I have lived in two foreign countries and I have enjoy living in both places. But Iloilo City will always be home to me.
Coming home to Iloilo City after a longer stay in different countries made me appreciate some things in my hometown that I never appreciated before.
1. A LONG QUEUE OF TAXI
I love that when I go out in a mall in Iloilo City, there will always be a taxi waiting for me. There is a longer queue for taxis in a mall than the queue for the people getting taxis. If I am going somewhere from home and I am reluctant to use our family car due to my unreliable driving skills, I can just call Light of Glory or ZTS, give our code and a taxi would be on the way in a few minutes. I tend to have some challenges in getting taxis in other countries even if I do have a number to call for their services. And the queue for taxis in other places tends to be very long.
2. BAGGAGE COUNTER IN MALLS
I am surprised to learn that other countries don’t have baggage counters. It is very helpful to have a place to leave your heavy stuff or bigger purchases to roam hands-free for some more shopping bags in malls. I tend to buy a lot of groceries which leaves me with armful of grocery bags. I often would bring my little trolley for grocery on a Sunday but coming from work to do grocery, I couldn’t bring the trolley, a baggage counter would just be great. I also bring lots of bags from work so it would be nice to leave some of them in a baggage counter.
3. ANYWHERE IN 5 TO 15 MINUTES
Thank God for small cities! I love that Iloilo City is very urban but it still doesn’t lose that small-town charm. I love that you don’t need to waste hours travelling getting to another part of the city. You can get to the mall, the church, the hospital in 5 to 15 minutes. You can get to the beach in 30-45 minutes. You can get a lot of things done in a day. A day can stretched out long and stress-free.
4. AMAZING FOOD (& CHEAP STRONG BEER)
I have tried different wonderful foods in other countries but there are some foods that can only be found in Iloilo. Nothing can beat the classic Lapaz Batchoy, Pancit Molo or Puto Manapla. I may have tried Indonesian Chicken Barbeque or Peri Peri Chicken but Inasal na Manok is still the best. Freshly cooked seafoods at Breakthrough, Tatoys or Joy-Joy like the grilled Managat, Kinilaw na Tangingue or Adobado na Pantat. I should not forget the roasted pork, the Lechon at Tatoys. It is just perfection. I added cheap strong beer even if I am not really a beer-drinker. But besides having budget-friendly prices, no beer can kick like Red Horse or San Miguel unlike the regular beers in other countries.
5. FAMILY AND A GET-TOGETHER LIKE NO OTHER
Of course, the best thing about Iloilo is being with my family. Get-togethers with family in Iloilo means lots of foods, never-ending conversations and lots of laughter. Ilonggos are innately sweet (malambing) and a room filled with Ilonggos is a room filled with so much love. It is not called City of Love for nothing.
I miss you Iloilo City! See you next year!