ILOILO CITY is a useful transit point for Guimaras Island and has good ferry connections to many other Visayan islands, but there's nothing to keep you here for more than a day or two. The city's handful of sights include a couple of reasonably interesting heritage-style museums. If you're visiting in January, the Dinagyang festival, loosely based on Kalibo's Ati-Atihan, adds some extra frenzy to the city during the fourth weekend. Three kilometres out of town, the old areas of Molo and Jaro both make pleasant half-day trips. The former has a church made of coral and in the latter an impressive Spanish-era cathedral. In Jaro you can also wander among the old colonial homes of sugar barons and mooch through a number of dusty old antique shops, where prices are lower than in Manila.
There are at least two churches in the vicinity of the city, besides the ones in Molo and Jaro, that you shouldn't miss: Miag-ao Church and Santa Barbara Church. The latter, 16km to the north of town in Santa Barbara, is a Neoclassical red-brick and coral church where General Delgado convened the junta that raised the first cry of revolution against Spain. The neighbouring convent, built around a small rectangular garden, has a gallery that's reminiscent of medieval England and thick brick columns that are vaguely Roman in style. To get to Santa Barbara, take any bus or jeepney from Iloilo heading inland through Pavia; the trip takes about forty minutes.