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.