Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ilo-ilo: Gateway to Boracay

Like any other day that I lack sleep, the result would be floating. But the craving for sleep is not just becuase I have to sacrifice and extend hours awake for something reasonable like the studying or doing a report or presentation for work, but none other than traveling and supposed destressing from the reality of Manila.
Once again, I escaped the dreaded big city and went to Iloilo, our meet-up point for our much awaited Boracay vacation. An original party of 10 was cut to only 3 people: Me, Noisy and Cyhna. Cyhna has work to attend to on May 1 while Noisy will attend to the job fair in Bacolod City. So I spent the whole day of May 1 discovering Ilo-ilo.

I went to Jaro Church for a prayer and for pictures.  I realized travelling alone is no fun especially when there is no one to take your photos. 

jaro church

The Jaro Church, a Baroque with gothic elements, was constructed in 1864.  Also named as the Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, the church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1948.  Its restoration was done in 1956 though the archbishop of Jaro, His Excellency Jose Ma. Cuenco.

Devotees frequent the church because of  the miraculous icon of Madona and Child.  It is situated in the veranda of Jaro Church, encased in a glass shrine carved out of the facade.  The icon is the Nuestra SeƱora de la Candelaria (Lady of the Candles) and is the only female among the all-male collection which lined the walls of the cathedral.  It is said that the limestone is continously growing and had become too large to fit into its original niche.

sto nino
In from of the church is a small garden where a statue of the Blessed Virgin is situated.


And right accross the road, in the Jaro Plaza, is the belfry of the church.  Jaro church is one of the churches in the Philippines where its belfry is separated from the main church.  It was initially used as a watch tower for pirates and other sea raiders.

jaro tower

After the Jaro church, I went to look for a ref magnet to add to my collection.  With the initial visit during the Holy Week and my tour guide via text, Pao and Ji, I was finally able to buy one (Iloilo version).

And then I went back to SM City to meet my cousin and my brother. Since it was almost dinner, we set foot to the foodcourt and treated ourselves with a hearty meal.

sm iloilo-1sm iloilo-2

We decided to kill time with watching the LFS of Wolverine. We planned of going to the Tagbak Terminal around 12 MN so it is better to spend it watching a movie than a 24 hour fastfood chain (McDo kuno) and be pressured of buying food to stay in the place.

We arrived at Tagbak Terminal at almost 11PM, but we have to wait till 12MN, that's when 2 more passengers join us and the driver thought of proceeding to the Caticlan port. I was asleep most (if not all) on the way to the port. We arrived at the Caticlan port around 4:30 AM. We loaded the Montenegro ship which will bring us to Boracay.

And finally, we have set foot the ultimate beach destination in the Philippines, Boracay.

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