The First-Class town of Pototan north of Iloilo is located 30 kilometers or an hour ride from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north and northeast by the municipality of Dingle; in the east by Barotac Nuevo; south by New Lucena; west by Mina and northwest by Badiangan. It has a total land area measuring 9,710 hectares and politically subdivided into 50 barangays.

Pototan is populated by 75, 070 (2015 Census on Population) Pototanons. Market day is every Tuesdays and Fridays. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 8th of May in honour of St, Joseph.

One can visit Pototan via jeepney, van or bus at the New Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City


Native immigrants first settled in a barangay named Naslo. The area had a luxuriant growth of trees called Putat (Barringtonia racemosa) of which the place was subsequently named Kaputatan or the place of many putat trees. However, due to its hilly terrain and the difficulty of securing a water source, the settlers decided to move nearer to the bank of the Suage River which developed into the town called Pototan.

In the 16th century, the arrival of the Chinese traders in the area was very beneficial as the natives learned the techniques of trade and commerce that continued until the middle part of the 17th century. The arrival of the Sopanish in the 16th century influenced ythe socio-economic and political life of the natives as they were eventually Christianized. It was also at this time when the name Kaputatan was Hispanized to Pototan by the colonizers.


IWAG FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS transforms Pototan into a spectacular wonderland of lights every December 16th, its opening. Its magnificent drive-through Christmas Light Show is bigger and better. Every year, the town features more light displays with sparkling lights professionally done to cover its entire plaza complex. The opening day kicks off with the Street Dancing Competition at 1 p.m. The celebration is a must-see holiday attraction for the entire family.

It was in 1997 when a group of Pototanons (IWAG) organized themselves and had since become a strong and dedicated partner of its Municipal Government in the preparation and the celebration of lights every December. Since then, the celebration of the Christmas Festival of Lights has become a tradition not only of the people of Pototan but the entire Ilonggo community that they look forward to each year. It was declared by the Department of Tourism, Regional Office as the “Christmas Capital of Western Visayas.



The area around the town of Bingawan, the edge of the central portion of the province is where it ends and the town of Tapaz, Capiz province begins and is very much another unsung corner of Iloilo with warm, friendly, welcoming people.

Bingawan has some rich farming land and farming is at the heart of its village life. The landscapes are gorgeous here; with gentle pastures, to the high mountains. The area offers some beautiful hikes and bike trails across its lovely rolling meadows, woodland and a few working farms. The town would be less touristic than its neighboring towns but is well worth exploring.

The Fifth-Class municipality of Bingawan is situated in the …of the province. It is 68 kilometers away or almost antwo hours from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by the municipality of Tapaz, Capiz; in the northeast by the municipality of Dumarao, Capiz; in the south by the City of Passi, Iloilo; in the southeast by the municipality of Calinog, Iloilo. It has a total land area of 8, 500 hectares and is politically subdivided into 14 barangays.

Bingawan is populated by 15, 199 (2015 Census on Population) Bingawanons. Market day is every Thursday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 25th of January in honor of St. Paul.

One can visit the town of Bingawan via, bus or van from the terminal situated beside Robinsons Mall, Pavia.


Bingawan derived its name from a creek which ressembled a missing tooth, described in the local dialect as bingaw. The creek is located west of the present site of Bingawan Central School. Settlers from nearby nearby towns who fled from Spanish oppression made the newly established barrio possible. Particular places worthy of note were the hillsides of Quinangyana (along its creek), Maldespina and Kinalyan. Two settlements were established, one in Maldespina (now Bingawan cemetery) and the other on the hilltop at Kinalyan near Quinangyana.

The two settlements intended to unite and established a community under Gregorio Plaga, known as “Pakuribot” an instrumental leader, determined that a plateau in the southern part was ideal to establish the united settlements because of a number of water springs.

In 1901, the community known as Bingawan was established along a creek, west of the present site of Bingawan Central School.A long coimmunal building made of light materials was constructed to house forty families. The building was located east where the Bingawan Baptist Church stands. Bingawan was created an independent town in 1969.


PAGNAHI-AN celebrated every 3rd week of June highlights its dance-drama competition which recounts on Bingawan’s past. History has it, that as an offshoot of the atrocities of the Spanish and American colonizers some people from nearby towns or “pueblos” settled in the thick forests of the town. To maintain unity and strength against the dangers lurking around them, they chose twelve (12) leaders from the forty (40) and constructed a long house with a partition made from local materials sewn together or “pinagtahi-an” in the local dialect, that could accommodate the forty families under one roof. The house was located at the roadside east of the present Bingawan Baptist Church.

The celebration is a historical, social and cultural event reminiscent of the founding of the Municipality of Bingawan. It is a deep appreciation of its past where its local government recognizes the fact that the cultural properties of the locality are necessary and indispensable for the right understanding of its history and cultural heritage. The local leadership further believes that the Pagnahi-an Festival is especially of its high value from the view point of the local culture and is considered an irreplaceable treasure of the local government – it is the embodiment of the interwoven dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of the LGU.



The First-Class municipality of Calinog is situated at the central portion of the province and is 59.3 kilometers away from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by the municipality of Tapaz, Capiz; northeast by the municipality of Bingawan, Iloilo; northeast by the municipality of San Remegio, Antique; south by the town of Lambunao, Iloilo; southeast by the municipality of Dueńas, Iloilo and; southwest by the town of Valderama, Antique. It has a total land area of 23, 280 hectares and politically subdivided into 59 barangays.

Calinog is populated by 60, 413 (2015 Census on Population) Calinognons. Market day is every Tuesday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 8th of December in honor of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception.

To get to the town, one can take a van at the Ungka Transport Terminal (fronting Christ the King Memorial Park) in Barangay Ungka-II, Pavia, Iloilo.


According to folklore, Calinog was where Datu Marikudo chose to settle after having traded the lowlands of Madjaas (Panay) for a golden Salakot (golden hat) with the 10 Bornean Datus. Calinog was already a developing community when the Spaniards came between the 16th and the 17th century. In the early 18th century, Calinog was established as a permanent settlement following the system of town planning as prescribed by the Law of the Indies (Leyes de Indias): a town plaza surrounded by the church, municipaio, school and public market. At present, this town’s layout of the poblacion remains unchanged. The Spanish Colonial Gobvernment declared Calinog a pueblo or a town in 1763. Derived from a Hiligaynon word kalinong for peaceful, it was shortened to Calinog by the Spanish.


OUR LADY OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH CHURCH is of Baroque architectural style. The first church was reconstructed by Father Crescencio Bravo in 1874 and was inaugurated on September 27, 1883. It measured 76 meters in length and 17 meters in width.


HIRINUGYAW-SUGUIDANONAY celebrated the weekend after Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City explores the Catholic Christian and indigenous religious beliefs. The first segment is the Suguidanonay, Inspired from what is known to be one of the longest epic in the world, Hinilawod translated in English as “Tales from the Mouth of the Halawod River,” is an folk epic poem written by the early inhabitants from the Panay Bukidnon tribe. The epic poem is also very good source of information about the Sulodnons’ culture, religion and rituals and is performed in chapters assigned for every year.

The second part of the tribal dance presentation is the Hirinugyaw where, just like the city’s Dinagyang celebration performance, it anchors on the religious aspect. The Holy Child Jesus is honoured in thunderous drumbeats and colourful costumes. Dancers move out in fast-paced, rhythmic steps, with voluble shouts of joy. Hirinugyaw is from a Hiligaynon word hugyaw that means to cheer. The festival tribal dance competition takes place in the weekend after the city’s Dinagyang event. It is considered without a doubt, the largest, most enjoyable and one of the more famous and authentic of all held in in the province.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY celebrated every last week of October highlights its indigenous culture of the town through its Panay-Bukidnon clan. In Panay, the Panay Bukidnon remains as the largest indigenous people’s group with an estimated population of 94,000 comprising of the groups coming from the municipalities of Calinog and Lambunao in Iloilo, and Jamindan and Tapaz in Capiz.

They are best remembered for their oral tradition chanted or sang using their archaic dialect called dagil or ligbok, it gives an account of their legends, and affairs within their community. Their dance, Binanog, depicts the movement of the hawk locally known as dapay and is danced to the beatings of gongs. Both are continued to be practiced during important occasions.

TOURISM WEEK CELEBRATION observed every 1st week of September is this town’s contribution to the annual Tourism Month celebration of the province. Daily activities include Sports Tourism: Fun Run, Bike Fun Ride, ball games, Agri Tourism: Agri Tourism Trade Fair, Cultural Tourism: dance contest, Panubok competition, Hiligaynon/ Karay-a Declamation Contest, Banggi-anay for Elementary and High School levels, Group Singing Elementary and High School levels, Agri-Culinary Tourism: Native Chicken cooking contest, Heritage-Cultural Tourism: Chanting and Binanog Dance contests, and beauty pageant.



Aside from being home to more than 30 waterfalls, the municipality of Lambunao is also known for the diversity of its animals, most considered rare and endangered.

The Second-Class municipality of Lambunao is situated in central Iloilo, 48-kilometers away from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by the municipality of Calinog; in the east by the municipalities of Dueñas and Pototan; in the south by the municipalities of Janiuay and Badiangan; on the west by a portion of the municipality of Janiuay, Iloilo and Valderama, of Antique Province. It has a total land area of 24, 692 hectares politicalkly subdivided into 73 barangays.

Lambunao is populated by 73, 640 (2015 Census on Population) Lambunaonons. Market day is every Sunday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 10th of September in honor of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

One can visit Lambaunao through a van at the Ungka Transport Terminal (fronting Christ the King Memorial Park) in Barangay Ungka-II, Pavia, Iloilo.


Folk history states that Lambunao and Laglag (Duenas) belonged to one big barangay called Dalayawon that was peacefully ruled by two Datus, Tomong and Lipukan. The generation that followed broke the peace as Tumangas, the son of Tomong, and Kaputi, the son of Lipukan had tribal conflict thereby leading to the division of Dalayawon.

Tumangas and his tribe moved westward to establish an independent settlement in Balikatkaton (present site of Barangay Da-anbanwa) which was then separated from the Ulian River by a small lake. Kaputi and his tribe settled to the eastern side, which was known later as Duenas.

It was said hat when the Spanish reached Balikatkaton, they asked a native who was fishing what the name of the place was. The answer given was “Nagapanglambu sa linao” (fishing in the lake). The Spaniards shortened the native’s answer into Lambunao to call the place.


ST. NICHOLAS DE TOLENTINE PARISH CHURCH is of Baroque architectural style. The first parochial church was constructed under the supervision of Father Jose Lobo in 1875. It was said to be in poor condition since it was situated in a swampy area. It was reconstructed to its present site and was officially inaugurated in 1883. It was finished in 1886 under the supervision of Father Manuel Castandiello. It was made of stones that were quarried in Dingle. Bricks were also used. Its interior is of Tuscan order while the exterior is of Doric order. It was burned by the revolutionaries in 1900 however its walls and belfry were saved. The church was reconstructed by Father Jose Giraldez in 1909.

THE MARI-IT CONSERVATION PARK is located in Barangay Jayubo inside the campus of West Visayas State University College of Agriculture and Forestry, a scenic environment that covers 3, 478 hectares and where 1,000 hectares is intended for the Mari-it Agro-Ecotourism Project. The site is the largest Hornbill Breeding Facility in the world. In its care are two critically endangered hornbill species: Dolongan (Visayan Writhe Hornbill) and Panay Tariktik Hornbill. The conservation park also provides resources for the breeding of Native Pikoy “Dangag” (Racquet Tail Parrot) and wild boar among other endangered species. This is through a Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Mulhouse Zoo in France for the conservation of the Visayan Spotted Deer. This critically endangered species was chosen as the “flagship specie” for conservation of bio-diversity of Panay Island.

TINAGONG DAGAT located in the mountain village of Cabatangan, is a three-hectare hidden lake that measures 80 meters deep and yields freshwater eels, carps and tilapia. It springs out water to the Ulian River. The hidden lake is on a plateau and takes an exhausting 8-10 hours of trek on its treacherous, slopping trails to reach it.

LAMBUNAO CHEMICAL – FREE FARM in Barangay Pandan is three kilometres away from the poblacion. Its five-hectare area is planted with farm products and along with it is a vermin composticity facility, rain shelter and green house facilities, “Babuyang Walang Amoy” and a pavilion that could accommodate 150 persons.

Known as the Land of Waterfalls, the town has documented 40 waterfalls and still counting. They are as follows: Agli-og Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Aligura Falls in Barangay Bagongbong, Bituon Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Balagnan Falls in Sitio Pawara-Cabatangan, Baragsakan Falls in Sitio Pawara-Cabatangan, Bagakay Falls in Barangay Panuran, Bugsukan Falls in Barangay Panuran, Dalhayan Falls in Sitio Budiean-Cabatangan, Daragsaan Falls in Sitio Pawara-Cabatangan, Elenoy Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Giub Falls in Sitio Budiean-Cabatangan, Hagdanan Falls in Pawara-Cabatangan, Igbulawan Falls in Sitio Igbulawan, Igmanipis Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Inas Falls in Barangay Jayubo, Kasing-Kasing Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Lubay Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Maasin Falls in Barangay Sagcup, Mahagnop Falls in Pwara-Cabatangan, Mahangin Falls in Sitio Budiean-Cabatangan, Mahandong Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Malumot Falls in Sitio Budiean-Cabatangan.

Montillano Falls in Barangay Jayubo, Nalisong Falls in Sitio Budeian-Cabatangan, Nasor-ohon Falls in Canyon-Cabatangan, Olaw Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Naipit Falls in Pawara-Cabatangan, Pora Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Malinaw Falls in Pawara-Cabatangan, Takbangan Falls in Pawara-Cabatangan, Tayokan Falls in Pawara-Cabatangan, Tinago Falls in Pawara-Cabatangan, Regon Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Tabogan Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Turo-Turoan Falls, Uslog Falls in Barangay Cabatangan, Tabulwang Falls in Barangay Panuran and lastly, Tagbakan Falls in Sitio Tagbakan-Barangay Jayubo.


BINANOG celebrated every 2nd wek of Jannuary highlights the “binanog” dance, a courtship dance that imitates the movements of the ‘banog’ bird (hawk) commonly found in Panay farmlands.

Dressed in traditional male and female Panay Bukidnon costumes the presentation begins with a chant. Male dancers in red pants with black top with traditional red and white embroidered patterns take centerstage and dances in leaping motions to get the attention of his female counterpart.

Female dancers attract their male counterpart using their hips and graceful movements of the hands. Wearing a “pudong” or headpiece of old coins exposing her face and a “biningkit” or an adornment of old coins for the neck. In red or white top with embroidered patterns and a patadyong draped as a skirt with a piece of cloth wrap around her waist.

The harmonious pulsating movement of both male and female dancers synchronizes to the beating the gong as each dancer matches the steps of its counterpart. The dances reaches climax as the female dancer ties her male counterpart using the cloth wrapped around her waist.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S WEEK in celebrated along Binanog Festival as the town gives importance to its indigenous people. It is a display of indigenous houses and the collecvtioj of their relics alongside its native food that is for sale.



Badiangan’s economy have expanded and developed in many unique ways. Its backyard industries, in particular, have accelerated, fueled by its own culture and a better accessible capital market.

This 4th class town is located in the northwest central portion of Iloilo Province and is 40 kilometers from the city. It is bounded in the north by the municipality of Dueñas; in the northwest by the municipality of Lambunao; the municipality of Pototan in the east; in the southwest by municipality of Janiuay; and the municipality of Mina in the southeast. Badiangan has a total land area of 7, 750 hectares politically subdivided into 31 barangays.

Badiangan is populated by 27,005 (2015 Census on Population) Badianganons. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every June 24 in honor of St. John the Baptist.


It was in June 17, 1967 that Badiangan became an independent town. According to folklore, the name Badiangan came from the word kabadiangan, meaning a place where badiang plants grew. Badiang belongs to the gabi (taro) family abundantly growing in the area. Kabadiangan was later shortened to Badiangan.

During the Spanish era, Badiangan had its share of rebellion and uprising led by local babaylanes (native shamans), mostly from Tamocol and Ilongbukid, part of the present-day Badiangan. The Filipino-American War saw the death of one of Badiangan’s most revered heroes, Capitan Agustin TIrador, who died a hero’s death in Barangay Tamocol where today a monument stands at the very spot where he was felled.


BOLO-MAKING. Many in Barangay Bingawan are expert blacksmiths or “panday” and have mastery of the trade using manual and improvised equipment. The Barangay of Bingawan is the most popular source of fine crafted-bolos in Iloilo.

The most important bolo type manufactured by the Badiangan blacksmiths are 1) Binakuko for chopping wood; 2) Sinuwak for carpentry and cutting shrubs and smaller trees; 3) Ginunting having the same function as the Sinuwak; 4) Pinuti for slicing meat; 5) Tangkap for kitchen use; 6) Linamay, Surot, and Balintawak are used in gardening; 7) Kayog is used to harvest rice; and 8) Wasay used to chop lumber and bigger trees. Bolos are made by hand with blades made from recycled steel.

WEAVING traditional fabrics is a skill that has been passed from one generation of women to the next for centuries. It has traditionally been, and still is, important in this municipality. Today, the cloth provides a valuable source of income for women in an area where unemployment is prevalent. The fabrics are especially valued because they are used in traditional cultural events and festivities. In Barangay Cabayogan, around three kilometers from the poblacion, the production of hablon and patadyong is done almost on a full-time basis.


PANDAYAN is celebrated every 3rd week of June and honors the town’s backyard traditions that had been the main sources of livelihood of its people. It is highlighted with the tribal performance of contesting clustered barangays showing informative presentations that normally focus on the town’s local industries such as bolo-making, taho, and loom- weaving. This is an annual event that showcases and celebrates the best of Blacksmithing or Pagpamanday. It highlights its historic roots and its relevance and place in today’s society. This important event includes demonstrations on how bolo is made.



Janiuay is a showcase of natural history and dramatic landscapes. It is also an ideal place to combine relaxation and adventure. It is also a sought after destination by adventurous tourists. Many natural and historical attractions await visitors in this place complemented with routes to explore.

The First-Class municipality of Janiuay is at the northwest portion of the province and is approximately 29 kilometers from the city. Occupying a fertile plain, the town is bordered by Cabatuan in the south; in the southwestern part is Maasin; in the eastern part, with which it shares a border along Mina; Lambunao in the north; and by the Province of Antique in the west. The town measures 17,910 hectares and is politically subdivided into 60 barangays.

Janiuay is populated by 63,905 (2015 Census on Population) Janiuaynons. Market day is every Wednesdays and Saturdays. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 28th of January in honor of St. Julian.

To get to Janiauy one can take a jeepney at the Ungka Transport Terminal (fronting Christ the King Memorial Park) in Barangay Ungka-II, Pavia, Iloilo.


Ancient natives of Tala-ugis (Zarraga) migrated from the coast to establish a settlement north along the Suagi River. The first settlers were families led by Datus Gumok, Hutikot, Ugamot and Pagdakton, who settled in what was then known as Yabon, Ubian and Matag-ub barangays, respectively.

The increasing number of inhabitants in each was place dunder a Datu. After 160 years, the Spanish were able to penetrate these parts where the four Datus had founded the barangays. The major barangays of Biruk, Ilawod, Kanhe, Danaw, Lubang Banwa, Yabon, Batakun and Kiput were ruled by their respective Datus. In 1738, Datu Buhawi of Yabon recognized the Spanish Government, subjugating himself to Spanish rule. In the same year, the Spanish government, now with its seat in Yabon, being the largest of all settlements, was set-up and was called “Visita de Yabun” with the first Catholic mass held in a provisional shack called “Ermita.”

In 1745, the seat of government was moved to Danaw, in 1759 it was moved to Matag-ub where Don Miguel Likawan was its first “Kapitan Basal,” an honorary title. Matag-ub was then the political and administrative center of the settlements. Don Miguel Likawan was the first to be married canonically in the new church, to one, Margarita Panay the daughter of Datu Magbaga. In 1770, this group of settlement was officially named Janiuay. It is belived the name originated from the native word hani meaning whisper and uway, a very resilient reed. When these two words are combined it came to mean “whispering of the reeds.”


JANIUAY CATHOLIC CEMETERY of Neo-gothic architecture was constructed in 1875. Known to be one of the most artistic Spanish Colonial cemetery in the entire Philippines, it is made up of three dramatic grand arched gates, it has individual staircases made from slabs of stones and limestone blocks. It was said that the entire materials of the cemetery were quarried as far as the town of Dingle and were hauled by 52 carabaos. The cemetery is fenced by steel and supported by columns made of coral stone. The centerpiece is the octagonal-shaped capilla built by artisans from Manila. It has lancet-shaped doors and windows. This would have been a place of final vigils and services for the dead. Construction was under the watchful supervision of an Agustinian friar, Fr. Fernando Llorente with actual construction being undertaken by Don Placido Marin through forced labor. In November 20, 1885, the cemetery was finished and inaugurated by Archbishop Payo.

RUINS OF SAN JULIAN PARISH CHURCH was built on baked bricks and corals with its Neo-classical architecture with byzantine elements. Originally, it measured 75 meters long and 16 meters wide. It stands on a hill fronting the municipal park. During its construction, red bricks, sandstone and limestone were used. It was finished in February 1770. It was said that its belfry used to carry three magnificent bells, the largest weighing close to a ton. World War II damaged the belfry, and the bells were lowered to ground after the war. The largest bell crashed down during the relocation and suffered a crack 18 inches (460 mm) in length from its lip upwards. When sounded it gives a distinct baritone rattling sound that can be heard for miles.

It is now mounted in the new church’s belfry that was built in the late 1960’s. The bricks from the ruins were used to construct the Japanese Landing Field in Tiring now the New Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan.

RUINS OF WORLD WAR II JAPANESE PILLBOXES on both ends of the bridge in Janiuay overlooks the the Suage River. Both pillboxes, one is about 25 feet tall with a diameter of 9 feet were riddled with bullet holes that tell the story of some fierce fighting and resistance to the Japanese occupation of the area during the war by the resistance guerrillas. Both pillboxes are still intact. Japanese Pillboxes are dug outs where soldiers use to shoot from in World War II.



Also known as the bamboo capital of Iloilo, the mountainous municipality of Maasin is an agricultural community. This friendly, clean town in the west-central part of Iloilo Province is quite attractive, scenic route with a beautiful view of mountains from neighboring municipalities and provinces.

The Third-Class municipality of Maasin is situated in the west-central portion of the province and 29.5 kilometers away from Iloilo City. It shares boundaries in the north-east by the town of Janiuay; the municipality of Cabatuan in the east; in the south by the town of Alimodian, and; north-west by the mountain ranges of the Province of Antique. It has a total land area of 15, 658 hectares and is politically subdivided into 50 barangays.

Maasin is populated by 36, 922 (2015 Census on Population) Maasinhons. Market day is every Mondays and Thursdays. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 30th of December in honor of San Santiago El Mayor.

To get to Maasin, one can take a jeepney ride at the Transport Terminal in front of Christ the King Memorial Park in Jaro, Iloilo City.


Maasin meaning “salty” derived its name from a salt spring in Barangay Magsaysay, almost 2 kilometers from the poblacion. Folk history states that the early settlers frequented the spring for the basic need for salt. During the Spanish period in 1775, Maasin acquired status of a pueblo with the appointment of Don Agustin Garcia as its first Kapitan. Under the American occupation, the town was made an arrabal of Cabatuan in 1903. It eventuallyu regained its previous status as an independent municipality in 1916 when Don Vicente Malaga was appointed as its first Municipal President.


GROTTO OF LOURDES AND THE PAET SALTY SPRING is the place where Maasin gots its name. It is this attraction of a salty spring located at Barangay Magsaysay.

SACRED HEART SHRINE AND GINES HILL is a 106-step to the statue of the Sacred Heart and where visitors can have a panoramic view of the Municipality of Maasin.


TULTUGAN celebrated every 3rd week of December, got its name from a native bamboo percussion instrument used by natives of long ago as a tool for communication and as a musical instrument. Tultugan is a root word of tultug which has been defined as an action verbalizing the act of playing sound on bamboo. Usually this is rendered through a bamboo stick striking it against the body of the bamboo, thus becoming a rhythmic instrument called Tultugan.

As a festival, it aims to promote its local bamboo industry highlighting its significance and importance in the lives of the people in the community. It also showcases Maasin’s rich natural environment with spectacular bamboo landscapes for people to get to know its main local industry and local artisans. The festivity also promotes its various natural products and social enterprises that protect and promote some of its best assets: natural landscapes and traditional skills.



Cabatuan is among the popular areas in the province in heritage tourism. More travelers are visiting remnants of Spanish culture in the area. The historic and cultural resources associated with the people of Cabatuan, its events, or aspects in their community’s past gave the municipality its sense of identity and help tell its story.

The Second-Class municipality of Cabatuan is 24.2 kilometers away from the city. It is connected to a national highway passing through the towns of Pavia and Sta. Barbara. Four other national roads connect the town to its adjacent municipalities; Alimodian in the south; Maasin in the west; New Lucena in the north-east; and Janiuay in the north where the highway continues northward to Lambunao and Calinog and then to Tapaz, Capiz. It is politically subdivided into 68 barangays over a land area of 8,248 hectares.

Cabatuan is populated by 58, 442 (2015 Census on Population) Cabatuananons. Markey days is every Wednesdays and Sundays. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 10th of September in honor of their patron San Nicholas de Tolentino.

To get to Cabatuan one can take a jeepney at the Ungka Transport Terminal (fronting Christ the King Memorial Park) in Barangay Ungka-II, Pavia, Iloilo.


Cabatuan may have gotten its name from several Hiligaynon words: Kabatuhan – from the word bato, meaning rock; from Batu-an meaning to resist, oppose, challenge, defy, fight or contest. However elderlies believed that the name was derived from Batuan tree, its sour fruits being used in flavouring certain native soups and dishes.

Cabatuan was believed to be priginally planned by a certain tribal leader named Tono, along with two other leaders, Gomoc and Amihan. The site of the early settlement was on a level track of land near ythe northern bank of Tigum River where the poblacion is now located.

Cabatuan was officially organized upon the installation of Rev. Father Antonio Lopez as its first priest. The town’s founding in 1732 was justified by a huge cross made of hard thick Molave tree, the base of which still stands at Pamul-ogan Hill.

Following the Spanish procedure of founding settlements first involves dedicating the place to Christ, and claiming the area for the King, followed by the erection of a huge cross made of hardwood with the date carved on it. On the cross which was officially regenerated on April 9, 1972, during the celebration of the 239th Foundation year, was carved “1732,” although what remains of the cross now is only its base.

Elderly residents of the town recall the spiritual protection of St. Nicolas de Tolentino whom Cabatuananons still venerate today as their Patron Saint.


ST. NICOLAS OF TOLENTINE PARISH CHURCH is of Neo-Classical architectural style. The first parochial church was finished in 1732, same year when it became an independent parish. The present church was constructed in 1834 under the supervision of Father Ramon Alquezar. It was finished by Father Manuel Ruiz in 1866 using bricks. A red brick convent was built under the supervision of Father Juan Porras in 1876. Minor restoration was done by Father Manuel Guiterrez in 1890.

Known to be one of the most beautiful churches in Iloilo during its time, it was described as the “Model of Temples” by El Eco de Panay and the Largest Brick Church in Panay. Every side of the church was a façade in itself. It was said to have looked more of a Basilica. It was accented by three domes where at each side of the church were big clocks and the last dome was at its center over the altar. It measured 50 meters in length and 20 meters in width. Its thickness was about a meter and a half. It used to have 19 circular, multi-colored window panes and 10 massive doors. The altar was flanked by two smaller altars. The belfry had four windows with four big bells. On its ceiling were paintings of Rome and chandeliers.

In 1942 it was burned by guerillas and totally destroyed by Japanese forces the following year. The front portion of the church however was not damaged. The bricks and the stones of the church were used to repair the landing field in Tiring.

CABATUAN ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY in Barangay Banguit is a four hectare perfectly square shaped cemetery constructed in 1886 under the supervision of Father Juan Porres, Father Cesareo Prodigo and was continued by Father Manuel Guiterrez in 1890. The chapel is a fusion of Roman, Gothic, Byzantine, and Baroque architectures. The complex carvings on the chapel’s facade are considered to be the most distinct cemetery relief which can only be found in Cabatuan. With elegant iron grills, its walls and chapel were made of stones quarried from the mountains in Leon. It was heavily damaged during the 1948 Lady Kaykay earthquake and was reconstructed.

PAMUL-OGAN HILL is home to the shrine considered to be the cradle of Cabatuan’s History. At the peak of the hill lies a concrete cross reminiscent of the original cross planted by the Spaniards who first came in the region. Every lent, traditional devotee starts their journey from the mouth of Barangay Pamulogan to the peak of the hill as penitence.

TREE OF BONDAGE lies in the Town plaza directly in front of the Municipal Hall of Cabatuan. It is believed that the natives were tied in this tree and whipped if they refuse the polo or forced labor during the Spanish Era. The tree is an old and artistically skewed Plumeria tree (Plumeria rubra) currently fortified with a concrete base to withstand destruction.


TINUOM Festival is a celebration of the town’s popularly craved delicacy, tinuom, a soup made of native chicken with tomatoes, onions, potatoes and lemon grass added with a cup of water and wrapped in banana leaves. This festival is one of the highlights of the religious fiesta celebration of the municipality and is a colorful explosion of music, costumes and folk dance steps. There are six (6) competing tribes or “tribus” representing the six secondary schools of the town. A choreographed “chicken dance steps” is performed in the middle of the presentation.

CACAO celebrated every June is Barangay Acao’s way of giving tribute to its cash crop that had improved the lives of many residents of the barangay. The celebration is pure delight as it is inclusive of preparing various forms of edible goodies from chocolate and its accompanying chocolate-eating contest. Productio of native chocolate to form tablea or pressed chocolate tablets was a basic cash-earning industry that provided many families with a ready source of income. As a major effort of the community dedicated to this industry, the barangay council has encouraged the plkanting of more cacao trees to further strengthen the chocolate production business of the community and also as a form of identification of this part of the town.

PASYON and KAPIYA CONTESTS is celebrated evefry Good Friday, the town prepares for their famous Via Crucis by way of their annual Kapiya contest and Pasyon singing every Good Friday. You do not need to climb up mountains or walk through long distances in order to see these Lenten traditions. The Kapiya display is an annual competition of beautifully depicted series of sculptures made of indigenous materials popular in the area. The characters are life-sized and are even well-lighted during the evening. Pasyon is the singing of the account of the Sacred Passion of Christ. The singers, young and old are engage in marathon chanting of the Christ’s Passion in their little makeshift bamboo chapels situated beside the Kapiya that are clustered in the different streets of the town.


New Lucena

The Fourth-Class municipality of New Lucena is situated in the central portion of the province and shares border in the northeast with the municipality of Pototan; in the southeast with the municipality of Zarraga; in the southwest with the municipality of Sta. Barbara; and in the northwest with the municipality of Cabatuan and a little portion of the town of Mina.

The town proper of New Lucena could be traversed by land either way via Dawis-Zarraga or via Sta. Barbara. It is 9.8 kilometers away from Sta. Barbara, 15 kilometers away from Cabatuan, 6 kilometers away from Pototan, 6.6 kilometers away from Zarraga and 11 kilometers away from Mina. New Lucena is crisscrossed by the roads from the north to south and east to west thus providing roads for easy means of transportation. It has a land area of 4412 hectares that is politically subdivided into 21 barangays.

New Lucena is populated by 23, 240 (2015 Census on Population) New Lucenanhons. Market day is every Sunday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 24th of January in honor of Nuestra Sra. De Buen Viaje.

It is a 45-minuter jeepney ride from Ungka Transport Terminal (fronting Christ the King Memorial Park) in Barangay Ungka-II, Pavia, Iloilo.


New Lucena was formerly known as Jimanban, a very small barrio organized sometime in 1800, which was a part of the Municipality of Cabatuan. In 1886 the boundary line separating the jurisdiction of Sta. Barbara and Cabatuan was defined and Jimanban was made part of Sta. Barbara.

Prominent residents of the barrio of Jimanban petitioned to the Governor-General that they be granted independence by putiing up a church, convent and a casa real (municipal building).

Lucena was separated from Sta. Barbara on Oxtober 9, 1877 in accordance with the Direksyon Heneral de Administrasyon Civil. It is not recorded when the name Jimanban was changed to Lucena, reportedly comes from the belief that it was after the name of the Provincial Alcalde Mayor, Pedro Gonzales Lucena, the 36th executive of the Province of Iloilo in 1716-1717.

When the Americans came, Pueblo de Lucena was again incorporated to the town of Sta. Barbara in 1902 for economic security and ease of government. In 1921, the prominent citizens of Lucena once again petitioned for its separation from Sta. Barbara. Thus, in January 1, 1947, Lucena became a new town in the province, now called New Lucena.


JIMANBAN is celebrated every 3rd week of January andl features product and information displays from its 21 barangays. The week-long celebration is highlighted daily special events. The festivity is one way of celebrating the gains and significant strides made in the agriculture sector and reinvigorating the sector through program advocacies. It is also their way of thanking the Patron Saint, Nuestra Senora de la Paz Y Buenviaje for all the blessings she provided the town.

CRY OF JELICUON is celebrated every 25th of October is a re-enactment of the Cry of Revolution in Iloilo in 1898. It is a momentous year of heroism among the patriots of those who overthrew more than 300 years of Spanish Domination. It was in Barrio Hilicuon, situated in the boundaries of the towns of Santa Barbara, Cabatuan and New Lucena that General Martin Delgado, with his volunteers gathered in an open field, with intense emotion, took out their cedulas, tore it and threw up in the air and with, while thundering “Viva La Independencia” (Long Live Independence). New Lucena commemorates the heroic acts of Gen. Martin Delgado and those who died in the battle for independence against the Spanish Forces in Iloilo.


Santa Barbara

This progressive municipality has a colourful history which spans from its early occupation by Spanish authorities. The Spanish culture has left its mark on the historical sites of the town. There are excellent selections of historic sites in the area and you can plan some other great things to see on your trips. However, this town is not just bricks and coral stones. Its spirit is the people who make them come alive and who welcome you warmly to enjoy and share their proud heritage.

The Second-Class municipality of Santa Barbara is 15.6 kilometers away from the city. It is politically subdivided into 60 barangays over its 7,748 hectare land area.

Santa Barbara is populated by 60, 215 (2015 Census on Population) Santa Barbaranhons. Market day is every Friday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 4th of December.

To get to Sta. Barbara, one can take a jeepney at the Ungka Transport Terminal (fronting Christ the King Memorial Park) in Barangay Ungka-II, Pavia, Iloilo or at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala I, Iloilo City.


The beginings of the municipality was recorded bhy the Agustinian archives noting that as early as 1617, missionaries attended to the spiritual needs of a pueblo then known as Katmon. The name was derived from a fruit-bearing tree, which served as an imposing landmark in the area. The place was a rich and fertile plain traversed by Salug (present Tigum and Aganan Rivers) River, producing rice, sugarcane, and mongo.

During that time, Katmon was only a visita of the Jaro vicariate. In 1760, Hispanized as Catmon, the pueblo was canonically established as an independent parish, whose patroness was Santa Barbara, and the pueblo, was named after her, became the base of Revolutionary Forces in Iloilo, and from here Ge. Martin Delgado launched the campaign to liberate the whole province which culminated in the surrender of Iloilo City by Governor-General Diego de los Rios on December 24, 1898.


SANTA BARBARA CHURCH AND CONVENT is of Baroque-Renaissance architectural style. The first church was built same time it became an independent parish in 1760. It was destroyed during the 1787 earthquake. The present church was constructed in 1849 under the supervision of Father Francisco Agueria and was continued by Father Mateo Rodriguez from 1855 – 1873.

It was continued and finished by father Calixto Fernandez in 1878. The convent was built the same time as the church by the same priests. It measures 63 meters in length and with a width of 19 meters.

Materials used in the construction of the church and convent were of adobe and coral stones quarried from Alimodian and were used for the flooring, walls and posts. Materials transported to the town by carts drawn by carabaos. Red bricks were also used.

Its elevated façade is of three main segments: the first is of paired pilasters with two main saint niches flanking the main entrance; the second has arched windows; and the third with paired finials and a niche of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the center.

Connected to the side door of the church is its L-shaped convent of Antillan architectural style. The ground floor of the convent serves as the office of the church and its second floor serves as the quarters of the priest.

The church served as the headquarters for the Ilonggo Revolutionary Forces in Western Visayas under General Martin Delgado in 1898. It was untouched during World War II and had withstood the 1948 earthquake. It was declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute in 2013.

ILOILO GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB was built in 1907. Known to be the Oldest Golf Course in the Philippines, it was constructed by 13 American and British expatriates and started out with nine short holes.

It is carved on natural 35 hectares of plains and rolling hills, the 18-hole golf course in Barangay San Sebastian claims an undisputed pre-eminence on golfing history as it also stands among Asia’s oldest greens.

VICTORY PLAZA is nestled in the heart of the town and landscaped in the time for the 1998 Philippine Centennial in the Victory Plaza and right in the middle is the Bandstand, an octagonal-shaped structure was constructed in 1925 and since then served as venue to various gatherings and other social activities.

FLAGPOLE PARK waves one of the country’s five giant flags; measuring 30 x 60 feet atop a 120 feet flagpole. It marks Santa Barbara as part of the Freedom Trail of Philippine Independence from Spain and was constructed in time for the 1998 Philippine Centennial Celebration.

SANTA BARBARA CENTENNIAL MUSEUM was constructed in 1998 as part of the Centennial Freedom Trail Site Project of the Philippine Centennial Commission, the museum, houses, antiques, artefacts and photos which tell the story of Santa Barbara’s history and heritage. It is also a depository of memorabilia donated by the townsfolk reflecting the town’s rich culture.

ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY is one of the oldest landmarks of the town. Its facade bears the mark of the Spanish influence in the country and considered as one of the strongest structure in the town. It was constructed in 1845.

SANTA BARBARA IRRIGATION DAM was constructed in 1926, the irrigation dam is the first gravity irrigation system in the Visayas that has revolutionized farming. This is the oldest irrigation system in the country.


KAHILWAYAN is celebrated every November 17 is also known as the Cry of Santa Barbara that fueled the revolution in Visayas and Mindanao. Philippine history would have not been complete without the Ilonggos’ display of bravery and heroism in defiance against Spanish oppressors. So important was the role of this uprising in Philippine history that Santa Barbara was the only municipality outside Luzon that was declared as a National Trunk Site on the Centennial Freedom Trail during the Philippine Centennial Celebration in 1998.

On its 103rd celebration last 2001, the Municipal Tourism Council proposed an innovation in the telling of “Cry” history-one which will catch the attention not only of local folks but that of foreign tourists, as well Thus, Kahilwayan Festival was launched in public during the 2001 “Cry” celebration. Kahilwayan is an Ilonggo term which means freedom or liberty, or independence and Kahilwayan Festival is a cultural festival in a dance-drama form which showcased the events that led to the historic uprising of the Ilonggos against Spain leading to its ultimate victory and freedom now known as the Cry of Santa Barbara. Hundreds of students from different contesting groups parade all over the town in colorful period costumes ( e.g. rayadillo, saya, kimona and camisa chino) and revel in street dancing cum street theater to the tune of Marcha Libertador (composed by Posidio Delgado, brother of Gen. Martin T. Delgado, is was the official march of the Ejercito Libertador).
The highlight, however, is the dance-drama presentation depicting the events that led to the first “Cry of Santa Barbara”.

Three major events are given emphasis in the storyline of the Kahilwayan Festival, first the bringing of saber and flag to Santa Barbara by Lt. Honorio Solinap and Tia Patron Gamboa; second is the use of Marcha Libertador as background music and the third is the hoisting of the Philippine Flag. All these shall be witnessed in the course of every contesting group’s performance.

Amidst the hundreds of festivals all over the country today, Kahilwayan Festival may be considered as just one of the many. But what sets Kahilwayan Festival apart from them is its originality and uniqueness. This is the only festival all over the country, which resolves, in one, single storyline the “Cry of Santa Barbara “. It is unique for it strictly requires the contesting groups to dress-up their dancers in period costumes only. It is not only about dancing or drama but a celebration of life itself, it is about bringing back history and reintroduce them to the younger generation in manner that they can understand, they can relate, they can appreciate and enjoy. It is about looking back and giving honor to the people who fought and die for freedom that we are enjoying today.