la muy leal y noble ciudad, the most loyal city to spain in the colonial time.

Iloilo City Travel Blog

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its raining hard today, the idea of going to island hop in the island of guimaras was abandoned. it was also our last day at iloilo as we fly back to manila at 8pm. manay boogie picked us up at 7 am in the morning, she said that plan b is to roadtrip the coast of iloilo province from iloilo city to the south then back again before our flight. we were already on the northern coast, so why not exlplore the south! me and ben were excited! also manay boogie kept pestering me to visit my fmother's farm, since its been more than a decade that i had been there, i should see how its running blah blah blah. so i said ok, and of course i asked ben if its ok for him to visit the farm and he was excited to see it!

so the plan was, go around iloilo city, then to the municipality of guimbal for some nature blah blah blah and lastly to miagao, where one of the majestic baroque church in the philippines stand.

ben and me had breakfast already, so we were full, rommel came with us. so its me, ben, manay boggie, palangga (my nephew and driver), rommel and the battle truck set off for the roadtrip!

the first part of the trip was go to around iloilo city! this is what i wanted to do! see the city in daylight, but since it was raining, we didnt had a chance to go down the battle truck, i took pictures from the vehicle and most of them are blurred or the lighting was not good because of the rain.

ben sat on the back with manay boogie and rommel, while i sat on the front. driving around iloilo city, i felt sad. the city is very beautiful! mixed with the proud and high nosed ilonggos with their charming dialect, but inspite of, the city is decaying. so many beautiful colonial buildings are neglected, some existing over a century or more.
while the city is racing to build modern structures around it. it forgot out it's once glorious past. iloilo city, nicknamed by the queen regent of spain, reina maría cristina de borbón-dos sicilias as la muy leal y noble ciudad or the most loyal and noble city, because despite of uprising of colonies against colonialism in the spanish empire, the city still remained loyal and continued to import goods to spain, mostly sugar.

after colonialism broke down, the city still enjoyed its rich status, with wealthy hacienderos ruling the province. after world war 2, the city was devastated and damaged to pieces. so most of the upper classes and business men left and went to other provinces or manila. leaving iloilo city in its crumbling state.

fast forward, as we were driving along, the contrast of the rich and poor always seem to be right in our faces, the villas and mansions of one of the richest spanish-filipino family were displayed right before our eyes, and yet the underprivelege people passed it by, carrying their earnings from all in a days work.
its funny though, imperialism surivives to this day.

then we we drove to fort san pedro, where it was once a battle fort protecting the city from its invaders, it is now a ruin, if anyone would see it, no one would think it is a fort, but just boulders and slabs of rocks crumbling slowly to the sea.

i felt sad for iolilo city, eventhough manay boogie and manay lala bragged about new structures being built around the city, it forgot about its heritage, the once and proud loyal and noble city in the spanish empire.

lauro says:
hi sir! i know i know, my entry seemed to be so critical! but its been more than a decade since i had been to iloilo city! last time i was only 15, so i dont know anything much!

it is just, its hard for me not to compare to other latin countries that preserved the heritage of the past. instead, we tear it down and replace it with new ones.

i agree that iloilo city is an economic boom! i saw lots when we were driving around, pero its really shame! iznart street could be a heritage site if the belle epoque or turn of the century architectures and neo classical buildings are preserved!

hehehe actually, the roots of the family is not originally from iloilo, but from silay, only my grandmother migrated to iloilo from silay in the early 1900's! i dont know about the relatives of my grandfather that much! but i havent most met them! i only knew my father's side which is in leyte!

its really a pity for me!
Posted on: Jun 03, 2009
ntgerald says:
About the decaying infrastructures, you are right. A couple of these are owned by the Lopez family, with Fernando having been vice president during the early 70's. The family is mostly Manila-based now, and they control MERALCO the electric power-distribution company and ABS-CBN, the largest media conglomerate in the Philippines.
Iloilo city and province however has not stagnated, with a lot of useful data even in wikipedia. It remains an economic powerhouse, with a new airport capable of handling international flights, the 4th busiest in the country. If you add the flights being handled by Iloilo, Roxas, Kalibo, and Caticlan airports of Panay island, there would probably be figures second only to the Manila terminals. So, if you cannot get flights into or from any of these airports during peak season, they are only 3-4 hours from each other.
Iloilo has 8 universities, and its three largest nursing schools are consistently in the top ten in the country, besting many large schools from Manila.
It has three medical schools.
You guess it right, I am from Iloilo. Baka magkamag-anak pa tayo (We might even be relatives), by several degrees of separation. Hahaha.
Posted on: Jun 03, 2009
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