Lovely Iloilo

Sam Costanilla

VISIT. I was in Iloilo City last week to emcee the 40th alumni homecoming and grand reunion of the Cebu Eastern College high school batch 1978 headed by my very good friend Chester Cokaliong. It was my first visit to Iloilo this year, and the two-day event was such an enjoyable one. We were able to visit a lot of Iloilo City’s tourist attractions before and after the reunion proper.

LOVELY. Nelly’s Garden in Jaro district is such a lovely place. There stands until now a beautiful mansion owned by the wealthy Lopez clan. Although the white mansion is now uninhabited, it still stands majestically, attracting domestic and foreign tourists to drop by on a daily basis. Mind you, the mansion and garden were established in 1928 yet.

CHURCHES. Iloilo City has also old churches whose architectural designs never stop to amaze all those that visit them. One such church was visited by St. John Paul II when he was still the Pope.

LEADER. During the reunion, Cokaliong’s batchmates reelected him as their president for the nth time. It only goes to show how his batchmates love him as their leader--for life!

DECISION. During his speech, Cokaliong also announced that their next homecoming would be in 2020 and that Cagayan de Oro City is the venue.

TRIBUTE. But what I liked most during the program was Cokaliong’s giving of gift certificates worth P5,000 to five of their surviving teachers. It was a very touching moment.

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