Iloilo Tour and Night Ride
Continuing our Iloilo Revisited Tour, we had a couple of hours to kill before joining our friends from iFold (Iloilo Folding Bike Riders) for their weekly Friday Night Ride (FNR) so what better way to start than to sample their famous batchoy…
Biscocho House (hotel) is strategically located near the Jaro Plaza, almost everything we need is a couple of steps away so our group (Cleo & Ivy, Mae & I, Rey, Jason and Julius) went out to have some batchoy at a nearby store. With our hunger well and truly sated (batchoy, bread, FREE soup refills), we went back to the hotel.
After preparing our bikes and gear, all of us (except Ivy, who was sick) went out to meet with John and Ice who were staying at a different hotel. Since our stay was sort of limited, we wanted to see Iloilo while it was still light so we headed out and went around some nearby spots.
We were sort of lucky that we came on a weekend before the famous Dinagyang Festival, we got to see the weekend’s opening salvo starting with a parade around the major streets of Iloilo. We then roamed around the city visiting the baywalk, the city hall, some plazas and the pier. After taking a break and having refreshments, we went back to our respective hotels to freshen up before meeting the Iloilo Folding Bikers.
At around  we started moving out and headed to the parking lot of UCPB near Jaro Plaza, a stone’s throw from our hotel, to meet with the iFold riders. When we arrived, there were a quite a lot of them around so it took some time to get ourselves introduced. While waiting for the others to arrive, we spent some time getting acquainted, getting pictures taken and generally do what cyclists do: talk about bikes. 🙂
When all were accounted for we started what they call a VisiTour Ride at around , where the route would traverse all the 7 district plazas of Iloilo City in one night. We started out slow because of traffic in the downtown areas but once we got out, we cycled out a fairly relaxed pace with the lady riders leading the way. But don’t be fooled, those ladies sure know their way around and are pretty confident in their skills!
We started at the city center, slowly moving out from one district to the next while stopping by places of interest to regroup and take pictures. It was originally planned to have dinner at one of their favorite food stops but they ran out of their house specialty, so we moved on with the tour since we weren’t feeling hungry at that time.
I cannot remember all the details, the route and all the 7 plazas but the Molo Plaza is the definite stand-out, it was such a beautiful sight with the old church in the back and a well designed park at the front. One other notable spot they took us was a river where fireflies gather around the trees, it was just bad luck that only a few were sighted due to bad weather.
It was getting kind of late so we had a late dinner before pushing on through the last leg going back to the city. Our last stop was at Smallville Complex, the popular dining and nightlife destination in Iloilo, they showed us around and congregated at one area to relax. After some time making chit-chat and taking pictures, we had to make our exit as we have scheduled an early morning trip to Bacolod the following day.
We were a bit tired even though the VisiTour was only around 20(?)kms but we have already logged a little over 50kms for the day plus lack of sleep so we were really feeling it. We arrived at the hotel feeling drained but we have to pack up our stuff in preparation for the next leg of our adventure. We went to bed and the first day of our exciting Iloilo Tour ended with presumably, a smile on our faces. 🙂
Up next: Bacolod City Tour