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Trip Report December 2007 Iloilo, Philippines
Stayed at Del Rio Hotel very nice people. We arrived at the new Iloilo airport which is about 17km from the center of town. Being the first time on Iloilo I had the hotel pick us up at the airport. They were there waiting when we arrived, which is very Uncommon in the Philippines unless your staying at a Five star hotel. Del Rio is a nice hotel built in the mid 60's clean, good food. Our taxi driver Edward was very helpful (email me off line if you want his cell phone number) Our main reason for this trip to the Philippines was to find a retirement location so most of my notes are geared towards that. I am not a party guy or looking for girly bars so I hope you don't get bored.
Anyways, we visited a few places during our 5 day stay in Iloilo. Without mentioning any locations or subdivisions. Beware of the flooding situation. The price I was quoted on most land was between 2200 and 4000 Php a square meter. Not being a new guy in the Philippines I am sure that price was the Foreigner price. Make sure when you rent or buy have the wife do the asking / negotiating. My wife is an expert at haggling. Looked at a few rentals. Asking between 15000 and 20000. Again I was present at the time.
Party time: Go to Smallville complex. Nice bars and restaurants. Pier 16 good live music. Near the SM mall. Visit the Marina River Garden as well. Good food, on the river. I really think Iloilo will be the next "you have to go there" Island. We are looking at buying some property there in a few months. Tourist information next to the Iloilo Museum in the center of town See Renee, Very helpful man. Want a Good / Safe Taxi: LIGHT OF GLORY 329-1316. Jitney that makes the rounds on the main street: Balurte- Visavera.Internet: Robinsons Mall and SM mall 30Php per hour.
We took a Pump boat to Jordon port on Guimaras from Iloilo cost was 7.50 Php per person. It took about 30 minutes. The pump boat leaves Ortiz Boat station every 30 minutes. If you want to take jitney jump on the Mandurrio. Guimaras is a beautiful island, no malls or above a 1 star hotel but a nice quite place to spend the day or do some biking or trekking. As soon as you get off the pump boat you will find a small tourist office. Mr. Vic Salmorin was very nice and helpful. He took us on a private tour of the island. Ferry to Bacolod: Weesam Express. First class is a nice, comfortable ride (air plane type seats), good aircon.
Nice report on Iloilo, however there are a couple things I would like to share with you about Iloilo after living here 6 years with my wife (born and raised here in Iloilo). The land prices you were quoted is not the "kano special price". Having recently bought land here and built my retirement home, the prices quoted are not inflated. The subdivisions have a standard 10% discount when paying in cash. There is also a nice new subdivision, Park Regency out near the New Airport in Pavia (next town over) that has nice amenities like clubhouse, tennis courts etc. that are house and lot Package deals. They typically run in the P1.4, to P2.5 m price range and it's definitely worth a look. My brother in law just bought a house out there and I am considering relocating there. My house in over in Ledesco.
Hotel Del Rio is definitely a nice place to stay. But they recently increased their prices by 20% due to new management. You should look at Sarabia Manor Hotel which is 3 min up the street towards the mall www.sarabiamarnorhotel.com It's a little less pricey and every bit as nice or nicer. I especial like the pool/cafe area and there are many more restaurant choices onsite. If your looking for a decent economy place to stay the Charter Pensione house at the back runs P550 a night for a single room with aircon and hw shower or a double is P800. Guests staying there also get to use the Sarabias swimming pool free of charge. Sorry, no buffet breakfast included, but MC' D's is walking distance up the street at the atrium mall and there are a few roadside calderitas that serve a strong cup of native coffee cheap.
Feel free to write me off list. I would be happy to share my experiences living here.
Paul in Iloilo