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Category: Iloilo

Leon

If you are looking for a fun family weekend destination, head over to Leon. It is known to be one of Iloilo’s most scenic and adventurous summer cool spots. It…

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If you are looking for a fun family weekend destination, head over to Leon. It is known to be one of Iloilo’s most scenic and adventurous summer cool spots. It is an old town that is full of fun with a plethora of activities including trekking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, cave exploration and swimming to its falls.

There is something for everyone in Leon, and with just a little planning and pre-trip discussion, visitors can experience a rural vacation that will inspire, excite and leave lasting memories.

Leon is a Second-Class municipality located 28 kilometers in the west-southwest portion of Iloilo. It is bounded in the north by the municipality of Alimodian; in the west the municipality of San Remegio of the province of Antique; in the south by the municipalities of Tigbauan and Tubungan; and in the east by the municipality of San Miguel. It has a total land area 14,005 hectares politically subdivided by 85 barangays.

Leon is populated by 49, 875 (2015 Census on Population) Leonians. Market day is every Saturday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 25th of November in honor of St. Catherine of Alexandria.

To get to Leon, jeepneys and air-conditioned vans at the ALEOSAN Transport Terminal in El 98 Street, Mandurriao, Iloilo City or at the ALEOSAN Transport Terminal in Barangay HIbao-an, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

The municipality of Leon was formerly known as Camando, which was founded in the year 1730. However, the sitio got burned in 1865 causing a mass transfer of its people to Sitio Capan (present poblacion) , a vast rice-producing area. Two years after, the town was transferred and was given the name Leon in honor of the City of Leon in Spain, the place where Fr. Agustin Castrothen, parish priest of the town came from.

However, the inhabitants retained their surnames beginning with letter “C” which given to them through the order of Governor Narciso Claveria, the 71st Governor-General of the Philippines, who applied a system of giving family names to natives for ease of taxation, regulation and census, in 1894. The citizens of Leon retained their family names starting with the letter “C” in lasting memory of the former name of the town of Camando.

ATTRACTIONS

ST. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA PARISH CHURCH is of Doric and Byzantine architectural style. The present church was constructed around 1876 after the original town site in Camando was transferred in 1863 to its present site. It was under the supervision of Father Melquiades Arizmendi and was continued by Father Serapio Gonzales, Father Victoriano Garcia in 1879 and Father Manuel Guiterrez who also started constructing the convent in 1885.

Known to be the biggest stone edifice in Panay during its time, it measured 100 feet high and 300 feet long. It almost covered two streets of the town. The stones used were quarried from the hills of this town and were shaped into slabs shaped into parallelograms measuring of 1 x 2 feet.

The interior is of Renaissance-Romanesque architectural design with walls three and a half feet thick and five feet in height for each post that soared up to 32 feet to its roof. Big and long timbers from Negros were the support of the naves. The timbers of 100 feet long were rafted to Tigbauan, Iloilo and were hauled individually by 10 carabaos to the church site.

The church was burned during World War II and was transformed into a garrison for the Japanese Imperial Forces. It was rehabilitated by the Mill Hill Fathers after the war.

BUCARI was once the seat of government resistance against the Japanese in World War II. In 1996 via Executive Order 120, Governor Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. declared Bucari as the “Summer Capital of Iloilo.” It lures visitors year-round where hikers and mountain bikers traverse the mountains here to enjoy the sprawling panoramas of the expansive mountain ranges extending to neighboring towns and adjacent province. The cool climate is perfect for growing high-value produce such as carrots, cabbage, Baguio beans, chilis, eggplant and chayote or vegetable pear locally known as sayote. Farmers grow their crops along the hills and mountainside in terraces.

It is accessible by jeepney with one trip daily every 9 a.m. at P40.00 fare for every person and leaves Bucari for the town proper every 3 p.m. Normal travel time is one hour. For the adventurous in spirit, 30 units of motorcycle travel to Bucari at P150.00 one way for double occupancy or at P200.00 one way for single occupancy.

MANSIGA VIEWING DECK can be reached for almost an hour on foot on a normal pace of uphill climb where it will give you a panoramic view of the mountain ranges of Alimodian and Leon. There is also a fallen that can serve as a viewing spot where it offers a more scenic view of the surrounding.

PUTING BATO is another spot that you can go to and get amazing pictures of Leon mountain areas. It is a protruding rock formation that some tourists say resembles Pico de Loro in Batangas.

IMOY FALLS is almost an hour at normal pace, medium trek down that can be an ordeal for some. Visitors need to pass thru the hanging bridge. But when you finally reach a series of waterfalls that culminates to the alls, you will instantly forget all the hardships of your journey.

FESTIVALS

KAING is celebfrated every a basket made of bamboo strips. In Leon, it is used as a container of farm harvest such as fruits and vegetables. Because of its pervasive use it can be designed in different sizes. It is very common to see Kaings on top of jeepneys where it is used to transport products from the plantation site to the farm storage, from fresh harvest farmland to the market, from wholesale center to retail distribution outlet.

The Kaing is Leon’s basket of prosperity and symbol of quest for progress and unity as a people. It expresses a harvest of abundance being endowed with rich natural resource. But alongside with these naturally endowed gifts are the efforts of trying to sustain the already known identity of Leon as the fruit and vegetable basket of the Province of Iloilo. Kaing Festival showcases the talents and unique culture, achievements and progress of Leon. The festival is a name given as collective representation to that simple but potent image, tangible and relevant of a unique celebration in a community that seeks to inform its people of its tradition, share knowledge of struggle, stories of progress, identity of its own people amidst the vest humanity to the next generation.

HANDURAW ius a Hiligaynon word meaning “to reminisce,” or “flashback,” is celebrated every 1st week of September. It is an annual dramatic cultural presentation that commemorates the transfer of Pueblo del Camando, the old site of the municipality to Sitio Capan, the present site of the municipality. It is a week-long event that includes food festivals, trade fairs and a showcase of local agricultural produce.

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Alimodian

Alimodian is a beautiful and quiet town packed with great natural and historical attractions. It features amazing sites, views and landscapes that are surprisingly diverse, with remote upland barangays, rice…

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Alimodian is a beautiful and quiet town packed with great natural and historical attractions. It features amazing sites, views and landscapes that are surprisingly diverse, with remote upland barangays, rice paddies, tumbling waterfalls and vegetable plantations.

Alimodian is a Third-Class municipality situated south-central of the province. It is 24.6 kilometers away from Iloilo City. The town is bounded in the north by the province of Antique; in the east by the towns of Maasin and Cabatuan, Iloilo; in the south by San Miguel, Iloilo and in the west by Leon, Iloilo. It has a total land area of 14, 480 hectares that is politically subdivided into 51 barangays.

Alimodian is populated by 34, 408 (2015 Census on Population) Alimodianons. Market day is every Tuesdays and Sundays. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 22nd of September in honour of St. Thomas of Villanova.

To get to Alimodian, one can take a jeepney or van at the ALEOSAN Transport Terminal at El 98 Street, Mandurriao, Iloilo City or at the ALEOSAN Transport Terminal in Barangay HIbao-an, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

Derived from alimodia or alimodias, the old Hiligaynon name for Coix Lachyrma-Jobi, a grain-bearing tropical plant of the grass family found to be abundant in the area. The town is also nicknamed as the Banana Capital of Western Visayas.

Founded in in 1754 by Capitan Agustin Magtanong, Alimodian was formerly an arrabal of Ogtong (Oton). In August 20, 1756, Alimodian was officially separated from Ogtong.

ATTRACTIONS

ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA PARISH CHURCH is of Baroque architectural style. The first church was built sometime in 1700 was destroyed by an earthquake in July 13 1787. The present church was built on the same foundation with the old church. It was under the supervision of Father Florencio Martin in 1859.

The stones used in the construction of the church were taken in Camando (Leon). The belfry of the church was one of the tallest and the most beautiful in Panay and Negros during its time. It had seven bells and was said to give the loudest and most melodious sound. The convent was completed in 1868 and was just as big as the church though longer in length.

However, in April 16, 1942, it was looted and burned. A month after the church was also burned for fear that Japanese Imperial Forces will use the church as its hideout and storage center for their supplies. The 1948 Lady Kaykay earthquake rocked the church totally destroying its convent and about 2/3 of its belfry. It was then abandoned. It was in 1951 when the ruined church was renovated and opened for public worship in December 22 of the same year.

The stone church of Alimodian was completed in 1864 and was dedicated to Saint Thomas of Villanova, the town’s patron saint. Fr. Florencio Martin, OSA was credited for building it while his successor, Fr. Ignacio Marcos, OSA, completed the stone and wooden convent in 1868. Its belfry was fitted with bells manufactured in 1876 by Juan Reyes in his foundry in Arevalo. The largest bell weighed 120 arrobas or 1,470 kilos where two pairs of bullcarts transported them from Arevalo to Alimodian. Both the church and the convent survived the earthquake of 20 June 1869 where a number of churchgoers got injured, and the tremor of 13 February 1882 where the image of Saint Augustine fell from its niche over the church’s main entrance.

During the outbreak of World War II, the convent became the refuge of the Ysmael and Caram families who were friends of Fr. Mariano Perez, the parish priest at that time. Shortly after the invasion of Iloilo by the Japanese Imperial Army on 6 April 1942, fleeing residents looted the convent and set it on fire.

A month later, Filipino guerrillas under Col. Macario Peralta torched the church to prevent Japanese soldiers from turning it into a garrison. Its roof was restored in 1943 by Fr. Genaro Ramos following the surrender of the town to the Japanese. Five years later, the church collapsed to the ground during the 25 January 1948 Lady Caycay 8.2-magnitude earthquake that also toppled the Jaro bell tower and the Oton church.

AGONY HILL is a venue for Religious Pilgrimage especially during the Holy Week. Stations of the Cross are located along the trekking area where people can pause for a moment and pray. The concept of Agony Hill emerged from the combination of the human appreciation of nature`s beauty with the amazing landscape designed naturally by the hill`s rolling slope and topography.

SEVEN CITIES is composed the seven barangays or villages located in the upland hinterlands of the town of Alimodian and are linked to the Bucari mountain range of the town of Leon. It is composed of the barangays Cabacanan (Proper and Rizal), Dao, Lico, Manasa, Tabug and Umingan. It is called the “Little Baguio of Iloilo” because of its cool climate. They produce high yielding crops such as cauliflower, carrots, broccoli and even strawberries. It is also known for its lush vegetation, thick jungle forest, diverse wildlife and plants such as wild berries and fruits, caves, steep cliffs and boulders, waterfalls and rice terraces.

UMINGAN PLATEAU On top of barangay Umingan lays the green grass covering a wide range of the plateau which blends with the foggy atmosphere and freezing breeze. An aerial picture of the entire area beneath exactly describes how high a traveller has reached. At night, a panoramic scene appears to be stars blinking at night but it was on the ground. Such view, most perfectly describe how the night spots on the quivering and meddling City of Iloilo look like.

LICO WATERFALLS is almost hidden within barangay Lico, located near the thick forest, is a haven where a series of mini waterfalls can be found. Splashes of cool and refreshing waters flowing endlessly show the abundance of water poured by nature. A quick dip would often lead to a prolonged craving to dive the crystal clear waters for a more relaxing experience.

BATO DUNGOK IN AGUA COLOGNIA is within the rugged and forested terrain and on the highest area of Agua Colognia, Bato Dungok invites one to discover its amazing natural landscape with sculptured rocks in an artistic and exquisite manner.

FESTIVALS

HIMUD-OS is celebrated every 2nd till the 3rd week of March

PASKUA SA ALIMODIAN is celebrated every 2nd week of December, the municipal park of Alimodian has been an attraction especially during this season as everyone enjoys walking around it and seeing the different lighted Christmas trees and lanterns or parols. It is an amazing local tradition that helps bring much a much needed sense of community to many Alimodianons. Barangay districts of the area take turns in the nightly holiday showcase featuring the talented people of this town.

MUSiKALIKASAN, EARTH DAY FEST is celebrated every April 22. The event is observed since 2014 as the town’s way celebrating World Earth Day. It is an ecological awareness and advocacy program of Alimodian through musical renditions in Hiligaynon and OPM on how we should take good care of Mother Nature. Alimodian is a beautiful town packed with great natural and historical attractions. It features amazing sites, views and landscapes that are surprisingly diverse, with remote upland barangays, rice paddies, tumbling waterfalls and vegetable plantations.

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San Miguel

San Miguel is a 5th class municipality is bordered by the municipality of Maasin and Cabatuan in the north; Sta. Barbara and Pavia in the northeast; in the south by…

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San Miguel is a 5th class municipality is bordered by the municipality of Maasin and Cabatuan in the north; Sta. Barbara and Pavia in the northeast; in the south by Oton; the city of Iloilo in the east; Alimodian in the west; and southwest with Leon and Tigbauan. It has a land area of 2,134 hectares and politically subdivided into 24 barangays.

San Miguel is populated by 27, 686 San Miguelnons. Market day is every Wednesdays and Sundays. It annually celebrates in Religious Fiesta every 8th of May in honor of St. Michael the Archangel.

To get to San Miguel one can take a jeepney or van at the ALEOSAN TRANSPORT TERMINAL in Barangay HIbao-an, Mandurriao, Iloilo City or at the ALEOSAN Transport Terminal in El 98 Street, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

The first seat of poblacion of the town of San Miguel was in Fonda with its center in Ermita now in Sitio Langca in Barangay San Jose. A simple wooden church was constructed for the people to gather but when the church was halfway finished, the townsfolk decided to transfer the seat of the poblacion to an area known as Angoy. Here a little stone church was built and the plaza was laid out. When the church was completed, the Archdiocese of Jaro decided to separate the parishes of Alimodian, Leon and Angoy. Thus three patron saints (St. Catherine de Aragon, St. Thomas de Villanueva and St. Michael the Archangel) were sent into the three parishes. The images of these saints were carried by carabo-drawn bamboo carts.

Upon arriving in Angoy, it was decided to leave the image of St. Thomas de Villanueva there but the carabao carrying the bamboo cart where the image of St. Michael the Archangel was did not continue its journey to Alimodian. Instead, it stayed rooted on the spot where no amount of beating and prodding the animal succeeded in budging it, thus, did St. Michael the Archangel became the patron saint of Angoy, later becoming the town of San Miguel after the saint.

FESTIVALS

PASIDUNGOG KAY SENYOR SAN MIGUEL is celebrated every 3rd week of December. From the Hiligaynon root word dungog meaning honor or dignity, Pasidungog festival venerates the town’s patron saint, San Miguel.

Highlight of the celebration is the tribal dance-drama competition which recounts the story based on folk history, on the separation of the parishes of Alimodian, Leon and San Miguel. The storyline of competing tribes also recounts the miracle that happened in 1805 when the Archangel Micheael appeared and saved the town when they were besieged by Muslim bandits. The Moros reportedly saw the appearance of the angel and they immediately fled.

PALUPOK BAYONG is celebrated every December 30. It is a revival of the old Filipino tradition of celebrating the New Year by making loud sounds through bamboo cannons or bayong.

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Zarraga

This Fourth Class municipality is located in the northeastern portion of Iloilo, the municipality of Zarraga is 16 kilometers away from Iloilo City. Zarraga is at a converging point for…

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This Fourth Class municipality is located in the northeastern portion of Iloilo, the municipality of Zarraga is 16 kilometers away from Iloilo City. Zarraga is at a converging point for the two national highways: the main roads of Central Panay, including the provinces of Aklan and Capiz; and the northern towns of Iloilo Provinces. It has a total land area of 8, 253 hectares and is politically subdivided into 24 barangays.

Zarraga is populated by 25,605 Zarraganhons. Market day is every Sunday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 15th of May in honor of St. Isidro Labrador.

To get to Zarraga, one can take a jeepney at Jaro Plaza or at the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

Zarraga was once a nameless jungle outback with an abundance of giant trees. It was in 1853 when the town was established and was named after Pedro Zarraga, then Alcalde Mayor of Iloilo whoserved eight years until his death in August 26, 1882. In the early part of 1904, Zarraga became an arrabal of Sta. Barbara and remained as such until 1940. It again became as an independent municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 295, issued by former President Manuel L. Quezon.

FESTIVAL

PANTAT is celebrated every last week of December. It celebrates and aims to promote pantat (catfish) production in the the municipality. Started in 2003, a small group of individuals discussed the possibility of establishing a local event to promote their local produce, pantat. Considered as a delicacy, the people of Zarraga prepare pantat grilled as a barbecue that is a common sight as one enters the town.

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Leganes

LEGANES is a residential community being the only coastal municipality that shares a common border with Iloilo City. It is home to families with children, retirees, and seasonal residents. It…

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LEGANES is a residential community being the only coastal municipality that shares a common border with Iloilo City. It is home to families with children, retirees, and seasonal residents. It has a relaxed peaceful atmosphere and the charm of an old-fashioned friendly neighborhood. Although it is small community, the town is progressive within a short distance from the city with a hometown feel.

At many points along this narrow piece of land you can view bodies of water. It joins with the other coastal municipalities in welcoming visitors to its attractions and beautiful seascape. Despite its sleepy appearance, Leganes has its share of the tourist population.

This Fourth Class town is located along the Guimaras Strait, opposite the town of Buenavista in Guimaras. It is adjacent to the City of Iloilo in the south; bounded by Pavia in the southeast; Sta. Barbara in the west; and Zarraga in the north. It has a total land area of 3, 216 hectares politically subdivided into 18 barangays.

Leganes is populated by 32, 480 (2015 Census on Population) Leganesnons. Market day is every Sunday. It annually celebrates its religious fiesta every 5th of April in honour of St. Vincent Ferrer.

To get to Leganes, one can take a 20-minuter jeepney ride from Jaro Plaza.

HISTORY

The municipality of Leganes sprang from a small settlement in the early part of 1840 in the site of now known as Barangay Guihaman. The word “Guihaman” originated from the presence of wild boars of “guihan” which inhabited or foraged the place. The early founders of the municipality named the place “Valencia” in honor of its Patron Saint, San Vicente Ferrer of Valencia, a town in Spain. Learning the existence of the settlement, Don Ysidro A. Brudit, the Spanish Governor of Iloilo at the time, decreed sometime in 1856, that the settlement be registered as “Pueblo” otherwise a fine of P600.00 will believed on the inhabitants. In compliance with the decree, the place was registered as pueblo in 1858.

The little pueblo at that time had grown into a thriving community with the influx of settlers from the adjacent towns of Jaro and Sta. Barbara. One of its founders, Don Miguel Valencia seemed to enjoy unmerited, if not unusual honor after the settlement was named Valencia, while other founders protested and moved to have the name change through a petition to the Alta Mar of Spain. The Spain authorities, annoyed by the complaint, named the pueblo “Leganes”, named after the town in Spain, which is of little significance, just to settle the seemingly petty dispute.

Leganes became an arrabal of Jaro in 1916. Later on progress and peace easily flowed in when Iloilo Governor Tomas Confessor granted Leganes’ autonomy from Jaro to become a full-pledged town.

In January 1, 1940, Leganes was declared a municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 241 signed by then Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon. In the year 1918, Governor Jose Yulo signed the formal request for separation.

ATTRACTIONS

SAN VICENTE FERRER PARISH CHURCH was declared a Diocesan Shrine in April of 2008. The façade of the church is an elaborate example of the usual baroque church common in the Philippines. It shares a lot of similarities to the Church of Saint Theresa in Lithuania. Recently rebuilt, the architects and engineers chose the details that could make an astonishing façade that depicts nothing else but elegance, magnificence and faith.

The church is perhaps the most visited because people from all over the country would come to pay homage and display their acts of faith with hopes that the desires of their hearts might be fulfilled.

FESTIVALS

SAAD is celebrated every last week of January and depicts Leganesnons’ intense spirituality and religious faith. Saad, a Hiligaynon term for “vow,” it displays both Catholic and ancient influences. The celebration defines the presence of God in every Leganesnon’s life.

The highlight of the festival is the tribal dance-drama competition showcasing the suffering or shame of sin and expressions through movements of joy and worship. The dances also express healing and restoration.

Special feature of the presentations is the palapak, a Hiligaynon word meaning to tread on one’s head an image of a saint. For Saad , it’s the image of St. Vincent Ferrer, the central figure of the celebration, reputed for his piety, scholarship, and preaching and has touched the lives of many who believed and regarded by many as an angel who brings healing, is pressed upon the heads of devotees especially those who suffer from various sickness. It has been said several were healed through this act of intense devotion to the saint. Shouts of “San Vicente Ferrer, Igampo Mo Kami!,” with laughs and cries from performers as they dance for joy to praise their patron saint for his deliverance is also a common scene of every performances.

Saad was previously celebrated in April to commemorate the saint’s death but recently was moved to January to remember his birth.

BIRAY-PARAW is celebrated annually every last Sunday of June and showcases a day of skilled races. Competitions include sailing and visitors to the event can have the opportunity to experience the traditional biray-biray or sailing for a minimal fee. Enthusiasts are attracted by the chance to learn technical skills in the exposed sea and around the Leganes.

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Pavia

The Second-Class agro-industrial town of Pavia is situated in the northern portion of the province and is 9.6 kilometers away or a Thirty-five minute ride from Iloilo City. The town…

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The Second-Class agro-industrial town of Pavia is situated in the northern portion of the province and is 9.6 kilometers away or a Thirty-five minute ride from Iloilo City. The town is bordered by the municipality of Oton in the south; San Miguel in the east; Sta. Barbara in the north; Leganes in the west and Iloilo City. The town has a total land area measuring 3, 502 hectares, the smallest in the entire province, and is politically subdivided into 18 barangays.

Pavia is populated by 55,603 Pavianhons. Market day is every Wednesday. It annually celebrates its Religious Festival every 4th of May in honor is St. Monica.

To get to Pavia, one can take a jeepney at Jaro Plaza, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

One theory has it that the name Pavia came from a certain Colonel Pavia of the Spanish garrison in Iloilo who was supposedly responsible for initially establishing a Spanish presence in the area. Others believe that the name is a Spanish corruption of the Hiligaynon word biya-biya, as the area was originally considered a neglected patch of land that served mostly as a camping ground for city sophisticates and absentee landlords.

Others claim that the town was named after a Spanish Governor-General, Manuel Pavia y Lay Marquis of Novaliches, who eventually became a priest after his short tenure in the Philippines from 1853-1854.

However, the more credible theory seems to be the overlooked fact that the town’s religious well-being was placed under the jurisdiction and supervision of the friars of the Augustinian Order, and they simply named the place in honour of the town of Pavia, Italy, where the founder of their order, Saint Augustine, was buried.

Settled by Malays and later by Chinese approximately between the 15th and the 16th centuries, Pavia then had an estimated population of just about 200 – 400 villagers. Proof of the early setytling of the place can be derived from archeological work at a Chinese burial ground in Cabugao Sur.

Originally established in 1848, during the Spanish Colonial Era, Pavia became a part of Sta. Barbara in 1901 and then became a part of Iloilo City as an atrrabal of Jaro. In 1921, Pavia became an independent town. The town was equally popular with ots agustinian Church built in 1889 and patterned after the San Michelle Maggiore in Pavia, Italy.

ATTRACTION

SANTA MONICA PARISH CHURCH in Pavia, lloilo is of Romanesque-Byzantine architectural style. The original church was built under the supervision of Father Policarpio Minayo sometime in 1864-1873. It was made of wood and bricks. Reconstruction of the church was under the supervision of Father Antonio Fermentino in 1888 and was finished in 1890. More reconstruction was done under the supervision of Father Lazaro Ramirez until 1899 and was finally open for public worship in the same year.

Made entirely of red bricks, two Greek crosses decorate the facade above its triple-arched main doorway. The church has large rose windows accentuating its arched windows and doors. It was used as a Japanese garrison during World War II. Filipino guerillas also raided the church where it was badly destroyed. Restoration of the church started in 2003 and was finished in 2011.

FESTIVALS

CARABAO-CARROZA is celebrated evety 3rd of May. A festival of and for the carabaos, it is known to be the longest existing festival in Iloilo Province.

The celebration starts with a grand opening parade that takes off at Ungka-I every 7 a.m. of May 3. Eighteen barangays are well-represented, each with gaily-decorated carrozas filled with the barangay’s farm produce or main backyard industry.
The barangay muse in a typical baro’t-saya serves as the carroza’s centrepiece and competes for the festivals fairest, the Festival Queen Search on the eve of the parade day.

The highlight of the opening day is the cafrabao race, a tradition since then, the race is of two major types: flat racing where carabaos driven by farmer run across the 100-meter long parallel grassy track; and the carroza-racing is driven by farmers with carrozas drawn by the carabaos. The race is based on speed and stamina of the carabaos.

TIGKARALAG is celebrated every 30th of October. Derived from the Hiligaynon word kalag, meaning soul with the prefix tig meaning season of attached to it.

The festival was conceptualized in 1991 by former 2nd District Provincial Board Member, Hon. Cecilia H. Capadosa. It has grown to become the most-anticipated Halloween event in this side of Iloilo.

With coordinated Halloween characters, costumes, make-up and decorations imaginable. And if you thought the event is just about costumes, think again. Tigkaralag just might surprise you. Tigkaralag opens with a Foot Parade of contesting barangays carrying torches and marching towards the public plaza area and followed by the contest proper where individual, group, Best Arch, Most Horrible and the Most Amusing awards will be given.

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San Joaquin

Offering up beautiful landscapes, unique culture, fun-filled festival and adrenaline pumping activities, it’s not a question of what to see and do in San Joaquin, rather, it is a question…

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Offering up beautiful landscapes, unique culture, fun-filled festival and adrenaline pumping activities, it’s not a question of what to see and do in San Joaquin, rather, it is a question of knowing which sights and experiences simply cannot be missed.

San Joaquin is a Second-Class municipality situated in the southernmost tip of the province. It is 85 kilometers away or an hour and a half ride from Iloilo City. The town is bordered by mountains in the north and Sibalom, Antique; west by the towns of Hamtic and Tobias Fornier in Antique; east by the town of Miagao, Iloilo; south is a coastline facing the Panay Gulf. It has a total land area of 23,135 hectares that is politically subdivided into 85 barangays.

San Joaquin is populated by 51, 892 San Joaquinhons. Market day is every Wednesdays and Fridays. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 3rd week of January in honour of St. Joaquin.

To get to the town, one can take a San Joaquin jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or when in the city, take any bus at the Antique Terminal in Molo or at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala I, Iloilo City.

HISTORY

According to Maragtas, legend begins in the latter of the 12th century when ten (10) Malayan Chieftains or Datus together with their families, warriors and slaves on board ten “binidays” (boat for sea travel) landed at a place called Andona, near the north of the Siwaragan (Suagan or Sugan) River. The chieftains headed by Datu Puti fled from tyranny of Sultan Makatunao in Borneo in search of and establish a new land for the free.

At that time, Panay Island was inhabited by the “Atis” or Negritos under the rule of King Marikudo and Queen Maniwangtiwang. Datu Puti and his men, instead of subduing Chieftain Marikudo and the lowly Atis, made negotiations of all the lowlands of Panay at the price of one golden hat called “saduk”, along gold necklace believe to have touched the ground, called “manangyad” and various gifts. The said negotiations successfully took place at Imbidayan rock, Sinogbuhan, San Joaquin, Iloilo, now a historical site.

After the transaction was sealed, the Atis retired to the mountains and the Malay took complete control of the lowlands. Datu Puti continued his travel. The settlement was left to the able leadership of one of the chieftains, Datu Sumakwel whose wife was Kapinangan. Later Datu Sumakwel divided Panay Island into three districts- Irong-irong, Hamtic and Aklan. Irong-irong was given to Datu Paiburong as his territorial domain. It was Datu Sumakwel who decreed the Code of Kalantiaw and Panay Island lived in peace and prosperity for three hundred years until the Spaniards came.

San Joaquin was annexed to Miagao in 1904 for the purpose of efficient administration under the American rule. By virtue of Executive Order No. 21, Series of 1910 issued by the American Military Governor-General, San Joaquin became a municipality in December 10, 1910.

ATTRACTIONS

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF SAN JOAQUIN is of Baroque architectural style. The first church was said to have been finished earlier than 1850. The present church was built on the same foundation with the old church in 1869 under the supervision of Father Tomas Santaren and was assisted by a Spanish engineer named Felipe Diez.

Considered as the most militaristic church in the Philippines, the pediment’s bass relief sculpture entitled “Rendicion de Tetuan” commemorates the 1859 victory of the Spanish over the forces of Morroco in Tetuan, North Africa. It revealed the cavalry and infantry led by St. James, the Moor-slayer, breaking the Moorish defenses under a minaret tower over a landscape of date palms. The sculpture is so intricate that even the expression of wounded soldiers is visible.

The church was made from gleaming coral stone called “sillar” that were rectangularly shaped into a given dimension. Skilled masons and craftsmen, famous sculptors and painters from Spain and Mexico were employed to work for the construction of the church. The limestone used in the construction of the church is found along the seashores on Punta Talisayan, Punta Malagting Tubus, Talus and Sinugbuhan in San Joaquin.
The church was used as a fort during the Muslim raids. It was burned in January 29, 1943 and was rocked by the 1948 Lady Kaykay earthquake. It was declared as a Historical Landmark in 1974.

ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY is of Neo-Gothic architectural style. It was built in 1892 under the leadership of Father Mariano Wamba. This coral stone walled cemetery with an iron gate is fenced by wrought iron with walls of carved stone. The two pillars supporting the decorative archway were ornately carved with flowers and tendrils showing the influence of Gothic architecture. Its 20-steps ascending stairway is flanked a stone balustrade on both sides leading you to the grandiose hexagonal mortuary chapel popularly known as “Camposanto.”

NETWORK OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS are seen along its coasts that protect its incredible variety of marine life and help sustain its communities. Of the 15 Marine Protected Areas that spans from it first Barangay nearing the border of the neighboring province of Antique, the Kulyatan Marine Sanctuary in barangay Sinogbuhan and the Bugnayan Point Marine Sanctuary and Park in the bordering Barangays of Lawigan and Igcadlum are two of the more popular and frequently visited MPAs of this town.

GARINFARM is an inland resort that has all the adventure you need on agriculture, leisure and pilgrimage. It offers extensive farm attractions open to the public. This inland resort offer unique experiences to see, feel, and taste agriculture at its source. It has a lot of activities and is great for friends and families especially the children. Enjoy gorgeous mountain views while hiking up to and down from its 480-step viewing deck at the base of its 100-feet Blazing Cross and Heaven. On your way to the steps from the main base, you will see nine life-sizes religious scenes from Creation until the Ascension of Christ. Visitors can also avail of golf carts on their way to and from the viewing deck. It is situated in Purok 11, poblacion and opens daily from 8 am until 9 pm. Jeepneys from the city bring their passengers direct to the entrance of the resort

FESTIVALS

BAYLUHAY is celebrated every 3rd week of January. Derived freom the Hiligaynon word baylo, meaning an exchange, freplace or barter, the festivity is based on folk history of the Maragtas Legend commemorating the flight of the ten Bornean Datus from Borneo to the island of Panay using their binidays or boats. It was said that sometime in the first half of the 13th the datus purchased the land from the Aeta Chieftain Marikudo for a golden Salakot and a Manangyad or golden necklace.

The festival also highlights the various ancient customs, colourful rituals and traditions that the people of San Joaquin have inherited from their Bornean ancestors.

PASUNGAY-PAHIBAG is celebrated every third week of January and third week of August. Bullfighting exists in San Joaquin and is an important part of their history and culture. The town has always been famous for its Pasungay. There is no other place in the region where bullfighting is observed. It is the most common thing associated with San Joaquin, and rightly so for its origins date back to early 1900s.
The San Joaquin Sports Stadium has long since been the focal point for this town’s annual celebration of Pasungay (bull fight) or Pahibag sang Kabayo (horse fight). In order to keep alive the traditions of the past, the local government has reintroduced this time-honored celebration which is unique to San Joaquin.

JUEGO DE ANILLO (Game of Rings) is celebrated every 31st of May. Originally, it is a traditional game of Spanish influence. In the hinterland barangay of Lomboyan, an ancient courtship ritual is still being practiced as single females, hoping to find their future partners in life, would hang their rings on a suspended wire attached to a tree or similar structure. The males on the otherhand are required to catch the ring of their future partner using a small bamboo or wooden stick while riding a horse.

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Miagao

Miagao, Iloilo is a historic town known worldwide for its very ornate and unique religious structure. It is a well-preserved municipality where the artistic traditions of its local people were…

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Miagao, Iloilo is a historic town known worldwide for its very ornate and unique religious structure. It is a well-preserved municipality where the artistic traditions of its local people were influenced by Spanish culture, and the result is brilliant.

But more than the church, watchtowers and bridges, Miagao is also home to several exciting natural attractions. Nature is very specific and unique in its beauty especially in the upland barangays with stunning cascades, unique rock formations, mysterious caves, a hidden lake and magnificent rice terraces. Though some are already well-known to local tourists but many are waiting for their discovery. Undoubtedly, this miracle of nature is among the most extraordinary natural attractions in Iloilo which is worth the visit.

Miagao is situated in the southern portion of the province. It is 40.5 kilometers away or an hour and twenty minute ride from Iloilo City. It is bounded by the town of Igbaras in the northeast, by Guimbal in the east, by San Joaquin in the west and by the municipality of Sibalom in the province of Antique in the northwest. It has a land area of 13, 286 hectares that is politically subdivided into 119 barangays; 22 from the coastal area and 97 from landlocked areas.

Miagao, a First Class Municipality is populated by 67, 565 (2015 Census on Population) Miagaowanons. Market day is every Saturday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 22nd of September in honour of St. Thomas of Villanova.

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

HISTORY

How Miagao derived its name from a plant called “miagos” (Osmoxylon lineare), a medicinal shrub that grew abundantly in the area. It was said that the plant is used to treat gallstones and high blood pressure.

Miagao, known to be the second largest town in the province became a municipality in 1716. Prior to this, Miagao was arrabal of four different towns in southern Iloilo, namely: Oton, Tigbauan, San Joaquin and Guimbal.

The present fortress church, the third stucture was built in 1786 by Spanish Agustinian missionaries is thismtown’s icon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site included am,ong Baroque Churches of the Philippines in 1993.

ATTRACTIONS

ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA PARISH CHURCH is of Baroque-Romanesque architectural style. The original church, convent and municipal hall were built in 1734in a lowland plateau by the sea called Ubos. However, it was burned by Muslim pirates in 1741 another church was built from 1744 to 1750 under the supervision of Father Fernando Camporredondo but was again burned by the Muslim pirates I 1754.

The present church is the third structure built under the supervision of Father Francisco Gonzales Maximo in 1786 and completed in 1797. It boasts of its native façade with a unique explosion of botanical motif: coconut, banana, papaya tree and a stylized guava tree. Its centerpiece is San Cristobal in rolled pants carrying the child Jesus. Below it is a niche where the statue of St. Thomas of Villanova stands.

The church is made of huge stone blocks quarried in Sitio Tubog, San Joaquin and in the mountains of Igbaras. Its new site is in Tacas which gives a commanding view of the mouth of Miagao River, the usual route of the pirates when entering the town. It was strongly built that it withstood the earthquake in December 28, 1855 and the powerful “Lady Kaykay” in 1948. Some restoration was supervised by Father Agustin Escudero with Father Jose Sacristin decorating its interior in 1880.

The church sinks six meters deep in the ground with walls 2.5 meters thick including the outside buttresses. When the present church was finished, its left tower was lower than its right. In 1830 an additional structure was constructed to make the belfries of equal height. It was under the supervision of Father Francisco Perez.
However, it was burned by revolutionaries in 1898 Philippine-American war and was used as a headquarters and barracks.

In February 16, 1963 a historical marker by the National Historical Institute was placed on the church and was declared a National Shrine through Presidential Decree No. 260, dated August 1, 1973. In 1993 it was included in the World Heritage List, the only one in the Visayas and Mindanao.

TAYTAY BONI in Barangay Igtuba, Miagao, Iloilo is an old stone bridge about a kilometer away from the poblacion. Named after Boni Neular, the construction foreman and major carpenter, it was constructed in 1854.

Made of stone blocks locally known as tablea, each block measured 12 inches in length and 6 inches in width and is 3 inches thick. The bridge is approximately 43.81 meters long and 6.71 meters wide with an area totaling to 233.58 square meters. It is six meters high with walls a meter thick. Its waterway is said to have a dimension of 2.44 meters high and 2.74 meters wide. The bridge connected Miagao to neighboring Guimbal was still used after World War II but was damaged in 1948 by the Lady Kaykay earthquake that resulted to the destruction of its middle part and the crumbling of its walls. The earthquake brought in tidal waves and landslides that eventually covered the creek and dried up the area.

DANAO SA MIAGAO known to the locals as TINAGONG DAGAT is a hidden lake situated in the forested area of Barangay Ongyod elevated approximately 3,000 feet above sea level. Getting there requires some hiking to be able to see this mysterious lake which is said to be ten times bigger than an ordinary swimming pool. It is one of the most visited attractions of the town by local tourists especially during the Holy Week.

MIAGAO RICE TERRACES in Barangay Cabalaunan is another attraction that will surely overwhelm sightseers. Its panoramic terraces over its 500-hectare rice fields were carved in perpendicular of the mountain barangay with minimal equipment. Its mud walls beautifully contouring the slopes protects pond fields that are maintained through an elaborate irrigation scheme.

SINUHUTAN CAVE In Barangay Onop is a 3-hour mountainous trek. The cave’s name coming from the Hiligaynon term “suhut” or “to walk below,” speaks for itself when entering the site. Tourists can access the cave by passing through its three entrances that leads to three prominent chambers such as the “Jacosi Tab” where a certain species of shrimp is found; the “Female Genital”; and “The Plaza or The Cathedral.” It is said that during the Japanese occupation, the cave became a fortress for the locals living in the area.

BATO LABOG in Barangay Olango is a mysterious elongated rock that is buried in the middle of the mountain. It has an estimated length that measures 400 meters with a width of 3-4 meters and a height of approximately 30 meters. The name originates from the local word “labog” which means long.
BUSLUGAN FALLS in Barangay Dalije is surrounded by virgin forest. Its inviting pond creates a playful ambience irresistible for visitors. BANOGON FALLS in Barangay Dalije is a cascade that resembles a smooth white hair falling gracefully. The word “banogon” may have come from the fact that the surrounding forest is home to “banog” birds belonging to the eagle family. BUSLOGAN FALLS in Barangay Tigmarabo is very popular during rainy season as its current is so tough that produces a thundering sound that can be heard even from afar. The name comes from the local word “buslog” which means strong current. Other falls found in the area include IRIK-IKAN and PARIGUSAN DIWATA.

FESTIVAL

SALAKAYAN is celebrated every 1st week till the 2nd week of February. Taken from the Hiligaynon word salakay or to attack, the core of the celebration is based on the famous battle fought on May 7, 1754. Every year, Miagaowanons celebrate their liberation from Moro pirates who were notorious for their slave-hunting expedititons in the area.

The highlight of the festivity is the tribe competition that gives everyone with an interest in history the chance to witness historical events interpreted thru dance-drama. An added special feature of the tribal presentation are the Gigantes, literally “giants and big heads,” as they parade through the streets. The giants represent traditional or historical figures of Miagao.

HABLON Festival celebrated every 1st week of September is one of the must-see events of Miagao. Visitors are sure to see many hand-woven fabrics and products for sale. At first glance, one may not realize the quality of these fabrics; fewer are aware of the long history and importance weaving has played in Miagao society. The fabrics are not only beautiful and unique, but they provide a means for visitors to appreciate indigenous culture of the town. Special events include weaving design competition, pageantry, float parade and fashion show.

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Igbaras

Igbaras is a basket full of numerous activities for tourists and visitors to enjoy. Tourism in the town is built on the concept of ecotourism and the main focus is…

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

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

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

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

HISTORY

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

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

ATTRACTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

FESTIVAL

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

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

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

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Tubungan

Tubungan is an isolated agricultural town with a mountainous location and offers a taste of pre-tourist-boom life, connecting itself with the rest of the towns in the First Congressional District…

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

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

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

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

HISTORY

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

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

ATTRACTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FESTIVAL

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

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