I never really thought of wanting to travel around the Philippines until recently. Maybe because as a local, you feel that there is much more to see outside of your country than anywhere here. But when you force yourself to travel around your own country first even though it’s kind of uncalled for, you’ll be surprised by what you discover. And may be glad you ever did.
For this post, I will share with you my recent travel to Iloilo, geographically known to be in the heart of the Philippines located at the Western Visayas portion. To be honest, I really didn’t have much expectations from this province because little is known about it compared to its popular neighboring provinces like Cebu, Boracay, or Palawan. I kept an open mind, however, and I was excited–like any other travel explorer, about what I’m about to learn from this not-so-little province after all.
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It all started with a photo posted on Discover Panay Island (DPI) Facebook group.
Soon Ilonggo netizens got interested with a treasure find – a man creatively converting old tires into beautifully designed chairs and tables.
His initiative is an artistic and classic example of 3R’s – Reduce, Re-use and Recycle which creates ecologically-friendly and environmentally-sound best practice in converting old tires into useful furniture set.
Roger Esmaña of Brgy. Cagbang, Oton town in Iloilo shares his creative talents which not just serves as a source of livelihood but certainly creates a great impact to the environment and people’s health.
A health-conscious endeavor, it also prevents old tires usually left abandoned to become breeding places of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
Roger creates beautifully designed chairs and tables out of old tires, thus helping his some of his neighbors providing them a source of livelihood.
By upcycling used tires that otherwise would have only added to the waste materials accumulated all over the town, his project also has a positive impact to the environment.
His is just one of the social good deeds in the community that were showcased in meetups all over the country organized by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and various partners to drum up support for its PayITfwd campaign.
PayITfwd is the telco’s latest social development initiative that hopes to reward community-based projects that enable learning. Smart will help scale up these projects through technology.
It will provide a technology package that includes five tablets, Smart Bro Pocket Wi-fi, P3,000 worth of Smart Bro load, plus a grant of P50,000 to each of 10 best projects that will be chosen in the first round which runs until August 30, 2013.
In so doing, Smart hopes to widen the reach of the projects to benefit more people. At the same time, it hopes to promote the culture of social good and encourage others to pay it forward by also doing something good for their community.
Smart has been supporting initiatives that promote nation-building and help improve lives of Filipinos.
Photos By Romel Parcon & Jonathan Clavel
Megworld Corp. has unveiled “One Madison Place Luxury Residences,” its first residential condominium project in Iloilo City. The project will be part of the Iloilo Business Park also developed by Megaworld Corp., the Philippines’ top condominium developer.
The 10-storey One Madison Place Luxury Residences will offer 156 premium residential units located in the heart of the Iloilo Business Park. The whole area is being developed to become the city’s new Central Business District.
The Iloilo Business Park, situated at the Old Iloilo Airport site, will adopt a concept of a 54.5 hectare mixed use master-planned community. It will have BPO offices, hotels, a convention center, commercial and retail centers, skills training center, recreational facilities and a transportation hub, all at the heart of the new growth center in the Visayas.
If you’re interested to be the first owner of residential condos in One Madison Place, Iloilo at pre-selling.
Call PATTY ABILA today at 0917-508 1688
For more information and…
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I am very pleased to have my friend, Jose Telesforo L. Limbaga, write a guest article about birding and bird photography in Iloilo. “Boy” Limbaga presently lives in New York City with his family. He makes it a point to come home to Iloilo City at least once a year. – Bob Kaufman
A Beginner’s Tale: Birding in Iloilo – Why Not?
By: Jose Telesforo L. Limbaga
I have been into point-and-shoot photography for years now, much like most people with similar cameras in hand. But birding? Well, as with all endeavors, it had to start somewhere. My interest in birds -the two-legged and feathered kind – developed when I was yet working with the Development Bank of the Philippines – Iloilo. My work involved inspection and appraisal of properties offered as collateral for loans and that included agricultural lands that were at times situated in the hinterlands of Iloilo…
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ood in Iloilo City is literally just everywhere. Especially with the Dinagyang Weekend approaching, the streets started to get filled with foodstalls and Food festivals were being held simultaneously in different designated areas (SM City Parking Lot and the area near the Capitol).
I’ve heard a lot of talk about how food is in abundance in Iloilo and how inexpensive it is. With my 4-day itinerary, I made sure to document my food experience in the city, trying my very best to recover after every bout of “food coma” so I could live to tell about it. So here goes. Let the pictures whet your appetites :)
For the more adventurous palates (and tummies), Iloilo’s streets during the Dinagyang week would feel like a streetfood bazaar.
Here they serve liempo like no other. My friends Bo and Russel shared with me a secret on how to tell…
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The Gigantes Islands, with all its beaches, caves and rich marine life, is a real gem in the rough in the province of Iloilo. Its sheer distance from Iloilo City and the rest of the Panay mainland however ensures that it almost always gets bypassed as a tourism destination of beach goers and backpackers in favor of the much nearer municipality of Concepcion or the more accessible province of Guimaras.
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An environment-friendly camp to be estalished within the UP Visayas campus in Miagao, Iloilo will soon rise.
Leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has joined a multi-sector partnership led by University of the Philippines Vanguard, Inc. (UVI) – the organization of UP ROTC officials and alumni – that will help build the green infrastructure facility.
The soon to be built UP ROTC headquarters in the Visayas has been named ‘Terra Kuta’, a play on the word terracotta, a type of earthenware. ‘Terra’ is from the Latin word for earth and ‘Kuta’ is a word used by military men to refer to their base or camp.
Made of “natural and recycled materials” the Terra Kuta aims to contribute to the drive of going for more earth-friendly and sustainable construction.
According to the Terra Kuta project coordinator Earl Edward Baludio and the team from DLDiesto Architects which designed and developed the project, the structure will be built using alternative construction materials such as clay, old tires, glass bottles, aluminum cans and shredded tarpaulin.
Smart has been running tarpaulin recycling projects as part of its environmental advocacies, with the flagship program based in Iloilo’s Gawad Kalinga village in Sooc, Arevalo District.
“Smart has been working with GK village in Sooc, Iloilo on the tarpaulin recycling program called ‘Project Zero’ which has become a source of livelihood for the families,” said Atty. Jane Paredes, head of Smart Public Affairs for Visayas and Mindanao.
“The company has been donating old tarpaulin materials previously used as billboards and banners which the GK community has been turning into specially designed and handcrafted bags and accessories.”
“With our partnership with the UP Vanguard Panay-Negros Chapter, we have expanded our tarpaulin recycling program while helping in this project. We hope this would set an example to other builders to use recycled materials to help the environment while saving on costs,” added Paredes.
“We are thankful to our partners for supporting us in this project,” said UP Vanguard, Inc. National Commander Melito Salazar Jr. “We are glad that there are companies like Smart who share our vision of going for more environment-friendly solutions and alternatives. The Terra Kuta is something that we will be proud of now and in the years to come.”
Smart’s shredded tarpaulins will be used for the structure’s flooring. Tarpaulin materials will also be used to adorn the building’s interiors.
Smart points out that this is not the first time that tarpaulin is used in construction as the GK Village in Iloilo has also been trained and equipped to shred tarpaulin and use the material to produce bricks.
There are also plans to install solar panels in the buildings to make it earth-friendly and sustainable even after the construction phase.
Once the whole structure is finished, the Terra Kuta will house the barracks, administration offices and training ground for UP’s ROTC courses.
Story & photo credits: Smart Communications
Ilonggos pour excitement for the first-ever international flights from Iloilo Airport to Hong Kong and Singapore and vice versa which kick off Nov. 8 via the country’s leading carrier Cebu Pacific.
The historic flight takes off 11:10pm Nov. 8 from Iloilo Airport to Hong Kong while the maiden inbound international flight will touchdown here 4:45am Nov. 9.
The Iloilo to Singapore flight will take off 10:40pm Nov. 9 while the returning flight will touchdown here 6:10am Nov. 10 with a warm welcome by Dinagyang drummers for a group of Singaporean travel agents who are coming over for travel exchanges, familiarization with Iloilo City and cooking up tour packages.
The international flights open Iloilo doors to the world while bringing tourism and economic opportunities in the metropolis, stressed Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.
Promo tickets were sold out early even as Ilonggos are excited to go on shopping and vacation to Hong Kong and Singapore.
The direct flights going here are also in time for the city’s premier celebration, the Dinagyang Festival in January in anticipation for the influx of visitors.
Ilonggos abroad expressed commendations and well-wishers to local officials and stakeholders who pushed for the realization of the international flights.
They affirmed convenience and accessibility by doing away with connecting flights even as they wish for and foresee future flights to South Korea, US and Middle East.
“This is just the start, there will be more to come,” exclaimed John Gajé on a City Government’s Facebook post announcing the development.
“Cheers! I will now have an easy time to go on vacation,” said Mary Jane Java Olivares.
“Awesome. Can’t wait to go back home,” said Missy Alla.
“Wow very impressive! That’s really exciting, it will bring in more tourists and more to Iloilo. Great job!,” said Mary May Guevara .
Mila Demapitan Celoso said “traveling home won’t take so long now with the direct flight which is being regularly advertized in Singapore media.”
“Pretty cool drop off to Disneyland then Iloilo, love it,” said Neng Dowling.
Inaugural photo credits: Tara Yap