There is a simple explanation as to why this town is called Anini-y. Back when it was newly settled in the mid-15th century, people saw that the place was irrigated by small rivers flowing down from adjacent mountains.
Historical writings will tell you they named the town “anini” after a local word that means “a place of small rivers.”
A storied version passed down through the years tells of a love true and forbidden between a native princess, Anini, and brave and dashing warrior Nogas who was unfortunately descended from a family of slaves.
In the tradition of such tragedies, their love was never meant to be. Nogas was killed and thrown out to sea while Anini pined for him and died of loneliness. From her burial spot on a rocky spot by the Anini-y coast, her tears continue to flow and has become the hot spring of Siraan. A short distance away is the body of her beloved that has been turned into Nogas Island.
Town myths aside, church historian Fr. Pedro Galende described the first settlers of Anini-y as wandering fishermen who reached the place by following the sea coast from one of the villages up north.
In 1714, it only had a population of 660. Anini-y was a visita of Antique and visited by its parish priest at least once a year. Its patron saint is San Juan de Nepomuceno.
Great man of Anini-y
Citing one of the reports of Fr. Hipolito Casiano dated 1705, who was named parish priest of Antique and Cagayancillo in 1690 and again in 1714, Fr. Galende said many of the 3,000 people from Cagayancillo who had been converted to Christianity were asked to settle in Anini-y against their wishes.
According to Galende, a decree issued on Dec. 20, 1861 turned Anini-y into an independent parish. The declaration only became official the following year when Governor General Jose Lemery followed it up with an order of separation dated March 22, 1862.
Considered the great man of Anini-y, Fr. Jeronimo Vaquerin was credited with completing the restored Spanish era San Juan Nepomuceno Parish Church.