March 18, 2011

MY PHILIPPINES: Transit to Southern Iloilo

We we’re supposed to just stay for a night in Iloilo, to have enough time to grab bowls of batchoy (a noodle soup with pork organs, crushed pork cracklings, shrimp, vegetables, chicken stock, chicken breast and beef loin) and molo (is a soup dish composed of a mixture of ground pork wrapped in wonton wrapper, shredded chicken meat, and shrimps), do a little sightseeing in the city and catch an early bus for transit to Boracay. But reading up on the gems of the area, we decided to cut our trip in Guimaras short and extend a night more in Iloilo instead. We reckon we have 4 days of beaching in Boracay anyway.


The day of the tour became our chance to experience the locals way of commuting via public transport to get around as our travel buddies Nikki and Pen and the latter’s cousin Tata who has been graciously shepherding us around on his car overslept and couldn’t make it on our agreed time to regroup. We had an early lights out while they proceeded to check out the popular nightspot in the city –Smallville the night before and quite enjoyed themselves and had a bit too much to drink. We didn’t want to risk delaying the trip out of town because of the forecasted rain in the afternoon so Kim and I went right ahead on schedule and just arranged to constantly communicate by phone and meet up with them for lunch.

jeepney ride going south of Iloilo with driver Reynor

So at 830 AM after finishing off a bowl of molo and a plate of toast and bacon, we hopped on a cab that brought us to the transport terminal at the Mohon public Market. We took our seats beside the driver and were ready to wait for the jeepney (the most popular means of transport in the Philippines originally made from the US military jeeps left over from World War 2) to fill up but as soon as we were settled we soon sped away with only 4 more passengers.

 paved roads all through out

Reynor, made for an insightful and entertaining driver/tour guide volunteering information after information peppered with funny personal tidbits. He would even slow down from time to time so we can snap photos along the way. I’m glad that the other passengers didn’t mind at all and indulged us.

The country side drive was very scenic passing beautiful coastal towns, scattered with old ancestral houses and impressive mansions showcased by wrought iron grills. Some even boasts of a fountain and grand driveways!

The transit was an experience in itself!

This commuting experience leads to a trail that showcases the historical and cultural attractions that dots the landscape of the province. Part 1 of the said trail STARTS HERE.

written by MJ

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