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You cannot be loveless in the City of Love

I usually love looking at the clouds while on the plane, but on our flight going to Iloilo City, despite the cloud's pure whiteness against the blue-green sky, I lost interest in them because I’m thinking about all my unfinished tasks for the Seafarer’s Family Event scheduled the following day. Hoping to rid those worries, I ordered black coffee, lazily ate a pack of peanuts while imagining about crashing in an unknown island, like the Oceanic Flight 815, and play the part of con man James “Sawyer” Ford in the serial drama series “Lost.” It’s not a nice thought so I forced myself into a catnap.

Ciudad sang Iloilo, City Of Love
This is my second time to visit this part of the Philippines. Ciudad sang Iloilo (City of Iloilo) is the capital of, but independent from, the province of Iloilo. It is the economic hub of the Western Visayas region, as well as the center of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area. While driving around the city, I caught a glimpse of an old Gothic church, old universities and Spanish buildings around modern establishments. I love the sound of their Hiligaynon dialect, because of its “caring” tone. Maybe that’s why they call it the City of Love.

Iloilo Seafarer’s Family Day 2009

To organize an event is what we came here  for, not a vacation – {deep sigh}. As part of our company’s goal to extend its services to the families of seafarers while they are onboard, myself together with seven other company personnel was here to organize the annual Seafarer’s Family Day. Being assigned as the head of the Program and Physical Committee was exhausting. After a lot of meetings, planning and event preparations, there are always last minute changes – and this was the energy-draining part.

The event was held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center where we are also billeted. Located at the heart of General Luna Street, Iloilo City proper, and only 40 minutes away from the Iloilo Airport and 15 minutes away from the seaports, this venue is very convenient for our allottees, seafarers and guests.

However, if you are planning to book on this hotel in the future, don’t take the Traveler’s Room in the basement – the room smells like stale bread and its like an underground dungeon. Don’t mind the extra buck for the suites on upper levels. If you are really on a tight budget, book in nearby lodging houses.

We deserve a sumptuous dinner and a big boy’s night-out

Our dinner at Breakthrough Restaurant in Sto. Niño Norte-Arevalo was truly memorable. Well, I truly appreciate their best seafood because they cooked it without fancy ingredients, no thick sauce and stuff, just pure seafood meat. I truly enjoyed succulent oysters, crabs and diwal (elongated shellfish), kilawin tanuigue and the sweetest mangoes from nearby Guimaras. Its location and ambiance also helps to make the food taste better. It is located along the beach in the outskirts of Iloilo City on the way to Miagao. Food is all good!!!!

After our dinner we visited Small Ville Complex, a place for night-out, cold beer, bands, disco bars and restaurants. After a few rounds of beer, we got bored with the crowd – with its giggling teenagers and a boring soft-rock band and decided to explore the city and look for a hang-out for big boys. We asked a taxi driver to guide as in our midnight hunt for, well, [you-know-what], and end up in “Camp Jefferson”

I discovered, you can’t be loveless in the City of Love ***details deleted [!wink!]***

Exhausted, I slept during my whole early-morning-flight back to Manila.

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