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!

San Joaquin Church Relief

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

Oton Church Ruins and Grotto

Quick Coffee and Siomai in Reynaldo’s Cafe and Snack Bar

Oton CPT Mall

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.

Tigbauan Church

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 Church 1Tigbauan Church 3Tigbauan Church 2

Tigbauan Municipal Hall

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.


SEAFDEC Museum 7

SEAFDEC Museum 6

SEAFDEC Museum 5

SEAFDEC Museum 4

SEAFDEC Museum 3

SEAFDEC Museum 2

Fish Hatcheries


SEAFDEC Fish Pens 2

We also got to visit the other facilities of SEAFDEC that are not covered by the tour thanks to Rex.


SEAFDEC Abalone 6

SEAFDEC Abalone 5

SEAFDEC Abalone 4


SEAFDEC Seahorses 3

SEAFDEC Seahorses 2

SEAFDEC Seahorses 1

Lunch in South Park Grill

They have tasty crablets (only for P50 per serving) and other seafoods. The prices are affordable.

South Park Grill

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 Cemetery Steps Panorama

San Joaquin Cemtery 1

San Joaquin Cemtery Campo Santo 2

San Joaquin Cemtery Steps 2

San Joaquin Cemtery Campo Santo

San Joaquin Cemtery Portal

San Joaquin Plaza

San Joaquin Plaza

San Joaquin Municipal Hall

San Joaquin Municipal Hall

San Joaquin Church

San Joaquin Church Superwide

San Joaquin Church Relief front

Bas Relief of the Battle of Tetuan, Spain

San Joaquin Church Relief

San Joaquin Church Facade

San Joaquin Church Belfry

Underconstruction cross / pilgrimage site in one of San Joaquin’s hills.

San Joaquin Cross

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.

Miagao Church Restoration 3

Miagao Church Restoration 2

Miagao Church Restoration

Miagao Cemetery

Miagao Cemetery Front

Miagao Cemetery Side

Miagao Cemetery Ruins

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.