Before flying back to Manila, we made sure that we have at least a half day to see Iloilo City. Fortunately, our niece was kind enough to tour us around. Despite the poring rain that day, we were still able to see some beautiful places the city has to offer.
We first drove around the new Iloilo Business Park for a quick look.
Reconnecting with Spanish Heritage in Iloilo City
Similar to most provinces in the Philippines, the cities in Iloilo have a pueblo-style city center – a plaza surrounded by a church, a school, and a government office building. Despite the various developments in the city, traces of the Spanish era are still very visible.
There are several heritage houses which are well-preserved and turned into different facilities for people to visit and enjoy. But due to limited time, we have decided to visit the Avancena-Camina Balay nga Bato. It is a 19th century house recognized as an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum of the Philippines.
It used to be the abode of a textile magnate and now used as a mini-museum and restaurant. Their chocolate de batirol is a must-try.
After enjoying a cup or two of their chocolate drink, we made a brief stop at the Molo Mansion just before sundown. The lights of the mansion added flare to the whole house making it more beautiful to look at.
Hopefully on our next visit, we could see more of these heritage houses.