Iloilo – The Gateway to the Western Visayas

Iloilo is often termed as the Gateway to the Western Visayas Region in the Philippines.It is also the capital of the province with the same name.Iloilo is a highly urbanized city and also the political center for the region.

The city has a natural port and an international airport which is considered to be one of the busiest in the area.It connects Iloilo to the other parts of the country as well as the world.

The origins of the city can be traced back to the Spanish colonial era when it started out as a small cluster of fishermen’s hamlets near the River Iloilo.In 1855 it became the “Queen City of the South” and was later honored with the title of the Most Loyal and Noble City by the Queen Regent of Spain.

At the turn of the 20th century, the place was next only to Manila in terms of economic and industrial development.The area near the Calle Real in downtown Iloilo was a major hub of economic activity and there were many stores which traded in luxury products from all over the world.Apart from this, an agricultural experimental station was also established at La Paz in 1888, School of Arts & Trades in 1891 and a telephone network system in 1894.

All these developments contributed towards making Iloilo a major commercial, educational and industrial hub.

Languages Spoken in Iloilo: The people of the city mainly speak Hiligaynon.There is a wider use of English for the purpose of education and conducting business.Other local dialects like the Tagalog and Karay-a are also in vogue.Some of the families which are related to the sugar-plantations of the yore still communicate in Spanish but is just a very small group.

Climate in Iloilo City: The city enjoys a tropical climate with two distinct seasons; rainy from June to September and dry from October to May.The best time to visit the city is in the dry season.

Industries & Trade: The location of the city has proved to be advantageous for the trade and industries in the region.The port also provides a major boost to the economy because of its large scale employment generation and the continuous trade of various articles.

Iloilo is also a major center for the IT industry with a number of business processing and outsourcing firms having their offices here.The BPOs in the city are providing a considerable amount of employment opportunities to the vast labor reserve in the city.

One of the key contributors to the city economy is the various banks which are operational in the town.These banks range from anything to a rural, savings or thrift banks to internationally known commercial banks.Two foreign banks, namely the Citibank and the May Bank have their branches here.The biggest local banks in Iloilo are the Queen City Development Bank and the Valiant Bank.

Education: There are two government-subsidized institutions; The University of the Philippines Visayas which was established in 1948 and the West Visayas State University which was set up in 1902.Apart from this, there are many other colleges in the city which provide first-rate academic programmes to the aspiring students.

Hospitality Industry: Due to the presence of so many industries and trade opportunities, the city also has a booming hospitality industry.There are a lot of lodging options for travelers and guests ranging from first class hotels to cheap discount accommodations.The city also features some very excellent resorts as well as pension houses for the most budget-conscious visitor.

There are six major hotels which offer comfortable accommodation and the best of service.Some of the better known hotels in the city are Amigo terrace Hotel, Sarabia Manor Hotel & Convention Center, Racso’s Woodland Hotel Resort and Days Hotel Iloilo.

With so many things going for a city, it is no wonder then that Iloilo is one of the most popular places in the Philippines and attracts a large number of visitors to its folds.The warm and friendly attitude of the Filipinos always acts a stress buster and really rejuvenates the body and minds of the visitors to this enchanting city.

Source by David Urmann