Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Iloilo City: Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch


ILOILO CITY, Iloilo - Iloilo is one of the many cities in the Philippines with the highest population of Filipino-Chinese and their presence is most evident in downtown Iloilo, particularly along J.M. Basa Street and Iznart Street.

Iznart Street, also referred to as Calle Real, features Spanish and American era buildings making it Iloilo's counterpart of Manila's Escolta. At present time, it is dominated by business owned by Chinese-Ilonggos, most of which are general merchandise and construction supplies and hardware stores.

In the beginning of 2012, the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch was erected at the corner of Iznart Street facing Plazoleta Gay, serving as a new landmark of Iloilo's local China town.

During our visit, we made a walking tour of Iznart, Aldeguer and J.M. Basa Streets. It was like walking around the streets of Santa Cruz, Manila, only the streets are wider and there are less people.

Unlike Ongpin in Manila, we only spotted one Chinese restaurant in the area. It was along J.M. Basa Street which we will try on our next visit to Iloilo. We hope that more Chinese-Ilonggos would establish Chinese restaurants in Calle Real. They will not only appeal to the food-loving Ilonggos but will surely draw more tourists to the area in search of new culinary adventures.

This visit to Iloilo's China Town adds to our appreciation of the rich history, culture and heritage of the city. With this we say 我們愛伊洛伊洛 (We love Iloilo City).

This post is part of the new Chinoy series, and is a joint post between Pinas Muna and Chinoy Edition.

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