Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Jan: Philippines: Iloilo: In My Eyes

Airport
From Manila it is about an hour and 15 minutes away to reach Iloilo International Airport.  Yes, you read it right international and it speaks for itself.  Part of Region 6 (Western Visayas), it looks better than other local airport terminal in other provinces. No need to walk in tarmacs but instead has a decent connecting bridge.  Rotating belt is powered and working well.  The transport going to the city is organized too.



Airport Transfer
Two options are available, take metered taxi (flag down rate is 40php) or take a van going to city proper (SM City Iloilo terminal) for an affordable fare of 50php.  From the mall, you can take jeepney going to different areas in the city.

In your return to the airport, you can take the same van for higher fare of 70php.  There is also SM Traveler's Lounge where you can leave your luggage at the Baggage Counter for only 30ph, then, spend your remaining hours buying pasalubong (returning presents).





Commuting
Jeeps are well designated on which routes they are going.  Drivers as well as locals are following the loading and unloading areas (unlike Manila).  Also, drivers are making sure that they are on the right lane when loading passengers.  Some are honestly giving us 7php fare, but mostly we no longer received change on 15php fare for 2 persons.


Returning Presents (Pasalubong or Omiyage)

Original Biscocho Haus Corp. is a trusted brand.  There are several stores in the city, there is one inside SM Mall, and another one near the SM Traveler’s Lounge.  Refer to the following for the sample prices.
Butterscotch Mango/ Prunes (10 pcs) 64php
Butterscotch Big (25 pcs) 155php
Butterscotch Small Special (10 pcs) 62php
In Kultura (SM) you can buy Iloilo magnets (starting at 75php), shirts (starting at 200php), I Love Iloilo notebooks (starting at 199php).  In Starbucks, big city mugs costs 450ph each.


Other Places to Visit

Museo Iloilo


Boardwalk near Esplanade