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Iloilo is a place I just love to visit again and again. This is already my third time to the city, and it was a no less enjoyable experience. And to be there for it\’s first comic book convention made it a more awesome stay.

The first time was there was 1996 for an Architect\’s conference. The second time was for a talk I gave at the University of the Philippines in 2010. Both times were quick visits, specially the second one. I didn\’t get the opportunity to really go around and taste the local cuisine. This time I thought it was something I will not miss. So the first day there my first stop after checking in to our hotel was Ted\’s for Iloilo\’s famous La Paz Batchoy.

Well, I thought Ted\’s was just OK. I was actually kind of underwhelmed. So the following day Ilyn and I decided to go and visit the district of La Paz itself and try Netong\’s at the La Paz Public Market.


Now THIS was more like it. This one I just loved. Perfectly worth the trip to La Paz just to try it.

At lunchtime we headed to Breakthrough, which is kind of far from the city. But once again, the trip was worth it for the awesome food. We had Chili Lobster!


It tasted pretty nice, and the best thing is, it\’s not as expensive as some restaurants in Manila. Breakthrough is located along a beach, so after lunch I took a little walk along the shore.


Foodtripping over, we headed back to our hotel to rest and prepare for a pre-event press conference at the University of Iloilo that afternoon. There we met up with a few friends.

Johnny Danganan and Carlo Vergara

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The following day was December 2, the day of the convention. I arrived at Robinson\’s Place a little before 1pm and headed straight to the National Book Store booth, which was selling copies of ELMER.


The Komikon Table

With Ilonggo artist Art Geroche.

Art Geroche drew many stories for DC\’s Horror line of books in the late 70\’s and early 80\’s. Check out some of his work here.


It was around this time the batteries of my camera conked out so I was unable to take more photos of the convention. Don\’t worry though, there\’s plenty of other photos that can be seen here:

ICCON 2012: The Pop Culture Event in Iloilo City!

The following day, December 3, the organizers of the convention gave a few of us a tour around Iloilo. It is here that my fascination with the city grew tenfold. I had been noticing a lot of really old buildings in the city, remarkably well preserved. It\’s perhaps why I like the place so much. Every place has a lot of history, but this is one city where one can see it in the many old buildings that still stand. Somehow, they were spared the destruction that was brought upon many such cities during World War 2.

Here in San Pablo only very few old buildings remain, but Iloilo is practically teeming with them. The local government is taking a strong hand in preserving their heritage by affording incredible tax cuts, and even providing financing towards their preservation. You can tell the people of Iloilo take their culture seriously. I can only hope to say the same of the local government of San Pablo City.







View from the top of the new City Hall


All in all, it was one of the best work vacations I\’ve had. Thanks to Jann Galino and the rest of the organizers of the Iloilo Comics Convention!


12 Responses to “A Comic Book Convention in Iloilo”

  1. Joanah t.c. on December 5th, 2012 1:15 pm

    The pics look awesome! Musta yung komiks crowd sa Iloilo?

  2. Mark Cerbo on December 5th, 2012 1:17 pm

    Awesome write-up and thanks for the link-up Gerry!

  3. Auggie on December 5th, 2012 1:29 pm


    I remember too your second Visit. We had a photo ops with that giant Rooster at the back of Robinson. I left Iloilo on September 1, 2009, and relocated to Naga City. I miss Iloilo’s fine restaurants, bakeries and local cuisine.

  4. Robin C. Rivero on December 5th, 2012 5:59 pm

    Must. Go. Chili lobster!!! Next time talaga punta kami :D Kudos to Jann Galino and all the organizers of the 1st Iloilo Komikon! Woot for more comics conventions outside of Manila!

  5. Efren Tacorda on December 6th, 2012 10:03 am

    Sir Gerry, thank You for signing my copy of Elmer comic book. I hope next year there will be another comic convention.

  6. Paul Garcia on December 7th, 2012 12:40 am

    Iloilo was once the largest city in the Philippines during the 19th century, beating Intramuros/Manila. Iloilo was also prosperous until the Negros island was cultivated and being lorded by the hacienderos.

  7. juls on December 9th, 2012 11:03 pm

    Sir, sana sa Bacolod naman kayo pupunta. I hope Robinsons can do the same event here in the City of Smiles!

  8. Gerry Alanguilan on December 10th, 2012 7:05 am

    Juls….the Iloilo event happened because someone in Iloilo decided to organize a convention there and then invite us. For a convention in Bacolod to happen, someone in Bacolod has to organize it, and then invite us.

  9. JM Lee on December 13th, 2012 11:07 pm

    Auggie: I checked out some Bachoy recipes on the internet. Nakakatakot pala ang mga rekado nitong dish na ito. Puro pala ito mga laman-loob ng baboy, baka, at may bagoong pa pala. Napakagandang tingnan yung photo,pasado sa presentation. Very appetizing ang dating. Sa biglang tingin, akala ko nga, tofu soup. Hindi pala.

    Auggie, kumakain ka nito? Bantayan mo ang iyong triglyceride at cholesterol count. LOL.

    Sa mga bata lang itong pagkain, at dapat siguro, once a month lang kasi maiipon sa mga ugat ng kabataan ang fat at malamang matulad ang mga kabataang Pinoy sa mga kabataan dito sa north America na nagsisipag-lobo ang mga katawan dahil sa maling choices ng pagkain.

    -your Father Confessor
    (strikes again, like LEX LUTOR).

    Pakiusap: Please huwag kayong ma-offend mga kabataan. Concerned lang ako sa health ng mga Pinoys. After all, sino pa ba ang magmamalasakit sa atin kundi tayu-tayo rin, lalo na ang mga artists na talagang malapit sa aking puso (Sheesh, heavy drama ito, ha? As in sagad sa melodrama). LOL. Pero, alam naman natin na ang trabaho natin bilang artist ay laging nakaupo at naka-shackle sa drawing board or keyboard for that matter. Puwede namang kumain ng ganyan, pero alalay lang. Huwag kalilimutan palagi ang word na ito: BALANCE. Gawin ninyong guideline sa health issues ang katagang ito para hindi kayo matulad doon sa naunang henerasyon ng mga artists na halos lahat ay iginupo sa matinding health problems dahil sa nalimutan nila ang katagang: BALANCE. Cheers.

  10. auggie on December 22nd, 2012 11:09 pm


    Oo noong nasa Iloilo, kumakain ako niyan! Masarap doon sa La Paz public market.Ok lang siya once a week, pero deadly iyan kung aaraw-arawin mo.Walang bagoong na halo, hindi siya maalat, kargado lang sa cholesterol, pero super-sarap siya, itanong mo ki Gerry…

  11. hazel on January 4th, 2013 8:25 pm

    whoa! Things that I’m missing in life! I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more in ilo ilo than in Cebucon… look at the food and places!

  12. Jonas Diego on January 19th, 2013 11:24 pm

    Happy birthday, p’re! :D