Sixth day of our stay in Iloilo and we were now starting to feel weary and a bit homesick. Not that we miss dad and brother, not really! Haha. It’s just that mom wanted to get back to her business routines. I, on the other hand, was yearning for my bed, again! Well, make it my entire room already.
We decided to slow down and parted ways to do our own thing. Doing her most favourite hobby, mom went out to the public market to buy rare finds. I stayed in the hotel for a dip in the pool. Actually I don’t swim at the beach. I just like to hang around, feel the sand, the wind and the heat of the sun, and enjoy the view. After the hefty food splendour, I can already feel the heavy bulge that I sense the need to swim in laps to burn these calories, pronto!
I guess I was 6 when I first visited Iloilo and when my mom’s older brother, Tito Domeng, had passed away. At that time we, together with other relatives, stayed in my uncle’s house in Miagao (pronounced as Mi-yag-aw).
I really had fun memories in Iloilo.
My younger brother and I were terribly adventurous, restless kids! I remember visiting the town’s marketplace, swimming all day long in the beach, traversing hilltops and dried-up rivers, and simply playing with other town kids. Twenty years after, I just got back, and I was extremely giddy seeing those familiar places all over again.
The town of Concepcion, situated in northern Iloilo, is blessed with one of the most scenic seascapes in the whole province.
Forming a safe natural harbour for Concepcion Bay are 16 islands connected by azure waters and rich marine life.
According to Geraldine, Concepcion shelters only 14 (and a half, because the other is for the other town). Whichever, these islands won’t disappear on the map anyway!
Let’s get a bit into history.
The coastal portion of mainland Concepcion is an ideal and natural harbour for boats because of the string of islands that surround it. In 1872, the Spanish authorities, taking advantage of the strategic location, set-up a headquarters on an east-side hill. Later, the town became the capital of the sub-province of Northern Iloilo. Spanish galleons, Chinese junks and ships of other countries would call in to trade, make repairs and seek shelters from storms.
Last week of March, I hastily decided to go on a long vacation. Admittedly, after the distress I got myself through, I needed a breather. A vacation totally uncalled for, I invited mom to go on a trip to Iloilo.
Iloilo is considerably one of the sacrosanct provinces in the Philippines that carries a rich culture and history.
Iloilo is also the family’s hometown. Dad is born in Pototan. Mom spent her younger days in Lambunao and in Iloilo City. It is also in Iloilo where my father’s ancestors made their marks in history.
I made a quick itinerary for the trip, thanks to exploreiloilo.com. Despite the fact that mom is from Iloilo, she had the least idea on where we can go. Besides, it’s been ages since she last visited it. So, I took in charge.