Iloilo City Tour

We are now on the second day of our Bacolod-Iloilo-Guimaras trip. I have blogged about our first day in Bacolod City in my previous post.

We're supposed to visit Kuppa Coffee and Tea for breakfast but we're still full from our breakfast from 11th Street. We're also supposed to visit the other Bacolod sites (Dizon Ramos Museum, Bacolod Public Plaza, etc) we weren't able to visit yesterday but we ran our of time. The only site we got to visit was the Negros Museum.

The Negros Museum
The Negros Museum  showcases the rich history of Negros province and the influences that shaped their identity and culture. They feature artifacts and paintings from pre-colonial period and how our Chinese neighbors influenced the region. And the of course, the Spanish-American-Japan era and how the region became the Sugar Bowl of the Country. Aside from these, they also have a huge Toy Collection from all over the world. Photography is not allowed inside, though.

I'm so sorry I forgot the name of our guide but we very much enjoyed the guided tour. Unlike other museums in the country, the Negros Museum is very active in promoting their vision. They have a number of activities that might stir up your interest. For more information, you can visit their site or their Facebook page.


What church was this again?

The hands of this Sto Nino was stolen because it's made of Ivory

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So, after the Negros Museum tour, we hurried to BREDCO port for our trip to Iloilo via Oceanjet. It's a one hour ride from Bacolod to Iloilo. The ports should still be improved if we want our tourism to really boost but they are not bad as I thought it would be. The boats are pretty decent too. I just wish they didn't show Life of Pi while we're on board. Hahaha.

BREDO Port Waiting Area

Hello Iloilo!
We docked in Iloilo a bit past noon. I'm so glad that Rye has been to Iloilo before because I wasn't able to research much on how to go around the city. But even though he's been there a lot of times before, we still got a bit delayed in finding our hotel. Their jeepney routes are crazy! They have a Jeepney and Bus Guide but I still can't figure it out. According to my map, the hotel is just a few meters away from the port but the jeep toured around town first before we got to our destination. I didn't mind though. It's like a free tour around city. I got to see Calle Real, Plaza Libertad and the City Hall while we're on the jeep so we didn't have to do the walking tour. :) But the down side is I wasn't able to take pictures. :(

Netong's La Paz Batchoy + Madge Cafe
After checking in and dropping our bags to One Lourdes Dormitel, we headed to La Paz town to do what I've been dying to here in Iloilo -- eat authetic La Paz Batchoy!

La Paz Batchoy! Yummmm.

Netong's Special La Paz Batchoy

We had our La Paz Batchoy at Netong's because of the recommendations from several blogs and a few travel shows we've seen. And yupyupyup, they were yummy! :) Better than Ted's, in my opinion. But probably because I've had Ted's in Makati. Haha.

After Netong's we went further inside the market to try out Madge Cafe. I got really curious on what this cafe has to offer ever since I read about this small humble store in a blog somewhere. I got to find it out for myself.

Enjoying my Madge Cafe Coffee

Personalized Mugs for Madge Cafe Regulars

Madge Cafe Iced Coffee

Madge Cafe

Madge Cafe Bar

I forgot what this was called but it's a perfect pair for our coffee.

And yes, they didn't disappoint. The coffee is a real treat if you'd consider its price. Maybe you should just find it our for yourself too. :) But more than the coffee, I was more impressed by the history of the cafe itself. It's very simple but it's what makes it huge. They're not Starbucks or CBTL, they are more than that. In this cafe, people really have real conversations and they really offer personalized service. The very sweet Ate that served us took time to chat with us. She asked how we go to know the place and told us about the celebrities who visited them. She also said we should also try their Dinuguan. When I asked her about the personalized mugs, she also told me that what she gave me was their standard formula for coffee but their regulars have personal tastes so they customize it for them. She also says that it's true that they have it memorized. Regular customers just sit down and they would serve them their favorite coffee in their own personal mugs. Amazing!

Museo Iloilo
From La Paz Market, we walked down town back to city proper. Unfortunately, the Iloilo Museum is already closed by the time we got there. Oh wait, or is it because they're closed on Mondays? Hmm. I forgot. But we didn't get to go in. So, we just took a photo outside.

Museo Iloilo. I love this facade!
We walked further down while Rye tells me his adventures and misadventures in the area. Now it was a bit dark and we're still tired from the boat ride so we had to choose between Jaro Church or Molo Church. We opted for Molo Church since Jaro is out of the way and rode a jeepney going there.

Iloilo Jeepney

Molo Church
Molo Church or The Parish of Saint Anne is one of the most popular (out of many many many) churches in Iloilo. This is probably because it highlights the contribution of women to the Catholic faith. It is actually dubbed as The Feminist Church.

But! When we got to Molo, it was closed na rin. :( I didn't get to see the female saints standing on the pillars nor its gothic interior but it's still worth the trip. The facade is already a beauty. I wish I listened more to our Art teacher when he discussed the different styles of architecture here in our country. I would probably enjoy it more.

Molo Church or The Parish of St Anne

Band Stand turned Greek Goddesses Monument
I was just a bit surprised that they turned the band stand just across this Catholic church into a monuments for Greek goddesses.I find it very.. off and contradicting. Don't you think?

After Molo church, we went to Smallville for dinner. We're supposed to try Ramboy's but we forgot. Haha. So we headed to Smallville and tried Afrique's.

Afrique's kind of reminds me of Avenetto. I loved their Lemonade and their Pasta and their Pizza! Haha. Well, that means I loved everything that we had. I prefer to have local cuisines during travels but this one's worth the try. :)

While dinner, I got a message from Leslie recommending Nothing But Desserts. It wasn't in our itinerary but it's just behind Afrique's and so we did. And we're very happy with the recommendation!

Everthing in the store looks very yummy! And the good news is, they're yummy as they look. Haha. Perfect way to cap off our first day in Iloilo. :)

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