Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Things to Do During the Rainy Season in Iloilo

ancient finds in Oton, Iloilo, Museo Iloilo, photo by Harold Agustin Ziegenhohn
It is official! The rainy season has set in in Iloilo. Muggy, sticky, humid and wet, that is what the air will be like for the next couple of months. Rainy season in Iloilo usually begins late of May or in early June to October or November where tropical storms can go hand-in-hand with the season. It generally rains in the afternoon and evening and very few days are rainy all day. You can enjoy some sightseeing activities or head to the beach in the morning. If it rains in the afternoon you can look for some indoor activities for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

It is actually a bit pleasant, and not a bad time to visit in the least. You will benefit from cheaper accommodation and a quiet atmosphere. Here are some ideas for things to do and places to visit during rainy season in Iloilo.

Visit Museums and Galleries

Rainy season can be fun in Iloilo because this is the time when you get to enjoy things indoor. Enjoying around Iloilo does not have to be always outside. You can make the most of a rainy day by visiting museums, galleries or other indoor attractions in Iloilo.

Museo Iloilo, Iloilo City Gallery, The UPV Art Gallery, UPV Cinematheque and the Sta. Barbara Centennial Museum are all worth visiting if you are interested in art and history.

Museo Iloilo at Bonifacio Drive, photo by Harold Agustin Ziegenhohn

Museo Iloilo in Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City is one of the main tourist attractions of city and known as the First Government Constructed Museum Building in the Philippines. It is only a few meters away from the Department of Tourism Regional Office and the Iloilo Provincial Capitol. It exhibits a collection of Archeological, Historical, Ethnographical craft and tribal folk arts of Western Visayas. There are relics and antique religious images and relics donated by illustrious Ilonggos. Other valuable items include dated fossils, artifacts from sunken vessels, stone-age tools, pottery, trade wares from China, Annam and Siam, burial jars and coffins and rare photographs and mementos from World War II. Present day artworks are also on exhibit. The museum opens from Monday to Saturday (except Holidays) at 8:00 am to 11:00 am and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm with an entrance fee at P15.00 for students and P20.00 for adults.

Iloilo City Gallery, photo by Harold Agustin Ziegenhohn

The Iloilo City Gallery in Plaza Libertad is located at the ground floor of the 7-storey City Hall Building, was opened to the public in June 2012. The gallery showcases Ilonggos’ good governance and cultural excellence highlighting the city’s awards, famed festivals, unique and creative arts and crafts, giant development projects, and a virtual tour of the metropolis long-standing legacy and vibrant future as Premier City by 2015. The gallery is open to the public for free every Monday to Friday during official working hours. For more information, please call (033) 3331111.

The University of the Philippines in the Visayas Art Gallery at the historic Arellano Building (former Iloilo City Hall) or the main building of the city campus in General Luna or Infante Streets, Iloilo City prides itself as the only art gallery in the region to have exhibited the works of several national artists such as Joya, Francisco, Legaspi, Luz, and Ang. It also feature works of popular Ilonggo artists such as Defensor, Ferraris, Orig, Cabalfin, Amora, Decierdo, Sanares, Belgica, Genodepa, Salmon, and Querubin. The gallery also serves as a venue for several visual art exhibitions, small-group art workshops, book launchings, and art lectures. Or more information, please contact (033) 337 9159 or email:upv.culture.and.arts@facebook.com.

UPV Cinematheque, photo by Harold Agustin Ziegenhohn
The UPV Cinematheque Film Museum at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, city campus in General Luna or Infante Streets, Iloilo City is dedicated to the collection and exhibition of film-related materials like movie props, equipment, posters, books, souvenirs and toys. The film museum along with Cinema Exmundo is a collaboration project between Cinema Exmundo and the University of the Philippines Visayas Alumni Relations Office. It is as a non-profit repertory theater for use by students and alumni as well as the community. It was one of several projects the U.P. Visayas launched in 2008 to commemorate the University of the Philippines’ Centennial Year. The museum is open from Mondays till Fridays, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. For more information, please call (033) 5091501 or Email: cinematheque@upv.edu.ph

The Sta. Barbara Centennial Museum and Information Center beside the municipal hall is a beautiful introduction to this town’s rich cultural heritage. It features irreplaceable historic artifacts of local hero, General Martin Delgado. It also includes paintings, furniture, decorative arts, and costume collections as well as maps, newspaper volumes, government documents. When in the area, you can visit the Iloilo Golf and Country Club and the Santa Barbara Roman Catholic Church and Convent. It opens Monday to Friday from 8 am till 5 pm with an entrance fee of P10.00 for students and P20.00 for adults. For more information, please call (033) 5239955. Also accepts visitors during Saturdays by appointment.

Go Underground

Rainy days are also great for exploring caves where you will not be aware of the weather conditions. The Bulabog Puti-an Natural Park in Barangay Moroboro in Dingle, Iloilo can be enjoyed as a day visit to the area since one does not have to go on extensive trail blazing. It has a land area of 834.033 hectares covering five of Dingle's 33 barangays. Combining trekking and cave exploration, the trip offers a rare opportunity to get close to one of Iloilo’s rarest limestone rock formation in Panay excluding Guimaras. It was designated as a National Park through Congressional Bill No. 1651, and such is considered a "nationally significant area." The centerpiece of the park is its 33 known and named caves where most are undeveloped, so there are no lights, stairs, nor walkways. Hike up and go cave exploration while enjoying the gorgeous view of the park over its wild and luscious forests. The municipality of Dingle is 37 kilometers away from Iloilo City. To get to the town, vans are available at the Northern Central Iloilo Transport Terminal, Inc. in Barangay Tagbak, Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact, Mr. Dane Dizon, Municipal Tourism Officer at 09477424341.

The City of Passi, Iloilo also boasts of 16 caves and offers both self-exploring and guided opportunities. Whichever method of exploring the caves you choose, you are bound to be fascinated by these amazing underground world in the heart of Passi City. To get to Passi City, busses are available daily at the Northern Central Iloilo Transport Terminal, Inc. in Barangay Tagbak, Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Mrs. Mae Pojol-Buenaflor - City Tourism Officer at 09213543537.

Head to a Spa

A pampering spa treatment is a great way to spend your time and you will surely enjoy it even more if you know you're not missing out on time in the sun. With calming music, great smells and lots of massages, you can regain your inner peace and come back refreshed and relaxed to your everyday life. Going to the spa is a fun and relaxing experience. For the best experience possible do your research and take a friend or loved one along on your first trip. That way you can learn, laugh and relax together. One should seriously consider visiting a massage spa on a regular basis to remain stress free and healthy.

While away the Hours in Café

The city of Iloilo has some fantastic cafes and if you can find one in a good location for people watching, you are set for the afternoon. Most cafes offer free Wi-Fi so you can use the opportunity to catch up on Facebook or even get some work done while you wait for the rain to stop. They can also be a great place to meet friendly Ilonggos and get some good recommendations for local sightseeing.

Shop your Heart Out

There is something for everyone and shopaholics can easily spend a few rainy days here without getting bored. If it is pouring down and you want to stay inside, there are shopping malls that are easily reached by a taxi ride, depending on where you are staying.

So these are some of the activities that you and your loved ones can enjoy during the rainy season in Iloilo.  Aside from these you can also create your own fun and exciting activities. Rainy season does not have to ruin your day or trip. Just come prepared and you will be fine.

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