Villa de Arevalo, commonly referred to as Villa or Arevalo, is the westernmost district of Iloilo City. It shares the same border with the Municipality of Oton in the first district of Iloilo Province.
This district is known for many things. For the younger generation, it is a favorite place to hangout because of the several open-air restaurants and bars along the coast of Villa Beach. For Catholic devotees, it is known for its church which houses the third oldest Santo Niño image in the Philippines. For most, Arevalo is known for its firecrackers and fireworks as well as potted plants, flowers, bouquets, and wreaths thus the title “Flower Capital of Iloilo”.
What to See
The coast of Villa Beach is lined with lots open-air restaurants and bars to satisfy your seafood and local dishes cravings. Usually made of bamboo materials, several of these restaurants and bars have videoke machines for anyone who is in the mood for some singing session. The famous Tatoy’s and Breakthrough are found in this area.
Santo Niño de Arevalo Parish Church
The Arevalo church may not be as popular as other Catholic churches in Iloilo like Molo church and Jaro Cathedral but it boasts of having the third oldest Santo Niño image in the Philippines. Aerial view of the church shows that its layout is shaped like a cross.
Camiña Balay Nga Bato
It is a century-old house that was restored to preserve the memories of the past. It is originally made of board walls with nipa and bamboo roofing, and made very stable by tree trunk pillars. There used to be nothing beneath the house but the bottom end of the pillars but walls made of river sand and limestone were added to make it more sturdy. That is how it got its name “Balay nga Bato” or stone house.
A fee of Php150 is required to tour the house. Aside from tour, the fee includes snacks of hot cocoa, toasted bread, and other delicacies. You can even enjoy a bowl of famous pancit molo for an additional fee.
A few meters away from Camiña Balay Nga Bato lies Sinamay House. It is a heritage house where you can see sinamay (local textile made of pineapple fiber) is being woven by hand. Aside from pineapple fiber, they also use cotton, abaca, and maguey fibers to create fabrics of varying texture.
Up to this day, Sinamay House serves as the residence of the owner. There are also homemade delicacies under the name Mama’s Kitchen being sold here.
Events and Festivals
Date: 3rd Sunday of January
Arevalo fiesta is celebrated in honor of the Santo Niño. Like most fiestas in the Philippines, the celebration begins with a holy mass followed by a procession. Being the place of fireworks manufacturer, one of the highlights of the celebration is the fireworks display contest on the night of the event.
Paraw Regatta is the oldest traditional craft event in Asia and the largest sailing event in the Philippines. The highlight of the event is the race of paraw boats, a local term for double-outrigger sailboat. Other activities are sail painting contest, sand sculpting contest, body painting contest, beauty pageant, music and Mardi Gras contest, beach volleyball and many others.
There are several ways to get around Arevalo.
Jeepney is the most common and cheapest way to get around Iloilo City. Minimum fare is P8.50. From city proper to almost all points of interest in the city, fare is only minimum.
Taxi is a convenient way to get around the city. You can hail a taxi almost anywhere and have it drop you to any spot in the city. Flag down is P40.00 and goes higher depending on your destination. When traveling within the city, know that it’s always metered. Never agree on a fixed price even if you are traveling from city proper to whatever district you are heading to. Fixed pricing is only commonly used when traveling from the city to different towns in the province.
To save you from having to hail a taxi on the street, you can call one of the several taxi operators to send a unit to pick you up from your place of origin. Here are some of the biggest operators with their contact numbers:
- GDR – (033) 321 1254
- Light of Glory – (033) 320 5147
- Quarry Taxi – (033) 501 0725
If you’re from the hotel, you can ask the front desk to contact a taxi for you.
If you are interested, you can rent a car to take you around. The cost of self-drive rental starts from P2,000 for 24 hours and can go higher depending on the type of car. For tour with a driver, rent starts at P3,500 for eight hours.
To explore the city on two wheels, you can rent a motorcycle that is being offered by several businesses such as Iloilo Motorcycle Rentals in Jaro. You can also use third party booking such as book2wheel.com.
Iloilo is a bike-friendly city. The stretch of Benigno Aquino Avenue (also known as Diversion Road) has lanes designated for bikers and joggers.
Pedicabs are typically used in villages and minor streets but not in major highways.
Where To Stay
Molave Rose St Villa Carolina Subdivision, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City
Casa Jose Homestay
Lot 3 Block 11 Villa Carolina Village, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City | (033) 336 7555
Home of the Lost Soles
Bonifacio Street, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City | +63 998 985 0137
Punta Villa Hotel and Resort
5000 Avanceña St., Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City | (033) 337 7253
RedDoorz near Villa Beach
Villa Beach, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City | (02) 8249 8745
Villa Rosa by the Sea
5000 Avanceña St, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City
Welkens Beach Resort
Arroyo St, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City | (033) 337 9725
Where To Eat
3 Ace Pizza Home Branch | Bonifacio, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City | (033) 501 7052
Andres Pata Hauz | Quezon St, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City
Breakthrough Restaurant | Sto. Niño Sur, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City | (033) 336 4755
Dac’s Burger | Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City
Mat-Mat Talabahan, Manokan and Seafood Restaurant | Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo Iloilo City | +63 928 767 0663
RL The Original Batangas Lomi | Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City
Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafood Restaurant | Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo City | (033) 337 1360
The Oyster House | Osmeña St., Arevalo, Iloilo City | (033) 396 1299
Where To Shop
Malls, Grocery, and Commercial Centers
Iloilo Supermart Molo | Quezon St, Villa Arevalo District | (033) 336 8179
P&S Electronics Products | Jocson St, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City
Lorenz Flower Shop | Jocson St, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City | (033) 337 4233
Lynnie Denila’s Floral Design | Denila Compound, Dulonan, Villa Arevalo District, Iloilo City | (033) 335 8036