A month after its successful opening in Iloilo, Injap Tower Hotel invited many of the top travel bloggers in the Philippines for a three-day tour of Iloilo and nearby Guimaras Island.

I was overjoyed when the organizers contacted me because I had been craving a stay-cation right in my hometown. They asked about my expectation of the upcoming event. I replied, simply, that I was looking forward to discovering something new in Iloilo.

My experience was indeed made more memorable with firsts. For one, it was my first time to spend the night at the newly opened Injap Tower Hotel. As always, I loved sharing moments with first-time travelers to Iloilo because it made me feel like I was seeing my beloved hometown with fresh eyes.

Injap Tower Hotel prepared an excellent three-day travel itinerary of Iloilo and Guimaras. Those visiting or planning a trip to this part of the Philippines might want to check-out the rest of this post for travel inspiration.

Day 1

Check-in at Injap Tower Hotel

Rising 21-storeys above Iloilo, Injap Tower Hotel is the tallest building in the city. We loved its very convenient location along Diversion Road, Iloilo’s new growth corridor, and in front of SM City Iloilo, the city’s largest mall.

The best part about Injap Tower Hotel is, of course, the unrivaled views of the cityscape of Iloilo from the hotel’s 194-rooms and the Horizon Cafe located at the 21-st floor. A glimpse of Guimaras Island and the mountain ranges of Central Panay could even be seen on a clear day.

Injap Tower Hotel — named after Edgar “Injap” Sia, founder of DoubleDragon Properties which owns the hotel. Injap is also the founder of Mang Inasal, which has grown into one of the largest fast food brands in the Philippines.

Entrance of Injap Tower Hotel

Lobby and reception area of Injap Tower Hotel.

My room at Injap Tower Hotel. Minimal and very functional, just the way I like it! These rooms were offered at a very affordable price of P1,250 per night.

Welcome drinks at the 5th floor poolside area of Injap Tower Hotel.

Group photo with my travel buddies for the next three days.

View of Diversion Road from Injap Tower Hotel

Tour coaster of Injap Tower Hotel. Our ultra convenient transport during the entire tour of Iloilo.

Blog The City of Love poster

Lunch at the first ever branch of Mang Inasal at Robinsons Place Iloilo. We enjoyed their signature Chicken Inasal (Grilled Chicken) and Halo-halo.

Jaro and La Paz Districts

Jaro District in Iloilo City is a must-visit destination for travelers who love visiting old and historic buildings. Supported by the country’s booming sugar trade in the 19th century, many of Iloilo’s “old-rich” families resided and built their mansions in Jaro. Grand heritage heritage houses that survived up to this day are a testament to Iloilo’s affluence during its heyday and provides a glimpse into the culture of high society Ilonggos at the time.

Nelly Garden owned by the Lopez family.

Facade of the Lizares Mansion, now known as the Angelicum School.

Statues inside the Lizares Mansion

Interior view of the Lizares Mansion, now functioning as the chapel of Angelicum School. It was my first time to get inside the structure.

Injap Tower Hotel coaster at Angelicum School

Street view of Casa Mariquit, built for Mariquit Javellana Lopez, wife of former Philippine Vice-President, Fernando Lopez.

Casa Mariquit, surrounded by massive Balete trees.

Stopover at Jaro Cathedral, also known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Jaro.

Quick detour at Iloilo City Community College, the first major corporate social responsibility (CSR) project of the Injap Group and serves as an avenue for less fortunate students to avail of quality education.

La Paz District is most famous as the birthplace of the La Paz Batchoy, a noodle soup dish known throughout the country. Tourists often go to the La Paz Public Market to get a taste of batchoy from where this famous dish originated. A few stalls down from the batchoy stalls is Madge Cafe, a quirky and unassuming coffee shop which has been serving “authentic” local coffee for decades now.

Kitchen at Madge Cafe. The store is filled with coffee cups specially stored for its loyal patrons.

Cup coffee sa lata (tin can) and ibos (sticky rice).

Horizon Cafe

Horizon Cafe is located at the topmost (publicly accessible) floor of Injap Tower Hotel. The restaurant has been so popular to locals and visitors that diners would normally need a reservation to get a good table at lunch and dinner time. They serve a mix of Singaporean, Western, and Filipino food as well as dishes from other Asian cuisines.

It was nice that we got to enjoy their food and the great view many times during our stay. My favorites, so far, has been their Ngoh Hiang (Chinese five-spice pork rolls) and Deep Fried Buttered Prawns. I also highly enjoyed their Pork Medallion and Milo Dinosaur.

Food at Horizon Cafe

Food at Horizon Cafe

Day 2

Interiors of Horizon Cafe at Injap Tower Hotel.

Breakfast set at Horizon Cafe

Guimaras Day Trip

A trip to Iloilo would not be complete without an excursion to the Island Province of Guimaras. It’s only 15 minutes away by ferry from the city center! Guimaras is most known for producing and exporting some of the sweetest mangoes in the world. Visitors and local weekend sun-worshipers are often lured by the island’s laid-back atmosphere, scenic coast, and white sand beaches.

Instead of the popular island hopping tour routes, we ventured further to the tail-end of Nueva Valencia town and visited the secluded islets and vast mangrove reserves of Brgy. San Roque and Brgy. La Paz.

There weren’t any other tourist groups at the time, so we got to enjoy the entire place to outselves.

River cruise along the mangrove reserve of Brgy. San Roque, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.

Mangroves and rocky islets of Guimaras.

Mangroves growing near white sand beaches.

White sand beach at Piagau Island in Guimaras.

View of interesting rock formations on our boat ride.

White sand beaches and rocky coasts of Brgy. San Roque in Guimaras.

Boat ride through the mangrove forest.

Camiña Balay nga Kawayan

After our island hopping adventure, we were indulged with a fulfilling lunch at Camiña Balay nga Kawayan in Guimaras. Located atop the scenic rolling hills of Spring Bloom Farm, this upcoming gustatory attraction should not be missed when visiting the island with a group.

The setting is welcoming, and rustic yet exuded a sophisticated and unassuming flair. This welcoming impression was most especially reflected on the food they served, which mostly uses ingredients sourced locally and was deeply rooted to Ilonggo cooking.

Our meal at Camiña Balay nga Kawayan was definitely one to remember. They served many interesting dishes that afternoon but the one that stood out was the delicious Mango Pasta.

Table setting at Camiña Balay na Kawayan in Guimaras.

Vegetables, salads, and pasta.

Seafood lunch menu at Camiña Bahay na Kawayan in Guimaras.

The delicious Mango Pasta (bottom left).

Refreshing overlooking view from Camiña Balay na Kawayan (a couple of meters away from the main dining hall).

Downtown Iloilo Heritage Walk

Calle Real used to be the prime shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in Iloilo before the opening of big malls drove the crowds to newer parts of the city. A few years ago, most tourists would have merely dismissed Calle Real as a neglected part of Downtown Iloilo City.

After the area started to undergo considerable restoration efforts, however, people started to take notice of its heritage and cultural value. It is now being developed as a tourist attraction where visitors could appreciate the old buildings which were built during the early decades of Iloilo’s modern development.

Quick meal at Deco’s La Paz Batchoy before going on a walking tour of Calle Real.

The Villanueva Building lit up under the blue dusk twilight. It is one of the newly restored heritage buildings along Calle Real.

Various scenes along Iloilo City’s Calle Real.

Javellana Building along Calle Real.

Group photo of the bloggers at Calle Real

Bistro Carcosa at the Uptown Place

Our second day ended with another newly opened restaurant, Bistro Carcosa located at the Uptown Place along General Luna Street, Iloilo City Proper. They had an atmospheric riverside location with a quaintly decorated bar.

The food was delicious and presented in a careful taste. I especially loved the seafood curry, which was filled with an assortment of shellfish, prawns, and crabs.

The bar at Carcosa at the Uptown Place.

Seafood Curry at Carcosa

Day 3

Sunrise view on the helipad of Injap Tower Hotel.

Breakfast at People’s Hotel Iloilo and photos of their spacious Presidential Room priced at only P4,500 per night.

Southern Iloilo Tour

We did a half-day tour to the centuries old churches of Southern Iloilo starting with the Miagao Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site noted for its artistic facade and fortress-like construction. On the way back to the city, we visited the churches of Guimbal, Tigbauan, and Molo, which are not to be missed when passing through Iloilo’s southern coast.

Miagao Church Facade.

Altar and Interiors of Miagao Church.

Miagao Church Interiors

Miagao Church

Molo Church and Plaza

Interiors of the Molo Church.

Before the rest of the group were ferried to the Iloilo Airport, we had our final meal and last peek at the beautiful view at Horizon Cafe.

Overlooking views of Iloilo City from Injap Tower Hotel.

Injap Tower Hotel Views

This trip was made possible by Injap Tower Hotel. For inquiries, you may reach them through their website and on Facebook. You may book a room online now at Agoda and Booking.com.