Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Iloilo ang Banwa ko!

Iloilo ang banwa ko guinahingadlan
matam-is nga pulong ang amon guinmat-an
indi ko ikaw bulagan
banwa kong nahamut-an
ikaw ang guintunaan sang kalipayan

Ilonggo ako nga tunay
nga nagapuyo sa higad sang baybay
manami magkiay-kiay
sa tagipusuon
bug-os ang kalipay

This is one of the songs I grew up with. It's written about the beautiful city of Iloilo and how sweet sounding Hiligaynon is, the dialect we grew up with. Iloilo is one of the prime cities in the heart of the country. With its facilities and growing infrastructure, it is indeed one of the "mauswag" or prosperous cities in the country.

I get to visit my hometown a couple of weeks ago. Even though I could say that everything is the same (I am living in Davao for more than 2 years now), there are a lot of beautiful buildings and high end business sprouting all over the city. The business industry and the city's tourism was really booming especially it was Dinagyang season.

Dinagyang is the BEST festival in the country. It was celebrated on the 4th week of January to honor the child Jesus, though I think of it as a Pagan festival honoring the harvest and the coming of spring. I had a wonderful time roaming the streets of the city with food stalls, vendors, concerts, and the traditional "Sadsad" on every street corner. I made "tambay" with my friends in a restaurant owned by another friend's family. Kayang-Kayang is our tambayan way back in college. It boasts of stir fried seafoods, yummy kilawin and the ever famous Talaba.

Another place worth mentioning is La Teraza, located in front of SM City Delgado. Not that it is the best coffee shoppe in the city since there is Starbucks and the other high end coffee shops around, it is a very memorable place for me because I usually meet friends there way back in college. Try their Rose Shake for 45 pesos and you'll really smell and taste the roses. not to mention your breath will smell like the flower too.

One should never leave Iloilo City without eating Batchoy. It's a thick noodle soup with pork (beef?) gizzards, liver, chicharon. I bought a bowl from the batchoy shop near our house and even though it's not as "Gourmet" as what they're selling in Teds Old Timer or Deco's, I really enjoyed the "lutong bahay" feel of the food.

Did I already mention the Queen Siopao of Robertos? Robertos is a restaurant open for as long as I can remember. We used to spend our Sundays here, eating their famous Bijon guisado, Pancit Lomi and their very delicious Fried Rice and Fried Chicken. The best of their food though is her Excellency, the Queen Siopao. It's siopao with chicken and pork adobo, a whole egg and bacon. It's a 65 peso complete meal. Too bad my best friend Tetet was too late to buy this for me. It's only for sale twice a month and it's sold like hotcakes.

I went to Brews, the coffeeshop of a friend, Babak Niaraki located in front of The Atrium in General Luna St. where I made tambay with my "iloy" Marcel Milliam. It's a cozy cafe which also serves as the gathering place of art enthusiasts, photographers, fellow film makers, Cosplayers, writers and lovers of the arts. They sell coffee (brewed) for 35 pesos and butterscotch (another Ilonggo delicacy) and some value meals to soothe your tummy.

I also travelled around the city to take pictures of out old churches and houses. Iloilo City is one of the oldest cities in the country and we took pride in having the best food too. Next time you plan to visit, try the sights, the sounds (Smallville Complex anyone?), and the gastronomical experience that is Iloilo.

Check out my Iloilo City and Festival pix on my Page: Like me on Facebook.

Ilonggo ako nga tunay, nga nagapuyo sa higad sang baybay.

-photos from the internet-
Post a Comment