Ilonggos Share about Calle Real

By serious definition, Calle Real means Royal Street in Spanish. It is along J.M. Basa Street and a historic street located in the old downtown district Iloilo City. It has multiple Commonwealth and Spanish-era buildings. But aside from its history and grandeur, it is a place of childhood memories especially for Ilonggos.

Calle Real, or often pronounced the Ilonggo way as Kalyi-ryal or Kalye-ryal (as one word) sure partakes a huge part of what we are all now.

In a post from Old Iloilo Facebook Group, Ilonggos gamely shared their thoughts what they remember whenever they heard the word “Calle Real”.

calle real iloilo

Calle Real is the Mall in the 60s

Facebook user Raul Mendoza shared that for him, Calle Real was the mall in the 60s. This is where popular restaurants were located like S’table, Prince Kitchenette and Pendy’s. He also shared that he often drops by the Palace Theater and check the next picture and other upcoming films.

Also read: Iloilo City Cultural Heritage: Calle Real Heritage Zone

Calle Real has Many Cinema and Theaters

For Herminia Billones Pamonag, Calle Real is about cinemas and theaters. She clearly remembered that Cinema and Golden which are popular before are now occupied by Unitop and the famous cinema duplex Allegro and Riviera are now occupied by various establishments.

Alley Between Hua Lun and Rose Pharmacy

On the other hand, Josefa Santome gave a tip that there is an alley between Hua Lun and Rose Pharmacy. Before, there was a Keban Movie House upstairs. Now, there are shops and salon along the alley. If you will pass here, you will exit on the street of Iznart, beside Mr. Cow in particular.

Jaro CPU Jeepney

For Felipe Huelar, Calle Real is a place where they would wait for a Jaro CPU Jeepney around Magnet Café then. Now, J.M. Basa Street is still one of the most convenient places to wait for Jaro CPU Jeepney going Jaro areas or going the opposite side – to Fort San Pedro.

A Planned Trip to the City

“It’s strolling the side streets with uplifting happy music”, writes Esther Edwards. Her parents would tell them that they will stroll Calle Real and she was excited the whole night waiting for the next morning to come. To her, the Calle Real was a street with items on sale, many foods to eat and feels like a party every day.

A Nostalgic Past

As to someone who was born and raise in the stretch of the street, Mario Hector Golez Calambro defines Calle Real as a nostalgic past. He went to Sta. Maria Catholic School and he would only walk back and forth going to his school and going home.

Calle Real as a Royal Street

For Cesar Luis Lim and another Facebook user (I’m sorry I couldn’t read her name because I do not know Chinese characters), it is a Royal Street and a main thoroughfare. It is a hobnobs of the rich and middle class. The center of trade and where businesses thrives.

These are just some of the “memories” from Calle Real. What comes into your mind when you hear the word “Calle Real”? Share in the comments!


Sheila is a digital marketing enthusiast and obsessed in promoting Iloilo. She is a kdrama fan, a dog person and a certified foodie!

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