Two hours are all it took us to have this basic free tour of
MOLO, ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES
Our family is traveling again as part of our kids’ education while homeschooling in Bacolod. Now, we are in the City of Love — Iloilo City, Philippines!
Iloilo Cultural Heritage Tour
Actually, this is a work-vacay trip for me that I am blessed to be able to bring the entire family. So in between my appointments, we explored the city. We went a bit slow, letting them enjoy our blissful spot at Richmonde Hotel Iloilo while also spending time in some parts of the city for an Iloilo cultural heritage tour.
One of the easiest places that we went to without denting our pockets is Molo, Iloilo.
We had lunch at SM City Iloilo in Mandurriao then around 2pm, we took two jeepney rides going to the Molo public plaza. Our fare was only P28 for 2 rides for 2 adults. The jeepney was not full so the kids got to sit but if not, they can always sit on our laps.
That’s the usual practice of Filipinos who ride the jeepney–letting young kids ride on their laps. Dindin got to ride on Papa’s lap for a short while and she wondered aloud. haha Anyway, I was so happy that we got to ride the jeepney here because taxi fare is already taxing our travel budget. After about 15 minutes, we were already in Molo, Iloilo.
In that one singular area, you can already satisfy your camera trigger-happy self. Here are the basic places to go to in Molo.
The Molo Church’s full name is Saint Anne Parish Church and is also hailed as the oldest church in Iloilo. Located just across the street from the Molo Plaza, the Gothic style church with stark red roofs remained as regal. If you are a Catholic, you might want to stop over and pray, so your tour should be extended. I just took a photo of the facade as well as the Convento de Molo beside it. The balay-na-bato (stone house) style convent that was built during the Spanish era still stands. It still serves as the residence of the priests and houses the administrative office of the parish.
Daily Masses: 5:30am, 5:30pm
Saturdays: 5:30am, 5pm (Jerusalem Mass)
Sundays: 5am, 6:30am, 8am, 10am, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm
Since we are a family traveling with small kids, we cannot avoid activities that are for kids. While we are pushing for educational tours, we have to have pit stops so that they can enjoy, play, and just be kids. And well, play can also be educational.
So they spent about 30 minutes playing at the nice public playground where locals just like to hang around. The plaza is safe for both locals and tourists. Our daughter Dindin even made a friend there and she had a photo with her. Despite the language barrier, she still managed to make a friend. When I called Dindin to go cross the street already, she asked me if she can go back have a photo with her friend. And so we did.
So by now, you already know that we are still in Molo, Iloilo right? I guess for brand recall, everything bears the District’s name–Molo. Too bad though, they don’t have a place for authentic pancit Molo, as I was told when I was younger that it came from this place.
Anyway, the Molo Mansion is a grand and elegant home that is or was (not sure about that) owned by the Yusay-Consing family and was built back in the 1926. It is still glorious up to this day, as it is beautifully restored. Its main features are the graceful arches, iron grills, high ceilings, decorative carvings, and hard wood floors.
The place is open to the public for sightseeing and picture taking. No entrance fees required. The main living room now houses the Kultura shop, where you can buy Iloilo and other Philippine products.
Behind the mansion is an al fresco cafe called Table Matters where they serve Iced Tablea (P50), fresh coconut, coconut shake with blue ternate flower, and even blue ternate ice cream. They also serve meals and coffee.
If it rains, just run to the coffee shop on the side of the mansion where we bought some Brendan’s lengua de gato. A big tub is only P110. It’s yummy, not as smooth as the ones we are used to in Baguio, but still pretty good. We bought polvoron, too. They also sell tablea as well as other artisanal products here.
We were about done with our short tour when the rain poured. Just as well. If we didn’t have refreshments or buy Iloilo pasalubong items, then our trip would be free, except for the fare. We were happy and my soul was already satisfied with seeing and feeling stuff from a bygone era.
Since it was raining, we took the taxi back to the hotel and we only paid about P75. Not bad at all. This is the cheapest heritage tour we had so far. And two hours is just enough if you have young kids in tow. Yes, it is possible to travel with kids and have a heritage tour.
Maria Sigrid D. Lo is a multi-awarded Bacolod lifestyle blogger and social media advocate. It is her desire to make the city known to the world through her online presence. She promotes Bacolod restaurants, food tourism, social media etiquette, breastfeeding, and a greener Bacolod City in her blogs and talks. She loves taking photos, mostly of her children and of food. She is a proud member of the Negrense Blogging Society Inc. (NBSI) or the #NegrosBloggers.