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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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 with materials of composite decking you can find online. 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


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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”


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



Guimbal sprawls in the heart of the First Congressional District. Despite the obvious rapid development in the area, a spectacular richness survives within and around it. It is one of Iloilo’s beautifully preserved colonial towns, located 40 minutes by car from the city. Boasting one of the largest, beautiful and clean town squares in Iloilo, Guimbal offers a unique cultural experience to its visitors.

This Fourth Class municipality is situated south of the province and is 29 kilometers or almost an hour away from Iloilo City. The town shares borders with Tigbauan in the east; in the northeast by Tubungan; Igbaras in the northwest; and west by Miagao. It has a land area of 4, 448 hectares that is politically subdivided into 33 barangays.

Guimbal is populated by 33, 820 Guimbalanons. Market day is every Tuesday. It annually celebrates its religious fiesta every 10th of September in honour of San Nicolas de Tolentino.

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


Originally, the name of the ancient Malay settlement was called Gibuangan, describing the point where the river connects to the open sea. The modern name Guimbal was derived from the Old Spanish word attabal meaning a small drum. The Spanish observed that the natives used the instrument to warn the people of the coming of Moro raiders who would come to capture the natiuves to be sold as slaves in Mindanao and Malacca.

Since then the Spanish had recorded the name os the town as Guimbal. The History of the Agustinian Order in the Philippines, a book of records compiled by Fray Juan de Medina, OSA., the appendix of which was added by Fray Coco, referred to the establishment of a convento in Guimbal, Iloilo in 1590.


ST. NICOLAS OF TOLENTINE PARISH CHURCH is of Baroque architectural style. The first church was built in 1774 under the supervision of Father Juan Aguado and was finished by Father Juan Campos. Its outside walls are of yellow sandstone. The church was destroyed in an earthquake in July 13, 1787. The church was reconstructed under the supervision of Father Jose Oranguren in 1893. He also started the construction of the town cemetery. However, the church was burned in December of 1895. Father Agustin Llorente restored the church and started building its tower in January of 1896.

The present church is of two levels. Its pediment was integrated in the second level. It has a semi-circular arch with a row of rosettes for its main entrance. The church was originally facing the street across which is the sea. When the municipal plaza was built at its back, the back side was converted into the front side to make it the church facing the plaza. It has undergone some reconstruction after it was destroyed twice, during the Second World War and during the 1948 Lady Kaykay earthquake.

BANTAYAN or Moro watchtower is one of the most valuable ruins built in Guimbal in the 18th century. They have lasted for hundreds of years with remarkable strength. The town has four such towers that remain to this day and are situated in the barangays of Nanga, Rizal-Tuguisan, Generosa and Pescadores.

TAYTAY TIGRE is a short Spanish Arch Bridge located along Rizal Street along the highway a few meters away from the town plaza. It is known as Taytay Tigre but four coral stone lion structures are placed in both sides of the bridge. These lions are believed to be the only existing medici lions (sculptures depicting standing male lions with a sphere or ball under one paw) in the Philippines. The arch bridge measures 4.5-meter in length.

GUIMBAL STEEL BRIDGE constructed during the American period is considered as the Longest Steel Bridge in Western Visayas. It measures 348.40 meters kilometers long and 10.50 meters wide. When you are coming from the town proper it starts in Barangay Bagumbayan and ends in Barangay Bongol. It is made of Pittsburgh Steel from Virginia, USA. The construction was ordered by US President Roosevelt and it took the builders 399 working days to finish it sometime in 1932.

AYAW-AYAW MONUMENT is a historical landmark which was built on a hill in Barangay Igcocolo. It has the life-sized image of Andres Bonifacio, the founder of Katipunan. The landmark was built on the place where the American soldiers had a bloody encounter with the Filipino revolutionaries.


BANTAYAN, celebrated every first week of April. Derived from the Hiligaynon word Bantayan or Spanish-built stone towers (rootword bantay or to watch or guard) used as viewing decks to spot the arrival of the Moro pirates by sea. Bantayans also served as defensice platforms to repel the invaders. The Spanish constructed many watchtowers to protect the town and parishes from the Moros alonmg the coast of Panay. The festivity’s background not only combines celebrating the few remaining Spanish watchtowers but also the practical function of the little drum, the attabal then used by the natives as a means to warn the community of the arrival of the invaders.

Highlight of the celebration is the dance-drama presentation of the battle between the natives of Guimbal and the Muslim pirates. The winning tribe gets to perform the re-enactment nthe following year as part of the series special events showcased before the dance-drama competition during the Banatyan week celebration. The festival was launched in 2003.

DISYEMBRE SA GUIMBAL CELEBRATION is a two-week extravagant celebration of Christmas usually starting on the third week of December until New Year. It is a tradition celebrated since 1975 and now synonymous to a merry, colourful, large-scale and elaborated rejoicing of the yuletide season. It includes musical and cultural presentations such as lantern parades, drum corps exhibition, beauty pageant, food festival and talent shows. It is to provide entertainment to the people waiting for midnight mass.

BARI-BARI is a Holy Week tradition of putting up 14 Kapiyas or Stations of the Cross. After the Holy Thursday and Good Friday processions, people do the bari-bari where they trace the route of the procession to take a closer look at the intricately-crafted Kapiyas.



TIGBAUAN offers a relaxing, carefree getaway with exciting attractions from beaches, heritage areas, fun events and fantastic local produce. It is magnet for local tourists. Preserved landmarks from one of Iloilo’s earliest town sites still stand in this place. This picturesque town is looking forward to welcoming you with warm hospitality and exciting attractions and activities.

Tigbauan is a Second-Class town south in the province of Iloilo. It is bordered by Leon in the north; San Miguel in the northwest; in the east by Oton; the Iloilo Strait in the south; and, west by Guimbal. It is located 22.5 kilometers or a 40-minuter ride from Iloilo City. It has a land area measuring 6, 062 hectares that is politically sub-divided into 52 barangays.

Tigbauan is populated by 62, 706 (2015 Census on Population) Tigbauanons. Market day is every Sunday. It celebrates its Municipal Fiesta every 2nd Sunday of January in honour of St. John of Sahagun.

Visitors can take a Tigbauan, Guimbal, Miagao or San Joaquin jeepneys at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala I, Iloilo City.


Before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, a previous native settlement had been in existence and this was named after Anthisteria cilleta, a certain specie of reed known among the natives as Tigbao. The pre-Hispanic settlement was known as Katigbauan meaning “the place of reeds” among its indigenous inhabitants which the Spaniards finalized as Tigbauan.

From their Administrative Center in La Villa Rica de Arevalo, Spanish authorities established “Pueblo de Tigbauan,” shortened from “Katigbawan.”


ST. JOHN OF SAHAGUN PARISH is of Mexican plateresque architectural style. The first church was built under the supervision of Father Fernando Camporredondo. Made of sandstone and coral, it was said to be so strong that it withstood a powerful earthquake in July 13, 1787.

The present church along with its convent was built by Father Fernando Martin in 1867. It is said to be a reconstruction of the “parochial church.” It is a one-of-its-kind in the Philippines because of the lavish piling up of its surface ornamentation especially with its stone carvings. It has floral motifs on its pilasters and spandrels. The main arch on the first level is decorated with a cherub with bent wings and an Augustinian emblem-heart, arrow and the episcopal coat of arms at the center.

The second level is carved with an elaborate niche which holds the statue of St. Nicolas de Tolentino with two little angels on both sides of the upper frame. The third level has the image of the Child Jesus.

In 1975, a historical marker of the National Historical Institute was placed on its churchyard identifying the site where the first Jesuit boarding school for boys in the Philippines was established. It is said that with the presence of Jesuit Brothers Pedro Chirino and Francisco Martin in Tigbauan, a school for Visayan boys was established where catechism, reading, writing, Spanish, and liturgical music were taught.

In 1593-94, Brother Pedro Chirino established a dormitory and school house for the Spanish boys near his rectory. In 1994, under the direction of Rev. Fr. Eleuterio Rojo Carton, the interior of the church was renovated with a wide array of carefully laden tile mosaics such as the station of the cross and the altar that bears Dante’s interpretation of heaven and hell.

SEAFDEC or SOUTH EAST ASIAN FISHERY DEVELOPMENT CENTER in Barangay Buyu-an was established in 1967. It is an inter-governmental organization that promotes sustainable fisheries development in the region. This 40-hectare complex includes various research laboratories, hatcheries, and brood stock tanks and caters to the information and technical services on bangus and prawn culture, with complete amenities and facilities thru their physical plant and sub-stations.


BURIHAN is celebrated every 1st till the 2nd week of February. Annually held in Barangay Bitas, the festivity recognizes the usefulness of the buri palmtree (Corypha Microclada) and defines its role as a major source of livelihood for the community. Derived from the buri palmtree are the buri, raffia and buntal fibers used to make ropes, fan, hats, slippers, placemats, etc. The centrepiece of the festival is the tribal dance competition which they celebrate with great passion and joy that even the names of the competing groups carry the processes of how these fibers were obtained such as Likyad, Luknit, Sasa, Karatel and Hilo.

PAGDAUG-SALUDAN is celebrated every second week of March. The name was derived from the Hiligaynon word salud which means the act of gathering or catching things or objects of value by using a container. Such word is also used in the act of catching rice with a kalalaw or catching fingerlings with a bamboo and net fishtrap. The festivity defines the primary income-earning industry of the town which was fishing and farming. This traditional harvest celebration is performed thru dance alongside the festivity of Pagdaug, a commemoration of the annual Liberation of Panay from the Japanese Military Forces during the Second World War.

Pagdaug-Saludan as a festival does not only recognize the sufferings and sacrifices of the locals but presents the abundance of the various local produce that symbolized the industriousness of Tigbauanons. Highlight of the festival is the tribal dnace-drama competition.



OTON is an eclectic mixture of waterfront resorts and restaurants and local shops to provide for the desires and comfort of its visitors. There are all the services and amenities like that of an urban area without the crowds, bustle and impatience. The community typifies the charm and variety of activities to be found in the area.

The First-Class town of Oton is situated south of the province. It is approximately 10.2 kilometers or a 30-minute ride from the city and is bordered in the east by the district of Arevalo in Iloilo City; west by the municipality of Tigbauan: north by San Miguel; and the southern portion by a stretch of shoreline of the Sulu Sea. It has a land area of 8, 456 hectares that is politically subdivided into 37 barangays.

Oton is populated by 89,115 (2015 Census on Population) Ogtonganons. Market day is every Mondays and Saturdays. Its Municipal Fiesta is celebrated every December 8 in honour of our Lady of Immaculate Conception.

Visitors can take a Tigbauan, Guimbal, Miagao or San Joaquin jeepneys at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or when in the city, at the market situated at the back of Robinsons Place Iloilo.


Many people believe that Oton is a Hispanized version of the phrase “ogtong adlaw”, which means “noontime.” According to the story, the native gave this phrase when they were asked by the Spanish exporters as to the time of the day. Many people still refer to the town as Ogtong.

The oldest pueblo in Panay after Cebu and Manila upon their arrival in the 16th century, Oton became the seat of the Alcadia de Panay from 1572 to 1581. The seat pf government was transferred to la Villa Rica de Arevalo in 1581 thus making Arevalo the capital of Probinsya de Iloilo from 1581 to 1688. It was said that Oton was an ancient Malayan capital under Datu Paiburong. The seat of this ancient government was in Katagman, now Barangay San Antonio.

Its pre-Hispanic past identified it as a center of trading with merchandise coming from other parts of Asia. A source of pre-Hispanic culture can be established upon the recovery of a number of antique Chinese jars and porcelain excavated from several sites in the area. The most popular was in the 1960s when anthropologists Alfredo Evangelista and F. Landa Jocano excavated an ancient grave site in Barangay San Antonio and found a death mask made of very thin gold with one piece used to cover the eye and the other piece placed on the nose.


GROTTO WALLS situated on the left-side area upon entering the churchyard uses coral rocks from the remains of the old church after it was devasted by a powerful earthquake, Lady Kaykay in January 24, 1948. The grotto walls are engulfed by the roots of a humungous tree beside it.

WEAVING in Barangays Salngan, Cagbang and Lambuyao’s is a livelihood program where the ancient craft of hand-weaving, along with hand-spinning, remains a popular craft in these barangays up to this day. It is one of the most important crafts handed down from generation, and their indigenous fabrics of hablon and patadyong are admired for their sheer beauty, uniqueness and global appeal.

Oton’s flourishing weaving industry is one of the traditional industries literally woven around its histories and culture. However, production slowed down at some point in time because of better quality textiles came into market. Today, hablon and patadyong, a once traditional material, is being revived into a contemporary textile that holds endless opportunities for exciting applications.

SHELLCRAFT in Barangay Cagbang in Oton, Iloilo is a center for the producing quality shell craft products that will make that perfect holiday souvenir. Visitors can choose from a wide range of hand-crafted shell fashion accessories, curtains, jewelry boxes, lamp shades, candle holder, picture frames, table decors and many other items all handcrafted and made of natural shell component and materials. Oton’s shell-craft industry has metamorphosed into one of Iloilo’s top pasalubong items.


KATAGMAN is celebrated every last week of April till the first week of May. The festival name was derived from an older name identifyuing the ancient settlement of Katagman which eventually became Oton. Celebrated since 2004, it showcases Oton’s rich history starting from its pre-colonial settlement of Katgman and its role as a major trading emporium for indigenous and foreign goods.

The icon of the celebration is the Chinese Golden Death Mask worn by performers on their foreheads or as a mask or used as an accessory or hand prop. Seven (7) participating tribes are clustered from its 37 barangays.

SANDIYA celebrated every 1st week of December is organized by the Municipal Agriculture and Cooperative Office of Oton and the Oton Watermelon Grower’s Association (OWGA) in partnership with the East-West Seed Company to honor the many watermelon farmers of the town for their outstanding contributions to the community.
Oton, being well-known as a major source and the largest producer of sweet and juicy watermelons in the province supplies watermelons to may parts of the region. With this, an annual festivity celebrates the bountiful harvest of watermelons by the farmers of this town that also brings together the community and its visitors from all walks of life to enjoy and participate in various watermelon events.


Welcome to Sorsogon

Verdant mountain ranges, pristine beaches, clean springs and lakes, and abundant produce, the Province of Sorsogon in Luzon’s southernmost tip is a haven of biodiversity and adventure.

Its seas serve as feeding grounds of the butanding or the whale shark, the biggest fish in the world. These gentle giants congregate in the sea off the town of Donsol from October to May as they feed on the abundant planktons, krills, and juvenile fishes in the area.

Thousands of tourists from around the world come to Sorsogon to swim and interact with the butanding in a manner that doesn’t harm this marine resource.

Donsol is not only the butanding capital of the country, it also offers a river cruise along Ogod River that includes the magical experience of watching fireflies light up the riverside.

Donsol is not only the butanding capital of the country, it also offers a river cruise along Ogod River that includes the magical experience of watching fireflies light up the riverside.

Natural wonders

Sorsogon is also home to the Mt. Bulusan National Park, a pristine habitat of endemic flora and fauna. It encompasses a 5,077-feet volcano and a 3,672-hectare lake.

The park also covers a tropical forest, lakes, rivers, and natural springs.

Near Sorsogon’s boundary with Albay is a forest reserve that spans 25,100 hectares. Within the Bacon-Manito Geothermal Plant Eco-Park are more natural wonders: Botong Twin Falls, lakes, springs, and sheer rock faces.

The province has unspoiled beaches and offers short boat trips to picturesque islands, one of which has pink sand. Surfing is another fun activity in Gubat town’s Rizal Beach.

Historic sites

Sorsogon is replete with historic sites attesting to its checkered past. The 19th century Barcelona Church, which was built using corals and dark-colored stones, tops the list.

The first Christian settlement in Luzon, which was also the site of the first mass officiated by Augustinian priest Alonso Jimenez in 1569, is in Gibalong Village in Sorsogon.

In the town of Juban, there are a few Spanish-era ancestral houses that have defied time and the elements. They serve as the town’s living museums with their collection of antiquities.

Other places of note: Provincial Capitol Park with its old world charm, gazebo that used to host brass bands and orchestras, Pepita Park Rest Area and Rompeolas for a refreshing view of Sorsogon Bay.

Provincial capital

Sorsogon City, the provincial capital, is the commercial and transport hub as well as religious and educational center. It hosts numerous hotels, restaurants, schools, resorts, and other tourism facilities.

Sorsogon used to be under the territorial jurisdiction of Albay until it was organized into a separate geographical unit on October 17, 1894.