Iloilo City. The City of Love. I saw that banner at SM City during a recent three-day program sponsored by the US Embassy based in Manila: "America in 3D: A Road Show in Diplomacy, Development, and Defense" (more on that super event in my next post.)
But I wasn't aware that our new home outside of Iloilo was called "The City of Love" until I saw that banner. When I first spied it I thought it was referring to the proliferation of drive-in motels scatttered throughout Iloilo.
So I decided to drag out some photos I took from the back of a jeepney as my asawa and I returned home after visiting Robinsons in downtown Iloilo a few weeks ago.
Hopefully, the pictures will give you a little flavor of what it's like to travel through this bustling metropolis. Don't cringe. I know how I hated it as a kid when we went to Uncle Gene's house, and he would show us the latest vacation pics on his slide projector. I promise to make this as painless as possible.
All the air con you can want at this barber shop. But if you want more privacy, head out to a Ricky Reyes' Salon and pay five times as much.
Here's a close-up of a nearby jeepney driver trying to "t-bone" a van at an intersection. Just part of the "combat driving" scene in the Philippines.
Here's a shot of some of the local businesses that can be seen along the way. "Gritty" is the way I describe a lot of downtown Iloilo City.
Crossing the street in downtown Iloilo City is always an adventure. You always hope and pray that the jeepneys will stop for you.
Here's a Filipina waiting for a jeepney in downtown Iloilo City. Note that she is wearing extremely tight-fitting jeans. You will see that a lot in the Philippines. How in the world some of these ladies get into these jeans is beyond my comprehension. I find my own waist size expanding the older I get.
Here's a good shot of the rear of a jeepney. If you think it's difficult for a 6' 200 lb. kano to get on and off these things, you're right. But I manage. It's inexpensive transportation. That's why I refer to these vehicles as "cheapney's."
Here's a young Filipino guy glancing back at "Super Girl." Either he's checking her out, or she's a girlfriend that discovered some other cute Filipinas he's been chatting with on Facebook.
And I leave with you with one final picture, because I see the pretty pinay drinking a Coke displayed on this sign all over Iloilo City. And to be honest with you, just like the tight-fitting jeans on cute Filipinas (including my own asawa), I don't mind seeing this image either. Iloilo City. The City of Love. Where the people are friendly and loving. A great place to live! A great place to visit!