“As many of you know, it was quite by accident I found Iligan City on the internet when I was not even looking for any place at all. The name Iligan and its post code 9200 caught my attention and I decided to find where it was by websearching. I knew nothing of The Philippines at that time.
Upon learning of the existence of Iligan via intenet I found so much information about it available I looked further. Pictures, articles and videos originated and posted on the internet by individual Iliganons began to give me a picture of parts of Iligan. There were many things of this far away place that captured my curiosity and interest. Some of these things are tourist attractions and others just everyday kind of things but different from what I have always been accustomed to here in New York USA.
I became quite surprised at just how much someone could learn about a place from the internet. My continued curiosity led me to finding interactive websites where I could communicate with some of the residents of Iligan. Some of these communications developed into friendships as some were as interested in where I live as I was in where they live.
After two years of learning, studying and researching Iligan City I wanted to see and experience many of the things I had learned about it in person, as well as to meet some of the people I had been communicating with.
During this process I became well aware of certain precautions and warnings of possible dangers that may await me. Some Filipinos here who had never been to Mindanao or Iligan tried to discourage my visit and suggested other areas of The Philippines they felt would be more ” Visitor Friendly “. My reason going was to visit Iligan City, and it would be Iligan or nothing at all. As I learned from my own experience, many of these dangers and warnings were totally unfounded and never materialized.
I felt I had done my research well, made many preparations beyond what many others might have, thiswas the longest journey I had ever made and I wanted to enjoy and experience many of the things I had learned about Iligan City via Internet.
My initial visit to Iligan greatly exceeded my expectations. Everything went according to plan and I had friends waiting at Lumbia Airport to greet me and transport me to Iligan. There were many unplanned places and people that I met that I never expected, including a meeting and personal welcome from Mayor Cruz. I hired a Jeepney for a day and toured the popular tourist sites. I enjoyed evenings with my friends at a popular resto-bar, Toured MSU-IIT , and other places that I had learned about via internet. Some of these may not be considered tourist attractions but to me they were !
Vacations come to an end all too soon and so did my first visit to Iligan. With a continual flow of information on the internet, my visit to Iligan has never really had to come to an end. New things happen, new places to visit or those I have not had time to visit can be learned about on the internet. As I kept finding more and more things of interest, I have come back 3 times since my first visit. Things that come to my attention through Internet postings either directly or indirectly create the desire to return to Iligan to see these things and in some cases actually participate in them !
Thanks to the friendships that have developed there, people that I have met, City Hall, MSU-IIT and others I have never been denied any place I have wanted to visit or see, including a visit and tour of Iligans ” Award Winning Jail ” which was first brought to my attention by a Video on the internet.
Although some times arrangements have to be made in advance, I have always been able to see and go to places I really want to go to. How many other cities accommodate a visitor to that extent ?
On my last visit I visited Iligans newest Broadcast Radio Station DXMA who broadcasts on the air in Iligan and to the entire world in American English through its ” live ” audio webstream. In my request to visit them I offered to bring some Pasalubongs from the USA and give them away on the air to lucky listeners and basically created and conducted the contest right from their studios in Iligan. Not many broadcast stations would ever let a foreigner just come in there and do something like that. Iligans DXMA 95.9 FM did and it was one of the highlights of last years visit !
These are just a couple of examples of the kind of things that give me the desire to come back to Iligan. I find new things and places that interest me from the previous visit. I come to visit the friends I have made there, to try new attractions and restaurants as well as returning to favorites found on previous visits.
As a way of saying thanks, I have done a few things there to benefit some of the people of Iligan such as creating a scholarship at MSU-IIT and contributing some well needed things to Iligans ” Award Winning Jail ” to benefit the inmates and those that come and visit them. Things such as this make me feel that I have established a form of presence in Iligan for the time that I can not be there myself.
To some, it may be difficult to imagine all of this started about 6 years ago from a few pictures, an article or two and some videos on Youtube put on the internet by Iligan residents.
Additionally I have written about some of my experiences in Iligan that may be of interest to others who may have never heard of Iligan City. I try to create an awareness that Yes, Iligan is a place just about anyone can visit and have a great time, After all, I have been doing just that for several years now and look forward to many future visits.
After learning of the recently formed Iligan Bloggers Society and reading some of their material, I feel both individually and as a group, they will become a great asset to popularizing Iligan City as a place to be discovered from other parts of The Philippines as well as the rest of the world !
There is always something new..
There are things to look forward to..
Simply Amazing !
Bob NewYork USA”