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Iloilo City Culinary Journey: Savoring the Flavors of Dinagyang

Iloilo City, situated in the heart of the Philippines, is not only known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant festivals but also for its delectable culinary offerings. Among the many festivals that grace this charming city, Dinagyang stands out as a celebration of faith, history, and, of course, food. In this article, we’ll embark on a delightful culinary journey through Iloilo City, exploring the unique flavors that make it a gastronomic haven.

Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City

Dinagyang is an annual festival that pays homage to the Santo Niño, the Holy Child Jesus. The streets of Iloilo come alive with vibrant colors, rhythmic drum beats, and energetic dance performances as locals express their devotion and gratitude through the Dinagyang Ati-Atihan competition. Beyond the religious and cultural aspects, Dinagyang has become synonymous with feasting and revelry, making it the perfect time to delve into the city’s diverse and mouthwatering food scene.


La Paz Batchoy

No culinary exploration of Iloilo is complete without savoring the iconic La Paz Batchoy. This noodle soup, originating from the La Paz district of Iloilo City, features a rich and flavorful broth, egg noodles, pork offal, and chicharrón (crispy pork cracklings). The combination of savory flavors and hearty ingredients has made La Paz Batchoy a beloved local dish, and visitors are often encouraged to try it in one of the many local eateries for an authentic experience.

Talaba and Diwal

Situated along the coastal areas of Iloilo, the city boasts an abundance of fresh seafood. Talaba, or oysters, and Diwal, a type of shellfish, are popular choices among seafood enthusiasts. These delectable offerings are commonly enjoyed grilled or baked, showcasing the natural flavors of the sea. Served with native vinegar and garlic dipping sauce, these shellfish provide a taste of Iloilo’s coastal bounty.


Molo Soup

Molo Soup is a dumpling soup that hails from Molo, one of the districts in Iloilo City. Filled with minced pork or chicken, wrapped in thin wonton wrappers, and simmered in a clear broth, Molo Soup is a comfort food that warms both the heart and the stomach. It is often served during family gatherings and celebrations, making it a symbol of Ilonggo hospitality.

Chicken Inasal

While Chicken Inasal is popularly associated with Bacolod, Iloilo City has its own version that holds its ground in the realm of grilled chicken. Marinated in a special blend of spices and grilled to perfection, Chicken Inasal in Iloilo is often served with a side of sinamak, a local vinegar-based dipping sauce. The succulent and flavorful chicken, paired with the aromatic rice known as “inasal rice,” creates a satisfying meal that locals and visitors alike can’t resist.


Kansi is a savory and sour soup that originated from the Negros region but has found its way into the hearts and palates of Ilonggos. Combining beef shank, bone marrow, and unripe batwan fruit, this hearty soup boasts a unique flavor profile that is both comforting and indulgent. Served piping hot, Kansi is a culinary gem that reflects the diverse influences on Iloilo’s food culture.

As you immerse yourself in the vibrant festivities of Dinagyang, take the opportunity to explore the culinary wonders that Iloilo City has to offer. From the soul-warming La Paz Batchoy to the tantalizing flavors of Talaba and Diwal, Iloilo’s food scene is a celebration in itself. So, grab a seat in a local eatery, let your taste buds dance, and experience the true essence of Ilonggo cuisine. Dinagyang is not just a festival for the eyes and ears; it’s a feast for the senses.

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