Iloilo is a Festive City. The magnificence of cultural spectacles, impeccable cuisines, historical structures and passionate people converges beautifully, creating a synergy of vibrancy and visions of a colourful future waiting to be seen by the world.
Queen of Queens City
Favored as the original “Queen’s City of the South,” the last city in the Philippines loyal to the Spanish crown, Iloilo was given this honorable title by Spain’s Queen Regent Maria Christina in 1889. Beyond its title, Iloilo has been one of the most affluent cities in the 18th and early 19th centuries in Southeast Asia, establishing an international port for global textile industry and effervescent economy.
Realm of Legacy
Iloilo’s affluent economy and textile industry gave birth to its glorious image as the city of elites, the high-borns, business magnates, notable personages in various field and prominent national heroes. But the most visible of all is its cultural heritage structures and old buildings that made up the Calle Real, one of the country’s oldest trade and commercial districts. Heritage houses and landmarks are still standing tall even in these modern times to remind the world that Iloilo is a royal and vibrant old metropolis.
The Heart of Festivals
Preserved in the hearts of its people, Iloilo’s deep Catholic Christian traditions spawned the most genuine celebrations and festivities such as the Jaro District’s “Nuestra Senora dela Candelaria” held every first week of February. Merging the concept of the legendary “Barter of Panay,” inspiration from Kalibo’s Ati-atihan Festival and the “gifting” of Santo Nino de Cebu to San Jose Church, Iloilo’s world-famous Dinagyang Festival showcasing spectacular choreography and intricate costumes emerged flamboyantly, and revolutionized Philippine Festivals celebrated every third Sunday of January. Iloilo’s Paraw Regatta Festival, the oldest boat sailing competition in the Southeast Asia and its accompanying “Samba de Regatta” is grandiosely celebrated in Villa Beach every February.
Rich like its magnificent past, Iloilo is a city of impeccable flavors and culinary creations that pleases the tongues of visitors and the world. Invented during the World War II in the wet market of La Paz district, a local cook created a distinct hot noodle soup mixed with left-over meats, secret spices and ingredients called Batchoy. The overflowing fresh seafood catch from the sea created a wide array of cuisines in Villa beach touted as one of the old leisure destinations in the city. Biscocho House in Jaro started as a small store baked selling left-over bread topped with sweet-creamy milk became as a well-known “pasalubong” or keepsake. Roberto’s Siopao with only one store in Calle Real is a trademark Ilonggo comfort food for many people. Visiting Iloilo is as close as leaving your sweet palate whenever your travel ended but it is a reason to come back for more.
Iloilo holds another crown, another title close to most visitors’ hearts – the “City of Love.” People in Iloilo have high respect and passion in preserving their glorious past. Such passion is reflected in their gracious and warm attitude towards visitors. Ilonggo women are known throughout history as not just beautiful but charismatic, soft-spoken and loving. A walk throughout the cityscape would give you a vivid glimpse of “smiles,” vibrant faces and passionate approach whenever you are lost or wanting to look around. People from Iloilo transcends vibrant faces, warm and welcoming conversational tone, unintimidating pride for their cultural identity, and simply having the passion to be of help to strangers and visitors. In a nutshell, you will never lose your way travelling in this friendly city.
There is a strong synergy, a sense of balance between preserving the past, chasing the dream of a bright future, and taking care of the environment in Iloilo City. The long-stretching Iloilo River is where the city’s name was taken - “Irong-Irong” in Hiligaynon which means nose-shaped was later called “Iloilo.” This flora-and-fauna-rich river that serves as the city’s historical-international trading port is the center of a concerted effort of preservation and protection by the local government. Billions of pesos are spent by the government to elevate it, clean its surroundings and build the stunning Iloilo River Esplanade as the next leisure destination. Well-managed traffic and urban control makes Iloilo City less traffic, minimized pollution. The city roads have long-stretching bike lanes and walkable pedestrian lanes to promote healthy activities, alleviating the use of public transport and vehicles that causes pollution. Stripes of greens and trees beautify the city roads that create an eco-friendly ambiance.
Looking at the synergy of cultural prominence and the passion of the past, Iloilo City’s quest for destined elevation would take us to its present image as a rising and awarded livable metropolis in the country where a sustainable economy, ecology and infrastructure projects transform a “living dream” waiting to be realized flawlessly. It is always said that the past is alive in Iloilo and its bright future as a “city of dreams” is now swiftly emerging. With a new international airport in the town of Cabatuan outside the city and countless developments underway, Iloilo City is attracting strong investments from the business sector to lay the foundation of its modern facet, its promising direction to reclaim and live up to the expectation of its people. Iloilo is the new “Mecca” of business from its tourism and cultural potential, center of education in Western Visayas that produce optimistic and success-driven graduates looking ahead to sustain the burgeoning local BPO industry. As investments are pouring in, Ilonggos are bracing themselves to bring their culture, their passion and their all-embracing attitude to welcome the world’s eyes in their humble city.
Magnet for Magnificence
The real estate industry saw Iloilo’s potential as a city of bright opportunities. The country’s leading real estate developer and BPO landlord, Megaworld Corporation brought their “living dream” in this city to master plan their next successful township, their biggest single investment outside Luzon with a total of P35 billion – the Iloilo Business Park. After the old Iloilo Airport in Mandurriao District ended it operation, Megaworld awaken this 72-hectare property by transforming it into a vibrant mixed-use commercial complex, a business township teeming with great potential. The township presented a big boost, a higher step of elevation for Iloilo’s economy by opening establishments that cater to tourism, leisure, employment and business. Counting down the destinations that will define the extended face of the city’s progress are the 3,700-seating capacity complete with function rooms Iloilo Convention Center; international hotel brands Richmonde Hotel Iloilo and Courtyard by Marriot; shopping and dining centers – Festive Walk Mall and the 1-kilometer Street of Festive Walk; BPO Buildings that will serve as operation site for multinational BPO companies like StakTek, Transcom and Reed Elsevier. The lifestyle in Iloilo is on the verge of high-end altitude with the opening of residential condominium towers starting with 3-tower, 10-storey One Madison Place in 2013; 16-storey Lafayette Park Square and the highest elevated tower in the region with 22 floors, The Palladium in 2014. More developments are waiting and rising in this promising township that could lead to Iloilo City’s great prominence as the next epicenter of progress, a sustainable location to seek for employment opportunities and venture to invest, have business mixed with travelling and tourism for visitors.
Are you looking ahead for Iloilo embracing its destiny as a “festive city of dreams”? Take part of its relentless rise, come to Iloilo City and invest for your dreams.
For more information, contact us at (033) 330-3462 or visit us online at www.iloilobusinesspark.ph.