Updated: Jan 15, 2022
One of the famous scenic areas to visit in Iloilo (prodigiously dubbed the “City of Love”) in Mandurriao is the Iloilo River Esplanade, which showcases a beautiful 1.2 kilometers paved linear river walk park. The Esplanade opened on August 18, 2012. The Iloilo River flows through the Arevola District to the Iloilo Strait, which divides Iloilo City from Guimaras Island.
Designed by a brilliant architect named Paulo Alcazaren, the Esplanade presents a peaceful, romantic, refreshing, and a serene atmosphere. The Esplanade connects Diversion road to the 114.80 mile new bridge called “Carpenter’s bridge” that is part of Arroyo street leading to downtown Iloilo. On the west end of the park lies an iconic sign that reads “I am Iloilo.” This sign presents a perfect background for photography and videoing.
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When I was walking along the Esplanade, the hot sun had just descended and there was a slight breeze whizzing past me.. It felt like the perfect night to be walking around the Esplanade. It is very common for Iloilo to get a lot of precipitation. That was not the case the night was walking around the Esplanade. It was such a beautiful night and you can find such a solace in this area. It was like people had congregated to this area to escape from the pressures of life. The Esplanade is a perfect place to relax and to spend time with your girlfriend, fiancé, or wife.
The Philippines has the reputation of being an unsanitary and unpleasant country to visit because it is a third world country. This is not the case at the Esplanade. The air is clean and fresh. There is a pleasant aroma at this park. You can observe many violet pink flowers as well as palm trees surrounding the Esplanade. Not only that, the Esplanade is physically clean. You will not observe any trash on the paved trail.
When I went to the Esplanade in April 2017, I was amazed by how well maintained the park was even though the park was constantly traversed by leisure joggers, cyclists, and skateboarders. If you enjoy parks, I highly recommend the River Esplanade park. The park is situated in the ideal area next to the Iloilo River.
Next to the Esplanade entrance were several street vendors selling a variety of delicious foods. The street foods are usually the best and whatever you find is typically very manumit (Hiligaynon for delicious). This is a sublime place to sell foods given its close vicinity to the Esplanade. The Esplanade trail experience can provide you with relaxation as you escape from the bustling city of Iloilo. Indeed, the Esplanade was aesthetically pleasing.
While trekking the Esplanade trail, you can observe a variety of park benches locals and tourists can rest on. The park benches extend to the Carpenter’s bridge (named after the first governor of the Moro province Frank Carpenter), which gives a wonderful panoramic and breathtaking view of the river. At night, you can espy lamps brightly illuminating the path allowing for great candid photos to be taken.
Things to do at the Esplanade
One of the activities that is offered at the park is pedal boats, which is between 80 to 85 pesos or $1.48 or $1.57. You even have the option of privately renting the pedal boats for 30 minutes for 480 pesos or $8.88. At this same area, you can also find an electric boat, which is 150 pesos or $2.78 for 1 hour.
The hours of operation for the boat activities are 0600 a.m. to 0900 a.m and 1600 to 2100.
Other activities you can participate in include the following: (1) Go kart riding, (2) daytime and night time Zumba, and (3) Band music.
My fiancé and I enjoyed a nice stroll down the Esplanade. The night life along the Esplanade was very nice and it made for great picture taking especially next to the Carpenter bridge.
The River Esplanade area is a must visit place in Iloilo. It will allow you to forget temporally about the pressures and stresses of life. Many locals find peace and relaxation at the Esplanade after a difficult work day. Next to the Esplanade is an area called “The Boardwalk,” where you can find all kinds of shops and restaurants.
PLACES TO STAY IN ILOILO
Grand Xing Imperial