The Philopino | Jake Crisologo

“Batchoy”, contrary to what Wikipedia says, is not derived from a joke consisting of “bats” and chop suey. It is a dish with so many issues about its origin one is tempted to conclude that it doesn’t really matter.

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European cinema comes to Iloilo City

For the first time, European cinema is coming to Iloilo City and is being envisioned to become an annual event highlighting cultural and tourism potentials of the metropolis.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and European Union launched the Cine Europa 15 at Cinematheque-Iloilo at B&C Square Bldg. loacted at corner Iznart-Solis Sts., City Proper Oct. 18.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the endeavor is an avenue to showcase cultural and tourism promotions between Iloilo City and European countries.

“Being the first of this kind in the City of Iloilo, we hope that the festival will be a yearly event in the city. Under FDCP’s Film Cultural and Exchange Program (FCEP), exposure of European films to Iloilo is noteworthy and an opportunity to open the city to the world through the corridors of cinema,” FDCP chairman Briccio Santos wrote Mabilog.

Dignitaries including Monika Junker-Guidin, political counselor of the Embassy of Austria; Yannick Reichenau of the Embassy of Switzerland; and Robert Leon, Information Officer of the European Union delegation graced the launching rites highlighted by the screening of Austrian film “Breathing.”

This is the second time that European dignitaries visited the city after they also attended the 2nd Iloilo International Film Festival during Dinagyang last January.

The Cinematheque is designed and destined to be an alternative and accessible venue for free showing of classic and contemporary Filipino films, both mainstream and independent for state-of-the-art foreign films sourced through FDCP’s Film Cultural Exchange Program with other countries, and for workshops and symposiums on directing, scriptwriting, editing, cinematography, and all other aspects of filmmaking.

Check it out on Facebook:

Island Hopping


Ecotourism is defined as a responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and improves the welfare of the people, the demand for such is steadily growing and the trend is expected to increase over time.

Within the Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management Board (TAWMB) are four Upland Local Government Units (LGUs), namely: Municipalities of Leon, Alimodian, Maasin and Cabatuan, which are endowed with natural scenic spots such as waterfalls, caves, age old rock formations and springs, which have great potential for ecotourism sites. These sites have yet to be unveiled and may have a promising effect on local economic development here in Iloilo. Now that the sites have been identified, research and studies on whether the sites are suitable for ecotourism need to be determined

The LGUs, together with the local community based organizations (CBOs) have provided an initial list of the potential tourism sites, within the four LGUs:


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World According to Carm

It was the ultimate test of human endurance–well,  at least for teeny-weenies with body like ours.What is this? A short account of our grand Leon adventure (just not to forget that bloody weekend).

After like hours walking downhill (from Sitio Tabyunan-little Baguio of Iloilo) we (namely Raymond, Ina, JC, Sam, Tantan and me) arrived at Brgy Camandag at around 7pm (Seriously, the small village looked like Atlantis from above) and their church (one of the many; first thing you’ll see in the entrance) was, well,  playing church music and it felt weird at first because were supposed to be in the middle of a vast mountain range, not in Miagao were they give you hourly buzz sounds (tolling of bells, some piano piece, what else) reminding you its already time to pray.

So to continue, we came there not knowing anybody and thanks (really) to Raymond, for one day, I…

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Captivating Capiz - Roxas City Seafood Capital of the Philippines

In 1566, Fray Martín de Rada is said to have preached the Gospel in Bamban (Pan-ay) and from there he proceeded to evangelize Dumangas to the south. The Augustinians continued to spread their net of evangelization to the south and west of Pan-ay until they had established footholds in the whole island.  By the late 1500s, they had been had been the sole evangelizers of Panay island until the Jesuits arrived at this time.

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Giant real estate developer Megaworld Corp. is crafting plans to transform the 55-hectare old airport site in Mandurriao, Iloilo City into a tourists’ haven. 

“Megaworld envisions the Iloilo Business Park a live-work-play-learn community hosting BPO offices, residential units, hotels, convention center, commercial and retail outlets, skills training center, and recreational facilities,” noted Kingson Sian, executive director and senior vice-president of Megaworld.

A theme park will become a hub for tourists, he stressed. 

“A lot of people just bypass Iloilo that they concentrate to Boracay – so we want them to come to Iloilo City and enjoy the culture, churches and history – then go to Boracay,” Sian enthused. 

Iloilo is considered the gateway to Boracay, Panay and Guimaras islands which have been positioned as hotspots in the Central Philippines of the country’s tourism program. 

Iloilo hosts the new state-of-the-art airport in Sta. Barbara-Cabatuan towns, some 19 kilometers north of the city. 

Iloilo City…

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Ilonggo filmmaker Peter Solis Nery talks about love… in time of the Bakunawa.

As told to Ronelo Ladiao. 

Ilonggo love story

Earlier in April 2012, Los Angeles-based Ilonggo polymath Peter Solis Nery (he insists he’s a Dumangasanon artist) came home to Iloilo to shoot his film, Gugma sa Panahon sang Bakunawa, a classic love story in Hiligaynon that touches on contemporary issues like literature and myth-making, economics and colorful local festivals, love and its modern-day complications.

From Western Visayas to Singapore 

On Sept.5, 4PM-8PM at Cinema 3 SM City Iloilo, writer-producer-director Peter Solis Nery returns to premiere his 2-hour obramaestra in Iloilo City, and tour it all over Western Visayas, before finally showing it in Singapore on September 9.

Shot in 6 days

Meanwhile, here is a short interview with the amazing Ilonggo director who made magic in six days:

Ronelo: You constantly amaze your critics and fans by endlessly…

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Iloilo River allures global urban planner

Iloilo City with its charming Iloilo River and rising new Central Business District in Mandurriao is teeming with great potentials in terms of real estate developments, globally renowned urban planners affirmed.

“To be honest, your river was such a pleasant surprise. We didn’t expect it was going to be that beautiful, we like that it has character. In some parts the vegetation along the river even gives you that Amazon vibe! Yes, nag banca talaga kami (we rode a banca) and went around it just to study!”

This was the assessment of Makati-based T. I. Vasquez Architects & Planners Inc. (TVA&P), designer of the ambitious Manhattan-like 15-hectare Gaisano Iloilo Center project in West Diversion Road, Brgy. San Rafael, Mandurriao.

The project’s perspective posted on Facebook shows several boat docking stations as the proposed development sits on the riverbank.  Photo credits: Iloilo City Center FB page

“To our enthusiastic supporters from Iloilo eagerly waiting and asking for the final master plan of Iloilo City Center, your overwhelming love to your city has been a powerful force to your incoming architect that we were determined to offer you something fresh, something others don’t have, something you can say to the Philippines – only in Iloilo,” TVA&P said on its FB page.

“It’s nothing like anything we have proposed before and we are confident to get 100 times more of your support. The design went through a series of overhauls and although we cannot release any updates just yet, as soon as we can, we guarantee it’ll make noise and more importantly, we guarantee your smile!” TVA&P stressed.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the big project is a welcome development and a clear manifestation of investors’ confidence on the positive business climate in the metropolis.

He added the private investment would generate more employment opportunities for the Ilonggos and create multiplier effects boosting the city’s economy.

With a centerpiece of a 40-storey skyscraper, the masterpiece is envisioned as a mixed-use development of commercial, residential units and offices by mall chain Gaisano Capital and its property developer arm GoldPeach Properties.

“We are honored to be given an opportunity to develop this promising city. Hopefully (we could start) next year, if not last quarter of this year,” said TVA&P.

It will be closely similar to Metro Manila’s Eastwood, Rockwell, Greenbelt or Filinvest Alabang. “Ample open spaces, outdoor dining (facilities and amenities) and tree-lined streets are of top priority.”

The hotel tower is projected to be around 40-storey. “The builds are only to show building yield, these are not final design. Still in the oven so to speak, but investors interested to buy lots are already in the table,” TVA&P said on its FB page, referring to the perspective.

“Rest assured that we did our homework and consultants have already studied the site. Technically speaking, the initial number of floors for the hotel tower plays along 30-40 storey, nothing final yet,” it explained.

The skyscraper will rise on old fishponds site near Dungon creek.

“There are modern construction methodologies we can apply in such soil conditions which are being applied all over the world including places like Manhattan, Singapore reclaimed areas, even our very own Roxas Boulevard,” TVA&P clarified.

Traffic-free and flood-free urban planning is being seen to transform the city’s business and economic landscape.

“Problems of traffic and flooding in our cities nationwide are a result of lack of proper urban planning in our country, we are only among many of talented Filipino architects and engineers who are trying to correct mistakes of the past in order for our cities to be self-sustaining,” TVA&P assured.

“Let’s not be disheartened by old mistakes and dwarf the potential of Iloilo City. Instead, we should use it as case studies to come up with better proposal,” the firm suggested.

“In fact we are pleased to see public’s concern for better architecture in our country. Everyone needs to cooperate and participate to make the built environments of the Philippines as beautiful as its subliminal coastline,” TVA&P exclaimed.

“Your warm support energizes our talented team! Looking forward to visit Iloilo more frequently as the project progress!” the company expects to work closely with the Ilonggos.

“We are just as excited as you are! Thank you everyone for your support and sweet welcome with love to Iloilo City!” TVA&P told the excited Ilonggos who are abuzz with the latest giant development in the city.

An architectural design partnership, TVA&P is composed of new generation architects with the common goal of promoting world-class design concepts and technological innovations in a rapidly developing country.

It maintains close affiliation with foreign groups MWM ARCHITECTS of Oakland, California USA; Consulting Engineering Group, Doha, Qatar; and Cairo, Egypt and Architect Yoshihide Tamura of Osaka, Japan.