Dingle is extraordinarily scenic, also an awe-inspiring site and the best place to go nature tripping. It has successfully marketed itself as an Eco-cultural destination of the province and continues to attract eco-tourists. It is also known for a number of natural, historical and cultural attractions.
From the magical, underground caverns to the beautiful and historical structures, we invite you off the beaten track to experience this municipality like you have never done before.
The Third-Class municipality of Dingle is 37 kilometers away from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the northeast by Anilao; northwest by San Enrique; southeast by Pototan and Barotac Nuevo; and southwest by Duenas. It has a total land area that measures 7,750 hectare that is politically subdivided into 33 barangays.
Dingle is populated by 45, 335 (2015 Census on Population) Dingleanons. Market day is every Saturday. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 24th of June in honour of St, John the Baptist.
To get to the town, a jeepney or van is available at the Northern Central Iloilo Transport Terminal, Inc. in Barangay Tagbak, Jaro, Iloilo City.
Dingle started as a pre-colonial settlement of Sumandig (Duenas), which was under the jurisdiction of Simsiman, a barangay of Laglag. The settlement was also known as Sibucao, Ba-ong and Orvat. The Augustinian priest, Fr. Francisco Manuel Blanco, first founded Dingle as a visita of Pototan in 1593.
Dingle became independent on April 23, 1611. In 1629 however, it was annexed to Dumangas and to Dueñas in 1641 until 1825. In August 16, 1850, by order of Governor General of the Philippines Antonio de Urbiztondo, Dingle again became independent and was officially named the town of Dingle. The first town head was Julio Dator (1823–1827). In 1865, Fr. Fernando Llorente ordered the construction of the Dingle Catholic Church which was completed in 1886.
BULABOG PUTI-AN NATIONAL PARK in Barangay Moroboro in Dingle extending San Enrique, can be enjoyed as a day visit to the area since one does not have to go on extensive trail blazing. Combining trekking and cave exploration, the trip offers a rare opportunity to get close to one of Iloilo’s rarest limestone rock formation in Panay excluding Guimaras. This old growth forest is also a perfect laboratory for the study of flora and fauna. It was designated as a National Park through Congressional Bill No. 1651, and such is considered a “Nationally Significant Area.”
The centerpiece of the park is its 33 known and named caves where most are undeveloped, so there are no lights, stairs, nor walkways. The Maeztranza Cave, the most popular is historically important as it served as a hide-out of the revolutionary forces during the Spanish colonial period and on its stone walls are Spanish inscriptions of the revolutionary troops. Hike up and go cave exploration while enjoying the gorgeous view of the park over its wild and luscious forests. It has a land area of 834.033 hectares covering five of Dingle’s 33 barangays.
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH CHURCH is of Filipino-Baroque architectural style. The first church was constructed in Baong but no records as to who supervised the construction of the church and its convent. The present church was constructed under the supervision of Father Juan Fraile in 1829. It was continued under the supervision of Father Fernando Llorente between 1865 and 1874; by Father Melquiades Arizmendi in 1876 – 1877. Father Rafael Murillo supervised its completion in 1887 – 1893. The roof was however destroyed by a typhoon in November 5, 1912. Father Fernando Llorente restored its convent that was however destroyed in 1960. The materials used were granite stones quarried from the mountains of Bulabog Puti-an in Dingle and San Enrique in 1829. The church has one unfinished bell-tower that makes it unique from the other neighboring churches. It is elevated by a 9-step stairway with rose windows in its façade. It was used as a Japanese garrison during World War II.
RIVER CRUISE AT MOROBORO DAM is a 7-kilometer cruise that starts in Barangay Licu-an (approximately 3 kilometers away from the town center). Its base is at the upper portion of the Jalaur Irrigation Dam, popularly known as Moroboro Dam, built in 1955 and had since then provided irrigation to this town’s agricultural lands and nearby towns. Perfectly blending with the river’s serene atmosphere is a ruined post-World War II suspension bridge that traverses the Jalaur River. The cruise is more intimate that takes place on smaller-scale motorized boat and winds its way through passing the barangays of Moroboro, Lincud and Tinocuan where beautiful white limestone cliffs and other limestone rock formations are seen. Views of small barangays along the river banks are one of the best ways to explore this town’s simple, yet absorbing lifestyle. This nearly to an hour leisurely cruise ends in Barangay Tinocuan. Visitors can also enjoy eco-bird watching river cruise.
MOUNT MANYAKIYA provides a natural viewing deck that allows visitors to have a panoramic view of Negros Island as well as the low lying towns of the province of Iloilo. Nautod Wall, one of the major rock-climbing destinations in the Philippines, can be found here.
PAGDIHON celebrated every last week of October is a traditional community festivity filled with music, dance and competitive events that will highlight its culture, heritage and tradition. The street dance and tribe competition of the festival remains at the heart of the festival’s identity. Performers, in a moving story-telling unfold history with Gen. Adriano Hernandez, their local hero as the central figure of the presentation. Gen. Hernandez secretly organized a rebel movement in Iloilo against the Spaniards and staged the first armed uprising in the Province of Iloilo in October 28, 1898. This occurred in Barrio Lincud, Dingle. The event was known as the “Cry of Lincud.” Because of his excellent display of gallantry and knowledge in military strategy, General Hernandez became the trusted aide of General Martin Delgado designating him as the Chief-of-Staff of the rebel government in the Visayas that was inaugurated in November 1898. When Iloilo fell into the hands of the Americans he became the leader of the guerilla movement in the whole province.
12 NIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS is celebfated every December 16 – 30. it features the magnificent brightly-lit Christmas Floats parading around the poblacion area where all the lights on the float after dusk are turned on in order to give viewers an unexpected treat. Other activities include the drum, bugle and lyre competition and the inter-provincial fireworks display. Event runs every December 16-30.