By John Noel E. Herrera
With the different heritage houses, the Iloilo River Esplanade, Calle Real and other improved attractions and scenes in Iloilo City, tourists and guests visiting the metropolis might want to see these destinations at night when everything is quiet and with lesser traffic.
With that in mind, the Iloilo City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO) is developing a three-hour night tour showcasing the different hues of Iloilo City by night that will start in September 2022.
CTDO Head Junel Ann Divinagracia said that with the renovation and improvements done in Molo Complex, they are entertaining the idea of lighting up the heritage building in the city’s Calle Real in J.M. Basa Street with the support also of the More Electric Power Corporation, to make the scenes more attractive at night.
The Molo Complex is composed of the historical St. Anne Parish Church, Molo plaza, and the Molo Mansion heritage house.
In June 2022, the St. Anne Parish Church was lighted with the help of More Power, to signify the end of its restoration, which also left people in awe because of its beauty as it gave a picture-perfect feel, especially at night.
The new face of the historical attraction would also pave the way for night tours on heritage sites both for local and foreign visitors.
Divinagracia also said that they have already offered the night tour to a group from Palawan Electric Cooperatives and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) in July and the department wanted to try it again with the local media before it would be launched in September as part of the celebration of the National Tourism Month.
“We found out during the night tour that guests were enjoying and they could focus on the stories of the destinations since there was less distraction like traffic and people. It is not too warm so they like the cold weather,” Divinagracia added.
She also said that they are optimistic about the project as “some of the tourists will opt to take the night tour since it’s colder and more peaceful and they get to experience Iloilo City by night.”
The initial itinerary for the three-hour night tour included an early dinner by the beach in Villa, Arevalo district, a stopover to Molo Complex, passing by the Iloilo Esplanade and going to the Megaworld in Mandurriao district.
The next stop would be in Jaro district, passing by the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral and the Casa Mariquit heritage house, then towards La Paz district and Calle Real passing by the Casa Real of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol and back to Iloilo Esplanade.
Tourists who are interested in the night tour may also hire accredited tour guides or ask for assistance from the CTDO, where they will be provided with a free itinerary.
Based on the data gathered by CTDO, from Jan to June 2022, the city also recorded 145,872 visiting tourists.