District of La Paz, Iloilo

District of La Paz: La Paz is one of the seven districts in Iloilo City. Before it became a district, it was actually a part of Jaro and was referred to as “Ilawod”, in contrast to Jaro as “Ilaya”. The name La Paz was actually taken from the district’s patron saint, Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje. The patron saint was referred to as the Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. Thus, the term ‘La Paz’ means ‘peace’ in Spanish.

La Paz Batchoy: La Paz is the birthplace of the famous Batchoy. When you ask an Ilonggo, ‘saan ba pwede makapag-batchoy dito sa Iloilo?’, or ‘saan ba dito ang original na batchoy?’ (‘where can we find original batchoy in Iloilo?’), most will answer ‘La Paz’. Inside Lapaz Public Market alone (prior to its closure and renovation), there are many batchoy destinations. These are Deco’s, Ted’s, and Netong’s. While Deco’s and Ted’s are outside the market (along the road), Netong’s is inside the market.

Batchoy is a noodle soup made with pork organs, crushed pork cracklings, chicken stock, beef loin, and round noodles. The origin of batchoy is traced to the district of La Paz, Iloilo City, and is often referred to by its iconic name, La Paz Batchoy.

Tracing the roots of batchoy, one origin came to existence in 1938 when Federico Guillergan Sr. concocted a dish made by mixing noodles, broth, beef, and pork. When asked for the recipe’s name, the inventor would usually say ‘Bats’ and, later on, appended ‘-choy’ from chop suey, a popular vegetable dish. Moreover, another origin tells that the first batchoy shop was put up in the district of La Paz by Teodorico Lepura in 1945. Back in the 1930s, Lepura concocted his own version while working for a Chinese merchant. The earliest price was 20 cents a bowl. Read: La Paz Batchoy: Origin Stories

Popular batchoyans in Iloilo:

  • Ted’s La Paz Batchoy
  • Deco’s La Paz Batchoy
  • Inggo’s La Paz Batchoy
  • Netong’s La Paz Batchoy
  • Popoy’s La Paz Batchoy

Madge Cafe: Inside the little market is no other than authentic native coffee prepared in the traditional ‘pour over’ method that has been practiced for more than 50 years. Madge Cafe is an Ilonggo gem, with a brewing concept by Vicente de la Cruz. Madge Cafe was named after his wife, Madge. To date, the family business has been passed down for generations and continues to amaze visitors with its unique blend of coffee.

Market Rehabilitation: Private investors SM Development Corporation and Metro Pacific have conveyed interest in the redevelopment of Central and Terminal Public Markets. Arevalo, Jaro, and La Paz Public Markets will be developed by City Government. The rehabilitation aims to help and improve the income of the market vendors, and to provide the city with a sustainable multi-use market complex.

Lapaz market vendors support the initiative.

“Halos sa tanan nga administrasyon nga nagsulod, ikaw ang the best nga mayor. Kadako guid nga bagay. Daku ang benepisyo sa amon mga vendor, isa, magatinlo ang tinda kag ang drainage makay-o kag wala na kami gainukay kag ang number 1, ang Lapaz market amo ang ginakadtuan sang mga foreigners, halos tanan diri gapalapit sa amon. Kadako guid sang benepisyo nga ginghatag sang City Government kung ini kaluy-an nga mahuman, kalapad sang parkingan namon, hindi na kami mahuya sa mga manugbakal nga maga-imbitar kay ang amon tinda gwapo na,” says Nick Penasales, a vendor at the eatery section of the market.

Support pours for the rehabilitation spearheaded by the local government.

“Ang importansya sina (PPP/market renovation) may matahum kita nga market. So kung ma-develop na ang aton nga market, sa 2nd floor naton is the parking area, makabaligya ang vendors sa matahom kag matinlo naton nga market. Salamat guid sa aton Hon. Mayor Jerry P. Trenas for making Iloilo the best especially sa development sang aton markets,” says Jocelyn Jover, also a vendor at the food section of the market.

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