Historic Mansions

Scratch the skin of Iloilo, and you'll find an architectural wonder that goes amazingly uncelebrated. Iloilo has an impressive number of historic mansions from the 19th and early 20th centuries, the legacy of a far more prosperous era, when the city had the highest concentration of millionaires outside Manila. Owned by prominent families largely in the sugar and textile businesses, they were abandoned in the face of war and economic collapse. Sadly, these beautiful examples of Spanish and American architecture are going to rot.

Most of the houses are in Jaro, although they also appear by the city's plazas. Stately Nelly's Garden, built in 1928, and resembling the White House, and ornate Villa Lizares, built in 1937 and now a school, are two of the grandest. For a general overview, take the unique heritage tour offered by Panay Tours.