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The Philippines is an enchanting country filled with diverse experiences. You can venture out from busy metropolitan areas to secluded and peaceful islands in little time. Everything you could ever need for a wondrous vacation can be found when travelling between Cebu and Iloilo.
Imagine an island that is almost 200 kilometers long, full of turquoise water beaches and white sand. That, folks, is Cebu. A top destination that will make you want to come back again and again. You definitely want to divide your time in the city and around the Island.
Cebu is famous for its diving sites, and that’s all thanks to the fact that Cebu is decorated with pristine sources of water. There are waterfalls, lagoons, springs and beaches galore. The waters are always of striking hues, and you won’t get bored of plunging yourself into the warm aqua.
There are multiple waterfalls to visit like the Dao Kabutongan, and Inambakan falls on the island. Pick one and you won’t be able to say no to exploring the next ones.
The tropical nature thrives for various reasons, but mostly due to the weather, as it’s hot all year in Cebu. Seasons change only relating to rainfall, as it gets heavier in the summer months of June through August.
In Cebu, Spring hits at the months of March to May, with very hot temperatures and low rainfall. During this season, you’ll find low amounts of tourists exploring the hidden pastures of Cebu.
If you plan to visit during your winter vacation, you may find yourself enjoying the most beautiful weather of the island, mild and sunny. Although, this time comes with a price. The months of December through February are oftentimes the busiest with tourists. In general, expect weather to be at a consistent 30 degrees celsius
Throughout the year there’s high levels of humidity. Make sure to drink lots of water, even if you planning on wading through the waters all day. If you’ll be in a swimsuit all day, surely picking out humidity-friendly outfits won’t be problematic. Most of all, remember to take ample breaks during activities and lather on the sunscreen at all hours.
Iloilo, on the other hand, averages in temperatures of 26 to 28 celsius year round, with the rainiest days being in August.
Speaking of Iloilo … this city a perfect choice to pair with an island adventure in Cebu. Iloilo is a rapidly growing city on the Visayan islands. There may be a common perception of the Philippine islands that most of them are filled with tiny villages and untouched nature. This simply isn’t true for Iloilo.
Iloilo has a grandiose history of native Filipino culture, mixed into a beautiful cocktail with the ideas that the Spanish settlers brought with them in the 16th century. The Iloilo people actually were very accepting of the Spanish and much of what can be found in the city today is thanks to them. After the Spanish came the Americans, and now Iloilo is thriving with its own spirit.
Religion in Iloilo is definitely an imprint of it’s colonialist history; there’s a Catholic majority as a remnant of the Spanish rule, and Protestantism remains as a remnant of American rule.
What else remains, and is highly advised to explore, are the structures that were built during those time frames. Iloilo is filled with very decorative mansions in Spanish and French styles. One such mansion is called the Nelly Garden. For many moments, you may feel confused about where you’re located, in Spain or in the Philippines? There are also many parishes and cathedrals (like the Jaro Cathedral) that are necessary to see.
When in Iloilo, make sure to prepare yourself for a jaw-dropping cultural experience. Cultural events and gatherings are highly loved in this city, and the museums are well taken care of and visited. Be sure to plan a day through the contemporary art museum, the ILOMOCA, and find yourself stunned by local, modern artists.
There’s more culture to taste beyond just the art museums. A nucleus of art and local pride are the loud and colorful festivals. One such festival is the Dinagyang fest, which takes place in late January. This event presents hundreds of locals dancing through the street in ancient garb, chanting out immemorial songs. It’s a very important spectacle of the preservation of their native culture.
Life is booming in Iloilo, and by many accounts this is considered to be the happiest city in the Philippines. This can be attributed not only to the wonderful climate, but to the growing economy, clean streets, and friendly people. They’re also so close to other parts of Filipino paradise, which are easily accessed by ferry.
Ferry is the main mode of transport for all those seeking travel between the Filipino islands. This is exactly how you can get from Cebu to Iloilo.
The prices are quite accessible for all the amenities and wonders you’ll get on board. The average price of a shared option is about $27. A shared ferry means you’ll get a bed in a room, with a couple other strangers sharing quarters with you. There’s also outside seating on the viewing deck. The view at sunset is spectacular, you might even be able to watch Cebu island get smaller with the glow of dusk surrounding it.
It’s a 12 hour ride from Cebu to Iloilo, but that shouldn’t be problematic considering that the ferry has a hotel-feel. The ferry departs once a day in the evening and arrives in the early morning. The boat departs from the central Cebu pier and arrives to drop passengers off at the New Iloilo Ferry terminal.
Of course, if you’re willing to spend a little extra, you’ll be getting extra privacy. This is a great choice for those travelling with family members. For a bit higher of a price tag, you and your squad (four people total) will get a separate room with beds.
Before departing, make sure to pack extra food and drinks with you to take on this journey. Luckily enough, there’s an ample luggage allowance, so you can stuff as many Filipino snacks as possible, like Cheese Rings, into your bags. If you’re okay with shelling out the cash to buy snacks, food is also purchasable on board.
Going from island life in Cebu to an up and coming city like Iloilo may feel like a lot to take in, but it’s such a worthwhile adventure to partake in. Especially, if you’re looking to find out about every layer of Filipino society. You learn about native culture mixing with settler influence as the foreground the remarkable nature all by visiting the Visayan islands, and travelling between them by ferry.