Day 2… The great indulgence!
Iloilo City, located at the heart of the Philippine archipelago, within the Visayas Islands is full of amazing places, tourist destinations and of course, the well renowned Ilonggo cuisine and other international flavors as well such as Korean, German, Italian, Japanese food and so on.
Choosing which restaurant to start is a daunting task if you haven’t planned it before hand simply because there are so many places to eat in the city alone. It’s a staggering thought if you want to dine to all of them within one week.
One week is not even enough to invade all the food joints and restaurants with all their food on the menu. I don’t think our digestive system is up for one week straight of great food indulgence unless frequent trips to the toilet are part of the norm.
So on Day 2, after our first night at Centennial Hotel I decided that we should transfer to Smallville 21 hotel because it’s the center of the universe, at least in Iloilo City’s universe. If you’re talking about food, Shopping Malls, coffee shops and party places – you’ll find them all in and around the Smallville complex, the party haven of Iloilo.
In fact, we’re no party rats, it was just a matter of convenience, accessibility, being economical, and close proximity to the best restaurants in the city.
To make the long story short, we transferred, left our stuff at the Smallville 21 hotel and off we go for our food adventure.
It was also the day my girlfriend finally had an epiphany while gobbling some great food… tears, smile and all.
First stop, a small Korean food joint “Shall We Eat” near Gaisano City in Lapaz.
After one heavy lunch at “Shall We Eat” we head off to one of my schools in Iloilo: Central Philippine University or CPU. Can you believe I took a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry for two years in CPU.
Yes, I was a former chemistry major student. I don’t know what rice I ate that time but I just did. Thank God I didn’t drank any of those volatile chemicals to kill myself for taking up chemistry.
We were told by the guards that its not allowed to take pictures inside the campus. I was wondering why they had CPU listed as a tourist destination and ban tourists from taking photos of its centennial old campus. They probably want us to sketch it old fashion style.
I believe it was the most beautiful school I’ve ever been enrolled to. So beautiful I forgot to attend classes and slept on their steel benches whenever I was too drunk to crawl towards our school dormitory. Entering a wrong class with grass leaves on my face was a common occurrence.
Eventually as we were strolling along the campus, I met an old good friend and he told me it was fine to take pictures. His reason why it’s okay was exactly my point when I wondered after the guards told us not to snap photos.
Too bad the sun was so bright that day we were not able to get good photos. Well there was one photo that was probably descent enough for me to post it here:
Smallville and Coffee Break
After getting scorched by the glaring sun, we decided to head back to Smallville 21 hotel then cool ourselves to Iloilo’s premier coffee shop Coffee Break before meeting my cousins for dinner! I said premier because Coffee Break seems to be everywhere. Iloilo has Starbucks but Coffee Break coffee shops are so popular it’s like everywhere from every 3-5 kilometers to any direction.
Coffee Break may be the most viral coffee shops we’ve ever seen and I’m not surprised because their place is quite comfortable, perfect place for a date, meet-ups and group meetings. The place is both cool to the body and warm to the eyes.
Yeah, I love the vibrant colors inside the coffee shop, but unfortunately we can’t remember the names of the coffee we ordered. Yes, Coffee Break coffee is not that memorable at all. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t exactly an eye widening coffee drink either.
We also met my two good friends Angelee and Rhea just outside Coffee Break, but it started raining so we were not able to stay long for a good chitchat. Too bad I also forgot to take photos with them and Leia was getting worried that her cam might get wet so we headed back to the hotel before finally going to Afriques to meet my cousins.
Dinner at Afriques with cousins!!
Finally, my cousins came around dinner time and they brought us to this restaurant Afriques which is near from the hotel we stayed. As the orders arrived one by one, the heaven’s gates started to open up with some angel choir in the background the moment our mouth tasted their food. It was AAAWWWWEEEEESSSSOOOOMMMMEEEE!!!
We loved everything we had for dinner that night and Leia became a convert to Iloilo’s great food on the same night. She was like technically floored by the combination of great food and not overly pricey menu. To my delight, she finally told me that she would love to stay and live and Iloilo if the future calls for it.
By the way, here’s Leia’s side of the story: http://reiyakhu.tumblr.com/post/15241332810/exploring-the-heart-of-the-philippines-iloilo-1
More to come on Day 3 next!