Reassuring traces of an age, admittedly idealize, can still sensed amidst the heavy overlay of recent success stories in agro-industry, food processing, fishing port development, and service infrastructure. There are at least 31 banks, 15 financial and investment houses, 60 insurance companies, and 15 real estate developer in the provincial capitol, Iloilo City – attesting to healthy assets. Ilonggos (pronounced ee-long-gohs), though preferring everyday informality and characterized as highly conservative, are very hospitable and big spenders, too.
One guest thought she was being given an exquisite tray cloth, only to discover the real gift underneath: a trayful of diamonds! A few months ago, a real estate developer cancelled its Saturday sales luncheon because all lots had been sold during Friday night’s extension cocktail-some purchased in cash! International cocks derbies are Iloilo have winnings (and loses) in the millions! Ilonggos culture at its best is both delicate and dazzling.
The effects are apartment in two very old traditions: Jaro’s February Fiesta honoring Our Lady of Candelaria, Patron of western Visayas, with its candle motif and court of lovely lasses; and the marvelous Arevalo Fireworks Festival on the on the Feast of the Holy Child. In 1968, the Dinagyang was introduced every second week of January for the Holy Child (Santo Nino). In tipical Ilonggo flair, the costumes are most spectacular traditional undok-undok, uroykoy, dinapay and sinulog dances are executed with verve on the main streets.