary for the rest of our stay.

Day 1
• Iloilo River Esplanade
• Molo Mansion
• Dinner : Eatery at the Molo Mansion Grounds

Day 2
• Garin Farms and Pilgrimage
• Miagao Church
• Guimbal Church
• Tigbauan Church
• Jaro Cathedral
• Dinner : Pitstop Resto ( SM

Day 3
• Molo Church Grounds ( AM )
• Depart for Iligan

Iloilo River Espalanade

We started exploring Iloilo with a leisurely walk at the Esplanade. This is a favorite spot among locals who love to take a stroll, jogs regularly or chase sunsets with friends. The area, lined with trees, mangroves and a few restos, is like a sanctuary for city dwellers who want to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of city life. After almost an hour of walking, we reached the exit, and from there we proceeded to the Molo Cathedral on foot. We wanted to take pictures of its interior, but unfortunately, there was a mass going on. So we didn’t stay long and decided to visit the Molo Mansion instead.

iloiloEntrance of the Iloilo River Esplanade

iloiloTaking a leisurely week with some of the members of the Iligan Bloggers Society

iloiloBoats for rent inside the esplanade

Molo Mansion

The Molo mansion is the residence of prominent families in Ilo-ilo in the 1920s. But it had fallen into disrepair for several years before it was turned into a pasalubong center on the first floor and a museum on the second floor. The pasalubong center features a wide array of items from delicacies to handicrafts and even shirts. They also have a small eatery on its grounds that features Illongo food and refreshing drinks. The pancit molo is a must try.

iloiloMolo Mansion

iloiloHandicrafts from all over Ilo-ilo are displayed

iloiloLooking at local delicacies and fashion accessories on sale

 iloiloBuying food at the eatery inside the Molo Mansion Grounds.

Pancit Molo. I could eat more of this.

Although we started our exploration late in the afternoon, we were able to see 2 popular must-visit places in Iloilo. Had we gone out earlier, we would have gone inside the Molo Church to take pictures. But with the mass going we thought it would be better to visit it the following day.

The second day is devoted to churches. A trip to Ilo-ilo sans the church visits will not be complete, well at least for me. Will talk about the Day 2 of our trip on my next blog post.