2 days & 1 night: DIY at Iloilo (Garin Farm + Islas De Gigantes)
When I first heard of Iloilo, I never really thought that this province has a lot of things to offer. Upon making a research for our next vacation, I found out that Iloilo is known for churches, beaches and other tourist spots rich in culture and history. As much as we wanted to explore more of this place, we can only stay over the weekend. It was also during that time when the incident of Xiamen Airlines crashed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Almost everyone’s flight got delayed. It was already 10:30 AM when we arrived at Iloilo Airport instead of 7:30 AM.
Having only limited to go around, we’ve only chosen a few destinations that we could visit in 2 days. Most people do the 3 in 1 challenge or what is known as Bacolod-Iloilo-Guimaras tour. Bacolod is only one and half hour away, while Guimaras will take only 15 minutes travel from the Port. I promise myself to come back again and make this blog more informative in the future. For now, let me share to you what you can do for 2 days at Iloilo. I hope this blog post will help you in some ways. Enjoy reading!
Travellers lounge is located outside SM Iloilo near the terminal. It offers convenience for tourist who arrives earlier than the check-in time and wanted to go straight to their tour. However, it is only applicable for people whose flight arrival is from 10:00 AM onwards. Our original plan was to check-in early at the hotel. Since our flight was moved, we decided to try the Travelers lounge instead. They also have ATM Machine & shower rooms that you could use.
Directions on how to go here:
From Iloilo Airport, there are vans going straight to Sm Iloilo for only PHP 50.00/head. If you didn’t reach the maximum 12 people at the van, they would you ask to pay PHP 70.00/head just like what happened to us.
Garin Farm was our first destination located in the town of San Joaquin. San Joaquin is the last municipality of Iloilo. It’s definitely worth the visit even though going here would already take half of your day. Pilgrimage: A journey from Creation to Ascension is the most popular spot in the area. It is the place that will make you feel as if you’re in heaven as soon as you reach the top. Click the button below for my complete Garin Farm experience.
It was already 5 PM when we left Garin Farm. We asked the tricycle to drop us off at San Joaquin Church. San Joaquin Church is known for its militaristic design which represents the Spaniards victory at the Battle of Tetuan. National Historical Institute declared it as a National Cultural Treasure in 1974. However, a sad fact about this church is that it was built with forced labor.
Note: We also passed by Guimbal Church and Miag-ao Church along the way. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go down due to the limited time that we have. Our van also passed by Molo Church on our way home. Church hoping at Iloilo is really easy!
Travel agency: Gigantes Island Tours and Services
Price: 999/ Head
Islas De Gigantes is located at the municipality of Carles, Iloilo. Most people also know it as Gigantes Island or Island of the Giants. It has two main Island namely the Gigantes Sur and Gigantes Norte. Gigantillo, Gigantuna, and Bulubadiang are the islets of Gigantes Norte while Turnina, Tanguingi, Antonia, Bantigui, and Cabugao are the islets of Gigantes Sur. Out of the 10 islands, we’ve only been to Antonia Island, Bantigui Sand Bar and Gabugao Island. Better stay longer if you want to explore more of the islands. Click the button below for my review and experience.
Hotel: City Corporate Inn
Price: 1200/ night for 3 person
I looked for the most reasonable price, with good reviews and convenient accommodation that we could avail. I found City Corporate Inn. It is located at Rizal and Guangco Streets, Iloilo City. It has 3 floors and 42 rooms that range from single, economy, standard, deluxe and suite. We availed a deluxe room. I recommend this place for budget travelers. Just don’t expect too much because you’ll get what you paid for.
Expense per person:Day 1: Transportation from Iloilo Airport to SM Iloilo: 70 Lunch at SM Chowking: 165 SM Iloilo to Super: 7 Super to Garin Farm 60 Tricycle to Garin Farm: 15 Entrance to Garin Farm: 150 Tricycle from Garin Farm to San Joaquin Iloilo: 15 Van from San Joaquin to Iloilo: 80 Iloilo to Sm Iloilo: 7 Dinner: 130 Sm Iloilo to Hotel Taxi: 120/3=40 Day 2: Transportation from Hotel to Bancal Port(Balikan): 500 Breakfast: 60 Tour: 999 Shower: 20 Tricycle from Hotel to Sm Iloilo(Balikan): 20 Dinner at SM Iloilo: 150 Day 3: Taxi from Hotel to SM Iloilo: 400/3=133 Total= PHP 2621.00