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 pledged their allegiance to Spain. The royal title was bestowed by the Queen Regent of Spain, Maria Christina, in gratitude for the Ilonggos’ unwavering loyalty. Thus, this Visayan city came to be known as the “Queen City of the South” or the Queen’s favored city in the Philippine South.
Today, Iloilo remains a favorite among locals and tourists. The city successfully combines the new with the old, with modern edifices being constructed near old Spanish plazas. It manages to retain its country flair despite its rise to progress. IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies have settled here amid tranquil surroundings.
So if you’re looking to move to the Visayas region, do consider Iloilo on your list. Here are some more reasons why the “Queen City of the South” is one of the best places to live in the country.
opportunitiesIloilo is attractive to both city dwellers and country folks. Traditionally rooted in the sugar industry, the city is also known for agricultural products such as rice, corn, mango and bananas.
Nowadays though, Iloilo City is filled with employees working for the business sector. Numerous banks, financial institutions, retail giants and IT corporations have poured money into the city, which paved the path toward its progress. In 2020, the city was awarded a Special Citation for being the “Most Business-Friendly, Highly-Urbanized City outside of Metro Manila” by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI). This only attests to the area’s emerging strength as a major economic hub in our country.
Exceptional gastronomic offerings
As a port city, Iloilo has hosted people from other countries since pre-Hispanic times. This is quite evident in the Ilonggos’ culinary creations. Many local dishes hint at foreign influences such as the Spanish and the Chinese. Dishes such as Pancit Molo and La Paz Batchoy originated in this beloved city of the South. These gastronomic delights draw in foodie tourists on a regular basis. Throw in some crispy Barquillos or crunchy Biscocho snacks, and you’ll surely feel you’re in food heaven in Iloilo.
If you find yourself bored during the afternoon, you only need to take a walk in Iloilo to discover the city’s rich history. The area is famous for its Spanish architecture, with many plazas, family mansions and government buildings featuring awe-inspiring facades. In fact, Iloilo is also called the “City of Mansions” because it is home to numerous grand residences built during the Spanish and American colonial periods.
Churches, in particular, draw tourists on a regular basis. The Jaro Cathedral and Iglesia de Molo Church are both revered by Catholics. Jaro Evangelical Church, meanwhile, is considered the first Baptist church in the Philippines. These houses of worship, among others, make Iloilo a fantastic place to explore if you’re an architecture enthusiast.
With little traffic and lots of warm beaches in the city, you can expect Ilonggos to be laidback and relaxed. They are very hospitable toward visitors and are quick to give you a smile at first sight.
The Dinagyang Festival, in particular, is an event that showcases the warm spirit of the city’s residents. Held every January, the celebration commemorates the arrival of Malays in the country and reveres Santo Niño or the Child Jesus. During the festival, the streets are lined with colorful decorations and costumed revelers. It is considered one of the best tourism events in the Philippines and has garnered numerous awards over the years.
Comfortable lifestyleIloilo is a happy place to live in, and it has the numbers to prove it.
The 2019 Provincial Human Development Index (HDI) by the Philippine Statistics Authority indicates that Iloilo has a “very high human development,” placing fourth in the nation. This means that Ilonggos generally enjoy long lives, good education and sufficient income. The city comes only after Benguet, Metro Manila and Rizal. These numbers attest to the idea that Iloilo is one of the best places to live in the country.
So whether you’re looking to visit or to settle, do drop by the land of Iloilo. There are numerous reasons why this city is full of retirees, young families and expats. Ilonggos will surely make your stay in the City of Love a memorable and fun-filled experience.
Sources:Iloilocity.gov.ph, Bomboradyo.com, Iloilotoday.com, Psa.gov.ph, EdseastresD600, Philippine Information Agency, leocvlauzon, and Heidigutierrez via Wikimedia Commons
Article and Photo originally posted by Inquirer last July 12, 2021 7:01pm and written by Ar. Vittoria Lou Mawis-Aliston.