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.