A single statement or reference to Iloilo City would conjure up thoughts about historically magnificent landscapes, rich culture, kind-hearted people, mouth-watering cuisines, and world-class festivities— especially right after the conclusion of the celebrated Dinagyang Festival in the region. It is, in fact, entirely right. Touted as the ‘City of Love’ for its people, dialect, and location, Iloilo has always been one, if not the best city in the whole Philippines both by word of mouth and by achievements.
Being at the forefront of tourism in the Philippines Visayas region, the fact that Iloilo is a perfect holiday destination for outsiders and foreigners who visit for leisure and adventure isn’t unknown to everyone. However, recently, these outsiders have become interested and are starting to seek stability through investment in historic Panay Island. Perhaps you’re wondering why. Thus, tourism grandness aside, here are some of the practical reasons why now is the best time to invest in what was originally the ‘Queen City of the South’:
Diverse Economic Growth
Known as the Food Basket and Rice Granary of Western Visayas, Iloilo’s economy has always been anchored on agriculture, fisheries, and tourism. These three played a crucial role in the economic development of both Iloilo province and its capital— Iloilo City. But with the local government and private sector working hand-in-hand, Iloilo started to see a more diversified economy in recent years. The initiatives project the emergence of other industries and, with it, business opportunities. We are looking primarily at the Information Technology Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector which continuously drives Iloilo into a rapid economic boom, making it as Iloilo’s conspicuous strength or what they call as ‘Sunshine Industry’. Iloilo Federation of Information Technology (IFIT) has affirmed that the IT-BPM sector is a huge aide to ease the unemployment rate in Iloilo. Jessraf Palmares, IFIT President, shared that the benefit of the IT-BPM project affects the local economy positively as it extends to helping other sectors in Iloilo City and the province with the proliferation of convenience stores as a result of the efforts.
According to Palmares, this is because “people are having the capacity to pay, and many of them are from the IT-BPM sector.” He added that every new IT-BPM employment expand to six more jobs in restaurants, retail, transportation, and maintenance services.
With Iloilo rapidly developing and experiencing the bustle of a booming business hub, more and more investors are looking at putting their money into the city. The local government is heightening the construction of infrastructure to pave the way for more industries. Additional Investment keeps pouring in, technology-driven companies are expressing interest, business centers and commercial spaces are being constructed, and hotels are coming in droves as the hospitality industry comes to life once more.
With its diversified economic growth, now Iloilo’s economy is capable of going head-to-head with those of the Philippines’ major cities, especially in Luzon.
Iloilo doesn’t only boast of its cultural capacity but also its geographical placement. The flourishing of agriculture, fishery, and tourism that carry the whole province since time immemorial is due to the locale’s excellent accessibility. Standing in the heart of the Philippines, Iloilo’s strategic location goes a long way back in history after it served as an important trading post to Chinese and Indian merchants even before the Spanish colonization, providing a thriving civilization and business even back then. Its outstanding port facility with calm waters safe for navigation, thanks to the protection from the open sea offered by its neighboring island, Guimaras, steered Iloilo to become one of the commercial hubs at the turn of the century.
Moreover, this geographic advantage made it easier to reach different markets in the Philippines. Hence, today, with the relentless development and the addition of infrastructure, airport and several seaports granting links to local and international flights as well as trips and shipments to any part of the country, Iloilo becomes the regional gateway of Western Visayas and is consistently making name as one of the most competitive cities in the nation. Its strategic location allow more space for growth.
Quality of Life
At the same time, the quality of life makes Iloilo appear to be a young, untapped destination. Individual relocation and migration to Iloilo or the Visayas is mostly on account of the standard of health, education, commerce, peace, and order, as well as its sustainability efforts- based on the experiences of people about Iloilo. What makes Iloilo maintain its quality of living? The people. Ilonggos take pride in their city. Visit the diversion road and witness the longest obstacle-free bike lane in the country where there is not a single litter in sight. Enjoy nature and inhale fresh and unpolluted air from the Iloilo River, the cleanest urban river in the country, which makes a great difference from that of Metro Manila and other major cities.
The Visayan metropolis also has a lesser crime rate compared to most cities in the country. Employees’ wages are among the highest in the country despite the lower cost of living, allowing a good income stretch. Frugal entrepreneurs, retirees, and young families would see it as the ideal place to settle down. Lastly, Ilonggos are naturally sweet people. When expressing their opinions about Iloilo residents, outsiders often say Ilonggos have such gentle accent whenever they talk and whatever they talk about.
Iloilo has another practical charm, and astute businessmen are the primary admirers. It is the fact that the Iloilo is a raw canvas, ready to be drafted and developed on any point of time, attracting the eyes of the painters in the form of real estate developers.
The southern city is currently experiencing a real estate boom with the help of big real estate developers, including Camella in Iloilo. Colliers Philippines reported that Iloilo City is quickly becoming a viable residential investment location after noticing the economic transformation and commercial activities in and around the city amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Iloilo City is constantly gaining traction, and its success in real estate is expected to rise astronomically. It is currently being envisioned to be the ‘Most Liveable City’ in the whole country few years from now.
Camella in Iloilo City
Camella is an ally of Iloilo’s local government in progress. For over two decades, Camella has been investing in the province in the form of property development as they create spaces for its homeowners to live fully, offering amenities that promote camaraderie, health and wellness, as well as providing employment and additional business.
These reasons signal that the perfect timing to invest in Iloilo City is now, as it is set to become a major command center for global businesses.