Lugar Lang: My (Gastronomic) Backpacking Experience in Iloilo (Day 2)

Day 2. I was excited to visit the old churches in the province. We postponed our breakfast so we could fit more places and sceneries in our itinerary. Near the market, there is a terminal bound for the southern towns of Iloilo including Miag-ao. On our way, we scouted the really amazing and eye-catching churches that included Tigbauan and Guimbal. It takes 45minutes to the town.


We got off at the entrance to the University of the Philippines in the Visayas.
It was Sunday so all the offices were closed and nobody was roaming around the campus, unlike UP Los Baños where students roam 24/7. It was my first time to see the Diwata ng Dagat.
When I saw it on the broadsheets when it was still newly-built, I thought it was so big. And I enjoyed the fish and fishnets at the bottom part of the structure. We then walked to the Miag-ao Church. And man, how I jumped out of happiness when I saw the façade of the church.

After our short affair with the church, we rode in a jitney to Guimbal for 15pesos. We got off just before the bridge in the town and walked under the scorching heat of the sun all the way to the market to the church.

The church is smaller than Miag-ao church but they have the same colour (almost!). The bell tower doubles the height of the main portion of the church.
The design of the poblacion is reflective of Spanish styles, similar to what you can see in the historic city of Vigan. The town is proud of their achievement as one of the cleanest towns in the country, most child-friendly and business-friendly community in Iloilo.

We dropped by the church of Tigbauan.

What I like about the church and its surroundings are the arches, which serve as gateways to the plaza, leading to the church.
Its physical appearance is reminiscent of unpolished concrete walls, like the churches of Molo and Jaro.

From Tigbauan, we went back to the city, took a quick stomach progress at REDS. Yummy native chicken arrozcaldo for 57pesos. Then we headed to Tagbak Terminal along Leganes Highway (fare is 20pesos). This terminal is like the central terminal of buses and jitneys to the different parts of Iloilo and nearby provinces like Aklan and Capiz. At exactly 1300hours, we left for Pototan. The rain started to pour, so I tried to close the window of the bus. And it brought back childhood memories of doing the same thing on Fridays that we (together with my brother and my mother) needed to go to Vigan.

After 40minutes, we arrived in Pototan and went directly to Loreleen’s Pizza.

The wide and clean road greeted me.
Jerry lived here before so he was ecstatic to see the town again. According to him, when he was still living in the town, he was very lonely because there was nothing much to see. He toured us around. Then we decided to go to Dueñas, where the legend of aswang originated.

It was Sunday and the church was closed.

In the plaza, all I could see were human species from Adam’s tribe playing basketball. The church is grand and overwhelmingly gorgeous. The door was closed but we saw some teenagers who went inside. So we made our way inside the church and tried to find the way to one of the bell towers. Eureka!
The upper levels were filled with guano because of the bats hanging from the ceiling. We left Dueñas (fare is 45pesos) and arrived in the Tagbak Terminal at 1700hours. Then we planned to close our Iloilo trip with a good body massage. For 500pesos, the hotel service massage was A+. Refreshing and rejuvenating!

It was indeed fun visiting Iloilo. For two days, I was able to see some beautiful places and structures, experience their culture and eat some popular food items from the province. And so I was very happy going to the office that Monday. I was not late! Parang nagpahinga lang ako sa bahay.

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