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Around town: Jaro, Iloilo City Edit

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Lovely Ramos  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

Known as a town that was bestowed with wealth and power during the Spanish era, it is remarkable how the district of Jaro still radiates the glory of the past through its 19th century architecture, heritage sites, gastronomic treats, movement, and environment.


 It is also the home of the national hero Graciano Lopez y Jaena; hence the reason why a number of streets, building, and statues were built as a tribute to his legacy.


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Lizares Mansion

There is a sense of nostalgia in every street of Jaro. One of the most popular sites around the area include the Beaux Art mansion built in 1928—the Nelly Gardens. Its gate serves as the entrance to the celebrated past, while the lush garden area creates the perfect preview to the tall white mansion aptly called as Iloilo’s Queen of Heritage Houses


It's garden area, as well as the La Joya Hall now serves as an event place; it also has a guesthouse bed and breakfast and even offers a mansion tour (minimum of 5 persons).

Another renowned landmark is the Lizares Mansion, which now serves as the chapel of Angelicum School. Visitors frequent this place every December as the structure displays a spectacular show of lights.


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Nelly's Garden

Standing as one of the religious centers of Iloilo as well, Jaro is home to the cathedral visited by Pope John Paul II in 1981. Right across it is the Bell Tower, which historically served as a lookout from sea raiders.


But amidst all these cultural assimilations, Jaro proves that fun is always within reach. Waterworld in Centennial Resort Hotel and Convention Center opened in 2016 and served as the first water park in the city. It has an indoor pool and slides as high as a seven story building, so guests are certainly in for an adrenaline rush.

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Jaro Cathedral

In between strolls and visits to famous landmarks, the district never fails to delight the appetite of locals and travelers alike. It is the birthplace of many famous Ilonggo pasalubong, such as the all-time favorite bag of barquillos from De Ocampo’s or biscocho and butterscotch treats from The Original Biscocho Haus.


For a glimpse of the past and sweet treats to keep one going through the day, Jaro is the district to explore.

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Making of De Ocampo's famous barquillos

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The Original Biscocho Haus


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