But first things first, this was my very first solitary trip.For a change. I got there with a couple of friends, but we went on our ways so I was left alone for the rest of the trip. A new thing for me since I'm generally social, I want to talk to people mostly about my opinions or about my snide remarks about nothing in particular. Another thing why solo travel is a big, big thing to me is because I am generally a lazy traveler.I had no strong feelings about getting to a particular destination, or eating a specific food. Being away was enough for me.
However that kind of traveler changed as years passed. And I discovered there are a lot of things to see, more than the usual destinations. Also, rest days and vacations are golden ,you need to plan ahead and make trips worth it. I discovered too that I can stick to a budget and still have so much fun. I traveled solo basically just to be in the destination, do what I want, whatever feels right. And it's not as snobbish or loner-sounding as it appears. Try it sometime. I was skeptical but yes, it is everything it was cracked up to be. It's good to zone out from time to time, talk to strangers, get to know new people and places.It's a liberating experience and frankly, could be an addiction.
|50 pesos oyster|
So why Iloilo? Well, I chose Iloilo because I wanted to eat a bucket full of oysters you can buy in Manila for about 300 pesos, but in Iloilo, costs only 50 pesos. I wanted to compare which batchoy is better, Ted's or Deco's. I wanted to have La Paz Batchoy in La Paz and have Pancit Molo in, well, Molo, both in Iloilo.
|bas relief depicting war in San Joaquin Church|
|San Joaquin Church|
I wanted to pray in the heritage churches from Molo Church, Jaro Cathedral, Guimbal to Miag-Ao and yes, the very far San Joaquin church, the only "military-themed" church where a war is depicted on the surface. And I did that and more. I chose Ilo-ilo because it's a province but is essentially a city, what with two SM malls and a Robinson's mall within stone throws distance.
I went there so that when I really want to get away I could hop a boat to Guimaras and be alone with the sun, see and hold a pawikan for the very first time, island hop to white sand beaches and see the most arresting sunset in the world. To be lost in Guimaras but can still come back to Iloilo city when work stuff beckons and I need to use the internet. If you plan to go on a solo trip, IloIlo can be one of the best provinces to get lost into - where you can eat, pray and love your local island culture and heritage, your loved ones and yourself more and more.