Iloilo has been a commercial center in the Visayas since the Spanish era. It’s home to stately mansions, centuries-old churches, handicrafts, and antique collections. Food lovers are in for a sumptuous feast. Many local specialties are now famous throughout the Philippines. There’s Lapaz batchoy, a hearty meat and noodle soup; pancit molo, spiced dumplings in chicken broth and pinasugbo, or caramelized banana chips. Its most popular event is the Dinagyang festival, celebrated every fourth weekend of January. A colorful parade commemorates the Christianization of the natives and honors the Holy Child Jesus while mixing in tribal rites of pre-colonial days.