Did you know that Iloilo was once called “The most loyal and noble city?”
During the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards, Iloilo City was one of the few areas that promised their allegiance to Spain. The royal title was awarded by the Queen Regent of Spain, Maria Christina, in gratitude for Ilonggos’ unwavering loyalty. Thus, this Visayan city became known as the “Queen City of the South” or the Queen’s favorite city in the Philippine South.
Today, Iloilo is still a favorite with locals and tourists alike. The city successfully combines the new with the old, with modern buildings constructed near old Spanish squares. It manages to retain its national flair despite its progress. BPO companies (IT and outsourcing of business processes) have settled here in a quiet environment.
So if you want to move to the Visayas region, consider Iloilo on your list. Here are some more reasons why “Queen City of the South” is one of the best places to stay in the country.
opportunitiesIloilo is attractive to both city dwellers and the people of the country. Traditionally rooted in the sugar industry, the city is also known for agricultural products such as rice, corn, mango and bananas.
Today, however, Iloilo City is filled with employees working in the business sector. Numerous banks, financial institutions, retailers and IT companies have poured money into the city, paving the way for its progress. In 2020, the city was awarded a special referral for being the “most business-friendly, highly urbanized city outside of Metro Manila” by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce (PCCI). This only testifies to the new strength of the area as an important economic hub in our country.
Unique gastronomic offerings
As a port city, Iloilo has hosted people from other countries since pre-Spanish times. This is evident in Ilonggos’ culinary creations. Many local dishes suggest foreign influences such as Spanish and Chinese. Dishes like Pancit Molo and La Paz Batchoy originate from this beloved city in the south. These gastronomic delights regularly attract foodie tourists. Throw in some crispy Barquillos or crispy Biscocho snacks and you will definitely feel like you are in the food heaven of Iloilo.
If you are bored in the afternoon, you only need to take a trip to Iloilo to discover the city’s rich history. The area is famous for its Spanish architecture with many squares, family houses and government buildings with impressive facades. In fact, Iloilo is also called the “Mansion City” because it is home to several large homes built during the Spanish and American colonial era.
Churches in particular draw tourists regularly. The Jaro Cathedral and the Iglesia de Molo Church are both revered by Catholics. The Jaro Evangelical Church, meanwhile, is considered the first Baptist church in the Philippines. Among other things, these houses of worship make Iloilo a great place to explore if you are an architect enthusiast.
With little traffic and plenty of warm beaches in the city, you can expect Ilonggos to be laid back and relaxed. They are very hospitable to visitors and are quick to give you a smile at first glance.
In particular, the Dinagyang Festival is an event that showcases the warm spirit of the city’s residents. The celebration is held every January and celebrates the arrival of the Malays in the country and honors Santo Niño or the Child Jesus. During the festival, the streets are lined with colorful decorations and dressed up party. It is considered one of the best tourist events in the Philippines and has received numerous awards over the years.
Comfortable lifestyle Iloilo is a happy place to live in and the numbers prove it.
The Provincial Human Development Index (HDI) for 2019 from the Philippine Statistics Authority indicates that Iloilo has a “very high human development rate” that ranks fourth in the nation. This means that Ilonggos generally enjoy long lives, good education and adequate income. The city comes first after Benguet, Metro Manila and Rizal. These numbers testify to the idea that Iloilo is one of the best places to live in the country.
So whether you want to visit or settle down, come by the land of Iloilo. There are many reasons why this city is full of retirees, young families and expats. Ilonggos will definitely make your stay in the city of love a memorable and fun experience.
Sources: Iloilocity.gov.ph, Bomboradyo.com, Iloilotoday.com, Psa.gov.ph, EdseastresD600, Philippine Information Agency, leocvlauzon and Heidigutierrez via Wikimedia Commons
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 6pm. 4 and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.