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What to Do in Iloilo: Your One-Day Itinerary Guide

Spending the day in the City of Love? Check out these places worth visiting in Iloilo!

By: Karen Bermejo | July 16, 2020
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Due to changing quarantine measures, the destination/s, store/s, establishment/s featured in this article might be temporarily closed under the latest government policies. LGUs might also implement health protocols and travel requirements. Please contact the establishment/s before visiting. Stay safe!

what to do in iloilo

More developments are happening in Iloilo further boosting its economy.

Photo: Robbie Robles

As the original Queen City of the South, Iloilo continues to prove its glorious past. The city continues to be regal – even more so these past years with numerous developments sprouting throughout the metro. With all the exciting things happening in the City of Love, you can enjoy so much in a day.

In fact, you’ll never run out of options on what to do in Iloilo. You can try its famous delicacy, visit old churches, check out old houses, go museum hopping, try ice skating, or even have a heaven-like feel on a hilltop.

To know more about these exciting activities on what to do in Iloilo, check out this list.

1. Taste the famous Batchoy.

Recommended place: Netong’s Original Lapaz Batchoy, Lapaz Public Market, Lapaz, Iloilo City
Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily
Estimated travel time: Eight minutes from city proper
Recommended budget: From PhP 150 for one serving of Batchoy with a rice cake


A hearty soup of Netong’s Original Lapaz Batchoy is always a good idea.

Image: Netong's Restaurant

Batchoy (pork noodle soup) is a famous Ilonggo comfort food that’s perfect for any time of the day and for any season. Even on a hot day or a cold night, batchoy is the perfect warming option. This local soup is made with Miki noodles (thick egg noodles) with pork meat and innards, beef loin, and buto-buto (pork bones) broth.

This delicacy originated in Lapaz Public Market, hence the famous term “La Paz Batchoy”, but is now being enjoyed by many in different restaurants. Despite its expansion in some malls, Netong’s has retained its first shop at the heart of the market.

Tip: Batchoy is best paired with puto or rice cake.

How to get there: Ride a jeepney or taxi and get off at Lapaz Public Market. The establishment is at the heart of the market.

July 2020 Update: Netong’s La Paz Market Branch is open and operates from 8AM to 5PM only.

2. Visit old churches.

Recommended place: St. Anne Parish in Molo, 132 San Pedro Street, Molo, Iloilo City
Operating hours: 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily
Estimated travel time: 7 to 10 minutes from city proper

iloilo itinerary

The St. Anne Parish in Molo is dubbed as a feminist church since the saints displayed on the church are all female.

Photo: Parish of Saint Anne

If you’re into architecture, visiting old churches can be part of your itinerary. You will not run out of choices since there are several beautiful cathedrals around the city. The most famous of which is the Jaro Cathedral also known as the shrine of Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (Lady of Candles). Another popular female saint is the St. Anne Parish Church in Molo.

But if you want to go a little further down south, historical churches can also be found in other towns in Iloilo province. One of the most visited is Miagao Church which is also a UNESCO heritage site.

Tip: The annual feast of St. Anne is celebrated every 26th of July.

How to get there: Just ride a jeepney or a taxi passing my Molo Plaza. The church is just beside the plaza. Travel time from the city is 10 to 15 minutes.

July 2020 Update: The churches mentioned currently conduct online masses only.

3. Get a chance to go to the different ancestral houses.

Recommended place: Molo Mansion (Yusay-Consing Mansion), Locsin Street, Molo, Iloilo City
Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily
Estimated travel time: 7 to 10 minutes from city proper
Recommended budget: From PhP 100 to PhP 150 per person

places to visit in iloilo

The picturesque Molo Mansion is now owned by SM Land Inc.

Photo: Molo Mansion

Iloilo was indeed once a queen. This is evident due to the numerous ancestral or heritage houses in the city. Unfortunately, most of these mansions are not occupied anymore. Some were converted to schools or museums while others are only open on special events.

Presently, however, many of these ancestral homes have opened their doors to the public. One that is gaining much popularity is the Molo Mansion or the Yusay-Consing Mansion. The mansion is now owned by SM Land Inc. and showcases Philippine handicraft. You can also find food stalls, restaurants, and pop-up stores around the vicinity of the mansion.

Tip: There are bamboo bikes for rent in the area which you can use within the vicinity.

How to get there: You can take any jeepney or taxi to Molo Plaza. The mansion is just in front of the plaza. You can reach it in just 10 to 15 minutes from the city center.

4. Experience a heaven-like vibe in Garin Farm.

Recommended place: GarinFarm Pilgrimage Resort, Purok 2, San Joaquin, Iloilo
Operating hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily
Estimated travel time: One hour and 30 minutes from city proper
Recommended budget: PhP 500 per person (including PhP 150 entrance, PhP 140 roundtrip fare from Iloilo, fare from San Joaquin to GarinFarm, and snacks)

what to do in iloilo

You can feel heaven on earth with the all-white angel statues at Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort.

Image: GarinFarm Pilgrimage Resort

You can experience heaven on earth only in Iloilo, literally. With its all-white paint on a hilltop location and a blue sky with clouds as the backdrop, the “Stairway to Heaven” as many would call it in GarinFarm Pilgrimage Resort looks like paradise.

Aptly named “Heaven on Earth”, it has become the newest attraction of the resort in the town of San Joaquin. And since the pilgrimage resort is situated on a hill, you will need to climb at least 300 stairs to reach the top. Along the way, you will also find life-size statues of various biblical characters, too.

Tip: Leave Iloilo City as early as 6:30 or 7 AM so you could avoid the crowd and too much heat while exploring Heaven on Earth.

How to get there: Take a jeepney from Iloilo Terminal Market to San Joaquin. Then take a tricycle to GarinFarm. Travel time from Ioilo City to GarinFarm takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

July 2020 Update: GarinFarm Pilgrimage Resort is temporarily closed.

5. Go museum hopping.

Recommended place: Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art, Casa de Emperador, Festive Walk, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day except Mondays
Estimated travel time: 12 minutes from city proper
Recommended budget: PhP 150 entrance fee per person


You can enjoy contemporary art at this three-level museum at Festive Walk.

Image: Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art

The art scene is alive in Iloilo, too. You could spend your entire day just visiting the museums in the city. There are private ones such as the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art at Festive Walk in Mandurriao. It is a three-story museum and the first contemporary art museum in the city.

Another exciting place to check is the Western Visayas Regional Museum. The regional museum is housed in the renovated old prison of Iloilo. The museum now features different textiles in the region.

Tip: Take some time in appreciating each piece of art to make your experience more meaningful.

How to get there: Take a jeepney or taxi to Festive Walk of Megaworld in Mandurriao. The museum occupies the first portion of Casa de Emperador before the restaurants and bar.

July 2020 Update: The Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art is temporarily closed.

6. Skate on ice.

Recommended place: Festive Walk Iloilo’s Skating Rink, Festive Walk Mall, Megaworld Boulevard, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily
Estimated travel time: 12 minutes from city proper
Recommended budget: PhP150 entrance fee per person


Enjoy winter feels in spite of the hot weather in Iloilo while skating on ice.

Photo: Iloilo Business Park

Anytime of the year, you can now skate on ice in Ioilo City. This is already possible at Festive Walk Iloilo’s Skating Rink which lasts for up to 30 minutes each round. Skating on ice is an activity for young people and the young at heart. It is for everyone who knows how to balance, fit enough to do some physical activities, and know how to use skates.

Tip: Wear thick and stretchable clothes when going to the skating rink.

How to get there: Take a jeepney or taxi to Festive Mall. It takes about 12 minutes from the city proper.

July 2020 Update: Festive Walk Iloilo’s Skating Rink is temporarily closed.

For more places to be in the City of Love, check out Yoorekka.com!

Having the most caring people and impressive developments, Iloilo is hard to miss. You can surely enjoy being here even just for a day with these activities.

This article was originally published in Yoorekka on May 24, 2019.

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About Karen Bermejo
Karen writes to earn a living, tell stories and promote her advocacies. She’s a traveler and a volunteer. Her adventurous soul makes her more comfortable to sleep on the couch of a stranger than pay bucks for accommodation. Her ultimate dream is to travel the world, master a foreign language and learn how to swim. To keep her sanity while chasing her dreams, she chases waterfalls on weekends.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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