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Davao City

The region’s name is derived from its Bagobo origins. The Bagobo were indigenous to the Philippines. The word Davao came from the phonetic blending of three Bagobo subgroups’ names for…

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The region’s name is derived from its Bagobo origins. The Bagobo were indigenous to the Philippines. The word Davao came from the phonetic blending of three Bagobo subgroups’ names for the Davao River, a major waterway emptying into the Davao Gulf near the city.

The aboriginal Obos, who inhabit the hinterlands of the region, called the river Davah (with a gentle vowel ending, although later pronunciation is with a hard v or b); the Clatta (or Giangan/Diangan) called it Dawaw, and the Tagabawas called it Dabo. To the Obos, davah also means “a place beyond the high grounds” (alluding to settlements at the mouth of the river surrounded by high, rolling hills).

Demographics

The population of Davao City is 1,632,991 according to the 2015 census. Metro Davao, with the city as its center, had about 2.5 million people in 2015, making it the third-most-populous metropolitan area in the Philippines and the most-populous city in Mindanao.

Beginnings

Spanish era

Although Spaniards began to explore the Davao Gulf area as early as the 16th century, Spanish influence was negligible in the Davao region until 1844, when the Spanish Brigadier General Agustin Bocallan claimed the area in what is now Davao City for the Spanish Crown, despite opposition by the Sultan of Maguindanao. Davao was then ruled by a chieftain, Bago, who had a settlement on the banks of the Davao River (then called the Tagloc River by the Bagobos).

Durian

DURIAN. The fruit is widely available in Davao.

American period

The development of large-scale plantations faced a labor shortage, and workers were contracted from Luzon and the Visayas (including Japanese laborers from the Baguio, Benguet road construction). Many Japanese became landowners, acquiring lands by government lease or buying American plantations.

Second World War

On December 8, 1941, Japanese planes bombed the harbor and from December 20, 1941 landed forces and began an occupation of the city which lasted to 1945. Davao was among the earliest to be occupied by Japanese forces, and the city was immediately fortified as a bastion of Japanese defense.

Ethnicity

Residents of Davao City and the whole Davao Region are colloquially known as Davaoeños

Languages

Davaoeño Cebuano, a sub-variant of Mindanao Cebuano, is the most widely spoken language in the city. English is the medium of instruction in schools and widely understood by residents.

Famous people from Davao

Rodrigo Duterte – lawyer, politician and mayor of Davao City (1988-1998, 2001-2010, 2013-2016); 16th President of the Philippines (2016-present)

Alfredo E. Evangelista – archeologist

Candy Gourlay – Filipino author based in the United Kingdom

Randy Halasan – winner of the 2014 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership, for nurturing his Matigsalug students and their community to transform their lives in ways that preserve their integrity as indigenous peoples in a modernizing Philippines

Julius Medidas – Famous person and Entertainer from Davao City

Franklin Bautista – politician; elected to two terms as a Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, representing the Second District of Davao del Sur

Marc Douglas Cagas IV – politician; elected in 2007 as a Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, representing the First District of Davao del Sur

Antonio Carpio – incumbent Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines

Teodoro Casiño – politician, activist, writer and journalist; was a member of the House of Representatives for Bayan Muna

Sara Duterte – lawyer and politician; current mayor of Davao City (2010-2013, since 2016), was the first woman to hold the position

Vincent Garcia – politician; elected to three terms as a Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, representing the Second District of Davao City

Antonio Lagdameo, Jr. – politician; husband of actress Dawn Zulueta; a scion of the wealthy family in Mindanao, the Floirendos; public servant

Romeo Montenegro – peace advocate

Prospero Nograles – former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines

Corazon Nuñez-Malanyaon – governor of the province of Davao Oriental

Allan L. Rellon – Filipino politician

Isidro Ungab – politician, former banker, former local legislator of the City of Davao

Wanda Tulfo-Teo – businesswoman, and current secretary of Tourism

Manuel Zamora – politician; elected to three terms as a Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, representing the First District of Compostela Valley

Carlos Isagani Zarate – member of the Philippine House of Representatives, representing Bayan Muna Party-list

Kadayawan Davao

KADAYAWAN. The annual Davao festival celebrates life and the bounty of nature. (Photo by Jojie Alcantara)

Industry

Agriculture remains the largest economic sector comprising banana, pineapple, coffee and coconut plantations in the city. Bearing the nickname as the “Fruit Basket of the Philippines”[citation needed], it is the island’s leading exporter of fruits such as mangoes, pomeloes, bananas, coconut products, pineapples, papayas, mangosteens and cacao.

The chocolate industry is the newest development in the city. Malagos Chocolate, developed here by Malagos Agriventures Corp., is now the country’s leading artisan chocolate recognized worldwide

The Davao Gulf provides a living for many fishermen. Some of the fish products include yellow fin tuna, brackish water milkfish, mudfish, shrimp and crab.Most of the fish catches are discharged in the fishing port in Barangay Toril, which are then sold in the numerous markets within the city.

Phoenix Petroleum is a multinational oil company based here is the first company to be in the PSE Composite Index outside Metro Manila. Industrial plants such as those of Coca-Cola Bottlers, Phil., Pepsi-Cola Products, Phil., Interbev Phil Inc. and RC Cola Phil., companies located in the city, as well as fruit packaging-exporting facilities, food manufacturing plants and a very huge number of business establishments ring the city.

Heritage

There are a number of cultural-heritage sites in the city, including the Davao Museum (in Insular Village, Lanang), the Mindanao Folk Arts Museum (Philippine Women’s College, Juna Subdivision, Matina), Davaoeño Historical Society Museum (at Magallanes and Claveria Streets) and the Philippine-Japan Museum (Matsuo Compound, Calinan). Japanese historical sites include the Japanese Tunnel (used by Japanese forces during World War II), the 20th-century Japanese cemetery and the Furukawa Fiber Plant (used by Yoshizo Furukawa as an abacá and banana plantation)

Landmarks and Historical Places

Davao City Hall

Davao City
Marked Structure, NHCP
Ipinatayo bilang gusaling munisipl ng Davao, 1926. Nilagdaan ni Pangulong Manuel L. Quezon ang Commonwealth Act No. 51 na bumuo sa Karta ng Lungsod ng Davao, 16 Oktubre 1936. Pinasinayaan ni Kalihim Elpidio Quirino ang Kata sa harapan ng gusali, 1 Marso 1937. Nasira nong panahon ng digmaan, 1945.Muling ipinatayo ayon sa orihinal na disenyo, 1947. Sentro ngpamahalaan sa pagtaguyod ng Davao bilang pangunahinglungsod sa silangang bahagi ng Mindanao noong panahon ng mga Amerikano.


Davao Penal Colony

Carmen, Davao del Norte

Marked Structure, NHCP

Established 21 January 1932. This is the first penal colony founded under the administration of a Filipino director of prisons, Lt. Col. Paulino Santos. The official and prisoners of the colony were transferred by the Japanese forces to Iwahig penal colony 8 November 1942; served as evacuation center for residents of Davao City during the early part of World War II; used as concentration camp for American prisoners of war. Colony was re-opened 2 August 1946.


Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary

Mount Hamiguitan, Davao Oriental

ASEAN Heritage Park; UNESCO World Heritage Site


Parish Church of San Salvador Del Mundo

Caraga, Davao del Norte

Important Cultural Property, National Museum

Ipinatayo ni Padre Pablo Pastells, S.J. yari sa kahoy, korales, atbato, 1877.


Santa Ana Port

Davao City
Marked Structure, NHCP
Dinaunga ng mga unang manggagawang agrikltutal na Hapon sa Davao, Mayo 1903.


Simbahan ng Caraga

Caraga, Davao Oriental

Marked Structure, NHCP

Ipinatayo ni Padre Pablo Pastells, s.j. kaagapay si Padre Juan Terricabras, s.j. yari sa kahoy, Korales at bato, 1877. Natapos ang simbahan at naging parokya sa patronato ni San Juan Savador del Mundi, 1884. Nagsilbing sentro ng misyon ng mga heswita sa pagtatag ng mga Pueblo at pagpalaganap ng ebanghelyo sa silangang bahagi ng Mindanao noong panahon ng mga espanyo.


Davao Museum

Insular Village I, Lanang

The Davao Museum showcases the history, culture and crafts of the various tribes in the region, including the tribes of Mandaya, Tiboli, Mansaka, B’laan, Manobo and Baghobo. The museum also features the earliest archeological finds in the Philippines, including pottery, jars, vases, tribal clothing and jewelry pieces.


Davao City Bay Walk

Beside J. Palma Gil and Jose Camus Streets

The new city landmark is barraged by people from all walks of life, and of every age. On its busiest days, it is here where you’ll be able to witness how cosmopolitan the city of Davao is. The park is also conveniently located near the downtown area and is flanked with dining amenities from almost every side. The nearest place for tourist or local visitor accommodation is the Apo View Hotel. The Royal Mandaya is also just some walking distance away.


Famous Delicacies

Ceviche

The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers. Additional seasonings, such as chopped onions, salt, and cilantro, may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors, such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn, avocado or plantain.

Ginanggang

Guinanggang, or ginang- is a snack food of grilled skewered bananas brushed with margarine and sprinkled with sugar. It originates from the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It literally means “grilled” in Cebuano. Ginanggang is made from a type of banana in the Philippines called saba (a cooking banana also known as the Cardaba banana). The banana is peeled, skewered and then grilled over charcoals. The sugar used on it is also white table sugar and is not caramelized.

Pakfry

Pakfry is derived from the words paksiw and fry. As the name suggests, it goes through two processes to cook. The first step is to cook it with vinegar and spices and then deep fry it for a crispy texture. Pakfry is made from a tuna buntot (tuna tail) which is abundant inMindanao. The best place to try this uniquely Davao dish is at Palovince Restaurant in Dakudao Avenue, Davao City.

Durian Cheesecake

If you want to have a taste of Durian and you’re not adventurous enough to try the fresh pulp, try the Durian Cheesecake. The best place to have it is at Lachi’s Restaurant in Marfori Heights. Lachi’s also serve green tea cheesecake and sans rival which are equally good.

Fresh Durian

Davao is known for its many varieties of Durian available all-year round. The best time to try them is During Kadayawan season since the price per kilo would drop to about P25.

Additional Trivia

The Philippine eagle, the country’s national bird and considered the largest eagle in the world, is endemic to Davao.

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Casa Real

Patterned after the traditional Filipino bahay na bato, this historic building has assumed many names and roles throughout the years. It had been known at one time or another as…

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Patterned after the traditional Filipino bahay na bato, this historic building has assumed many names and roles throughout the years.

It had been known at one time or another as Casa Gobierno de Iloilo, Palacio del Gobernador, Casa Real, Provincial Building, President Garcia Hall, and Iloilo Provincial Capitol. Renamed Casa Real de Iloilo in October 2016, it is now considered a National Historical Site by the National Historical Institute (NHI).

When it was the seat of power of the Provincial Government of Iloilo, the old Capitol building had been described as an anachronism in Iloilo City because it is located in a highly urbanized city that has become totally independent from the province under the 1937 Iloilo City Charter (Commonwealth Act No. 158) and the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160).

A new and modern building beside the Casa Real now houses the Iloilo Provincial Government.

Best in its class

Construction of the Casa Real or old Capitol building was initiated by then Governor Jose Maria Carles who served from 1862 to 1867. After being suspended for a few years, work resumed in 1870 during the time of Governor Eduardo Caballero.

Engraving of the Casa Gobierno de Iloilo published in page 236 of La Ilustracion Española y Americana (Madrid), 15 October 1875 issue.

The Spanish newspaper La Ilustración Española y Americana reported in its October 15, 1875 issue published in Madrid that the Casa Gobierno de Iloilo was completed in 1873 during the time of Governor Enrique Fajardo. It was described as “the most comfortable and the most spacious in the Philippines“ during that time.

“The design of the building is similar to what is commonly used in that country for important structures: the ground floor, where the offices and agencies of the provincial government are found, is made of excellent ashlar; the second floor, where the governor resides, is built of wood and trusses and its roof is made of galvanized iron, “La Ilustracion noted.

Casa Real de Iloilo, circa 1900s. (Iloilo, The Book. Hong Kong, 1992. Page 23)

“With a floor area of 1,225 square meters, the building has compartments with fine lighting and ventilation and is surrounded by excellent porches and galleries. Its features make the Government House of Iloilo one of the best in its class…,” it added.

Built of wood and stone

El Porvenir de Visayas, in its February 1895 issue, took note of the building’s large and magnificent staircase with its fine and varnished wood and spacious meeting hall.

John Foreman, in his book The Philippine Islands, described the Casa Real as “built of wood and stone, of good style and in a fair condition, with quite the appearance of an official residence.”

Provincial Building of Iloilo, circa 1910s.

“Before it is a semicircular garden, and in front of this there is a round fenced-in plot, in the middle of which stands a flag-staff,“ he added.

On December 27, 1907, Governor Benito Lopez was shot four times in his office at the left wing of the Provincial Building of Iloilo. He died 24 days later at the Iloilo Mission Hospital. The suspected assailant, Joaquin Gil, was a supporter of Francisco Jalandoni whom Lopez, father of business tycoons Eugenio and Fernando, defeated in the elections two months earlier.

Renovation works

Casa Real underwent renovation by the Insular Government in 1910. The building’s second level was reconstructed using concrete.

The Quarterly Bulletin of the Bureau of Public Works reported in 1913 that further improvements were made on the building using a P50,000 loan acquired by the Provincial Government of Iloilo.

Delegates of the Taft Mission to Asia greet the crowd from the balcony of the Provincial Building of Iloilo, August 1905. [Smithsonian Institution Research Information System]

The flag-staff in front of the building gave way to the Arroyo Fountain in 1927, when then Governor Jose Ledesma had it built in honor of Senator Jose Maria Arroyo who authored the law creating the Iloilo Metropolitan Water Works.

Japanese headquarters

During World War II, the Provincial Building of Iloilo was also used as the seat of the puppet government as it was where Dr. Fermin Caram, the Japanese-appointed governor, held office.

In 1960, then Governor Jose Zulueta remodelled the building, providing a canopy-like structure in its facade and an extension at the back to house courtrooms. The next year, he issued Executive Order No. 4-z that changed the building’s name to Provincial Capitol of Iloilo.

Prior to this, Zulueta came out with Executive Order No. 3-z which named the Session Hall of the provincial building as “President Garcia Hall.” The name was “to be placed at the back portion of the aforesaid Session Hall facing Iznart Street, Iloilo City.”

Arroyo Fountain, circa 1930s.

Renaming mistake

A mix-up in the execution of Zulueta’s orders resulted in the President Garcia Hall sign instead of Provincial Capitol of Iloilo getting placed at the provincial building’s facade instead.

On April 5, 1961, former Iloilo City chief of police Captain Patricio Miguel instituted mandamus proceedings in the lower court against Zulueta and then district engineer Ricardo Tancinco, alleging that the naming of the provincial building after a living person was not only prohibited by Republic Act 1059 but was also prejudicial to his rights, dignity, and self-respect as a taxpayer and a law-abiding citizen.

President Garcia Hall, c. 1960s

Carlos Garcia, who was president from March 17, 1957 to December 30, 1960, was still alive then, and the lower court ruled in favor of Miguel. (Garcia passed away on June 14, 1971 at the age of 74 in Tagbilaran City).

The case reached the Supreme Court, which affirmed the decision of the lower court on April 30, 1966. The SC noted that the lower court did not rule on the legality of EO 3-z but in its implementation.

Provincial Building of Iloilo (far right) as seen from Iznart Street, circa 1920s

American-era architecture

On November 4, 1998, a fire of unknown origin hit the Provincial Capitol of Iloilo, damaging its extension at the back leaving only the main building. This resulted in the construction of a new six-storey Provincial Capitol of Iloilo initiated by Gov. Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. that now stands behind the historic building.

The Provincial Capitol of Iloilo on fire, 4 November 1998.

On April 11, 2010, the National Historical Institute (NHI) declared the Provincial Capitol of Iloilo a historical landmark.

The restoration of the Provincial Capitol of Iloilo to its American-era architecture started in 2012, making it the provincial government’s major contribution to tourism and its resounding answer to the call for cultural heritage conservation.

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Smart digital tools to boost Antique tourism, communication efforts

With its cerulean waters surrounding stretches of white sandbars, majestic nature trails harboring rare flower species, and sites honoring a not too distant historical event, Antique has piqued the interest…

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With its cerulean waters surrounding stretches of white sandbars, majestic nature trails harboring rare flower species, and sites honoring a not too distant historical event, Antique has piqued the interest of travelers who prefer the off the beaten path.

Antiqueños are proud of their province and are spreading the word about it further by tapping into the digital space with the help of mobile innovations.

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications and InnoPub Media recently released the Antique Guide app, bringing the digital tourism program to the province. The app contains information useful to visitors and students, such as historical background, local folklore and other interesting cultural trivia. It also lists things to do and places to see.

Antique Guide

ANTIQUE GUIDE. The app is a comprehensive guide to the province.

Improve tourism, communications

Did you know that Rafflesia speciosa, one of the world’s largest flowers, can be found in Antique? Or that the first Malay inhabitants in the Philippines established their permanent settlement in the province? Facts and other details such as these are available on the app.

“We hope more people will discover what our place has to offer,” said Gov. Rhodora Cadiao. “We thank Smart for helping to improve our tourism and communication efforts by making these services available and accessible through mobile phones.”

The digital tourism program also includes the installation of markers with quick response (QR) codes and near field communication (NFC) chips in popular tourist spots and heritage sites. Through an NFC chip or QR code reader, mobile users will get on their phones detailed information about the said landmark.

The app is now available as a free download for both Android and iOS devices. The guide may also be accessed at ‪myguide.ph/antique‬.‬‬

Digital Tourism Antique

INTERACTIVE MARKERS. Tourism officers with SMART and InnoPub representatives hold interactive tourism markers during the launch of Digital Tourism in Antique.

Mobile innovations

“Our technology for development initiatives aim to use mobile innovations to help improve lives in our communities. We are pleased that Antique will now benefit from digital technologies,” said PLDT and Smart public affairs head Ramon R. Isberto.

The initial batch of QR code markers will be deployed to the following sites: Anini-y town and its Spanish-era church; Hamtic, home to the Malandog marker commemorating the establishment of the first Malaysian settlement in the Philippines; Antique provincial capitol; the Evelio B. Javier Freedom Park, named after the former governor whose heroism was seen as catalyst in the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship; and the capital town of San Jose de Buenavista.

More QR code markers will be deployed in other areas within the province, according to InnoPub cofounder Max Limpag. “We hope to showcase more of Antique into the digital space, and the best way to do that is to bring the information straight to users’ mobile phones,” Limpag said.

Digital Tourism

DIGITAL TOURISM. InnoPub Media co-founder Max Limpag talks about Digital Tourism during the launch.

To help enhance efforts in communication, as well as disaster preparedness, Smart also turned over to Antique its Infocast system. Smart Infocast is a short message service (SMS) broadcast platform that will enable the provincial government to send news updates, weather alerts, and other important information to its constituents through text message.

With the Smart Infocast, provincial authorities can send relevant updates to subscribers, who, in turn, can also send reports and feedback by replying to the message.

Deliver tourism, cultural, historical information

In partnership with government units, the digital tourism program of Smart and InnoPub is a nationwide initiative that harnesses technology to deliver tourism, cultural, and historical information to more mobile users. The program was launched in 2012 and has since been implemented in Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Baguio City, and Metro Manila, among other areas. It involves the creation of tourism apps and e-guides, and the installation of interactive markers in selected landmarks to trigger the download of more information.

Smart Infocast, for its part, has boosted the communication efforts of the institutions where it has been implemented, among them government units and agencies, and other organizations. It is part of Smart’s #SafePH advocacy, which promotes the use of technology to help mitigate disaster risk in communities.

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San Jose de Buenavista

Antique’s capital town of San Jose de Buenavista grew from settlements that started out as a visita. Small communities that were visited by the priest of the parishes they were…

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Antique’s capital town of San Jose de Buenavista grew from settlements that started out as a visita.

Small communities that were visited by the priest of the parishes they were attached to were called visitas during Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines.

In the case of San Jose, it was once attached to the town of Antique that was founded in 1745.

It was called Malaiba when it became a sitio of what was then the town of Antique. Sometime from 1787 to 1790, Governor General Berenguer de Marquina granted the whole Mailaba estate to Agustin Sumandi.

San Jose de Buenavista is teh capital of Antique.

Not long after that, in 1972, Malaiba was turned into a town and Sumandi became the first gobernadorcillo.

Since the place was dedicated to San Jose, it was decided the town should adopt the name of its patron saint. During the ceremonies creating it into a township, government officials and dignitaries were so taken in by the view of the place from the sea that they added “de Buenavista” to its name of San Jose.

Upon a petition from the people, San Jose became the capital of Antique in 1802. It started out with the pueblos of Guintas, Hamtic, and San Pedro.

Hamtic was later separated from San Jose through an executive order issued by President Ramon Magsaysay in 1945.

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Hamtic

A sleepy community located close to the provincial capital, Hamtic plays a considerable significance in Antique’s history. This town is home to the Malandog Marker that commemorates the first Malaysian…

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A sleepy community located close to the provincial capital, Hamtic plays a considerable significance in Antique’s history.

This town is home to the Malandog Marker that commemorates the first Malaysian settlement in the Philippines and the first Filipino governor of Antique who was a local hero during the Spanish revolution.

A local epic on Panay history called the Maragtas tells of 10 Bornean datus who sailed northward with their families and first settled in what is now the village of Malandog in Hamtic.

The Malandog Marker that commemorates the first Malaysian settlement in the Philippines.

The Province of Antique commemorates this arrival with an annual celebration called the Binirayan Festival.

Historical shrines

Hamtic used to be the provincial capital before it was moved to San Jose de Buenavista. Antique also used to be called Hamtic way back in the 13th century when the island of Panay was divided into three sakups (jurisdictions): Hamtik or Hantik (now Antique), Aklan, and Irong-Irong (Iloilo).

Gen. Leandro Fullon Shrine.

The name Hantik comes from the large black ants called “hantik-hantik” that were plentiful in the area.

The town of Hamtic is eight kilometers from San Jose. Some of the historical and cultural shrines in the town include the Campo Santo (old stone church in Hamtic Cemetery), Gen. Leandro Fullon Shrine that depicts the birth of the Republic, and the Evelio B. Javier statue at Barangay EBJ.

The first Malay settlement. (Photo provided by Antique Provincial Tourism Office)

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Anini-y

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…

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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.

ANINI AND NOGAS. A mural of the love story between princess Anini and brave and dashing warrior Nogas.

Star-crossed lovers

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.

The old Balete tree on Nogas Island.

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.

The Anini-y church.

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Evelio B. Javier Freedom Park

He was young and idealistic, and his heroism was seen as a crucial catalyst in the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship. Antiqueños gather yearly here at the Evelio B. Javier…

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He was young and idealistic, and his heroism was seen as a crucial catalyst in the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship.

Antiqueños gather yearly here at the Evelio B. Javier Freedom Park to remember the former governor who was gunned down at the peak of the snap presidential elections on February 11, 1986.

Javier was a staunch supporter of former President Corazon Aquino. He was martyred on the very spot where a bronze statue of him created by the late national artist Napoleon Abueva now stands.

Evelio B. Javier Freedom Park

Evelio B. Javier Freedom Park

Many in Panay Island consider Attorney Evelio Bellaflor Javier as their “Ninoy Aquino.” His death further added fuel to the growing anger towards the regime of the late strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.

Born in Hamtic, Antique on October 14, 1942, Javier took up Bachelor of Arts and majored in History and Government at the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU). He went on to finish his Bachelor of Laws in the same university.

Evelio B. Javier Freedom Park

Javier was married and had two sons. He was only 28 when he ran and won the gubernatorial seat of Antique in 1971. Memorabilia of his life are now on display at the Museo Antiqueño inside the Old Capitol.

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Experience Antique, where mountains meet sea

Welcome to Antique! The homeland of the Antiqueños is a rustic idyll of pristine islands, hot and cold springs, ancient churches and ruins, scenic beaches, and wooded mountain trails. It…

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Welcome to Antique!

The homeland of the Antiqueños is a rustic idyll of pristine islands, hot and cold springs, ancient churches and ruins, scenic beaches, and wooded mountain trails.

It is a paradise of picturesque spots and exciting experiences. Going from one place to another is to bask in the sight of majestic mountain ranges or the cerulean blue sea peeking out from behind roadside trees.

A walk along our highland trails is a chance to encounter such rare flora as “corpse flowers” and carnivorous plants.

A journey through the 18 towns in the province can lead to rare parasitic or carnivorous flowers, open up to a vista of valleys and peaks, or end in the sight of red-tinted or clear waterfalls, terraces carved on the mountainside, a running spring with the coldest water, and gushing rivers or quiet lakes.

Antique Provincial Capitol.

History

Before it became Antique, the province was called Hamtic way back in the 13th century. The legendary datus who came to the Philippines from Borneo created the first Malay settlement in a town that now bears the province’s old name of Hamtic.

Of the legendary datus who went on to occupy Panay Island, Datu Sumakwel chose to remain and live in Antique.

The town of Hamtic used to be the provincial capital but it was transferred to San Jose de Buenavista in 1802, wrote Fr. Pedro Galende in his book “Angels of Stone.”

Another Catholic Church historian, Fr. Juan Fernandez, said early on that progress and modernization came slowly to Antique because of its isolated location.

Historical landmark commemorating the first settlement.

Geography

Antique today takes pride in its unspoiled islands and preserved forests.

Narrow and long, and bordered by the Cuyo East Pass of the Sulu to the west and tall mountain ranges to the east, Antiqueños can rightly claim that Antique is where the mountains meet the sea.

Viewed from a map, Antique is shaped like a seahorse on the western border of Panay in Western Visayas. It is one of four provinces that make up the island mass.

Those who liken Panay Island to a three-cornered scarf see Antique as an oversized jagged hemline. Its unique location gives it one of the longest coastlines in the country.

A view of Nogas Island.

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Anini-y Church

Dedicated to San Juan Nepomuceno, the Church of Anini-y in Antique dates back to the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines. It is believed the first town church was built…

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Dedicated to San Juan Nepomuceno, the Church of Anini-y in Antique dates back to the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines.

It is believed the first town church was built way back between 1630 and 1638, when Anini-y was still a visita first of Antique and then Dao, by priests assigned to minister to the small local population.

Although the foundations of the first structure still existed when the second church was erected close by around 1845, there were no records as who built it, according to Fr. Pedro Galende in his book Angels of Stone.

It is believed the first town church was built way back between 1630 and 1638, when Anini-y was still a visita first of Antique and then Dao, by priests assigned to minister to the small local population.

The second church was destroyed during World War II.

Galende said the current one is a full restoration of the Anini-y Church made of masonry that Fr. Jeronimo Vaquerin started building close to 1900.

Except for a large arch near the main altar, the third Anini-y Church was basically finished in 1898. Galende described it as being made of coral stones, with one main nave and transept, and complemented by a three-story belltower that rose 25 meters high.

Anini-y became an independent parish through a decree issued on December 20, 1861 but took effect only on March 22, 1862 when Gov. Gen. Jose Lemery signed the order of separation. It had been administered by Augustinians since 1581.

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