I was back in what I refer to as my fatherland for a conference in Iloilo City. Iloilo City has evolved much over the last few years thanks to good governance on the part of the previous and current mayors as well as generous assistance from its representatives in Congress including one senior politician who has been very supportive of infrastructure projects for the regional capital of Western Visayas. The city has a new city hall and the mayor hosted a post conference dinner at the penthouse located on the 7th floor of the building. Unfortunately, he could not personally come to the dinner as he was called to a meeting in Manila, which we assumed was likely connected to Iloilo being one of the chosen cities to host meeting for next year's APEC summit in the Philippines.
While waiting for the other participants to arrive at the dinner venue, we explored the open area of the penthouse that afforded visitors with a great view of the city. Though we could imagine that the views would be good whether it was daytime or nighttime, the evening gave us a distinctive look at the city after dark. The waterfront was definitely a sight to see at nighttime especially as the lights gave a different feel for the surrounding area and it helped that there was a cool breeze that made it very comfortable to walk around while waiting for our dinner to be served.
|The Iloilo City waterfront taken from the penthouse of the new Iloilo City Hall|
Iloilo City has transformed a lot from the city that I knew from my childhood days. The transfer of the airport from Mandurriao to the site in Cabatuan was a big factor as the former airport grounds is now being developed into a modern CBD. In fact, I believe that efforts for restoring and preserving the old buildings that are part of the city's heritage gained significant ground as the city suddenly had more land that could be developed without demolishing the olds buildings. Decongesting the old city center is now underway and the tall buildings that are often associated with big cities are now under construction, giving the city a very urbanised cityscape in a few years. I just hope that the city doesn't lose its Ilonggo appeal with more people coming to the city from elsewhere (not West Visayas) to make it their home.