Better Quality of Life in Iloilo

Ilonggos enjoy a better quality of life, at least in two targeted areas,  compared to other provinces in Western Visayas, the region of the Philippines my asawa and I reside.  That’s according to a 2009 Human Development Index study recently released by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) published in  the Sun Star Iloilo.Chinese New Year at The Atrium in Iloilo City

Hopefully this post will provide more information regarding a recent question from Ron about the advantages and disadvantages of living in Iloilo City.  For those of you wondering why a 2009 report is just being released in early 2013, four years later, you obviously are not well acquainted with  “Filipino Time.”

Iloilo ranked number one, in two categories,  among the six provinces of Western Visayas and 17th among the provinces in the Philippines in this report. The  HDI is a composite index measuring achievements in three basic dimensions of human development:

  1. to lead a long and healthy life
  2. to acquire knowledge
  3. to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living

Life expectancy at birth in Iloilo, the first component of the index study,  was at 72.4 years.  I honestly was surprised to read that this figure was so high. I don’t see a lack of heavy drinkers or smokers in this province. The new sin tax doesn’t seem to have curbed any of those vices.

There may be a few joggers that I see on my morning walk in our subdivision, Savannah, but I don’t see a proliferation of health clubs or gyms in Iloilo City.  


While our subdivision is fairly pollution free,  riding the jeepneys across Iloilo exposes the general public to the constant diesel fumes emitting from them.  We don’t ride them every day, but some people have to use them on a daily basis. I’ve seen a few  people cover their noses and mouths when riding this popular form of transportation in the Philippines. When someone covers their nose next to me and there are no vehicles in sight, I have to assume I didn’t use enough deodorant that morning. Downtown Iloilo

There are major hospitals nearby. Some of them, like St. Paul’s and Doctor’s Hospital, are excellent health care facilities.  That might factor into the higher life expectancy figures for Iloilo. But I’ve seen a lot of people suffer from high blood pressure here. My own asawa unfortunately has lost a few relatives due to strokes in nearby Guimaras,  which suffers from a lack of quality health care, in my opinion. 

Iloilo also took the  lead in the Education Index posting the highest composite index. The province of Aklan and Guimaras, my asawa’s home province, were second and third in this category.  Iloilo City has an abundance of fine universities and colleges such as Central Philippine University, West Visayas State University, University of the Philippines Visayas and the University of San Agustin,  among others.

Education is an important category for us as we have two high-schooled aged children, a niece and nephew,  living with us. Though their former schooling was in Guimaras, my asawa’s home province, the kids notice a vastly different atmosphere at their school in Iloilo. Stricter teachers and more homework. More is expected of them. And that’s a good thing. John B Lacson University in Iloilo City

NSCB reported that all provinces of Western Visayas were classified under the high-HDI group for education index, estimated as a composite of the mean years of schooling and expected average years of schooling.

Data showed that the mean years of schooling for adult in Iloilo was 9.2 years, 0.5 year higher than the national average of 8.7 years, while the average years of schooling for the youths was 12.8 years in the provinces of Iloilo and Antique. My father-in-law in Guimaras finished the third grade. But that was over 70 years ago. 

Aklan posted the highest average years of schooling which was 13.1 years.

Iloilo also has the highest income index among the provinces of  Western Visayas. There’s money here. You’ll see a lot of SUV’s  in our subdivison and the majority of them are owned by Filipinos.  However, all six provinces fell into the low-HDI group in the standard of living phase of the study. Like Meatloaf said, two out of three ain’t bad. 

The study aside, there’s lots of reason I like living in Iloilo. But as Gary Wigle pointed out in a recent remark “Most guys live where their wife or girlfriend lives.”  Guimaras is where my asawa and I first lived when we moved to the Philippines in July 2009 but we later moved to Iloilo City.SM City in Iloilo

We were in the mango province of Guimaras over two years but a move to Iloilo gave us more shopping opportunities and much better health care facilities.  There are more employment opportunities for our twin 19-year-old nieces that live with us. For us, Iloilo City is just the right size. Plenty of eateries. First class cinemas.  Friendly people. More services. Better quality of life in Iloilo? We’re comfortable. And we’re enjoying life. What more could a person ask for?

9 thoughts on “Better Quality of Life in Iloilo”

  1. My wife Meriam lived in Iloilo for 4 years going to school there as did many of her sisters. The nicest thing about the city? The people Meriam said. That sure makes a place a better place to live.

    BTW – Meriam attended Doane Baptist Seminary.

  2. The nicest thing about the city is the people?Do the attitudes of people vary from one city to another ….not saying they dont …just asking .City of LOVE……..does that mean the inhabitants are making love all the time ..Dave???? I have stayed in Iloilo….in Tagum…Bagio…Davao..and I have found people are people wherever you go …most are wonderful..friendly..honest ..just going about their business..struggling to survive in a difficult economic environment and with dignity and humour ..As for me ..Ilove Bacolod ..I dont know why..just feels good and ticks all the boxes ..not too big but with all conveniences ..nice airport ..hospitals.. bla bla bla ..

  3. Been thinking some more about why we choose to live in different places …As already mentioned many guys live near to the wifes family …for me nooooo..I love them to pieces but not so much as to want them all to live with me…….Maybe its got somthing to do with a pleasant first experience .Same as when you meet somone for the first time …you just click and become good friends ….We were looking for a place to settle and on our first visit to Bacolod we stayed in Lfisher hotel ..not 5 star but we had a wonderful time..the usual thing ..sightseeing ..eating out ..we loved it … this is not an advertisment ..but even now if I will ask Josie ..what is your favourite hotel ..its not Hyatt..or Marriot ..but Lfisher 3 or 4 star .whatever it is ?…..she says it just feels good and of couse I will seize the opportunity to reply ..same reason I love you my dear

  4. save your money and stay at the kings inn in bacolod for 750 php a night with air con,some bathrooms even have a toilet seat,just ask tom hahaha

  5. Fairly big determinant of life expectancy is infant or childhood mortality, and this usually maps directly to vaccination rates and water quality. Pediatric diarrhea kills a lot of developing world kids, as does disease that a vaccination would have stopped.

    When looking for why life expectancy is a few years lower than elsewhere, don’t just look for smokers and drinkers. Look at the other end of the age spectrum. A death at 71 doesn’t nudge the overall stat anywhere near as much as a death at 6 months.

  6. Dave,
    Have to agree Iloilo is a nice place, even for the short time we were there. Was very impressed by it. Could make it our permanant home a few yours or so down the road. How long does it take for a ferry to Bacolod? Should be a nice overnight trip. Take care and stay safe

  7. Dave, nice story, sounds like a great place to live. My recent trip to Zamboanga was fun and I had a very enjoyable time with my wife’s family. We stayed with my in-laws in “Shanty town” for 3 days and 1 day in a hotel in down town Zamboanga City before the long bus ride to Cagayan De Oro. I felt safe and it was fun staying at my wife’s parents, but to be honest I did not feel safe in down town Zamboanga City. Probably just paranoia. Next year I will again stay with my in laws, but other than to and fro the airport, I will stay out of the city proper. I did ok sleeping on the bamboo floor and the outhouse CR’s were fine too, although I found myself missing hot water. I have not moved passed the vacation yet, my mind is stuck in Zamboanga and how poor my wife’s family is. I can see some priorities changing in my life here for sure… Oh, and next year we will swing by Iloilo City for sure..

  8. Been wondering how the trip to Zamboanga went Lee.Im glad you arrived home ok ,and enjoyed yourself .Thanks for the first hand info…Zamboanga is now on my todo list .Yep its one thing to drive through a poverty stricken area but to live for a while with relatives as poor as you dicribe your wifes family changes our priorities and put things in perspective .I remember a few months ago chatting to a neighbour friend of my wifes family ..she is about 35 years old ..married with two kids under a few sheets of corrugated iron ,they call it a house.She works in a bar to feed her 2 little ones and to support her useless lazy husband .I remarked.’its a hard life Emily “..she replied…””but that is reality sir “..The highest rating topic in PHILS PLUS was …how much money do I need to survive in the Philippines ..$800 a month ..$2000 a month ?..Sadly for most of the population those figures are only a fantasy .As Dave often remarks …He is one lucky guy …We all are …I bought a foam rubber bed for my aged mother in law …the family told me she slept alongside the bed for the first month fearing she would damage it or make it dirty if she slept on it ..

  9. hers an update on my iloilo budget,i spent over the last nine months $894.00 per month as a single man dating,this includes all money pulled out of my pocket to the last centavo to give me a healthy enjoyable lifestyle.I now have a gf whom we committed to each other and my budget hasnt changed.

    My peanut butter budget has went up drastically as she now likes to eat my favorite snack which is good crunchy peanut butter spread on wheat bread topped with lots of raisins,Believe it or not but peanut butter is my biggest expense next to rent,peanut butter is 3 times more expensive in the ph than it is in the usa and i love my peanut butter.

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!