THE PROVINCE AT A
Iloilo, the second oldest city in the country, is also known as
the "Queen City of the South." Iloilo is a port city at the
center of the Philippine archipelago, but nevertheless, is
considered the bowl of Western Visayas, owing to its fertile
soil suitable for any kind of agricultural products. It is a
city that throbs with promise and potential, mainly due to its
rich aquatic resources and abundant mineral deposits.
Iloilo has a rich colonial past coupled with a colorful cultural
heritage. It boasts of different festivals, historic landmarks,
excellent cuisines and delicacies, calming white sand beaches
and resorts, and a wide array of recreation and entertainment,
to while away the time of tourists and shoppers.
Irong-Irongappears in the Maragtas legend of the coming of the
ten Bornean datus to Panay who bartered gold for the plains and
valleys of the island from a local Ati chieftain. One datu,
Paiburong by name, was given the territory of Irong-Irong in
what is now Iloilo. For 300 years before the coming of the
Spaniards, the islanders lived in comparative prosperity and
peace under an organized government and such laws as the Code of
In 1566, the Spaniards under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came to
Panay and established a settlement in Ogtong (now Oton, Iloilo).
He appointed Gonzalo Ronquillo as deputy encomiendero, who in
1581 moved the seat of spanish power to La Villa de Arevalo,
named in honor of his hometown of Avila in Spain. By 1700 due to
recurrent raids by Moro pirates, Dutch and English privateers,
the Spaniards moved to the Village of Irong-Irong, where close
to the mouth of the river they built Fort San Pedro. Irong-Irong
or Ilong-Ilong which the Spaniards later shortened to Iloilo
later became the capital of the province.
Its capital which is of the same name became a chartered city on
August 25, 1937.
practically all Filipinos, are poly-lingual. Of the 87 dialects
in the country, two Visayan dialects are predominantly used in
the province: Ilonggo, spoken by 80-90% of the populace, and
Cebuano, used by the rest. English and Filipino are taught in
elementary and high school. Spanish and other languages are also
taught in colleges and universities. English, is also widely