Strolling under the lazy sun right in the heart of the city just behind the provincial capitol is the P160,000 Museo Iloilo. Significant attractions in the newest Iloilo Museum are fossilized remains of pygmy elephants recovered in Iloilo, jewelry and porcelain from a pre-Hispanic grave in Oton; the radio transmitter that was first used by Panay Guerillas to contact General MacArthur during the last war and artifacts from a sunken British vessel in Guimaras Strait.
Read also: List of Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Sites
On November 25, 1969, the Province of Iloilo through Governor Conrado J. Norada donated a 2,000 square meter lot on the provincial capitol grounds to the Board of Travel and Tourist Industry (BTTI).
BTTI built a modern building with an embossed mural design of famous old churches on its facade, designed and built by an Ilongo architect, Sergio Penasales.
Museo Iloilo functions as the regional museum of Western Visayas culture. It identifies, preserves, and interprets the material and non-material culture of the provinces of Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, and Negros Occidental.
In 1989, the newly reconstituted Board of Trustees of the ICRFI decided to stop the further deterioration of the building which has already become a cultural landmark in Western Visayas, remount the permanent exhibit, provide audio-visual facilities and reassess the operation of the museum.
The exhibits present the cultural history of Western Visayas from prehistory to contemporary history. Pieces of evidence of prehistoric materials are stone tools, and shell and iron artifacts.
The permanent exhibit area has mannequins showing an Ati mother pounding rice on a lusong, an Ati child playing on a bamboo musical instrument, a folk healer (babaylan) doing a ritual, and weavers weaving the pina fiber. A photo montage of the Ati-atihan (Aklan), Binirayan (Antique), and Dinagyang (Iloilo) festivals is exhibited. A wall shows the weaponry (knives, shields, spears) of the Mondo of Panay. There is a showcase of ecclesiastical art, and a History module featuring relics salvaged from the wreck of a British ship discovered off the island of Guimaras.