Photo by Patricia Tan

Miagao: A Day Trip

By Patricia Tan

Miagao is one of the only two municipalities in the Philippines recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) as part of its World Heritage Cities. For first-time tourists in Iloilo, this should make Miagao a must-visit on anyone’s travel bucket list.

Whether it be a tourist’s destination or as a side-trip on the way to Antique from Iloilo City, there are tons to see and do in this little town.

8:00 am – Getting there

From the city, you must take a bus or jeep from Molo or Mohon Terminal. It takes an hour of travel to get to Miagao, with tickets ranging from 40-to-55 pesos per person inclusive of discounts for student, Persons With Disability (PWD), or senior citizens.

9:30 am – Visit the St. Thomas of Villanueva Church (Miagao Church)

Photo by Patricia Tan

The first stop for this day trip is the Miagao Church. If you were to scan through articles about travelling to Miagao, this spot would definitely be mentioned.

The church boasts a breathtakingly golden façade that glistens as the sun shines upon it. The ornate depiction of a baby Jesus being carried by St. Christopher through stone carvings is a sight for sore eyes. A unique feature of the church is its exterior, clayish color that is said to be the result of a combination of limestone, corals, and egg whites, which were supposedly used in place of cement.

11:00 pm – Lunch

A bunch of restaurants have popped up due to the influx of students caused by the presence of two universities in the area. This means that there are a lot of choices for food. A personal favorite is Neodama’s, who are known for their scrumptious buttered chicken that is great when paired with classic sinigang rice.

12:30 pm – Cool Off with some Dessert

Photo by Patricia Tan

Only a few steps away from Neodama’s is Bambuko Bistro, a go-to for students on a budget and a great stopover for those on the road. They sell delectable scoops of homemade ice cream at affordable prices. They have tons of delicious flavors, from Filipino favorites such as buko pandan to international delights like salted caramel.

1:00 pm – Head over to the University of the Philippines Visayas

Photo by Patricia Tan

From the church, it should take about a 5-minute tricycle ride to UP – Visayas, the biggest campus (in terms of land area) of one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

The first thing you would probably see would be the signature UP Oblation Statue, which represents the selfless offering of oneself to the Philippines. Although the Oblation isn’t the only statue you’ll see around the campus, the Diwata ng Dagat, a representation of a sea goddess standing on three huge fishes sculpted by Napoleon Abueva, a National Artist, is of note. If her presence seems like a big deal, it’s because this UP campus is well-known for its Fisheries Department that focus on aquaculture, fish processing, and food sciences.

On the other hand, another short tricycle ride can take you to the other end of the campus lined with big trees and, if lucky, sunflowers!

3:00 pm – Chasing Sunsets

Where else can you find a university with a beach in its own backyard? In Miagao, of course! In this quiet town, it’s best to relax and unwind after a long day. You can do anything from laying in the sand to swim on the beach.

However, if the weather permits, I would like to suggest watching the sunset, when the late afternoon sky is painted with an array of colors the likes you only sees in pictures. Getting that tingly feeling upon seeing the sun slowly lower into the crashing waves of the ocean is always a great way to end the day.

Patricia Tan is a graduate of Public Health from the University of the Philippines Visayas and is a vlogger at Pitter Patter Around. She is also a photography enthusiast who loves to travel and try out new things.