Tag Archives: 2012

Food in Iloilo City

Food in Iloilo City is literally just everywhere. Especially with the Dinagyang Weekend approaching, the streets started to get filled with foodstalls and Food festivals were being held simultaneously in different designated areas (SM City Parking Lot and the area near the Capitol).

I’ve heard a lot of talk about how food is in abundance in Iloilo and how inexpensive it is. With my 4-day itinerary, I made sure to document my food experience in the city, trying my very best to recover after every bout of  “food coma” so I could live to tell about it. So here goes. Let the pictures whet your appetites 🙂


For the more adventurous palates (and tummies), Iloilo’s streets during the Dinagyang week would feel like a streetfood bazaar.

Ramboy’s Liempo

Here they serve liempo like no other. My friends Bo and Russel shared with me a secret on how to tell a good liempo from the rest on the skewers: they have to have that “bubbly skin” appearance. I don’t know if there’s any science to it at all but it certainly worked for us at the time and got us a tasty piece of good old liempo yumminess.

Deco’s La Paz Batchoy

Ever wondered why they called it “La Paz Batchoy”?

Yep. You guessed it.

The origins of the great “La Paz Batchoy” are rooted in La Paz, Iloilo.

At Deco’s you can enjoy an extra serving of caldo (soup) and chicharon (pork rinds) toppings at no extra cost and pair it off with a couple of their “pre-war” pandesal. Adjacent to the restaurant is where you can also make your Souvenirs and Pasalubong stop. You can choose from biscochos, butterscotch, Guimaras Mango Jam and many other Ilonggo treats.

 JJ’s Cafe

Located close to Mary Mart, this joint offers an extensive array of caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks. We came by here more than a couple of times to take a breather from the madding tourist crowd.


My friend Russel took me downtown amidst the thickening mob that was taking over the city for the festival. But he certainly had good reason to drag me to Roberto’s to try the King Siopao and Lomi which was supposed to be merienda  but ended up feeling like a full meal.

Allan’s Original Talabahan

I never thought baked talaba could be better especially in a place where there never seems to be a shortage of this shellfish. Allan’s sets itself apart with it’s melt-in-your-mouth baked talaba specialty.

Rooftop Brewery @ Smallville

An interesting pub with an interesting crowd–and an even more interesting collection of beers from around the world being served to a scene of laid-back patrons enjoying the late 80’s and early 90’s music spun by their in-house DJ.

Blue Jay Coffee

Before the global brand of gourmet coffee, Starbucks, swept the city off it’s feet, there was Blue Jay.


Simply sinful. Cream Puffs and Churros just blew my calorie-counting into oblivion. Enough said.

Patpat’s Kansihan

I was curious with what Kansi  really was. It came to us as an uninteresting-looking piece of big beef bone with soup (commonly referred to as Pochero in most parts of the country) in a bowl served with a fork, a knife, and a little stick to poke into the bones to get the yummiest, artery-clogging piece of bone marrow. Please, do eat this at your own risk.

Following this 4-day food spree, I just felt like I had to run miles to take the pounds off.

Oh well.

‘Til the next Dinagyang!


Iloilo City: Dinagyang Festival 2012


rmed with our media passes and lenses, two of my friends and I hit the streets of Iloilo City as early as 8:00 AM. The city was alive and the locals took to the streets with a sense of excitement which fast became a contagion. We proceeded to Stage 4 at the Iloilo City Sports Complex and claimed our spots favorable to a good view of the tribes’ performances.

This was my first Dinagyang experience and as soon as the drumbeats summoned the entrance of the Tribe Paghidaet which was first to perform, I felt my eyes  get misty in awe of the spectacle and the overwhelming exodus of colors.

There were 13 tribes all in all and the dancing wrapped up in just a little above 3 hours. All the performances yielded applause though none had more of it than the Dinagyang 2012 Festival Winner, Tribu Pan-ay, which unanimously got standing ovations from all 4 stages and left the audience stunned with their jaw-dropping performance inspired by the Philippine Eagle. I was lucky to have been able to capture their performance on video: