Igbaras is a basket full of numerous activities for tourists and visitors to enjoy. Tourism in the town is built on the concept of ecotourism and the main focus is placed on sustainable use of the natural and cultural attractions which is its foundation, as well as empowering the local communities to benefit from tourism. It offers a diversity of attractions and activities. This makes the town a one stop destination for all your adventure expectations. It is rich in flora and fauna.

This Third-Class municipality is situated in the southwestern portion of the province. It is 40 kilometers away or an hour and twenty minute ride from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by the Municipality of San Remegio of Antique Province; east by the Municipality of Tubungan; west by the Municipality of Miagao; and in the south by the Municipality of Guimbal. It has a total land area of 15,245 hectares that is politically subdivided into 46 barangays.

Igbaras is populated by 32, 004 (2015 Census of Population) Igbarasnons. Market day is every Wednesday. It celebrates its Municipal Fiesta every 24th of June and Religious Fiesta every 22nd of May in honour of St. John the Baptist.

To get to the, one can take a jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary Terminal in Barangay Mohon, Oton, Iloilo or at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala I, Iloilo City.


The name Igbaras comes from a combination of two words, “ig” or “tig” which means “plenty of” or “season of”, and “baras” which means “sand”. Thus Igbaras means “plenty of sand” which alludes to the nearby sandy river. Initially being a part of Guimbal until 1902, it became a separate town in 1919 during the American occupation.

As a result of the implementation of Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria’s decree on giving Filipinos with Spanish surnames in 1849, inhabitants of Igbaras during that time were interestingly apportioned with surnames starting mostly with the letter “E”


RUINS OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH CHURCH was said to have been constructed in 1784 under the supervision of Rev. Father Juan Aguado. Originally made of yellow bricks, it has a beautiful convent that was constructed in 1795. The materials used were quarried from the mountains of Igbaras. It was however destroyed by the flood. Another church was built under the supervision of Father Ignacio Marcos and the convent was under the supervision of Father Celestino Fernandez. However, both were destroyed by Lady Kaykay earthquake in 1948. Though now in ruins, it is still famous for its altar which was transformed into a grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Portions of the original belfry had been converted into an Adoration Chapel.

MOUNT NAPULAK the mist-shrouded peaks of this famous mountain situated in Barangay Tigbanaba provide a stunning backdrop to its magnificent landscape. It is the highest mountain in the area measuring 1,200 meters above sea level. The shaped reminds one of a woman’s breast where massive coral rock, as big as a two-storey building, that sits on its peak and provides trekkers an eye-catching view of the city with mountain patches of the neighboring Antique Province.

The trails getting to the mountain exposes the area’s virgin forests and abundant wildlife. Walking tours in the foothills are a feature, although only the experienced and fit should attempt an ascent on its peaks. The highland meets cloud and mountainous landscapes; and flanking to this astounding array of natural habitats lie the artistic farmlands and villages of the local inhabitants providing very good photographic opportunities. Possible routes can be from the Poblacion to Barangay Bagay is a 5 – 8 hour trek or from the Poblacion to Barangay Tigbanaba approximately 4 – 7 hour hike. For those planning to get to the mountain, it is best to book the at least two days before.

The Municipal Tourism Office helps and recommends official mountain guides. There is no water source when on the peak of the Napulak so hikers are advised to secure water containers. It is very cold up there especially during early morning so proper clothing is needed to those who wish to pitch in their tents for an overnight stay.

IGCABUGAO CAVE in Barangay Igcabugao is 14 kilometers away from the town proper. It is a downhill walk on a rocky track where tremendous rock formations frames the way to the cave. One can relax in the cool and clear waters of Igbolo Creek nearby. The chambers inside the cave are eerie and immense. Lantern-equipped guides will take one to a pool of clear but extremely cold water.

NADSADJAN FALLS in Barangay Passi is approximately 10 kilometers away from the town proper. It is a 100-foot high waterfall that pours into a cauldron-shaped natural swimming pool. It is the most visited falls of this town by tourists. Getting to the area is a one and a half kilometer not so difficult trek carved out of rocky landscapes with its fertile soils dotted with numerous serpentine-shaped river tributaries that embraces the track. A huge Balete tree stands near the falls. Other falls include Lagsakan Falls, Timapok Falls, Guiritsan Falls, Kiput Falls and Sampanan Falls.


TANGYAN is annually celebrated every 3rd week of May. The name of the festival refers to the river Tangyan that was once named Orang Tangyan. According to local folk history, Orang Tangyan was the father of Queen Maniwangtiwan, wife of Datu Marikudo, the Aeta Chief who sold to the 10 Bornean Datus the island of Aninipay (Panay).

The Ati Chieftain and his family once lived in the plains of Igtalongon at the foot of Mt. Napulak along the river, named after Marikudo’s father-in-law, Orang Tangyan. The festivity is a time when this scenic town unites in recognizing the economic importance of its Tangyan River to the community. The river has functioned as the economic heartland where Igbarasnons are engaged in agriculture. As they say, the most fertile areas for farming are in the plains near the Tangyan tributaries where it provides irrigation, potable water and fish stocks, supporting livelihoods in the area. The festival is also dedicated to the preservation and protection of their cultural heritage and to be able to share them with the younger generation.

MT. NAPULAK NATIONAL INVITATIONAL CLIMB is celebrated every 3rd week of January. Started in 2008, it is organized by Friends of the Higher Grounds Mountaineers Iloilo, in cooperation with Municipality of Igbaras LGU and Municipality of Igbaras Tourism Office to promote the town of Igbaras as a destination for mountaineering groups based in Iloilo and Panay Island. Participants joining pay a registration fee that includes their t-shirt, IDs, certificate, transportation and meals for the two nights / three days event. Mt. Napulak is the highest peak of the municipality of Igbaras. It is called Napulak because of its iconic “nipple” rock in the local language that sits at its very summit. The metal cross was built on top of this rock to signify the faith of the people.



Tubungan is an isolated agricultural town with a mountainous location and offers a taste of pre-tourist-boom life, connecting itself with the rest of the towns in the First Congressional District of the Province of Iloilo. It is a mountaineer’s playground. Aside from these scenic attractions, the town has its own share of historical sites to contribute to the Heritage District of the province.

The Fourth Class municipality of Tubungan is situated in the southwestern portion of the province and is 41.1 kilometers away or an hour and fifteen minute drive from the city. It is bounded in the north by the municipality of Leon, in the south by the municipality of Guimbal, in the east by the municipality of Tigbauan and in the west by the municipality of Igbaras. It has a total land area of 3, 460 hectares that is politically subdivided into 48 barangays.

Tubungan is populated by 22, 449 Tubunganons. Market day is every Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. It celebrates its annual religious fiesta every 17th of June in honour of St. Anthony the Abbot.

To get to the town, one can take a Tubungan jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary Terminal in Barangay Mohon, Oton or at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala I, Iloilo City.


The town derived its name from the Hiligaynon word tubong meaning to contribute. The Spanish Laws of the Indies (Leyes de Indias) at that time required that before a place could be recognized as a town, it should comply with the requirements in population. People from neighboring villages were encouraged, even recruited to settle in Tin-an so that the requirement for Tubungan to be an independent town be met.

The founding of the town of Tubungan came about through the contribution or additionof settlers from the adjacent places in order to make up the necessary population required for the township. Hence, Tin-an was renamed as Tubungan because of the contribution or tubong of its neighbors.


ST ANTHONY THE ABBOT PARISH CHURCH is of Romanesque architectural style. The present church was built in 1844 under the supervision of Father Luis Toro. The materials used were adobe stones that were found in the rivers and hills around the area. It was however destroyed during World War II by the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFE) to prevent Japanese armies from occupying the church to be used as their garrison. In 1947 the ground floor of the old church was cemented. However, it was totally ruined after the 1948 Lady Kaykay earthquake.

A new church was built using bamboo. However, in 1951 it was replaced with a wooden structure supervised by Father Luiz Zotz which later on was continued by Father Laurence Oberzbacher and Father Joseph Brereton. The belfry was constructed in 1958 and completed in 1960. The parish was turned over by Mill Hill missionaries to the seculars In Aril 23, 1962. The construction of the present church was initiated by Father Sagra in 1978.

CRUZ SA BALABAGO in Barangay Batga around 7.50 kilometers away from the town center. On Holy Thursday, the Panait ritual is re-enacted near the Cross sa Balabago where Babaylans from neighboring towns and provinces gather on the site they call the holy well or El Pozo Santo which still exists even up to this day. Rituals are performed to ask for good weather, rain or to thank the ancestral spirit for good harvest and energized themselves.

BUBON KUMON located near the site of Cruz sa Balabago which believed to be the center of the universe by the Babaylans.

ECO-PARK in Barangay Bacan, 3 kilometers away from the town center is a living classroom and laboratory for environmental education and aims to be a center for biodiversity conservation in Iloilo. It has nurseries for indigenous trees and vegetable seedlings, screen houses for vegetables, goatery/ piggery, clonal chambers, Farmer’s Learning Center, Bio Control Laboratory and Vermi Composting Areas.

TINDUG BATO situated in Barangay Molina is a legendary place with a huge stone approximately stands 200 feet high and 150 feet in diameter and ideal place for adventure climbers, which could be rich at the top thru vines climbing.

BATO SUMPIT in Barangay Igtuble is a 10-meter high waterfalls that spits water from a stone wall.

BATO SIMBAHAN is just a trek away from the Bato Sumpit. It is called as such because of its huge size and its churchlike shape. You could reach inside thru holding down the vines and there, you could see huge stones in altar shape and surrounded by the crystal-like waterfalls. This place is believed to be a center of holiness during ancient times.

PINIHAKAN DARAGA in Barangay Igtuble is a mountain range that could be reached thru walking passing the mountain trail and believed to be a mythical place that suggested a mythical triangle of Urdina, BIiladyong and Balanakon.


TUBONG-TUBONG is celebrated every last week of April till May 1. Derived from the Hiligaynon word “tubong” or “to contribution or chip-in,” the theme for the annual tribal presentation depicts the spirit of cooperative effort involving a community of members and features a small celebration to express gratitude. Other tribes focus on indigenous beliefs such as folk rituals established among the people in the community and the non-human beings, such as spirits and divinities. Cultural practices as expressed in a collection of stories are also presented where it shaped the town’s history.



Guimbal sprawls in the heart of the First Congressional District. Despite the obvious rapid development in the area, a spectacular richness survives within and around it. It is one of Iloilo’s beautifully preserved colonial towns, located 40 minutes by car from the city. Boasting one of the largest, beautiful and clean town squares in Iloilo, Guimbal offers a unique cultural experience to its visitors.

This Fourth Class municipality is situated south of the province and is 29 kilometers or almost an hour away from Iloilo City. The town shares borders with Tigbauan in the east; in the northeast by Tubungan; Igbaras in the northwest; and west by Miagao. It has a land area of 4, 448 hectares that is politically subdivided into 33 barangays.

Guimbal is populated by 33, 820 Guimbalanons. Market day is every Tuesday. It annually celebrates its religious fiesta every 10th of September in honour of San Nicolas de Tolentino.

To get to the resort, one can take a Guimbal jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala I, Iloilo City.


Originally, the name of the ancient Malay settlement was called Gibuangan, describing the point where the river connects to the open sea. The modern name Guimbal was derived from the Old Spanish word attabal meaning a small drum. The Spanish observed that the natives used the instrument to warn the people of the coming of Moro raiders who would come to capture the natiuves to be sold as slaves in Mindanao and Malacca.

Since then the Spanish had recorded the name os the town as Guimbal. The History of the Agustinian Order in the Philippines, a book of records compiled by Fray Juan de Medina, OSA., the appendix of which was added by Fray Coco, referred to the establishment of a convento in Guimbal, Iloilo in 1590.


ST. NICOLAS OF TOLENTINE PARISH CHURCH is of Baroque architectural style. The first church was built in 1774 under the supervision of Father Juan Aguado and was finished by Father Juan Campos. Its outside walls are of yellow sandstone. The church was destroyed in an earthquake in July 13, 1787. The church was reconstructed under the supervision of Father Jose Oranguren in 1893. He also started the construction of the town cemetery. However, the church was burned in December of 1895. Father Agustin Llorente restored the church and started building its tower in January of 1896.

The present church is of two levels. Its pediment was integrated in the second level. It has a semi-circular arch with a row of rosettes for its main entrance. The church was originally facing the street across which is the sea. When the municipal plaza was built at its back, the back side was converted into the front side to make it the church facing the plaza. It has undergone some reconstruction after it was destroyed twice, during the Second World War and during the 1948 Lady Kaykay earthquake.

BANTAYAN or Moro watchtower is one of the most valuable ruins built in Guimbal in the 18th century. They have lasted for hundreds of years with remarkable strength. The town has four such towers that remain to this day and are situated in the barangays of Nanga, Rizal-Tuguisan, Generosa and Pescadores.

TAYTAY TIGRE is a short Spanish Arch Bridge located along Rizal Street along the highway a few meters away from the town plaza. It is known as Taytay Tigre but four coral stone lion structures are placed in both sides of the bridge. These lions are believed to be the only existing medici lions (sculptures depicting standing male lions with a sphere or ball under one paw) in the Philippines. The arch bridge measures 4.5-meter in length.

GUIMBAL STEEL BRIDGE constructed during the American period is considered as the Longest Steel Bridge in Western Visayas. It measures 348.40 meters kilometers long and 10.50 meters wide. When you are coming from the town proper it starts in Barangay Bagumbayan and ends in Barangay Bongol. It is made of Pittsburgh Steel from Virginia, USA. The construction was ordered by US President Roosevelt and it took the builders 399 working days to finish it sometime in 1932.

AYAW-AYAW MONUMENT is a historical landmark which was built on a hill in Barangay Igcocolo. It has the life-sized image of Andres Bonifacio, the founder of Katipunan. The landmark was built on the place where the American soldiers had a bloody encounter with the Filipino revolutionaries.


BANTAYAN, celebrated every first week of April. Derived from the Hiligaynon word Bantayan or Spanish-built stone towers (rootword bantay or to watch or guard) used as viewing decks to spot the arrival of the Moro pirates by sea. Bantayans also served as defensice platforms to repel the invaders. The Spanish constructed many watchtowers to protect the town and parishes from the Moros alonmg the coast of Panay. The festivity’s background not only combines celebrating the few remaining Spanish watchtowers but also the practical function of the little drum, the attabal then used by the natives as a means to warn the community of the arrival of the invaders.

Highlight of the celebration is the dance-drama presentation of the battle between the natives of Guimbal and the Muslim pirates. The winning tribe gets to perform the re-enactment nthe following year as part of the series special events showcased before the dance-drama competition during the Banatyan week celebration. The festival was launched in 2003.

DISYEMBRE SA GUIMBAL CELEBRATION is a two-week extravagant celebration of Christmas usually starting on the third week of December until New Year. It is a tradition celebrated since 1975 and now synonymous to a merry, colourful, large-scale and elaborated rejoicing of the yuletide season. It includes musical and cultural presentations such as lantern parades, drum corps exhibition, beauty pageant, food festival and talent shows. It is to provide entertainment to the people waiting for midnight mass.

BARI-BARI is a Holy Week tradition of putting up 14 Kapiyas or Stations of the Cross. After the Holy Thursday and Good Friday processions, people do the bari-bari where they trace the route of the procession to take a closer look at the intricately-crafted Kapiyas.



TIGBAUAN offers a relaxing, carefree getaway with exciting attractions from beaches, heritage areas, fun events and fantastic local produce. It is magnet for local tourists. Preserved landmarks from one of Iloilo’s earliest town sites still stand in this place. This picturesque town is looking forward to welcoming you with warm hospitality and exciting attractions and activities.

Tigbauan is a Second-Class town south in the province of Iloilo. It is bordered by Leon in the north; San Miguel in the northwest; in the east by Oton; the Iloilo Strait in the south; and, west by Guimbal. It is located 22.5 kilometers or a 40-minuter ride from Iloilo City. It has a land area measuring 6, 062 hectares that is politically sub-divided into 52 barangays.

Tigbauan is populated by 62, 706 (2015 Census on Population) Tigbauanons. Market day is every Sunday. It celebrates its Municipal Fiesta every 2nd Sunday of January in honour of St. John of Sahagun.

Visitors can take a Tigbauan, Guimbal, Miagao or San Joaquin jeepneys at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala I, Iloilo City.


Before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, a previous native settlement had been in existence and this was named after Anthisteria cilleta, a certain specie of reed known among the natives as Tigbao. The pre-Hispanic settlement was known as Katigbauan meaning “the place of reeds” among its indigenous inhabitants which the Spaniards finalized as Tigbauan.

From their Administrative Center in La Villa Rica de Arevalo, Spanish authorities established “Pueblo de Tigbauan,” shortened from “Katigbawan.”


ST. JOHN OF SAHAGUN PARISH is of Mexican plateresque architectural style. The first church was built under the supervision of Father Fernando Camporredondo. Made of sandstone and coral, it was said to be so strong that it withstood a powerful earthquake in July 13, 1787.

The present church along with its convent was built by Father Fernando Martin in 1867. It is said to be a reconstruction of the “parochial church.” It is a one-of-its-kind in the Philippines because of the lavish piling up of its surface ornamentation especially with its stone carvings. It has floral motifs on its pilasters and spandrels. The main arch on the first level is decorated with a cherub with bent wings and an Augustinian emblem-heart, arrow and the episcopal coat of arms at the center.

The second level is carved with an elaborate niche which holds the statue of St. Nicolas de Tolentino with two little angels on both sides of the upper frame. The third level has the image of the Child Jesus.

In 1975, a historical marker of the National Historical Institute was placed on its churchyard identifying the site where the first Jesuit boarding school for boys in the Philippines was established. It is said that with the presence of Jesuit Brothers Pedro Chirino and Francisco Martin in Tigbauan, a school for Visayan boys was established where catechism, reading, writing, Spanish, and liturgical music were taught.

In 1593-94, Brother Pedro Chirino established a dormitory and school house for the Spanish boys near his rectory. In 1994, under the direction of Rev. Fr. Eleuterio Rojo Carton, the interior of the church was renovated with a wide array of carefully laden tile mosaics such as the station of the cross and the altar that bears Dante’s interpretation of heaven and hell.

SEAFDEC or SOUTH EAST ASIAN FISHERY DEVELOPMENT CENTER in Barangay Buyu-an was established in 1967. It is an inter-governmental organization that promotes sustainable fisheries development in the region. This 40-hectare complex includes various research laboratories, hatcheries, and brood stock tanks and caters to the information and technical services on bangus and prawn culture, with complete amenities and facilities thru their physical plant and sub-stations.


BURIHAN is celebrated every 1st till the 2nd week of February. Annually held in Barangay Bitas, the festivity recognizes the usefulness of the buri palmtree (Corypha Microclada) and defines its role as a major source of livelihood for the community. Derived from the buri palmtree are the buri, raffia and buntal fibers used to make ropes, fan, hats, slippers, placemats, etc. The centrepiece of the festival is the tribal dance competition which they celebrate with great passion and joy that even the names of the competing groups carry the processes of how these fibers were obtained such as Likyad, Luknit, Sasa, Karatel and Hilo.

PAGDAUG-SALUDAN is celebrated every second week of March. The name was derived from the Hiligaynon word salud which means the act of gathering or catching things or objects of value by using a container. Such word is also used in the act of catching rice with a kalalaw or catching fingerlings with a bamboo and net fishtrap. The festivity defines the primary income-earning industry of the town which was fishing and farming. This traditional harvest celebration is performed thru dance alongside the festivity of Pagdaug, a commemoration of the annual Liberation of Panay from the Japanese Military Forces during the Second World War.

Pagdaug-Saludan as a festival does not only recognize the sufferings and sacrifices of the locals but presents the abundance of the various local produce that symbolized the industriousness of Tigbauanons. Highlight of the festival is the tribal dnace-drama competition.



OTON is an eclectic mixture of waterfront resorts and restaurants and local shops to provide for the desires and comfort of its visitors. There are all the services and amenities like that of an urban area without the crowds, bustle and impatience. The community typifies the charm and variety of activities to be found in the area.

The First-Class town of Oton is situated south of the province. It is approximately 10.2 kilometers or a 30-minute ride from the city and is bordered in the east by the district of Arevalo in Iloilo City; west by the municipality of Tigbauan: north by San Miguel; and the southern portion by a stretch of shoreline of the Sulu Sea. It has a land area of 8, 456 hectares that is politically subdivided into 37 barangays.

Oton is populated by 89,115 (2015 Census on Population) Ogtonganons. Market day is every Mondays and Saturdays. Its Municipal Fiesta is celebrated every December 8 in honour of our Lady of Immaculate Conception.

Visitors can take a Tigbauan, Guimbal, Miagao or San Joaquin jeepneys at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or when in the city, at the market situated at the back of Robinsons Place Iloilo.


Many people believe that Oton is a Hispanized version of the phrase “ogtong adlaw”, which means “noontime.” According to the story, the native gave this phrase when they were asked by the Spanish exporters as to the time of the day. Many people still refer to the town as Ogtong.

The oldest pueblo in Panay after Cebu and Manila upon their arrival in the 16th century, Oton became the seat of the Alcadia de Panay from 1572 to 1581. The seat pf government was transferred to la Villa Rica de Arevalo in 1581 thus making Arevalo the capital of Probinsya de Iloilo from 1581 to 1688. It was said that Oton was an ancient Malayan capital under Datu Paiburong. The seat of this ancient government was in Katagman, now Barangay San Antonio.

Its pre-Hispanic past identified it as a center of trading with merchandise coming from other parts of Asia. A source of pre-Hispanic culture can be established upon the recovery of a number of antique Chinese jars and porcelain excavated from several sites in the area. The most popular was in the 1960s when anthropologists Alfredo Evangelista and F. Landa Jocano excavated an ancient grave site in Barangay San Antonio and found a death mask made of very thin gold with one piece used to cover the eye and the other piece placed on the nose.


GROTTO WALLS situated on the left-side area upon entering the churchyard uses coral rocks from the remains of the old church after it was devasted by a powerful earthquake, Lady Kaykay in January 24, 1948. The grotto walls are engulfed by the roots of a humungous tree beside it.

WEAVING in Barangays Salngan, Cagbang and Lambuyao’s is a livelihood program where the ancient craft of hand-weaving, along with hand-spinning, remains a popular craft in these barangays up to this day. It is one of the most important crafts handed down from generation, and their indigenous fabrics of hablon and patadyong are admired for their sheer beauty, uniqueness and global appeal.

Oton’s flourishing weaving industry is one of the traditional industries literally woven around its histories and culture. However, production slowed down at some point in time because of better quality textiles came into market. Today, hablon and patadyong, a once traditional material, is being revived into a contemporary textile that holds endless opportunities for exciting applications.

SHELLCRAFT in Barangay Cagbang in Oton, Iloilo is a center for the producing quality shell craft products that will make that perfect holiday souvenir. Visitors can choose from a wide range of hand-crafted shell fashion accessories, curtains, jewelry boxes, lamp shades, candle holder, picture frames, table decors and many other items all handcrafted and made of natural shell component and materials. Oton’s shell-craft industry has metamorphosed into one of Iloilo’s top pasalubong items.


KATAGMAN is celebrated every last week of April till the first week of May. The festival name was derived from an older name identifyuing the ancient settlement of Katagman which eventually became Oton. Celebrated since 2004, it showcases Oton’s rich history starting from its pre-colonial settlement of Katgman and its role as a major trading emporium for indigenous and foreign goods.

The icon of the celebration is the Chinese Golden Death Mask worn by performers on their foreheads or as a mask or used as an accessory or hand prop. Seven (7) participating tribes are clustered from its 37 barangays.

SANDIYA celebrated every 1st week of December is organized by the Municipal Agriculture and Cooperative Office of Oton and the Oton Watermelon Grower’s Association (OWGA) in partnership with the East-West Seed Company to honor the many watermelon farmers of the town for their outstanding contributions to the community.
Oton, being well-known as a major source and the largest producer of sweet and juicy watermelons in the province supplies watermelons to may parts of the region. With this, an annual festivity celebrates the bountiful harvest of watermelons by the farmers of this town that also brings together the community and its visitors from all walks of life to enjoy and participate in various watermelon events.


Welcome to Sorsogon

Verdant mountain ranges, pristine beaches, clean springs and lakes, and abundant produce, the Province of Sorsogon in Luzon’s southernmost tip is a haven of biodiversity and adventure.

Its seas serve as feeding grounds of the butanding or the whale shark, the biggest fish in the world. These gentle giants congregate in the sea off the town of Donsol from October to May as they feed on the abundant planktons, krills, and juvenile fishes in the area.

Thousands of tourists from around the world come to Sorsogon to swim and interact with the butanding in a manner that doesn’t harm this marine resource.

Donsol is not only the butanding capital of the country, it also offers a river cruise along Ogod River that includes the magical experience of watching fireflies light up the riverside.

Donsol is not only the butanding capital of the country, it also offers a river cruise along Ogod River that includes the magical experience of watching fireflies light up the riverside.

Natural wonders

Sorsogon is also home to the Mt. Bulusan National Park, a pristine habitat of endemic flora and fauna. It encompasses a 5,077-feet volcano and a 3,672-hectare lake.

The park also covers a tropical forest, lakes, rivers, and natural springs.

Near Sorsogon’s boundary with Albay is a forest reserve that spans 25,100 hectares. Within the Bacon-Manito Geothermal Plant Eco-Park are more natural wonders: Botong Twin Falls, lakes, springs, and sheer rock faces.

The province has unspoiled beaches and offers short boat trips to picturesque islands, one of which has pink sand. Surfing is another fun activity in Gubat town’s Rizal Beach.

Historic sites

Sorsogon is replete with historic sites attesting to its checkered past. The 19th century Barcelona Church, which was built using corals and dark-colored stones, tops the list.

The first Christian settlement in Luzon, which was also the site of the first mass officiated by Augustinian priest Alonso Jimenez in 1569, is in Gibalong Village in Sorsogon.

In the town of Juban, there are a few Spanish-era ancestral houses that have defied time and the elements. They serve as the town’s living museums with their collection of antiquities.

Other places of note: Provincial Capitol Park with its old world charm, gazebo that used to host brass bands and orchestras, Pepita Park Rest Area and Rompeolas for a refreshing view of Sorsogon Bay.

Provincial capital

Sorsogon City, the provincial capital, is the commercial and transport hub as well as religious and educational center. It hosts numerous hotels, restaurants, schools, resorts, and other tourism facilities.

Sorsogon used to be under the territorial jurisdiction of Albay until it was organized into a separate geographical unit on October 17, 1894.


Welcome to Capiz

Welcome to captivating Capiz! The province’s charm lies in its blend of history and natural beauty.

A main feature of the province is its 80-kilometer coastline that leads out to one of the richest fishing grounds in the country. It’s not surprising that Capiz is dubbed the seafood capital of the Philippines.

Mountain peaks and ranges, rolling hills, wide sandy beaches, and old-world structures form part of the Capiz mystic. The Sta. Monica Church hosts the biggest and most likely heaviest Christian bell in Asia. It was built in 1774 and still stands today as a symbol of the people’s enduring faith.

Capiz Province History

Pre-colonial Capiz was part of Aklan. It became the second Spanish settlement after Cebu when Pan-ay became the capital of the province. It was created as an encomienda and was transformed into a politico-military unit in the 18th century. Capiz became a separate province from Aklan in 1956.

What to see

1. Manuel Roxas Monument
A famous landmark in the city, the monument stands right across the Panublion Museum in Roxas City and is adjacent to the Jose Rizal monument.

2. Manuel Acuña Roxas House Historical Landmark
Located near the Roxas City town plaza at the corner of Rizal and Zamora streets, the two-storey house is the birthplace of Manuel Roxas, first postwar president of the Philippines.

3. Church Belfry of San Antonio de Padua
Constructed from 1879 to 1880, the remaining ruins has an area of .011 hectares and with a height of 30ft. The original belfry had a height of 40ft but an earthquake in 1947 toppled down its upper portion.

4. Torre ni Bobby
A seven-storey building in Cuartero with a tower where one can have a panoramic view of the town and Panay River. The building has a concept of condominium, every floor has the same plan that depicts a unit in the present condominium buildings.

5. Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church
This Augustinian church in Dao is made of coral stone, very refined and marble-like, has one main nave and a very spacious transept. The façade is characterized by the massive wall that contrasts with some rather slender columns.

6. Balucuan Bridge
Built during the American period, this bridge is composed of only one concrete arch span that supports above its arch with small arches holding the road deck. The town of Dao has made it a linear garden and greeting station for those entering town.

7. Ruins of the Panay Railway
Founded in 1906, the Panay Railway had 19 permanent stations and 10 flag stops , one of which was the Dao Station. The landscape where the railway ruins stands can be reached in less than 10 minutes ride from the poblacion. The tall ruins made of strong concrete were used as bridges and stands majestically on both side of the Mambusao river.

8. Parish Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria of Mambusao
Constructed in 1607 by the Spanish Missionaries, the church was built in the Romanesque Style characterized by semi-circular arches, and decorative arcading. The unique design of the upper portion at the facade of the church resembles a canopy. Unfortunately, this is hardly visible from afar due to reinforcement of concrete after major earthquakes and typhoons in the province.

9. Langub Cave
Situated in Barrio Dolores, Dumalag, Langub Cave is archaeologically significant since it is a hunter-gatherer site where the hunting parties brought earthenware occasionally.

10. Dumalag Catholic Cemetery
The oldest cemetery in the Province of Capiz is surrounded by limestone rock walls. The entrance gate has an arch design and flanked by two columns, two finials atop this column and a pediment with a bas relief of a skull and a crossbones at the center.

11. Parish Church of Saint Martin of Tours of Dumalag

Completed in 1803, this church made of limestone has a five story bell tower which rises gracefully on its left side. It is 200 feet long and 50 feet wide. The walls are 3 feet thick and made of yellow sandstone.

12. Dumarao Town Plaza
Despite undergoing several enhancements, the town plaza still resembles the common pattern for plaza complexes. It is surrounded by the Our Lady of the Snow Church, the municipal hall, school buildings and other service units of the municipal government. Likewise, dotting the streets are houses of prominent families. Inside the open space are the bandstand, the Rizal Monument, various fountains, lamp posts and other play-spaces.

13. Parish Church of Santa Monica de Pan-ay
Declared as a National Cultural Treasure in 1991, the church was constructed in 1884. The church belfry houses what is believed to be the largest bell in Southeast Asia which weighs 10 tons and is surrounded by eight smaller bells.

14. Ivisan Marine Protected Area
Located in Barangays Basiao and Balaring in Ivisan, this 800-hectare body of water is very rich in marine species and being preserved as fish sanctuary.

15. Old Historic Bridge of Ivisan
This bridge in front of the church in Barangays Poblacion Norte and Sur built in the 1940s is the favorite rendezvous of the residents of Ivisan due to the absence of recreational facilities. Even the late President Manuel A. Roxas used to come over the place when he was still a boy to swim, play or converse with his relatives.

16. Malinamon Falls
Located in a military camp in Jaena Norte, Jamindan, it is one of the seven waterfalls in the municipality.

17. Handurawan Museum (Gabaldon Building)
This former school building was transformed into a museum and library in 1998 to house precious memorabilia, historical photos, old coins, reading materials and other significant items on the history of the town of Maayon.

18. Aranguel Church Ruins
The ruin in Aranguel, President Roxas was established as an old Spanish visita under the parish of Panay in 1581. Aranguel was also established by the Agustinian missionaries as the first center in 1704. This archaeological evidence of lime mortar masonry work is important in understanding and reconstructing the vernacular architecture of a 16th century visita in the Philippines.

19. Panitan Bandstand
Located in front of the Municipal Hall, the Panitan Banstand was constructed from 1928 to 1931. Unlike most circular bandstands, it is rectangular in shape and adorned with an arch on two sides. Political rallies are held in this structure.

20. Office of Municipal Social Welfare and Development and Senior Citizens’ Association (former water tank)
Established in the 1930s, the concrete water tank stands 2.61 m with a diameter of 7.2 m. It is a circular in shape and strongly built. An example of adaptive reuse, it now serves as the Offices of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development and Senior Citizens Association


1. Manuel Roxas
Roxas served as the last President of the Philippine Commonwealth and the first President of the Third Philippine Republic. He became the youngest governor of Capiz from 1919 to 1922.

2. Pedro Gil
The youngest among seven children, Gil was a labor leader, a doctor of medicine, a newspaperman, a social worker, diplomat and a legislator.

3. Jovita Fuentes
A native of Capiz (now Roxas City), Fuentes was known as the First Lady of Philippine music for her skills in opera singing. She became the first female recipient of the National Artist Award in 1976.

4. Daisy Avellana
A recipient of the National Artist Award for Theater in 1999, Avellana was an actor, writer, and director. She is best remembered for her portrayal of Candida Marasigan in the stage and film versions of Nick Joaquin’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.


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 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).


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.


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. 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.


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


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)


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.


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


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.


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 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.


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 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.

Antique News

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 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 ‪‬.‬‬

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.