Looking for a weekend drive through into the countryside to a destination that will amuse you? The scenic municipality of Batad in the northern portion of Iloilo has some of the most beautiful natural sites to take in. It features deep valleys, vast farmlands, foothills and acres and acres of cornfields that provide an excuse for a stroll in the sunshine.

Watch corn grow as you drive through this quiet town where nearly half of its cropland grows corn. The town’s beautiful landscape enhances the drive. The cornfields make many appearances as they weave through the valleys. It was due to abundant production of corn that the community was called “Corn Capital of Iloilo.”

Batad is a Fifth-Class municipality situated in the northeastern portion of the province of Iloilo. It is 125 kilometers or a two hour and forty-five minute drive from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by the towns of Balasan and Estancia; in the west by the Municipality of Pilar in Capiz; in the south by the Municipality of San Dionisio, and; in the east by the Visayan Sea. It has a total land area of 4, 476 hectares that is politically subdivided into 24 barangays.

To get there, visitors can take can take the bus at the new Ceres Terminal, Barangay Camalig, Jaro Iloilo City.

HISTORY

A pre-Hispanic settlement with the name Dulungan or landing place used to exist in northern are of the province. It was a busy trading port frequently visitedby Chinese and Arab traders. When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, they Hispanized the name of the place into Embarcadero, a Spanish word with the same meaning and made it a barrio of Balasan.

Sunsequent Moro invasion saw Embarcadero burnt causing the inhabitants to move further inland to escape the marauders. The migrant villagers established another barrio they named batad-batad after a kind of shell that was abundant in the site.

Their first teniente was Bautista Villalobos. With a growing population, the villagers once again transferred to the present site of the municipality. The old place they renamed Daan Banwa or Old Town. In 1949, President Elpidio Quirino signed executive order creating the town of Batad.

ATTRACTIONS

ALAPASCO SMALL RESERVOIR IRRIGATION DAM in Barangay Alapasco in Sitio Luy-a, Bulak Sur is around 6.50 kilometers away from the main roadserve as a water storage reservoir in the low foothills of cornfields that forms a backdrop to this artificial lake. Besides being an educational site, it is also cheap entertainment, that is, there is no fee for enjoying scenery. The dam originated in 1993 and was finished in 1997. Its length measures 264.90 meters with a height of 21 meters. A trip to the dam is one fun activity that keeps visitors coming back.bThe area is now a popular camping site.

MAGALUMBI ISLAND is situated in the eastern side of Barangay Binon-an. It is a 20-minute motorized boat ride from barangay Tanao situated four kilometers from the poblacion. It is this town’s only island attraction, a perfect snorkeling and swimming area for visitors. Motorized boat service is convenient and economical. The island barangays of Concepcion, Estancia and Carles serves as backdrop of this island. Its turquoise waters and sunshine make it a perfect adventure destination.