For Davaoeno’s , landing on Ilo-ilo City Airport would most likely be the easy, yet practical entry point to any of the provinces in Panay , and most particularly to Caticlan(Boracay Island). There are still no direct commercial flights from Mindanao to Caticlan and vice versa, at the moment, connecting flights from Davao through Manila then Caticlan (Boracay Island) would be too expensive.
Charming and rich, Ilo-ilo is not just a monotonous city for a short stop over . Boasting its affluent Ilonggo history, as well as its abundance with oysters, shellfish and other seafood, I say this city is also worthy of a leisurely visit for a day or two.
On my most recent visit to Boracay, I had a bonus chance to spend an overnight in Ilo-ilo before leaving for Negros the following day. Tired and time restraint, I opted to skip the usual historic tour. But I made sure to check on this city’s food scene, which should never be missed ! Here are some of the food trips I had around Ilo-ilo 🙂
First Stop, Lapaz Batchoy from the Original Branch of Deco’s at Lapaz Public Market,which has been serving this staple Ilonggo tummy warmer prior to WW2. ( 1936, as told to me by the staff) . This Super Special Batchoy (with everything on it ) costs around 80 Pesos. Deco’s is among the chains of batchoy restaurants in Ilo-ilo. Other chains have more branches , but I like Deco’s more for its taste.
Inside La Paz Market stands another Ilonggo staple , the Madge Coffee Shop serving Native Brewed Coffee. Don’t expect frappe on this old timer, as they only serve their original brew.Passed from one generation to the next, this coffee house still serves the original coffee concoction since 1951. A Cup of native brewed coffee costs 25 pesos. This is also worth a try =)
While having coffee, its also nice to sample some delectable kakanins native to the Ilonggo province.
The best part of my Ilo-ilo food trip was sampling their abundance on Oysters ! I dined at Samurai Restaurant, an affordable seafood and grill , very near to SM City. A Platter of Oyster , cooked in three ways ( Ginger-steamed , buttered , and Chili Garlic ). A Platter with 16 pcs only cost me 130 pesos ! Thats how cheap Oysters are in Ilo 2x.
I only had a few hours to roam around and sample Ilo-ilo’s fine tummy fillers , as such , the limited sharing. But definitely, Ilo-ilo is worth a re-visit. Even just for those delectable Steamed Oysters ! =)
Transportation Ilo-ilo to Caticlan v.v.
Ilo-ilo to Caticlan (Boracay) and back is a smooth 6 hours by public “limited-stopped” bus. Ceres Bus line takes this route on vice versa, One departing bus every hour from 3 AM (first bus) to 6 PM ( last bus ) as of November 2014 , and costs around 350 Pesos per way , Air-conditioned .
Public Van transportation is also a usual option especially on night trips. But bus rides are recommended for safety .
Cheap Option to Stay in Ilo-ilo overnight