Location and How to Get There
The province of Iloilo is said to be the “City of Smiles” and it is located in the western part of Visayas. It is bordered by Antique and Capiz and its capital is called Iloilo City. Iloilo can be reached by plane from Manila or from Angeles. From Clark, Angeles to Iloilo, the air fare would be less than US $150 and upon alighting from the plane in Caticlan, there is a bus that will take one directly to Iloilo City. There are several Iloilo festivals that are celebrated every year and from these we learn so much more about the Ilonggos and we find out how truly hospitable they are.
Pasundayag Festival is an Iloilo festival participated in by all the 42 towns that comprise of the province. The Pasundayag Festival is held every month of April and with every year that passes, this Iloilo festival promises to be bigger than the previous one. The local government units are the ones responsible for organizing the Pasundayag Festival within their respective municipalities and the result is a display of tribal clothing from tribes that have existed for centuries, traditional dances, parades, singing and dancing, and of course who will forget the great food served at this event. The Pasundayag Festival gives one an opportunity to learn about the history of this province and it is an opportunity for the locals to remember their roots.
Another Iloilo festival aside from the Pasundayag Festival is the Masskara Festival which is celebrated in Bacolod. This Iloilo festival starts on the third Saturday of October and it is a 2 day affair. The Masskara Festival starts off with a food fair and for those who don’t know, the Ilonggos cook very well. There is then a mask making contest, beauty pageants, a talent search, competition for brass bands, art exhibits, drinking contest and a windsurfing regatta. The Masskara Festival’s atmosphere is similar to that of the Mardi Gras where there are elaborate costumes and dance rhythms so everyone can join in the fun. Iloilo festivals such as the Masskara Festival help us understand why this province and in particular Bacolod City is called the “City of Smiles.”
Aside from the Iloilo festivals such as the Masskara Festival and the Pasundayag Festival, there are also many tourist attractions here such as the antique houses, cultural sites and very old churches that date back to the Spanish times.