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iloilo in change

iloilo capitol

iloilo capitol

It’s not often that I clamber up to 6th floor of the Iloilo Capitol, but for the sake of organizing my thoughts, I opt to breathe fresh air atop Iloilo’s prime edifice, utter my mantra, and focus. Instead of jotting the first line for my press release, I turn my attention to the old Iloilo port that stood the test of time. I am not exactly sure of its antiquity but I think it is aged a century and has been witness to the rise and fall of Ilonggo civilization. On my right side facing north is the historical range of Gen. Luna Street spanning up to the University of the Philippines, an institution that is dear to me. In facing east, the old Iznart Street, which has been a subject place of Stevan Javellana, remains jam packed with vehicles and rabbles that have became slaves of time. The Bonifacio Drive and the Iloilo River remain tranquil below the six bridges that were erected for the benefit of accessibility and road network. Facing up, I notice the same sky that is unclear of any expression, but I surmise is frowning because there is so much demand of sun block in the market—that we forget to think that we can never solve the issue of blackening unless we look up and think how to resolve the problem of mercury rising.

There is no doubt that Iloilo is ascending in terms of development and economic gains. It has made its name in economic promontory as one of the most promising sites in the Philippines; investment keeps rolling in and available spaces are procured for real estate developments and business infrastructures. The laggard years are gone, and Iloilo has made a drastic change beginning with the election of technocrats and officials that can stand in the side of development than just pure politicking.

If you could look back at Iloilo ten years ago, a myriad of change has taken place – with the establishment of malls and business centers; the transfer of business locales from the old Calle Real to the spacious and trendy site of Benigno Aquino Drive (Diversion Road as it is commonly called now) in Manduriao; the market driven entrance of BPOs and call centers, Iloilo is once again on the track to prove itself of the potential which was once hailed as Queen City of the South before Cebu held that label. The imminent presence of competitive universities coupled with the rising demand of man power has symbiotically made a great impact in economic thrust. This might be the reason why Iloilo is the fragrance of investment in Central Philippines.

Major public infrastructures started to move up in Iloilo. One of the grandiose projects is the bridging of Panay Island via Guimaras and Negros which is estimated to cost billions from the government treasury. As part of the National Plan for Economic Corridor, the bridging of these islands will bring more investment in La Muy Leal Noble Ciudad de Iloilo. The project is speculated to commence in Leganes, Iloilo, crossing Taminla, Guimaras and from Cabano, Guimaras, the bridge is engineered to cross Pulupandan, Negros.

However, the development in Iloilo was not wrought as easy as ABC. Political parties along with undying activism of the Catholic Church, created a block to hinder some of the projects. Had it not been for the persistence of the local executives, Iloilo would remain as wretched as a decade past.

Indeed, so much has changed and it is not just about the geo-physical transformation but the behavioral and mental transmutation of the people as well.

Life in Iloilo is very different now, although development is inevitable, it nevertheless has a cost to pay. Some clamor has dominated the limelight saying that they rarely see people chatting down the road, holding hands and enjoying the time with each other anymore. Iznart Street along with the plazas has once been known for serving as a socializing place for the people – that might have been the reason why Iloilo was known as “The City of Love.” But it’s all gone now. The dawning of skycrapers and global trending has brought this gradual change among Ilonggos. I am not anti-progress as to say, but a pro-progress as much as somebody yearns for it. Only those who look at the progress of time can see the drama of life and maybe I am one of them because I feel nostalgic of whatever beauty  of the past that has remained in the memory of only a few. The bridging of archipelagos may bring structural and economic development in Iloilo, but I am afraid it will curtail the long sublimeness of Ilonggo behavior. We have to adapt… that’s the bitter part of it. Nevertheless, no one can hide the excitement with where Iloilo is heading and what it is going to be – The Next Big Thing.

  1. September 24, 2008 at 10:55 am

    i never knew there was another queen city of the south. i am making a mental note to visit iloilo. i had bosses from iloilo… fascinating people…

    thanks for dropping by and linking to me. you know my bro pala? 🙂

  2. inksdot
    September 25, 2008 at 1:07 am

    thanks for dropping by my blogs. hehehe… we once owned that “title” long before cebu was known.heheheh.

    yap, i knw your brother when i was still in cebu. fascinating boy and very bright too.

  3. September 30, 2008 at 1:46 am

    hi. sabi ni gerry hi din daw. he has fond memories of you. sabi niya you are very bright and the two of you used to talk about existentialism during choir practice. magkonsimisyon nalang daw si sir obet sa inyo. haha. that’s funny

  4. inksdot
    September 30, 2008 at 11:12 am

    naks…bakakon man na sya.hehehe.


  5. poton
    October 1, 2008 at 1:55 am

    bakakon man jud nang mga philo majors – pero bright man jud mong duha.
    trust me, dili man ko philo major. ;-P

  6. inksdot
    October 5, 2008 at 10:20 am

    haha..that’s the real fib poton

  7. October 5, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Hi, Duds suggested that I should visit your blog … I wanted to invite you to submit your profile in Iloilo Bloggers.


    Thank you!

  8. Iloilo Classifieds
    January 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    ‘Rise and fall of Ilonggo civilization’ I think you can buy the book at Amazon

  9. Iloilo Classifieds
    January 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    There is no doubt that Iloilo is ascending in terms of development and economic gains.

  10. April 11, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Hello, just stumbled upod your blog. Great writings! You really have a way to sustain interest in your posts… kudos!

    • totomel
      April 12, 2009 at 4:48 am

      thanks marcos…. your endeavor is even greater in promoting iloilo thus you worthily deserve my salute more than what you rendered me. thanks for dropping by. 🙂

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