Iloilo City: Beautiful, as Always

The setting sun casts a golden glow upon Iloilo, the beautiful city by the river.

The setting sun casts a golden glow upon Iloilo, the beautiful city by the river.

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Iloilo River Esplanade

The Iloilo River Esplanade, a linear park running along the banks of the Iloilo River, is a favorite place for locals and tourists for leisurely walks and sight-seeing. It is also a favored venue for jogging, brisk walking and aerobics in the early mornings, late afternoons and evenings. For some though, it is a perfect place for unwinding and just hanging out with friends and family.

People hangout, enjoy the view, jog and walk at the Iloilo RIver Esplanade in Iloilo City.

People hangout, enjoy the view, jog and walk at the Iloilo RIver Esplanade in Iloilo City.

The Lovers at the Iloilo River Esplanade

Late afternoon, and the Old Carpenter Bridge Promenade across the Iloilo River, between Molo and Mandurriao districts in Iloilo City, is turned into a lovers’ lane. The nearby Iloilo Esplanade along the river is also a venue for similar activities, which also include jogging, brisk walking, aerobics, and just plain sight-seeing, among others.

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Lovers spend time with each other while enjoying the view of the Iloilo Esplanade and the Iloilo River.

Jaro Cathedral Belfry

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The belfry of the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo City, stands alone at the Graciano Lopez-Jaena Park.

The Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral belfry is one of just a few free-standing bell towers in the country. Standing about a few hundred steps across the street from the cathedral, it dominates the landscape around the district plaza (formally known as the Graciano Lopez-Jaena Park) of Jaro, Iloilo City.

Today, February 2, is the feast of Our Lady of the Candles, the patron saint of Jaro, and of the entire archdiocese.

Lecheria Hill – Calamba, Laguna

Lecheria Hill in Calamba, Laguna.

Lecheria Hill in Calamba, Laguna, seen here looking south across the rice paddies from the Rizal Memorial Park.

Lecheria Hill in Calamba, Laguna could be a different place for every Calamba resident. To the informal settlers at its foot and slopes, it is home. To the casual observer, it could be a site for a communications tower. To some folks, it is the resting place for their loved ones.

To the Calamba elders however, it is the center of the religious sect – some say cult – called Rizalistas. Founded in 1936, the sect which is also known as the Iglesia Watawat ng Lahi, believes that Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero, is God.

Giant Banana Leaf – Cabatuan, Iloilo

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The giant banana leaf at the town plaza of Cabatuan, Iloilo, Philippines. The dome of the town’s church is visible on the upper-left side.

This giant arch, shaped as a banana leaf/stalk at the town plaza of Cabatuan, Iloilo welcomes visitors to the place. The structure symbolizes the pride of Cabatuan residents – the chicken dish called “Tinuom”. Banana leaves are essential in cooking Tinuom.

Cabatuan town, about 24 kilometers north of Iloilo City, is also the site of the Iloilo International Airport (ILO).

Iloilo River – Cleanest Urban River in the Philippines, Probably

The award-winning Iloilo River, seen here from the top of the Iloilo City Hall, is probably the cleanest urban river in the Philippines.

The award-winning Iloilo River, seen here from the top of the Iloilo City Hall, is probably the cleanest urban river in the Philippines.

The award-winning Iloilo River, seen here looking north from the top of the Iloilo City Hall, towards the Iloilo Provincial Capitol in the distance. Iloilo River is probably the cleanest urban river in the Philippines.

Iloilo River flows through the heart of Iloilo City. From its headwaters at the Iloilo City-Oton border, it flows through the mangrove flats of Arevalo District, towards the posh residential areas of Molo, the new central business district (CBD) in Mandurriao, the Iloilo River Esplanade in Mandurriao, Molo and Lapaz districts, the heritage areas of the old downtown, and the once busy docks of the Iloilo River Wharf (Muelle Loney). It empties into the Iloilo Strait, the narrow body of water that separates Iloilo City from Guimaras Province.