Exploring the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art


A Modern Art Haven in Iloilo City

Imagine stepping into a world where contemporary art and cultural heritage merge beautifully. This awaits you at the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA), a pioneering institution dedicated to modern art in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. 

Nestled in the bustling Iloilo Business Park, ILOMOCA is not just a museum; it’s a vibrant hub where art, community, and culture intersect.

Background: The Genesis of ILOMOCA

When was it founded? 

The Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art opened its doors on March 17, 2018, marking a significant milestone in the cultural landscape of Iloilo Province.

Who founded it? 

Edwin Valencia | Owner of Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art
Edwin Valencia | Owner of Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art | PC : INQ

The museum was created by collaborating with Megaworld Corporation and Ilonggo art collector Edwin Valencia. Valencia, a New York-based investment banker, began collecting art in the 1980s with a dream of establishing a family museum.

His vision expanded to a partnership with Megaworld Corporation, leading to the creation of ILOMOCA.

What is the mission of the museum? 

The mission of ILOMOCA is to enrich the community life of Iloilo province through its exhibitions and outreach programs. It serves as a platform for constructing and engaging ideas through art, fostering dialogues about social life, and offering an inclusive experience and study of art.

The Diverse Collections of ILOMOCA

As a passionate travel blogger, I had the delightful opportunity to visit the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA), a gem nestled in the Iloilo Business Park Township. 

Aerial View outside the ILOMOCA
Aerial View outside the ILOMOCA

This museum, spanning 3,000 square meters, is a haven for art enthusiasts and culture seekers. One of its striking features is the 8.8-meter bronze statue of Iloilo’s revolutionary hero, General Martin Delgado, crafted by the award-winning Spanish artist Ginés Serrán-Pagán. 

This statue is not just a piece of art but a symbol of freedom and courage.

A Melting Pot of Artistic Expression

The ILOMOCA houses diverse collections spread across its three floors. The Hulot Exhibit on the ground floor is a dynamic space showcasing local and international artists. 

Hulot Exhibit Ground Floor
Hulot Exhibit Ground Floor

It’s a place where art transcends boundaries, creating a vibrant commercial space for guest artists to exhibit and sell their works.

On the second floor lies The Gallery, a realm of rotating exhibitions with various themes. It includes works by Filipino artists who are proudly Ilonggo, pieces by foreign artists, and a captivating collection of sculptures. 

The Gallery - Second Floor
The Gallery – Second Floor

The Ilonggo Country Gallery here is particularly fascinating. It features the finest artists with Ilonggo roots, emphasizing the region’s diverse art community. 

Here, you can witness the works of artists like Rock Drilon, Charlie Co, and Nelfa Querubin, who have earned national recognition.

The third gallery houses various sculptures that push traditional media’s boundaries. From glass sculptures by Ramon Orlina to a miniature of Michael Cacnio’s UPlift sculpture, these pieces showcase the evolution of sculpture in contemporary times.


The top floor hosts the Adoracion Valencia Gallery, named after the mother of ILOMOCA’s primary patron, Edwin Valencia. 

Adoracion Valencia Gallery
Adoracion Valencia Gallery

This gallery is a tribute to her influence on Valencia’s passion for the arts. It features the Valencia family’s collection, including works from National Artists like Arturo Luz and Ang Kiukok.

A Kaleidoscope of Artistic Expressions

  • The Ground Floor – The Hulot Exhibit: This space is dedicated to local and international artists, offering a platform for guest artists to display and sell their works. It’s a melting pot of artistic styles and cultures, and visitors can also find unique souvenirs and memorabilia in the museum shop.
  • The Second Floor – The Gallery: You’ll find rotating shows with diverse themes here. It includes works by renowned Filipino artists with Ilonggo roots, international masterpieces, and a wide range of sculptures, showcasing the breadth and depth of contemporary art.
  • Special Highlights:
    • Ilonggo Country Gallery: Features the finest artists with Ilonggo roots, emphasizing the region’s rich and diverse art community.
    • Gallery of International Artworks: Showcases masterworks by global icons like Salvador Dalí, Marc Chagall, and Joan Miró.
    • Sculpture Gallery: Explores the expansion of traditional sculpture media, featuring works in various materials.
  • The Third Floor – The Adoracion Valencia Gallery: Named after the primary patron’s mother, this gallery houses the personal collection of the Valencia family, including works from National Artists Arturo Luz and Ang Kiukok.
  • The Box: This venue on the second level hosts performance art, theater productions, workshops, and cultural events equipped with state-of-the-art audio technology.

Exhibitions: Where Art Converses with Society

A Platform for Dialogue and Creativity

ILOMOCA, as the first museum in the Visayas region dedicated to modern and contemporary art, plays a crucial role in enriching the community life of Iloilo province through its exhibitions and outreach programs. It’s a place where art becomes a medium for dialogue about social life.

Engaging Exhibitions and Public Programs

At ILOMOCA, each exhibition space offers a unique experience. The Adoracion Valencia Gallery on the third floor, The Gallery on the second floor for changing exhibitions, and the Hulot space on the ground floor for local and international artists collectively provide a rich tapestry of artistic expression. 

The museum also includes The Box’s theatre facility, which is equipped with state-of-the-art audio technology and hosts screenings, performances, and workshops.

Celebrating Printmaking: The ILOMOCA Print Festival

One of the noteworthy exhibitions at ILOMOCA was the “PROVEN AND PRINTED: ILOMOCA Print Festival.” 

This event highlighted the significant yet often overlooked medium of printmaking. It showcased women printmakers’ profound and intentional artistry, contributing to individual and institutional collections with their diverse backgrounds and causes.


A Glimpse into Past Exhibitions

Past exhibitions like “PANAGBO: Encounters with Tradition,” “SUPER INDAY,” “IRAYA,” and “REALITIES WE DON’T NORMALLY SEE” curated by respected artists and curators, have enriched the museum’s cultural landscape. 

PANAGBO Encounters with Tradition
PANAGBO Encounters with Tradition | PC : Vince Animation

These exhibitions have been instrumental in showcasing many themes, from traditional practices to modern societal issues, reflecting art’s dynamic and evolving nature in the Philippines.

Educational Endeavors at Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art

The Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA) is a beacon of modern and contemporary art in the Visayas region. This cultural gem showcases impressive art collections and is pivotal in nurturing the community’s artistic and cultural awareness.

Curatorial Laboratory for Youth: A Transformative Experience

One of ILOMOCA’s flagship educational programs is the Curatorial Laboratory for the Youth (CurLab). CurLab is an innovative educational platform designed as a curatorial workshop for Senior High School students. 

This program aims to empower young minds as positive change agents in society, particularly in domestic, educational, and cultural domains. 

Participants engage in learning modules covering contemporary curatorial practices and art criticism, gaining foundational knowledge through formal and contextual analysis.

The curriculum encompasses four intensive workshops, providing hands-on skills in curatorial practice, exhibition design, marketing, and organizing educational programs. 

These workshops are under the mentorship of professional curatorial teams. Beyond imparting knowledge and skills, CurLab fosters a deep appreciation and concern for local art and culture among its participants, aligning with the UN’s vision for youth and the UN General Assembly’s Declaration and Convention on children’s rights.

Outreach Initiatives: Expanding Horizons Beyond the Museum Walls

ILOMOCA’s outreach programs extend its commitment to enriching community life and facilitating dialogues on social life through art. 

The museum’s multifaceted outreach initiatives engage various community segments in meaningful art experiences.

The Box: A Hub for Artistic Engagement

“The Box,” located on the museum’s second level, is a unique venue for special exhibits, small theater productions, art workshops, and cultural events. 

With state-of-the-art audio technology, this space accommodates 50-60 persons, serving as an inclusive venue for interactive art experiences and cultural dialogues.

Annual Events and Volunteer Opportunities

ILOMOCA hosts annual events aimed at fundraising to support its mission of delivering top-quality art collections, exhibitions, and programs. 

These events offer a platform for community members to engage with and support the museum’s initiatives. 

Additionally, the museum welcomes volunteers for guided tours and programs, allowing individuals to contribute to and be part of the museum’s vibrant cultural life.

Essential Information for Visitors

Location and Operating Hours

ILOMOCA is conveniently situated in the Casa de Emperador alongside the country’s first brandy museum. 

This unique location adds to its charm and allure. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM, making it a flexible destination for early birds and those who prefer a leisurely start to their day.

Admission Fees

The museum is very accessible, with reasonable admission fees:

  • Adults: P 150.00
  • Senior Citizens and PWD (with valid ID): P 120.00
  • Students (with valid ID): P 100.00
  • Children (4 and under): Free

Contacting ILOMOCA

For more information or to arrange group tours, you can contact ILOMOCA at:

  • Phone: (6333) 320 9903 or (6333) 328 1028
  • Social Media: They have a presence on Facebook and Instagram, making it easy to stay updated on their latest exhibits and events.

Exploring the Area Around ILOMOCA

Attractions Nearby

The museum’s location in the heart of Iloilo City means there’s no shortage of nearby attractions:

  1. Museo Iloilo: Just 2.81 km away, showcasing the rich history and culture of Western Visayas.
  2. Jaro Cathedral: Located 2.59 km from ILOMOCA, a historic site with a vibrant flower market nearby.
  3. Iloilo City Hall: 3.89 km away, offering a glimpse into the local governance and architecture.
  4. Iloilo River Esplanade: A relaxing spot just 1.4 km away, perfect for a leisurely walk or exercise.

Dining Options

When it comes to dining, there are several excellent options close to the museum:

  1. The Granary: Western-style cuisine, located 441 meters away.
  2. Uncle Tom’s Restaurant: Just 474 meters from ILOMOCA.
  3. Dova Brunch Cafe: A mere 258 meters away.
  4. Afrique’s Gourmet Pizza: Offering delicious pizza just 142 meters from the museum.

Accommodation Options

For those planning an extended stay:

  1. Hotel Del Rio: A comfortable and affordable option, 2.07 km away.
  2. Seda Atria: A more upscale choice, 1.18 km from the museum.
  3. Goldberry Lite Hotel: Offering great value, 3.82 km away.
  4. RedDoorz @ City Corporate Inn Iloilo: The most budget-friendly, 3.78 km from ILOMOCA.

Visiting the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art was an enriching experience, a blend of art, culture, and the vibrant life of Iloilo City. 

Whether you’re an art lover or a curious traveler, ILOMOCA and its surrounding area offer many experiences that shouldn’t be missed.

So, when are you planning your visit to this remarkable destination?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *