If you have a whole day to explore Iloilo and would want to venture outside the city, Southern Iloilo is one of the best routes to take since the main attractions are just along the highway and the road conditions are very good. The towns along Iloilo’s southern coast include (from nearest to farthest): Oton, Tigbauan, Guimbal, Miagao, and San Joaquin. It takes a little more than an hour to get to San Joaquin from Iloilo City. Discover the different sights in Southern Iloilo!
I was with Eric and Junelle on my most recent road trip to Southern Iloilo. Me and Eric first went to Oton to meet up with Junelle, who lives in this town. I took Eric to see the surviving ruins of the old Oton Church, which is now being used as a grotto.
Oton Church Ruins
Quick Coffee and Siomai in Reynaldo’s Cafe and Snack Bar
Oton CPT Mall
Oton has a number of fine beach resorts like Nes and Tat’s and Anhawan but we decided to skip them and move on to the next town, Tigbauan, instead. Oton is also the home of Nang Palang’s Buko Pie, which is a favored pasalubong item in Iloilo.
From afar, the Tigbauan Church does not look very special. Upclose you will see the intricate bas relief of this Spanish Colonial Church built in Churiqueresque style.
Tigbauan Municipal Hall
Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)
Tigbauan hosts one of SEAFDEC’s Aquaculture Development facility. The 40-hectare complex includes various research laboratories, hatcheries, and broodstock tanks. Visitors can go see FishWorld, a museum-aquarium-visitor center dedicated to science and environment education about aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity, aquaculture, fisheries, ecotourism, and the aquatic sciences. The entrance fee and tour for FishWorld is P10.
We also got to visit the other facilities of SEAFDEC that are not covered by the tour thanks to Rex.
Lunch in South Park Grill
They have tasty crablets (only for P50 per serving) and other seafoods. The prices are affordable.
After lunch we decided that instead of going to Guimbal next, we’re going straight to San Joaquin instead and visit the other towns on the way back.
San Joaquin Cemetery
San Joaquin Plaza
San Joaquin Municipal Hall
San Joaquin Church
Bas Relief of the Battle of Tetuan, Spain
Underconstruction cross / pilgrimage site in one of San Joaquin’s hills.
San Joaquin also has some nice beaches and diving spots
Miagao Church Restoration
The Miagao Church is definitely the most visited attraction in Southern Iloilo. This beautiful church is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. The Miagao Church is currently being restored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and National Museum of the Philippines in cooperation of the Archdiocese of Jaro.
We didn’t get to take pictures of Guimbal since the lighting was too harsh. it would have been nice to take pictures of the Guimbal Church, Guimbal Plaza and Municipal Hall, Bantayan Watchtower, RACSOS Wildlife Resort, and Garin Farm in Guimbal.