City of Love: State of Commerce

Growing up with the stories of the older generation, swimming in the Iloilo River, strolling on Calle Real, and indulging on the 50s well-known movies on the cinema, represents the nostalgia that has remained of the bygone period of time, remembering the flashbacks and echoes when Iloilo is still excluded in one of the majestic cities.

Even then, the City of Love has already shown a gradual improvement in different aspects, it may be on the economic, environment or even political feature, making it an industrialized place, waving the foreign investors to enter the state and double the refinement of the city. Other NGOs, foundations and even profit-oriented corporations have found opportunity in improving the obscure situation of the city. It is just recently that the private sectors dig into what was once only government concern, and that is building liveable cities.

The recent progress that the City of Iloilo has experienced brought an indefatigable resilience to the lives of many Ilonggos.  With investors coming back and forth, the city is now becoming the heart of investments and developments.  Every month, more and more capitalists are recognizing the developmental aspect of helping the poor and marginalized. The government always keeps an eye on the construction of various infrastructures such that of the circumferential and radial roads. Vacant lands were put to use, transportation system were utilized, and traffic was ensured. The vacant lands that were converted are now becoming useful to the whole metropolis. The emergence of commercial centers and subdivisions which are all business establishments gives an additional income to the governing bodies and the urban people.


The government has also entered the banks. The banking institution has understood that it provides the fuel for driving businesses through loans and loan guarantees. There are literally hundreds of possible banking institutions the city can be part of. The reality of the business is such that to be effective in banking. These banks helped the businesses grew relentlessly. With globalization making our world smaller each day, banks across regions and continents now wield more power as they move faster and with greater synchronicity. It clearly recognized the significant impact of an emerging global financial system.

The businesses in Iloilo have engaged in the concept of franchising. It is a synergistic relationship where the amateur businessmen can feel that they are not alone because the other franchisors need them to expand its reach and to profit from the success of the business. It is a proven way for doing businesses while hitting the ground running with a solid business system.

Iloilo has been visited recently by the APEC, negotiating for a more strategic businesses and economic growth of the city. And currently, officials from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation member countries had adopted the Apec Iloilo Initiative which seeks to provide “a bigger voice and better opportunities” for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through increased focus on the potentials of the Internet, the digital economy, and e-commerce. Metro Iloilo had further boost its economic competitiveness by incorporating government efficiency in dealing with the business community, especially in making it easier for business to process permits and other necessary documents. The creation of the Apec MSME Marketplace, aimed at providing a platform through which small enterprises will be better able to participate in international trade and be part of global value chains.


Giant mall chains emerged and real estate developers Ayala Land Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc. have also recently expressed interest to develop the Central Business District (CBD) at the downtown area. The buildings stooping over the heads of the passers-by are the now the results of the investments. Closer to the Megaworld property is the Smallville Complex, which gathers people from all walks of life during nighttime. The complex offers various forms of entertainment that caters to varied taste and interests of guests coming into the place. It has helped the locality profit from these edifices. Visioning to develop something similar to what the El Nido in Palawan did, the investors are said to be investing a billion a year in the next five years for the particular venture to revive the Northern Iloilo.

Iloilo City has become a Davao-like place, where it is nearly becoming the hub of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Healthcore and Lifestyle Industry in Western Visayas, considering the rapid rise of establishments in Iloilo Business Park (IBP), Iloilo City is slowly reclaiming the title as Queen City of the South.

Through the different partnerships and joint ventures of the government and NGOs, private and local sectors, and amateur and expert businessmen the city had been able to link several businesses of Iloilo and other international enterprises. It has alleviated and improved business operations that have helped in gaining social respect from other cities.

Not everyone is a tycoon material, but the city of Iloilo has been successful in making thought-provoking and unprecedented expansion in economy and industry of the locality. From the end of the decade, the people of Iloilo are now bannering a new hope for the economic and industrial system to have a state of complacency and stableness. The bustling metropolis describes a truly progressive Iloilo City. The before-war-torn place is now carving a name for itself, making it a threshold of excellence.



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