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Iloilo

Balasan

Balasan is a Fourth-Class municipality situated in the northeastern portion of the province. It is 128 kilometers away or almost a three-hour drive north from Iloilo City and is bordered in the north by Carles; in the south by the town of Batad; in the east by Estancia; and in the west by the town of Pilar in the province of Capiz. It has a total land area of 4,100 hectare that is politically subdivided into 23 barangays.

Balasan is populated by 33, 088 (2015 Census on Population) Balasanhons. Market day is every Thursdays and Sundays. It annually celebrates its Religuous Festival every 26th of June in honiur of Sta. Ana.

To get to Balasan, one can take the bus at the New Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig in Jaro, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

In 1847, the Military Governor of Capiz, Don Juan Silverio permitted 50 families from the pueblo of Navas in Aklan to resettle in the unpopulated eastern part of the province of Iloilo. The immigrants settled in a place they named Bolo, after a specie of bamboo that grow in the area.

Due to the scarcity of food, the Barrio Teniente, Vicente Navales established a sister settlement that was named Maya, after the Philippine sparrow.

In 1852, Barangay Maya became a barrio but did not take long when the site was once again transferred until it was finally established to the present site of the poblacion of Balasan. The name of the barrio, Balasan was derived from the sand (balas) of the nearby Bangon River. Balasan was then a barrio of Bolokawe (the original settlement of Bolo) which became a pueblo of the town of Carles. Finally in 1894, Balasan became an independent pueblo.

ATTRACTION

SALVACION FALLS belongs to the San Juan Del Monte (Barangays Salvacion, Zarragosa, and Salong) mountain ranges which dominates the south-western side of the municipality. It can be reached on foot going uphill on a normal pace for about 30 minutes.

FESTIVAL

LECHON serves as a kick-off to their Religious Fiesta celebration in honor of their patron Sta. Ana every 24th of July, residents of this town gather on the main street fronting the municipal hall to share a sumptuous feast, the culinary centerpiece is the most revered of all Filipino food, the mouth-watering and flavourful lechon or roast suckling pig.

The lechons are prepared authentically Balasan by cooks who grew up roasting and eating it on this town. As early as 3 a.m. the cooks are already preparing the lechon. The pig is placed on a spit, innards removed, on a large stick and cooking it in a roasting pit filled with charcoal. It is roasted while continuously wiping its skin with brush made of banana leaves with oil and milk. This procedure makes the skin crispy, and repeatedly roasting it over the heat for at least 5 hours until they turn a crispy, red-golden brown.

The entire day creates an aromatic atmosphere that hangs over the festival, leaving a taste you will never forget.

The highlight of this theme-based festival is a mischievous merriment through a no-holds-barred boodle fight open to everybody. By the time the boodle fight starts at noon, the skin will be crispy, with some fat and super tender roast meat. The sumptuous buffet features a whole pig on display. People just sidle up to the table and pluck off whatever they want. When lunch is over, there is nothing but a few bones. Boodle feast bring the community even closer together.

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Iloilo

Batad

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.

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Iloilo

San Dionisio

The municipality of San Dionisio is an ideal get-away from the hustle and bustle of Iloilo City. It offers a different kind of adventure. It is situated in an area with a panoramic site which makes it an interesting place to visit. Viewed from its Municipal Hall, the town is a combination of beauty and tranquility as it is set against a backdrop of blue seas, clear skies and lush landscapes. The town remains as the undiscovered gem of Iloilo.

The Fourth-Class municipality of San Dionisio is situated in the eastern side of the province. It is 111.8 kilometers away or around two hours and thirty minutes drive fro Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by the town of Batad; in the west by the town of Sara; in the south by the town of Concepcion, and; east by San Dionisio Bay. It has a total land area of 12, 677 hecatres that is politically subdivided into 29 barangays.

San Dionisio is populated by 38, 775 (2015 Census on Population) San Dionisionons. Market day is every Friday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 5th of May in honour of St. Voincent Ferrer.

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

HISTORY

In 1877, the Spanish recorded a settlement called Lakdayan. A native leader of the community was identified as a sertain Dionisio. After this modest and humble fisherman the Spaniard changed the name of Lakdayan to San Dionisio. However the Patron Saint indicated by the Spaniards was St. Vincent Ferrer, the town’s patron up to the present.

The Spaniards established a seat of government in Concepcion and San Dionisio was part of the said municipality along with Sara. The head of the local government of Concepcion was called Kapitan while the subordinate leaders in San Dionisio were called Teniente and Cabezas de Barangay. Later, when Sara separated from Concepcion, San Dionisio became a part of Sara.

Prominent citizens from San Dionisio and Concepcion worked hard for the separation of San Dionisio from Sara. In 1920, the officials endeavoured in Manila to make San Dionisio a separate municipality.

ATTRACTIONS

SUA BEACH in Barangay Sua is known for its scenic shoreline measuring about 1,500 meters. It can be a popular spot for water and jet-skiing, wind surfing, sail-boating and swimming. It is protected by the mountains of Malpal in the north and Opao in the south-western side. It has a string of accommodation establishments where visitors can dine and stay overnight.

LACDAYAN and MATAGDA ISLANDS are formed during high tides. Lacdayan is about 14, 311 square meters in area and has some perennial trees cooling its surrounding; while Matagda is round in shape and is about 10, 816 square meters in area.

FESTIVAL

PANAAD is celebrated every frist week of May. Derived from a Hiligaynon word Panaad or pledge or vow, it is a celebration of thanksgiving for the blessings received from God through the intercession of St. Vincent Ferrer, the town’s patron. The community became witness to the many miracles brought about by the intercession of their Patron Saint especially during the colonial period. The centrepiece is the tribal dance presentation that focuses on the rich culture of the town.

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Iloilo

Sara

Exotic mountain ranges and lush vegetation, genuine rural hospitality and scenic drives: the municipality of Sara has all the makings of a memorable holiday. The town is actually a fine mixture of sightseeing and to do activities. The town welcomes travelers with happiness.

The Second-Class municipality of Sara is situated in the northeastern paortion of the province. It is 97 kilometers or a two hour and twenty-five minutes ride from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by the province of Capiz: in the east by the towns of San Dionisio and Concepcion; in the south by Ajuy; and, in the west by Lemery. It has a total land area of 18, 300 hectares that is politically subdivided into 42 barangays.

It is populated by 52, 631 (2015 Census on Population) Saranhons. Market day is every Mondays and Saturdays. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 24th of June in honour of San Juan de Bautista.

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

HISTORY

What used to be a small native settlement on the banks of Aswe River the Austinian Fathers founded the barrio of San Juan under the patronage of St. John the Baptist, whose feast is celebrated on the 24th of June.

Cholera ravaged the barrio in 1870 and many of the afflicted were cared by no less than the sister of the parish priest Fray Paulino Diaz. Upon the advice of this lady, thye barrio was relocated farther inland away from the river bank to prevent another epidemic from happening.

When the barrio became a pueblo in 1877, San Juan was renamed Pueblo de Sara after the selfless sister of the parish priest. Later on it became a regular parish in 1895 with Fray Paulino Diaz as curate. Formerly a small land, a simple barrio called San Juan, Sara was transformed into a prosperous town, rich and aesthetically urbanized through the indefatigable efforts of its frist parish priest and his dedicsated sister named Sara.

ATTRACTIONS

SAN JUAN FALLS is located 6.2 kilometers from the town proper. It is a series of falls and pools located in a valley of lush vegetation.

FESTIVAL

MASSKARA SA SULAY BASYA is celebrated every 3rd week of June in honor of Saint John the Baptist. This festival is celebrated with water, the key element in baptism. Sulay is the Hiligaynon word for getting wet usually under the rain or any gushing water, and Basya means to intentionally douse water on someone or group of people.

The centeroiece of the celebration is the tribal dance competition where performers wear masks, brightly-colored costumes and dance to the pulsating samba beat. The merriment ends with the community observing the tradition of dousimng everyone with water using a tabo or water dipper, others have water guns. A firetruck is on standby in one corner to make sure everyone gets wet. By allowing oneself to get wet, devotees hope to receive blessings and the community have bountiful harvest in their farming.

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Iloilo

Concepcion

Endowed with bounties of nature; the municipality of Concepcion, represents one of the finest destinations in the entire province. The town is one of the more popular island destinations in Iloilo where dreams of sun-drenched, palm-fringed tropical beaches are turned into exotic and romantic realities. With so many stretches of beautiful island beaches with kilometers of white sands, there will always be one perfect place for you to lie back, relax and enjoy in the island.

Concepcion is also locally significant due to its rich biological diversity. It has Live Coral covers, Tabon birds, Watching-Bread Sea Eagles, Sabalo (mother milkfish), seven (7) Enfangered Species of Giant Clams, Sea Turtles, Dugong or Sea Cow, rare wild orchids and wild monkeys or Philippine Macaque.

The town has 16 islands, namely Agho, Bago-abo, Bago-Isi Chico or Bagosipol, Baliguian, Bocot, Botlog, Bulubadiangan, Clebra or Bago-alas, Danao-Danao, Malangabang, Igbon, Pan de Azucar, Sombrero or Botlog Gamay, Tago or San Vicente and Tagubanhan.

Nearest to the mainland is Tago (San Vicente) Island which is approximately 200 meters away from the mainland. The farthest is Baliguian, a coral reef is approximately 22 kilometers from the town center. The biggest island Pan de Azucar (considered a dead volcano) is home to Mount Manaphag rising 572 meters above sea-level. The smallest is the uninhabited Bocot Island.

The Third-Class municipality of Concepcion is situated in the northeastern part of the province. The town is 111.4 kilometers or almost a two-hour drive from Iloilo City. It shares border in the north by the municipality of San Dionisio, in the south by the municipality of Ajuy, in the west by the municipality of Sara, and in the east by the Visayan Sea. It has a total land area of 9,702hectares that is politically subdivided into 25 barangays.

Concepcion is populated by 43, 159 (2015 Census on Population) Concpcionanons. Market day is every Thursdsay. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 8th of December in honour of Our Lady of Imaaculate Conception.

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

HISTORY

Concepcion was originally called Bacjawan, following the native practice of naming places after natural landmarks. The place actually means “the place of the bacjaw trees” which used to proliferate in wide swampy areas along the coast.

In 1855, during the Spanish colonial regimne, bacjawan was formally founded as a pueblo, with Felizardo Azucena as its first captain basal or gobernadorcillo. Later, the local Cabesas de Barangay petitioned the Spanish Comandante Enrique Garcia to change the name of the town from Bacjawan to Concepcion, in honor of the first born daughter of Capitan Azucena.

In 1895, the town became officially known as Concepcion, and recognized as a political subdivision of the national government. Today, two adjoining barangays west of the poblacion still carry the name Bacjawan.

Concepcion was the seat of the sub-Province of Northern Iloilo in 1872 – 1899 which comprised of the towns of Banate, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Sara, San Dionisio, Estancia, Balasan and Carles.

ATTRACTIONS

TAMBALIZA ISLAND also known as Pan de Azucar Island is the largest of all Concepcion islands. Located seven (7) nautical miles from the town center covers the barangays of Tambaliza, Macatunao and Taloto-an. It is characterized by cliffs. It is surrounded by green areas with its centrepiece, Mt. Manaphag, categorized as a dead volcano, rises 572 meters above sea-level. It is ranked 127th highest mountain in the country according to Peakery Data. Popular in the area is the Hampangan Rock in Barangay Tambaliza that offers natural inland picnic grooves and a scenic hike to its Station of the Cross. Lumpatan Rock in Barangay Macatunao is ideal for diving and swimming.

BAGO SIPOL or CHICO ISLAND located 7.2 miles east from the town proper is a perfect oasis for anyone who is looking for complete isolation and relaxation. Measuring four (4) hectares, it is one of the least-visited island beaches in the area with its gorgeous white-sand and crystal clear water. It is impossible for visitors not to feel relaxed in a place filled with so much serenity.

SPANISH CANNONS are historical artefacts situated at the front of the Municipal building. A SPANISH WELL is found in Barangay Agnaga.

AGHO ISLAND located in Barangay Igbon 7 nautical miles northeast from the town center is considered one of the most popular island beaches of Concepcion. This eight (8) hectare `island is one of the few uninhabited islands with extensive creamy-white sand beach area and s sprawling coral reef.

BULUBADIANGAN ISLAND located 5 nautical miles east from the town center is known for its beautiful panoramic view with the longest sandbar in all of the islands in Concepcion. It is one of the most-visited and photographed island beaches in the province.

BASIAO ROCK FORMATION located in Danao-Danao Island is known for its wind-carved rocks and natural pools.

MOUNT APITONG rising 473 meters above sea-level is one of the the three (3) sites of the Voice of America (VOA) in Panay Island that linked the Philippine Guerilla and the United States Armed Firces.

COMPOUND OF NORTHERN ILOILO POLYTECHNIC STATE COLLEGE is a former site of the headquarters of the Spanish Commandancia of the defunct Sub-Province of northern Iloilo.

FESTIVAL

TAMPISAW is celebrated every 3rd week of April. It was coined from a Hiligaynon term Tampisaw or “to frolic” or “playfully wade in the water.” It is a three day festivity that coincides with the annual Earth Day Celebration—celebrated in almost 192 countries across the globe, the event is to increase awareness and appreciation of our natural environment.

The LGU had worked in partnership with other organisations to support community programs which promote conservation. Many actions are being taken to prevent pollution especially at their island beaches, with the local government tackling sources of pollution in a range of ways.

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Iloilo

Ajuy

The fishing and agricultural town of Ajuy is quite a remote area although it has popular island beaches that remain a site with minimal disruption. Locals usually find that the island beaches are enough of a reason to visit the area all by itself. It has popular restaurants and scenic mainland resorts and its own share of historical attractions.

Regardless who you are visiting while on vacation in the island or mainland, with friends, your family or as a couple, you will truly enjoy the beauty and the things you do here. And if you want a break from the beautiful island beach experience, there are a number of mainland attractions and things to do.

The Second-Class municipality of Ajuy is situated in the northern portion of the province. It is 91.9 kilometers away or a two-hour drive from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by Sara; south by Ajuy Bay; and the west by Barotac Viejo. It has a land area of 19,346 hectares that is politically subdivided into 34 barangays.

Ajuy is populated by 52, 268 (2015 Census on Population) Ajuynons. Market day is every Sunday. The town celebrates its annual Religious Fiesta every 10th of September in honour of San Nicolas de Tolentino.

To get to Ajuy, busses are available daily at the new Ceres Bus Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

Folk history posits the municipality of Ajuy started as a small settlement established by the early Malayan immigrants on the northern side of the Gubaton River near the present site of Barangay Lanjagan.

The natives originally called it “Aswe.” Based on folk history, it is said that during the Spanish time, a Spaniard who was assigned to list the names of coastal villages in this part of the province, came to Aswe where he met a native who was gathering wood. The stranger asked for the name of the settlement. The native did not understand what the stranger was asking thought he was inquiring about what he was gathering and so he answered, “kahoy.” And so the Spaniard noted down the word “Ajoy” which was later changed to Ajuy, the present official name of this town.

Ajuy was formerly a part of the town of Sara and became a separate full-fledged municipality in 1917.

ATTRACTIONS

BARANGAY PEDADA is a small and rich community of mangrove forest with an estimated 42.5 hectares. Worldwide, more than 70 species of mangroves exist. Around 35-40 species are found in the Philippines; and 29 of it are found in Barangay Pedada.

TERRA VERDE FARM AND FOREST PARK is a remnant of an old Hacienda in Barangay San Antonio converted into an inland resort designed to inspired visitors by its surrounding lush and green scenery. The facilities and the amenities blend perfectly with its natural environment surrounded by lush trees, established landscaping, and an ever-so-peaceful environment.

It promises to its guests a unique and comfortable stay. The calmness of nature and the soothing landscapes of the nearby areas make one’s stay an unforgettable one. The resort offers a wide variety of leisure and recreational facilities to its nature visitors. Fishing, camping, paddling, cycling, nature walks and picnic areas are just a few of the many recreational opportunities to be enjoyed when in the resort.

MARBUENA BEACH RESORT in Binongan-an Island is a beautiful holiday destination especially in the bright sunlight of summer. There are plenty of things to do. Activities include sailing, fishing and scuba diving and trekking. You can beach-hop your way down the Island situated seven kilometers from the poblacion. It boasts of white sand surrounding the island; home to birds and fruit bats; and perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling.

NASIDMAN ISLAND offers a place for relaxation, land and sea playground and fishing. There are residential units clustered in the northern portion. Easy motorized boat access of almost 30 minutes motorized boatride from Culasi Wharf makes this among the favorite location when visitors would want to enjoy one of Ajuy’s the best in terms of water, sand and hospitality.

Nasidman is also rich in marine life. It has a Marine Protected Area that is slowly becoming a major attraction for water activities such as snorkeling, paddle boating and diving and promoted continuously by the locals. A holiday weekend is also definitely more fun with friends and families. The island is also a perfect place to witness Tabagak-drying and buy some to bring home. It is only 500 meters away from Calabasa Island.

ISLA BIDA in Barangay Pantalan-Nabaye, Sitio Binongan-an, is a great beach experience that very few people find. It is a small sheltered hidden gem and a magical spot for a dip and a picnic. This is a perfect destination for those of you who want to find a beautiful secluded island, far from the crowds, and the frenetic city life.

CALABAZAS ISLAND commonly called “Parola” has a functioning lighthouse managed by the Philippine Navy. It houses the 1884 Parola or Lighthouse known to the Second Oldest Lighthouse in the country. Tourists can spend a good time swimming, snorkelling, fishing, boating or for just a simple respite.

BAY-ANG POINT in Barangay Peninsula has a clean beach with smooth stones instead of sand thus making its waters crystal-like clear. It is an ideal place for swimming, fishing, skin diving, boating snd solitude.

PANALIKDIKON FALLS is situated in Barangay Tipacla four kilometres away from the town center. It has a cool environment and clean water for swimming and areas for picnic.

FESTIVAL

TAMBOBO is celebfrated every 2nd week of September. Derived from a Hiligaynon word tambobo or a structure from storing agricultural products such as grains, it celebrates the abundance of harvest of crops and the bounties of the seas with series of special events daily for the whole community to enjoy.

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Iloilo

Lemery

Lemery is a Fourth-Class municipality situated in the eastern portion of the proince. It is 87 kilometres or two hours and twety-five minute ride from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the north by Sara; Ajuy in the west; Barotac Viejo in th east ; and, San Rafael in south; and the towns of Dumarao, Maayon and Pontevedra in Capiz in the northwest. It has a total land area of 11, 900 hectares that is politically subdivided into 31 barangays.

Lemery is populated by 30, 851 (2015 Census on Population) Lemernhons. Market day is every Wednesday. It annually celebrates it Religious Fiesta ever 28th of January in honur of Sr. St. Nino or the Child Jesus.

To get to the town, one can take a bus or van at the Baldoza Transport Terminal in Zone 3, Barangay Baldoza, Lapaz, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

There are different stories and version as to how the town got its name. The most popular one is based on the tree, the tall Palo-Maria tree that served as a landmark. It was said that during the Spanish era, settlements were usually named in honour of saints. Relative to the tall Palo-Maria tree, it served as a permanent landmark of a thriving community at a tall hill “Pitk-pitik,” the settlement’s name was “El Pueblo de la Maria.”

Lemery was created from the barrios of Lemery, Tabunan, Tuburan, Nagsulang, Daga, Tuguis, Singcua, Agpipili, Pacuan, Milan, Alagiñgay, Tuga, Bajo, San Antonio, Capeñahan, Bankal, Geroñgan, Omio, Nasapahan, Abuac-Dalipe, San Jose, Cabangtohan, Dapdapan, Butuan, Anabo, and Buenavista from the municipality of Sara by virtue of Republic Act No. 197, enacted June 22, 1947. It was named after Spanish governor-general José Lemery e Ibarrola Ney y González.

Lemery became and independent town in 1984 by virtue of R.A. 197, sponsored by then representative of the 5th District of Iloilo, Hon. Juan V. Borra.

ATTRACTIONS

ABUAC FALLS, DALIPE FALLS, ALAGUINGAY FALLS, ALCANTARA – TABUNAN FALLS, NAGSULANG – NASAPAHAN FALLS

FESTIVAL

SAUG is celebrated every last week of January. Originating from the Hiligaynon word Saug meaning to haul an object with the use of a carroza or bamboo sled pulled by a waterbuffalo, the town celebrates its agricultural heritage with a tribal dance competition highlighting this practice. Suag defines the primary vehicle or mode of transport farmers used to haul their bountiful agricultural produce to be sold . Such practice is still being done inspite of more modern forms of transportation to haul their produce to the market.

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Iloilo

San Rafael

San Rafael is a Fifth-Class municipality located in the eastern portion of the province. It is 72 kilometres or almost two hours drive from the provincial capital, Iloilo City. It is bordered by Dumarao, Capiz in the north: Lemery in the east: Barotac Viejo in the south; and, Passi City in the west. It has a land area of 14, 578 hectares that is politically subdivided into nine (9) barangays.

It is populated by 16, 532 (2015 Census on Population) San Rafaelnons. Market day is every Sunday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 24th of October in honour of St. Rafael the Archangel.

To get to the town, one can take a bus or van at the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

From more than a century, San Rafael remained a barangay of Barotac Viejo. However, in June 21, 1969, all or part of the 16 barangays of Barotac Viejo were separated from the town and consolidated into a new municipality. It was in 1971 via Republic Act No. 6267 that decreed the five barangays be restored to Barotac Viejo, with Barrio Omio becoming part of the municipality of Lemery.

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Iloilo

Barotac Viejo

Barotac Viejo is currently experiencing fantastic growth and interest as a tourist destination in the province of Iloilo. The town hopes to offer everything visitors could want in privacy, beauty and breathtaking views. If you are looking for moments of solitude in the fast bustling city life, what you need is a trip to the town which will bring you peace and closeness to nature. Come discover Barotac Viejo’s best kept secrets.

The Third-Class municipality of Barotac Viejo is situated in the northestern portion of the province. It is 52 kilometers away or an hour and forty-five minutes drive from Iloilo City. The town is bounded in the northwest by the Municipality of San Rafael; in the south by the Municipality of Banate and the Visayan Sea; in the east by the Municipality of Lemery and the Province of Capiz, and; in the west by the Municipality of Passi and San Enrique. It has a land area of 14, 230 hectares that is politically subdivided into 26 barangays.

Barotac Viejo is populated by 45, 808 (2015 Census on Population) Barotacnons. Market day is every Thursday. Iyt annually celebrates its Religious Festival every 29th of June in honour of St. Peter the Apostle.

To get to the town, one can take a bus or van at the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

Barotac Viejo was founded in 1754. The town started as a small settlement near San Juan Bay, surrounding the estuaries of Paywan and Barotac Viejo River. The first settlers were a clan of families from Cebu who escaped from Marauding Muslims or Moros. The settlement grew and was elevated to a barangay in 1765

In 1771, bonds of Moros swept through the Visayas, striking mortal fear among people living in coastal pueblos. The cabeza de barangay elders decided later to move the community from the seacoast to a safer haven inland. Transfering inland, out of danger from the Moro marauders, a small clearing by the bank of the river was chosen where a new community was established. This was called bagong banwa or new town.

The frequency of Moro attacks in the Visayas prompted the Spanish Governor Simon de Anda to put up a fleet of light gunboats for the defense of the coastal towns. After having to transfer sites several times, the latest site was established. Known as Bagong Banwa it was renamed “Baro-lutak” or “Barrotak.” The name was a combination of two words, one in Spanish and the other in Hiligaynon and both were synonymous, meaning “mud.”

When anther town was named Barotac some years later, the preceding town, which was the original, became known as Barotac Viejo, and the new town became Barotac Nuevo.

ATTRACTIONS

ULYSSES VALDEZ FARM is a tourist farm resort privately owned by Dr. Ulysses L. Valdez situated in the scenic Barangay of Rizal, 6 kilometers away from the poblacion of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo. It prides itself on being a family-friendly resort with many activities available for both parents and children. Spread over 14 hectares of land surrounded by varieties of fruit-bearing trees, coffee plantation, fish pens, flower gardens, plant nurseries and poultry and cattle areas, the resort presents a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere that is ideal for mediating, reading and writing. Visitors can also spend some time fishing or taking nature walks through the property.

BALBOA FARM situated at Barangay Vista Alegre, 7 kilometers from the poblacion offers activities and adventures to fulfill your every desire. Find yourself on a relaxing nature hike. Glide down mountain byways through their custom zipline measuring 37 feet in height with a length of 130 meters. Be as active as your heart desires by enjoying their firing range, horseback riding and fishing. Enjoy playing football and volleyball in their well-trimmed fields. It has areas for fruit bearing trees and coffee. It has a pavilion that can accommodate 50 persons for small group activities.

NAGPANA AETA COMMUNITY in Barangay Lipata, 12 kilometers from the poblacion of Barotac Viejo lies hidden from view to those visiting the area.
Everything about the Aeta community reflects sensitivity to the environment and respect for the area’s traditional Aboriginal owners. The sitio covers 938 hectares of verdant forest land where 200 hectares is identified as a “reserved area” for its watershed.

Framed by stunning mountain views, it is home to Nagpana Falls where guests can enjoy a host of activities revolving around it, while still having time to explore the spectacular scenery surrounding the community.

FESTIVAL

TALTAL, celebrated every Good Friday, is considered as one of Iloilo’s longest running Lenten traditions. The community take this event very seriously that it has been religiously observed for the last 39 years as the local government helps in providing logistical and technical support. It is a well-celebrated Lenten event although not as grand as the one in Guimaras is fast gaining in importance.

A huge crowd annually show up for this dramatized tribute performed in Hiligaynon by volunteer actors in the community. No professional actors are hired and the cast is drawn from all walks of life from within the municipality. Almost a hundred people participate in the production.

BAROTO SA LUTAC RACE is celebrated every last week of June. It is a boat racing festivity participated in by barangays competing in pairs. The boat race is of two categories, the de layag where the raceboat is propelled by saild and windpower. The second, the de bugsay is where contestants use paddles to head towards the finish line. The event is observed annually to honor the town’s history and industry.

PATUBAS is celebrated every 3rd week of December and was taken from the Hiligaynon word meaning “harvest.” It is a food festival that celebrates the bounty of the town and its blessings. It showcases an exciting range of culinary delights the town is known for.

Categories
Iloilo

Banate

Banate is in a unique position being a great jumping-off point to explore the 5th District of the province. The town can surprise those willing to spend a few days exploring it. It may not be as appealing as its adjacent municipalities, but if you are looking for an all-day adventure, the coastal and mountain areas of Banate provides a glorious backdrop attractive all year-round. The town is a great place for outdoor experiences, from snorkeling to challenging wilderness hikes.

The Fourth-Class municipality of Banate is situated in the northern portion of the province. It is 50 kilometers away or an hour and thirty minute ride from Ilooilo City. It shares border with Barotac Viejo and San Enrique in the northwest; Banate Bay in the southeast; and Dingle and Anilao in the west. The town has a total land area measuring 11,886 hectares that is politically subdivided into 18 barangays.

Banate is populated by 32, 532 (2015 Census on Population) Banatenhons. Market day is every Wednesday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiuesta every 24th of June in honour of ST, John the Baptist.

To get to Banate, one can take a bus or van at the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

The settlement of Banate is of ancient origin. It was among the organized Pre-Hispanic territories of the Confideration of Madja-as in Panay. It was known to the Spanish missionaries during the earliest dates of the colonization as Bobog. The Spanish Augustinian historian Fray Gaspar de San Agustin mentions it in an account about Dumangas and other coastal towns of the island, where in ancient times, there was a principality and trade ceneter that had the most illustrious nobilities in the whole island of Panay.

Bobog (Banate), Araut (Dumangas), Anilao and Hapitan were among the ancient coastal civilizations in Panay. Another Agustinian historian Fray Juan Fernandez, in his Monografias de los pueblos de la isla de Panay, affirms that Banate was known in the ancient times as Bobog or Bog-og. The more modern name banate might have been derived from a species of tree that grew abundantly in the place.

ATTRACTIONS

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH CHURCH was built in 1870 under the supervision of Father Eustaquio Torres. The convent was established by Father Manuel Santos in 1883. Made of stone and wood, the façade is very simple with no decoration at all.

SAN SALVADOR BEACH is a motorized boatride away from the town center where backpackers frequent this destination because of its beautiful sunset. There are adjoining beaches in the area, the Solongan and Punta Magkil which are separated by rock formations. It was also a part of the history of the province as it served as a citadel during the Spanish times.

CANIAPASAN FALLS located in the wilderness area of Barangay Managopaya, 13 kilometers from the town proper. Fairly located in a remote barangay, this relatively small but scenic cascading waterfall has series of smaller water falls on the rugged, upturned rocks. Located in a sheltered, beautiful spot, the water gushes much over a wide ledge and drops about 10 feet. The walk to the falls is moderate. The trailhead is not so difficult to reach but physical stamina may be required.

HIBOTKAN ROCK SANCTUARY is a good snorkelling and diving spot, a popular place for tourism. Just two kilometres away by motorized boat from Sulagan, it is found in between the municipal waters of town and Guimaras Strait, the sanctuary covers 25 hectares but only 1 hectare is exposed to the sun during low tide. As a precious resource for this town, the site has 16 families of corals with 34 species being observed. The sanctuary also provides shelter for a wide variety of marine life.

FESTIVAL

KASAG celebrates the contribution made by the blue crab industry by those persons involved in the local fishing industry. It became the starting point for the annual festival that also showcases its unique and pulsating choreographed steps. The dance maps out the crab’s journey through movement where it traces its connection from the sea to land. The synchronized movement symbolizes the crab, often accompanied with arched legs, and movement of arms and hands like scissors. Dancers also present the color change on crabs from blue to orange through their suggestive costumes. Banate welcomes its visitors with a weekend of fun and pure pleasure. The celebration is a tasty and entertaining tradition, with music, great food, arts and crafts, and featuring Kasag Cooking Contest. This family fun and feasting event draws visitors from all across the province and region.

ANG PAGTALTAL involves a cast of almost nearing a hundred of performers playing key roles in the Biblical story. No professional actors are hired for the play, which is performed only by those who were born in the towns mentioned. The play’s cast is drawn from all walks of life from within the municipality. The play is performed in Hiligaynon.