I thought I was in a time warp when I saw a crew unloading a truckload of Abaca fiber at the port area of Iloilo City. One hundred years ago, Abaca was one of the Philippine’s most valuable products. It was used to produce high quality Manila rope and in producing textiles. Abaca is called “Manila Hemp” but is not related to the hemp plant from which marijuana comes. The Abaca tree looks like a Banana tree. Today some Abaca is still used to produce cordage but most of the fiber is used to produce high quality paper, including currency, filter paper and tea bags.
This imposing landmark on the Iloilo river front was built in 1916 during the American colonial period. Today it hosts the main Iloilo City Post Office and the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. We’ve had good luck with mail service in Iloilo City. I had a heartwarming experience at the Iloilo Post Office. I was mailing a letter there and somehow left my wallet at the counter and left the building to take some photos of the Iloilo riverfront. With a sinking feeling, I realized my wallet (with about P8,000, ATM and credit cards and so forth) were missing. My first thought was that I had been pick-pocketed, but as always happens I was the real culprit. I went back to the post office to see if I might have left it there. The guard gave me the wallet as soon as he saw me. Nothing was missing. Another testament to honesty of Ilonggos.
I’m full of curiosity about this building on a side street just off San Jose Street, Molo. Anyone have any information?