Iloilo City

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Iloilo City
Highly urbanized city
City of Iloilo
From top, left to right: Calle Real – Iloilo City's historic city center, The Aduana/Customs House of Iloilo and Muelle Loney, Saint Anne Church of Molo District, Smallville Commercial Complex in Mandurriao District, Nelly Garden, and the Arroyo Fountain and Casa Real/Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol
From top, left to right: Calle Real – Iloilo City's historic city center, The Aduana/Customs House of Iloilo and Muelle Loney, Saint Anne Church of Molo District, Smallville Commercial Complex in Mandurriao District, Nelly Garden, and the Arroyo Fountain and Casa Real/Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol
Official seal of Iloilo City
Nickname(s): "Most Loyal and Noble City" (La Muy Leal y Noble Ciudad)
"Queen City of the South"
Map of Iloilo showing the location of Iloilo City
Map of Iloilo showing the location of Iloilo City
Iloilo City is located in Philippines
Iloilo City
Iloilo City
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°43′N 122°34′E / 10.717°N 122.567°E / 10.717; 122.567Coordinates: 10°43′N 122°34′E / 10.717°N 122.567°E / 10.717; 122.567
RegionWestern Visayas (Region VI)
ProvinceIloilo (geographically only)
Legislative districtLone district of Iloilo City
Founded1581 (as La Villa Rica de Arevalo)[1]
Cityhood5 October 1889
ReestablishedJuly 16, 1937
City districts
 • MayorJed Patrick E. Mabilog (Liberal)
 • Vice MayorJose S. Espinosa III (NUP)
 • City RepresentativesGeronimo "Jerry" P. Treñas (Liberal)
 • City78.34 km2 (30.25 sq mi)
 • Metro972.3 km2 (375.4 sq mi)
Elevation2 m (7 ft)
Population (2010)[4]
 • City424,619
 • Density5,981/km2 (15,490/sq mi)
Time zonePST (UTC+8)
ZIP code5000
Dialing code33
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Iloilo City
Highly urbanized city
City of Iloilo
From top, left to right: Calle Real – Iloilo City's historic city center, The Aduana/Customs House of Iloilo and Muelle Loney, Saint Anne Church of Molo District, Smallville Commercial Complex in Mandurriao District, Nelly Garden, and the Arroyo Fountain and Casa Real/Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol
From top, left to right: Calle Real – Iloilo City's historic city center, The Aduana/Customs House of Iloilo and Muelle Loney, Saint Anne Church of Molo District, Smallville Commercial Complex in Mandurriao District, Nelly Garden, and the Arroyo Fountain and Casa Real/Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol
Official seal of Iloilo City
Nickname(s): "Most Loyal and Noble City" (La Muy Leal y Noble Ciudad)
"Queen City of the South"
Map of Iloilo showing the location of Iloilo City
Map of Iloilo showing the location of Iloilo City
Iloilo City is located in Philippines
Iloilo City
Iloilo City
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°43′N 122°34′E / 10.717°N 122.567°E / 10.717; 122.567Coordinates: 10°43′N 122°34′E / 10.717°N 122.567°E / 10.717; 122.567
RegionWestern Visayas (Region VI)
ProvinceIloilo (geographically only)
Legislative districtLone district of Iloilo City
Founded1581 (as La Villa Rica de Arevalo)[1]
Cityhood5 October 1889
ReestablishedJuly 16, 1937
City districts
 • MayorJed Patrick E. Mabilog (Liberal)
 • Vice MayorJose S. Espinosa III (NUP)
 • City RepresentativesGeronimo "Jerry" P. Treñas (Liberal)
 • City78.34 km2 (30.25 sq mi)
 • Metro972.3 km2 (375.4 sq mi)
Elevation2 m (7 ft)
Population (2010)[4]
 • City424,619
 • Density5,981/km2 (15,490/sq mi)
Time zonePST (UTC+8)
ZIP code5000
Dialing code33

Iloilo City, officially the City of Iloilo (Hiligaynon: Syudad sang Iloilo or Dakbanwa sg Iloilo; Filipino: Lungsod ng Iloilo; Spanish: Ciudad de Iloilo), is a highly urbanized city on Panay Island in the Philippines, and the capital city of the province of Iloilo. It is the regional center of the Western Visayas as well as the center of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area. In the 2010 census, Iloilo City had a population of 424,619 with a 1.8% population annual growth rate.[4] and for the Metropolitan Area, total population is at 823,671.[4]

It is bordered by the towns of Oton in the west, Pavia in the north, Leganes in the northeast and the Iloilo Strait in its eastern and southern coastline. The city was a conglomeration of former towns, which are now the geographical districts, consisting of: Jaro (an independent city-before), Molo, La Paz, Mandurriao, Villa Arevalo, and Iloilo City Proper. The district of Lapuz, a former part of La Paz, was declared a separate district in 2008.[5]


Period of Malay Mass Migration[edit]

According to ancient legends, the inhabitants of Panay island of which Iloilo, is a location in, were originally from North Sumatra; especially from the state of Pannai of which Panay is named after it (i and y being interchangeable in Spanish) as well as a shortening of the Ati word, "Ananipay".

The state of Pannai was a militant-nation allied under the Sri-Vijaya Mandala that defended the conflict-ridden Strait of Malacca. The small kingdom traded-with and simultaneously repulsed any unlicensed Chinese, Indian or Arab navies that often warred in or pirated the straights of Malacca and for a small country, they were adept at taking down armadas larger than itself. They were successful in policing and defending the straights of Malacca for the Mandala of Sri-Vijaya until the Chola invasion of Srivijaya occurred, wherein a surprise attack from behind, originating from the occupied capital, rendered the militant-state of Pannai vulnerable from an unprotected assault from the back flank. The Chola invaders eventually destroyed the state of Pannai and the soldiers, royals and scholars who refused to bow to Chola Imperialism, were said to have been secreted-out eastwards. In their 450 years of occupying Sumatra, they refused to be enslaved to Islam, Taoism or Hinduism but after the state's dissolution, the people who stayed behind in Pannai, themselves, have a legend wherein the high-borne scholars, soldiers and nobles of Pannai, "went to other islands." [6]

At this point, Visayan lore says that in the 13th century, ten Bornean datus came to the island which they named Panay, Pani or Panae (After the fallen kingdom of Pannai or a shortening of the Ati word for the island, Ananipay) and they gave a golden hat (salakot) and a long golden necklace as a peace offering to the Ati natives of the island. It was said that it was also a way of the ten Bornean datus to barter the flat lands of Panay from the Ati. One datu, named Paiburong, was given the territory of Irong-Irong (cf. also Confederation of Madja-as).[7][8] The Confederation of Madja-as centered in Panay island eventually grew a powerful and strong naval presence that it rivaled the nearby states of the Rajahnate of Cebu, The Kingdom of Tondo and the Sultanate of Sulu when it came to wealth and prestige.

By the 14th century, this state had grown so powerful militarily and economically, their naval power regularly threatened Chinese Imperial shipping. So much so, that the Chuan-chou gazeeter specifically reported that the Pisheya (Bisaya) [Another term for people from Irong-Irong] consistently made devastating raids against the Empire's commerce [9]

Early Spanish colonial period[edit]

In 1566, as the Spanish conquest of the Philippines was underway and moving north toward Manila, the Spaniards under Miguel López de Legazpi came to Panay and established a settlement in Ogtong ( Oton ).[8]

Images from the Boxer Codex (c. 1595), illustrating an ancient Visayans of Panay during their first contact with the Spaniards. These richly clothed and noble Visayans from Panay stand in sharp contrast to the Loin-cloth wearing Cebuanos which the Spaniards called "Pintados" for the tattoos that adorned their exposed bodies.

Unlike the Hindu Cebuanos who were neutral to the Spaniards or the Islamic Manileños who were hostile to the Spaniards, the people of Madya-as welcomed them as allies since at that time period, Madya-as was locked in a war against the invading Muslims, especially with the Kingdom of Tondo (made into a satellite state by the Brunei Sultanate) and the Sultanate of Sulu. The people fervently accepted Christianity as they supplied the bulk of the mercenaries used in the conquest of Manila which was then under occupation by Sultan Bolkiah.

In 1581 Ronquillo moved the town center approximately 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) east due to recurrent raids by Moro pirates and Dutch and English privateers, and renamed the area La Villa de Arevalo in honor of his hometown in Ávila, Spain.[1]

At the early days of the Spanish period; the first Manila Galleons were originally constructed at the port of Oton to the west of Iloilo. And since there was no precedent in Spain for the immensity of a Manila-Galleon. It could be argued that the proto-type Manila galleons were of Visayan design since the Visayans were already constructing huge multi-masted 4 to 5 decked Caracoas in their wars against the other Filipino kingdoms and thus the technical know-how to construct the first Manila galleons was an amelioration of Visayan shipbuilding with Spanish shipbuilding. Oton built the first Manila galleons before operations were eventually transferred to the Cavite and Albay shipyards.

In 1700, due to ever-increasing raids especially from the Dutch and the Moros, the Spaniards again moved their seat of power some 25 kilometres (16 miles) eastward to the village of Irong-Irong, which had a natural and strategic defense against raids and where, at the mouth of the river that snakes through Panay, they built Fort San Pedro to better guard against the raids which were now the only threat to the Spaniards' hold on the islands. Irong-Irong or Ilong-Ilong was shortened to Iloilo and with its natural port quickly became the capital of the province.[1]

Sugar boom era and the late Spanish colonial period[edit]

Customs House of Iloilo City and Muelle Loney

After its establishment under Spanish rule, Iloilo received Chinese migrants from the west which worked among the city's industries (The Lopez, Lim and Sy families) and Latinos from across the Pacific (Viceroyalty of New Spain) to man its military fortifications (The Araneta, De Rama and Arroyo families). In the late 18th century, the development of large-scale weaving industry started the movement of Iloilo's surge in trade and economy in the Visayas. Sometimes referred to as the "Textile Capital of the Philippines",[10] the products were exported to Manila and other foreign places. Sinamay, piña and jusi are examples of the products produced by the looms of Iloilo. Because of the rise of the textile industry, there was also a rise of the upper middle class. However, with the introduction of cheap textile from UK and the emergence of the sugar economy, the industry waned in the mid-19th century.

The waning textile industry was replaced, however, by the opening of Iloilo's port to the world market in 1855. Because of this, Iloilo's industry and agriculture was put on direct access to foreign markets. But what triggered the economic boom of Iloilo in the 19th century was the development of the sugar industry in Iloilo and its neighboring island of Negros. Sugar during the 19th century was of high demand. Nicholas Loney, the British vice-consul in Iloilo, developed the industry by giving loans, constructing warehouses in the port, and introducing new technologies in sugar farming. The rich families of Iloilo developed large areas of Negros, which were later called haciendas, because of sugar's high demand in the world market. Because of the increase in commercial activity, infrastructures, recreational facilities, educational institutions, banks, foreign consulates, commercial firms and much more sprouted in Iloilo.

On 5 October 1889, due to the economic development that was happening in Iloilo, the Queen Regent Maria Cristina of Spain raised the status of the town to a city through a Royal Decree,[11][12] and in 1890, the city government was established.[13]

The Revolutionary Period[edit]

The immediate reaction of Ilonggo elite to the outbreak of the 1896 Revolution in Manila was that of surprise. They immediately responded with protestations of outrage and affirmed their loyalty to Mother Spain. The Ilonggos themselves were united in their support of Spain during the first two years of the revolutionary period.[14]

Shortly after the Cry of Balintawak, the Jaro Ayuntamiento (another colonial Chartered City adjacent to Iloilo City), composed of native Ilongos,[15] convened a special session on September 1, 1896, where the Manila uprising was condemned as an unpatriotic act "that finds no echo in the noble hearts of Jareños, who do not forget the immense gratitude they owe Spain who, from nothing, raised us to a life of civilization and progress.[16]

The Ayuntamiento of Iloilo[17] also affirmed its allegiance and loyalty to Spain and made a similar protestation. Condemning the uprising, the City's letter to the Governor General says:

Portrait Queen Regent Maria Cristina of Spain, who raised the status of Iloilo as a Royal City, on 5 October 1889

"Those dark betrayals, the mere notion of which embarrasses good and loyal Filipinos, have produced a unanimous sentiment of protest and indignation among the Ilongo people, who engraves its most honorable blazon in the sacred and inextinguishable love that it professes to the glorious Spanish nationality that it legitimately feels proud of. The Ilongos are Spaniards, Your Excellency, and Spaniards will they be until death, because they do not want to live and die in another way than under the shadow of the august Castillan standard, to which they owe being dignified and free men now." [18]

The foreign community in the City also asked its reprenstatives to visit local authorities and to elevate their protests against the revolt. And so did the Filipino Parish priests of Jaro, Molo, Mandurriao, and Arévalo.[19]

Iloilo towns also condemned the Manila uprising, and those of the neighboring provinces of Antique, Cápiz and Negros Island followed suit, giving an outpouring of manifestation of love and loyalty toward Spain. This emboldened the Ilongo elite to initiate the organization of loyal volunteers in the region to be sent to quell the Tagalog rebellion. The move was backed by the Spanish and foreign communities of Iloilo.[20]

A contingent of five hundred native volunteers was organized to form an Ilongo Battalion, which was divided into two companies and which was placed under the cadre of mostly Spanish Officers.[21] These volunteers arrived in Manila on 16 January 1897.[22] They were one of the largest native contingent to serve the government forces against the insurgent soldiers of General Emilio Aguinaldo in the battlegrounds of Cavite province.[23]

The Ilongo Volunteers established for themselves a distinguished combat record in the battles of Cavite. Once the Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed, the Battalion returned to Iloilo. In April 1898 their homecoming, just like their departure, meet the enthusiasm of their fellow Ilongos. It galvanized the people evermore into more public outpourings and manifestations of pro-Spanish loyalty and patriotism.[24]

The loyalty and patriotism of Ilongos moved the Queen Regent Maria Cristina to honor the City (in the name of her son King Alfonso III) with the title La Muy Noble, in appreciation of the most noble virtue of Ilonggo chivalry. The Royal Decree granting the Iloilo City the perpetual [23] title La Muy Noble was signed on 1 March 1898 by the Queen Regent Maria Cristina.[25][26] Over time, this title earned for Iloilo City the reputation of it being "The Queen's Favored City in the South" or simply "Queen's City in the South" (A title Iloilo legally holds because of the chivalry and loyalty of its people, but is mistakenly attributed to Cebu for reason of economic progress, after that city eclipsed the economy of Iloilo during the aftermath of its economic decline).

Due to the Spanish blow-by-blow defeat by, at first, the Katipunan, and later by the Americans, the Spaniards left Manila and established the last Spanish Colonial-Capital in the Orient and the world at Iloilo. Thus, Iloilo was the last overseas province of Spain. Sooner, however, through the leadership of General Martin Delgado, the towns of Iloilo got involved in the struggle for independence, except for Iloilo City, Molo, and Jaro.[27] on December 25 of that same year, the Spanish government surrendered to the Ilonggo revolutionaries in Plaza Alfonso XIII (Plaza Libertad today). In the name of the last Spanish Governor General, Don Diego de los Ríos, Brig. General and Military Provincial Governor Ricardo Monet, together with Lt. Col. Agustín Solís, formally handed over Plaza Alfonso XIII to the Republic of the Philippines through the person of the Filipino General Martin Delgado, who represented President Emilio Aguinaldo in Iloilo. Martin Delgado was named Governor of the Province afterwards.

The newly-found freedom of the Ilonggos was short-lived. The American forces arrived in Iloilo in late December 1898. By February 1899, the North Americans had started mobilizing to colonize anew the City and Province. Resistance was the reaction of Ilonggos upon the invasion which lasted up to 1901. In which, case Iloilo was also among the last cities to fall to America.[7][28]

American colonial Era[edit]

Old Spanish structure of Collegio de San Agustin in Iloilo City. The institution, owned and managed by the first Christian missionaries in the Philippines and in the island of Panay, became the first University in Western Visayas (Region VI).

In 1900, the Americans reverted the city's status into a township again. Later, they initiated the construction of the Baluarte and Arroyo streets, extension of Delgado Street to Valeria and from Fuentes and Jalandoni streets up to the present-day U.P. in the Visayas. Quezon and Mabini streets were asphalted while their sidewalks were also constructed. More significant was the installation of streetlights all throughout the city in 1921. in 1926, the widening of important streets, like General Luna, J.M. Basa and Ledesma was started. In 1927, an improved street, Valeria-Ledesma (formerly known as Weyler) was inaugurated (David 1937).[29]

Iloilo Mission Hospital is the first Protestant hospital in the country and the first American hospital in Asia. Originally founded by the Presbyterians, it is subsequently affiliated under the Baptist church in the Philippines.

Protestant American Missionaries came to Iloilo, initiating large-scale enterprises in the predominantly Catholic province. The first Protestants to come were the Presbyterians and they established the first Protestant and American hospital in the country, Iloilo Mission Hospital; and supposedly it came also that Silliman University (the first Protestant and American university in the country and in Asia) was originally a location for its foundation, but due to Catholic opposition, the founder, David S, Hibbard moved to Dumaguete City, where the university is now presently found.[30] Along with the Presbyterians, Baptists came and established Central Philippine University (the first Baptist university in Asia, founded in 1905), Jaro Evangelical Church (the first Baptist church in the Philippines), and the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (the oldest Baptist organizational body in the Philippines)[31]

St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary in Jaro, Iloilo City - the first Institution of Higher Learning in Western Visayas.

During this period, American Bishops, like Frederick Rooker, Dennis Joseph Dougherty, and James McCloskey, were named for the Roman Catholic See of Jaro in Iloilo City. These Catholic Bishops sustained the educational achievements of the Spanish Friars by bringing in American and European Catholic missionaries, among whom were the Sisters of Charity of St. Paul, and Augustinian missionary priests. The Augustinians, who were the first to bring the Christian faith in the Philippines as well as in the Island of Panay and who built the centuries-old heritage Churches in this island,[32] established an institution of higher education in the City in 1904 - the Collegio de San Agustin. During the American regime, their confreres from the United States developed evermore this institution, which later became the first University in Iloilo and in Region VI. The American Catholic Bishops also maintained and upgraded the St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary (established in 1869 as the Collegio-Seminario de San Vicente Ferrer), which is the Region's first institution of higher learning.

Central Philippine University founded by Protestant American Baptists is the second American university in Asia.
St. Paul Hospital c. 1920.

The St. Paul Sisters, took charge of St. Paul Hospital that was originally owned by the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Jaro. Bishop Dougherty, who later became Cardinal Archbishop of Philadelphia, gave the medical facilities to the Sisters. Now St. Paul Hospital is the largest and most advanced hospital in the Region. To commemorate the generosity of the American Bishop, the hospital named a more recent section of the facilities after him - the CADMA (Cardinal Dougherty Medical Annex).

Because of the growing needs to provide nurses for the hospital, St. Paul Sisters also opened a Nursing School. Today, this institution has also become a University (St. Paul University Iloilo), and has ever since supplied high quality healthcare professionals known worldwide for their skills and dedication to work.

Iloilo regained the cityhood status on July 16, 1937, through Commonwealth Act 158. Incorporated as part of Iloilo City were the towns of Molo, Jaro, Mandurriao, La Paz and Villa de Arevalo and inaugurated in August 15, 1937 .[33] Sugar's demand was declining, labor unrests were happening in the port area that scared the investors away and the opening of the sub-port of Pulupandan in Negros Occidental, has moved the sugar importation closer to the sugar farms.

1942-1945 Japanese occupation[edit]

By 1942, the Japanese invaded Panay and the economy moved into a standstill. During World War II, Iloilo was controlled by several Japanese Battalions, Japan's ultimate goal was to entrench itself deeply into the Philippines so that at the close of the war they could occupy it just as the Spanish and the Americans had years before. However, when Filipino and American forces liberated Iloilo from Japanese military occupation on March 25, 1945, the remnants of these battalions were held in Jaro Plaza as a makeshift detention facility.[7]

Post-War Decline[edit]

The war heavily damaged infrastructure in Iloilo. However, the continuing conflict between the labor unions in the port area, declining sugar economy and the deteriorating peace and order situation in the countryside, the exodus of Ilonggos to other cities and islands that offered better opportunities and businessmen moved to other cities such as Bacolod and Cebu led to Iloilo's demise in economic importance in southern Philippines. Rural agricultural areas continued to help the local economy. Iloilo's economy progressed in a moderate pace[34] The construction of the fish port, international seaport and commercial firms that invested in Iloilo helped the city to its eventual recovery.

Iloilo was declared into a highly urbanized city by the virtue of Batas Pambansa Blg. 51. their residents effectively lost their eligibility to vote for provincial officials because of this new status[35]


Iloilo City is located in the southern shores of Panay Island. The city faces Iloilo Strait and Guimaras Island across it, making it a natural harbor and a safe anchorage for ships. The city lies on a flat alluvial plain, reclaimed mostly from the swampy areas due to urbanization and industrialization in the late 19th century until the present. Traversing the city are the rivers of Iloilo, Batiano, Jaro and Dungon Creek. Iloilo River is an estuary that separates the districts of City Proper, Molo and Villa Arevalo from the rest of the city. On the other hand, Jaro River is fed by its tributary rivers, Aganan and Tigum. Lately a new escape channel for floodwaters coming from these two rivers to Iloilo Straight was developed, the Jaro Floodway. Iloilo City is 337.6 nautical miles from Manila. The city has a total land area of 70.3 square kilometres (27.1 sq mi) and is divided into 180 barangays with seven aggregate districts.[36]


Iloilo City has a tropical wet and dry climate as according to the Köppen climate classification system, with pronounced wet season from June throughout November; then dry season from December to May.[36]

Climate data for Iloilo, Philippines — NOAA Station Id: PH98637
Average high °C (°F)29.7
Daily mean °C (°F)26.1
Average low °C (°F)22.7
Rainfall mm (inches)39.9
 % humidity82807573778285858584848381.25
Source: "Climate (Average Weather) Data". Retrieved March 13, 2011. 

Political subdivisions[edit]

About this image

Iloilo City is politically subdivided into 180 barangays, which are grouped into seven geographical districts.[38]

All of the geographical districts of Iloilo City were once individual towns, excluding Lapuz, which was a sub-district of La Paz until 2008. They were incorporated into one city when Iloilo gained cityhood status and was inaugurated as a charter city on August 25, 1937. All districts have their own town centers complete with a Roman Catholic church which are subordinate to the Archdiocese of Jaro, a public plaza, fire station, police station and a public market. The districts of Jaro, Mandurriao and Molo are considered commercial areas, while Arevalo and La Paz are residential areas. Molo was once a residential district, while Mandurriao is home to the old Iloilo Airport (Mandurriao Airport) as well as the city's emerging Central Business Area. City Proper is a commercial area and the political center of the City and the Province of Iloilo and the Regional Government Center of Western Visayas. It is also home to Iloilo's Domestic Port, the Iloilo - Guimaras Jetty Port and Iloilo Fishing Port Complex. The newly formed geographic district of Lapuz is primarily an industrial area with shipping companies, oil depots, warehouses, a milling factory, the Iloilo - Bacolod Fast - Craft Terminal and Roll on - Roll off Port and the Iloilo International Port are located.

The city of Iloilo has only one legislative district.


Population census of Iloilo City
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: National Statistics Office[4]


Iloilo City is a hub for trade, commerce, medical tourism, real estate, tourism, education, and industry in the Western Visayas region. Major industries in the city include management of port facilities, telecommunications infrastructure and utilities, banking and finance, retail trading, real estate, tourism and business process outsourcing. The local government has provided incentives to businesses in certain investment areas, such as income tax holidays and free issuance of permits and licenses.[39]

Trade and industry[edit]

There were 8,407 business establishments as of December 2003 in Iloilo City, of which 1,182 are new. Total capital investments for new business establishments is P365,506,020.92. However, both new and renewed capital investments for the year 2003 amounted to Php 13.02 billion.[36] Of the employed person by type of industry from primary occupation 82% belongs to service sector, 14% belongs industry sector and only 4% are in agriculture (as of April 2003 FIES, NSO).[36] Average annual family income (at current prices) is P 283,604 or a percentage increase of 32.3 between 1994 to 1997 while Average Annual Family Expenditures is P 226,887 or a 25.6% increase (2000 FIES). Average per Capita Income is P 65,136 and Average Per Capita Expenditures is P 51,557 (FIES 2000). Average Inflation Rate is 3.2, the Average Purchasing Power of the Peso is 0.62 and the Average Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 162.6 in 2003. (Source: NSO, Prices Section).[36]

The BPO industry has spurred employment. BPO locators are attracted to Iloilo because of the literacy rate and number of graduates per year.[40] The Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), has named Iloilo City as one of the next wave cities. This means that Iloilo city is capable to host information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) companies on the basis of availability of talent and relevant infrastructure.[41] Iloilo City has a number of IT/BPO centers among them is the Iloilo Ayala Techno Hub, Amigo Plaza Mall, SM City Iloilo estates and Plazuela de Iloilo which houses BPO companies.[42][43][44] Another IT/BPO centers is in Iloilo International Business Park at the Sta. Barbara Heights and Iloilo Business Park, both by Megaworld Corporation and the Iloilo City Center by the Gaisano Group. It has business process outsourcing (BPO) office buildings undergoing construction.[45]

Shopping and Business Centers[edit]

Among the notable shopping and business areas in Iloilo City are:

a. City Proper District

a.1 Downtown Area (Calle Real, Arroyo Street, Arsenal Street, Aldeguer Street, Sto. Nino Street - formerly Guanco Street, Macario Peralta Street, Ortiz Street, Rizal Street and within the environ of the Iloilo City Government Center and soon at the Western Visayas Regional Government Center)

a.2. China Town (South Iznart Street, Magsaysay Road, De leon Street, Valeria Extension)

a.3. Midtown Core (North Iznart Street, Montinola Street, Solis Street, Yulo Street, Valeria Street, Delgado Street, Quezon Street, Mabini Street, Ledesma Street)

a.4. Uptown Strip (Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo Provincial Government Center, Gen. Luna Street, Jalandoni Street, Infante Avenue, North M.H. del Pilar Street)

b. Mandurriao District

b.1. Central Business Area (Sen. Benigno Aquino Avenue, Smallville Business Complex, Atria Park District, Iloilo City Center, Iloilo Corporate Center, SM City Estates, Centrale Park - Iloilo, Iloilo Business Park, Iloilo Central Park)

b.2. Mandurriao Town Center

c. Molo District

c.1. Molo Town Center

d. Villa de Arevalo District

d.1. Villa de Arevalo Town Center

d.2. Villa Beach Tourism Strip

e. Jaro District

e.1. Jaro Town Center

e.2. Jaro North Strip (Mc Arthur Drive from Tabuc Suba to Tagbak)

e.3. Aquino Crossroad Area (Upper Sen. B.S. Aquino Jr. Avenue corner Pres. Cory Aquino Avenue)

e.4. Old Town Lane (along E. Lopez Street, Jaro to Luna Street, Lapaz)

f. Lapaz District

f.1. Lapaz Town Center

f.2. Prime Estates


Public Transport[edit]

The passad jeepney, Iloilo City's primary public transport

Iloilo City is served mostly by passenger jeepneys, white metered taxis and tricycles within the city limits. The passad jeepneys of Iloilo are known for their sleek and sedan-like design. These often serve fixed routes and mostly travel on the city's major and secondary roads. Jeepneys are also the main mode of transportation to Metropolitan Iloilo areas. Tricycles serve most secondary roads and city communities. Large passad jeepneys and buses link Iloilo City to the rest of the province and the island of Panay. Buses bound for Mindoro, Batangas and Metro Manila are also available via the Roll-on, Roll-off ferry services of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway. Mini-shuttle vans also serve provincial towns.

Integrated Transport Terminals[edit]

Iloilo City has five Integrated Transport Terminals located at the city's perimeter areas, these are:

Northern Iloilo Integrated Transport Terminal(NIITT)/Ceres Bus Terminal located at Tagbak, Jaro District is the transport hub serving passengers to/from Northern Iloilo, NothWestern Panay (NorthWestern Towns of Iloilo, Provinces of Capiz and Aklan and the Cities of Passi, Roxas and Kalibo also of Boracay Island Bound passengers), it is also a transport hub for passengers of Ro -Ro busses to/from Mindoro, Batangas and Metro Manila.

Iloilo Central Line Integrated Transport Terminal(ICLITT)/Pavia Peoples Terminal in Ungka, Jaro District is the transport terminal for passengers to/from Central Towns of Iloilo and a jump off point for passengers to/from Iloilo International Airport.

Aleonsan Integrated Transport Terminal(AITT) at Hibao - An Norte, Mandurriao District is the transport hub for passengers to/from the upland towns of San Miguel, Alimodian and Leon.

Iloilo Southern Line Integrated Transport Terminal(ISLITT) located at Mohon in Villa de Arevalo District - Travelers going to/from the Southern Towns of Iloilo and the Province of Antique.

Iloilo North Coastal Line Integrated Transport Terminal(INCLITT) at Ticud, Lapaz District is the transport hub for travelers going to/from the Northern Coastal Towns of Iloilo.


Jaro Floodway is a 4.75 kilometer artificial waterway north of Iloilo City. The floodway project was constructed to serve as a channel to divert excess water discharge from Tigum, Aganan and Jaro River directly to the Iloilo Straight. Since the completion of the Jaro Floodway project in 2010, flooding problems in the plains of sub urban areas of Jaro and Lapaz has been controlled. Nowadays, these areas has transformed into a new commercial hub of the metropolis.

New Road Networks[edit]

Going around in this southern metropolis is no longer a traffic woe with the construction and completion of new road networks.

Metro Iloilo Radial By - Pass Road - a four lane high impact road connecting the national highway in Zarraga Town to the new circumferential highway in Iloilo City.

President Corazon C. Aquino Avenue or the new circumferential road which commences at the junction of the Cong. Narciso Monfort Blvd (Iloilo-Dumangas Coastal Road) to Balabago Road, Jaro district, Iloilo City, then follows a general westward direction along the Floodway south bank towards Buhang, Jaro; Tacas, Jaro and Ungka II, Pavia, then traverses the southwards to the Mandurriao district, Iloilo City-Pavia-San Miguel tri-border and ends at the Iloilo-Antique Road near the center of Arevalo district, Iloilo City.[46]

Megaworld Boulevard is a six - lane highway inside the Iloilo Business Park that connects to the Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue.

Iloilo International Avenue or the Spine Road is the main highway within Sta. Barbara Heights, a Megaworld Corporation project in Sta. Barbara town that will serve as a south road access from Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue to Iloilo International Airport.

Donato Pison Avenue - the main artery running through Atria Park District, an Ayala Land Development in the Central Business Area in Mandurriao District.

Sen. Binigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue - the 16.6 km (10.3 mi) highway was expanded from a four lane road to an 8 lane avenue complete with two - way service roads, new pedestrian overpass with passenger lifts and bicycle lanes. Considered as the main throughfare of Metropolitan Iloilo which connects the City Proper district to Iloilo International Airport in the towns of Sta. Barabara and Cabatuan.

Mega - Flyover[edit]

Infante Flyover and Jalandoni Flyover - to decongest traffic at the City Proper District, two mega - flyover was constructed in 2007 and 2010 at the junctions of Infante Avenue- Gen. Luna Street and Jalandoni - Gen. Luna Streets.


From 1907 to the 1980s, Panay Railways operated a railroad from Roxas City to the port area of Muelle Loney along the Iloilo River in Iloilo City.

Iloilo International Airport[edit]

Main article: Iloilo Airport

Iloilo International Airport is the 4th busiest in the Philippines[47] with international flight to Singapore and Hong Kong and vice versa serving passengers from Western Visayas Region, Palawan and Mindanao.[48] For domestic flights to/from Metro Manila, Cebu, Palawan, Tacloban, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro and Davao City, Iloilo International Airport is the airport serving the general area of Metropolitan Iloilo - Guimaras, the province of Antique and the rest of Iloilo Province. It is located 19 kilometres (12 miles) northwest of Iloilo City on a 188-hectare (460-acre) site in across the towns of Cabatuan, Santa Barbara and San Miguel. It opened to commercial traffic on June 14, 2007, replacing the old Iloilo Airport at the Mandurriao District. The new airport inherited its IATA and ICAO airport codes.[49] It is linked to the city through Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue and served by metered taxis, airport shuttle vans and multicabs.

Recently, the national government has approved the Php 791 million budget for the expansion of the Iloilo International Airport.

International and Domestic Seaports and Fish (Marine) Port Complex[edit]

Main article: Port of Iloilo
Iloilo International Port/Loboc Wharf

The Port of Iloilo, is the port serving the general area of Iloilo and the premier port on Panay Island. The new port of iloilo is located on a site away from the older port facilities. It is situated in the Southern coast of Panay Island, in the Panay Gulf. With Guimaras Island guarding the port from violent storms, it has one of safest and most natural harbors in the Philippines

The Iloilo International Port Complex(IIPC) is located on 20.8 hectares of reclaimed land. It has modern facilities that include 11,400 sq. meters of open space for unhampered operations, supplemented by a backup area of 97,000 sq. meters, a crane,[1] rails of 348 lineal meters; roll-on-roll-off support; a 7,800 container freight stations; and a 720 sq. meter passenger shed. The port complex is ideal for ships plying international routes having a berth length of 400 meters, a width of 26.26 meters and a berthing depth of 10.50 meters. It is currently expanding with the reclamation of the west side sea front portion of the complex

The Iloilo Domestic Port Complex(IDPC), located near Fort San Pedro and formerly the Old Foreign Pier, serves inter-island passenger and cargo ferries which serves the routes Manila, Palawan, Cebu, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro. It is located near the mouth of Iloilo River at the vicinity of the Western Visayas Regional Government Center at the City Proper district. It is also the port of call for several domestic shipping companies such as SuperFerry or 2GO Travel, Negros Navigation, Sulpicio Lines, Cokaliong Shipping, Trans-Asia Shipping Lines and others. The colloquial name "Fort San Pedro" refers to the old Spanish fortress beside it that was destroyed during World War II and soon to be restored by the DOT under TIEZA.

Muelle Loney or Iloilo River Wharf is the original port of the city. Opened to international trade in 1855, it has served as the trans-shipment docks for muscovado sugar in the late 19th to the first half of the 20th century. It has undergone several times of expansion and improvement. Today, it serves smaller cargo ships, roll-on roll-off ferries bound for Guimaras and Negros Island and fast ferries that ply Iloilo-Bacolod route regularly. By September, 2014, the newly built Iloilo River Port Complex(IRPC) at Lapuz District will start operation to replace the Iloilo River Wharf.[50]

Iloilo - Guimaras Jetty Ports for Guimaras outrigger ferries are located at Calle Ortiz and Parola. The terminal at Calle Ortiz serve Jordan, Guimaras-bound passenger and cargo outrigger boats, while Parola terminal serve Buenavista, Guimaras-bound ferries. Soon the Iloilo Jetty Port Complex(IJPC) at the Western Visayas Regional Government Center will replace the two jetty ports, the complex is complete with a modern passenger terminal building, a pumpboat fuel refilling station, a 1.3 hectares (3.2 acres) children's park with a marine museum and a CityMall complex by Double Drangon Properties. This project of the City Government was achieved through public-private partnership.[51]

Roll-on/roll-off ferry service, known in as RO-RO, is available from to Iloilo City. There is also a ro-ro service to Cebu via Negros. It is ranked third in terms of shipcalls at 11,853, fourth in cargo throughout at 491,719 million metric tons and fourth in passenger traffic at 2.4 million annually.

The Iloilo Fish Port Complex(IFPC) is the only and the major center of fish trading and marine products processing in entire Visayas. The port complex is the traditional landing site of bagnetters and other fishing bancas in Iloilo City and nearby towns. This strategic location has made the port the major fish/marine source of major supermarkets, hotels and restaurants and local public markets in the country and abroad.

Its services includes, unloading and marketing facilities for fish and other fishery/aquatic products both for local and foreign markets; services and facilities for harbor operations such drydocking/repair shop, fuel, oil, water and ice conveyance and for transshipping products; processing, refrigeration and other post-harvest services including product pre-processing, freezing through contact freezer, cold storages and top-grade facilities for the processing of marine products such as Prawn, Abalone, Cuttlefish, Lobster, Nylon Shell, Octopus, Slippertail, Squid, Whiting and Bangus; and raw land for establishment of fishery-related factories.

The complex is situated in a 21 hectare reclamation at southern part of the City Proper District. Recently, the fish port complex was granted Php 570 million for the expansion of its facilities which will include the construction of a new fish processing plant, establishment of a fish canning facility and the construction of an alternative energy source.[52][53]


The presence of advanced telecommunications infrastructure not only makes the Philippines readily accessible through the Internet, but also allows investors to ignore limitations imposed by the inadequacy of physical infrastructure. Iloilo’s economy benefits from the presence of key players in the telecommunications industry, which provide the necessary “info-structure” for commerce.

Available communication services in Iloilo are: telephone services including domestic and international direct dial, facsimile; mobile communications, internet, telegraph and telex stations, post offices and other messengerial and courier services.

There are three (3) telephone service providers in Iloilo providing landline connections to almost all of the municipalities. These are: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, INNOVE (Globe Telecom) and Bayan Telecommunications. These companies are capable of providing fiber optic, copper and microwave T1 and E1 lines.

The Iloilo Mission Hospital Medical Arts building.

Cellular telephone facilities are also provided by three (3) cellular companies namely Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and Sun Cellular.

Medical Facilities[edit]

Among the top medical facilities of Iloilo City are:

  1. St. Paul Hospital, founded by Dennis Joseph Dougherty, the American Bishop of Jaro who later became Archbishop of Philadelphia and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. They are the first accredited Kidney Transplant facility outside Manila. They are said to be launching Stem Cell Therapy in Visayas and Mindanao.[54]
  2. Iloilo Mission Hospital, which was founded by American Protestant Missionaries in 1901 as the first Protestant hospital in the country and the first American hospital in Asia. The hospital established the first nursing school in the country in 1906, the Iloilo Mission Hospital School of Nursing (the present Central Philippine University College of Nursing.[55] Iloilo Mission Hospital serves as the university hospital of Central Philippine University .
  3. Iloilo Doctor's Hospital[56]
  4. Amosup Seamen's Hospital
  5. St. Therese Hospital
  6. The Medical City – Iloilo, an acquired hospital of the Medical City Group of Hospitals, which performed successful open heart surgeries and the first ever Angioplasty in the region.[57] It also boasts it's Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, being first in Western Visayas.[57][58]
  7. Medicus Medical Center
  8. Medicus Cancer Institute
  9. Qualimed Medical Center
  10. CPU Birthing Center - Community Birthing and Maternity Center of Central Philippine University.
  11. The Western Visayas Medical Center - a 425-bed capacity Medical Center is the end referral facility among government hospitals in the region.[59]
  12. West Visayas State University Medical Center (formerly the Don Benito Lopez Memorial Hospital)- is a 300 bed tertiary teaching, training hospital that serves as a functional laboratory for the College of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences Institute of the West Visayas State University.[60]
  13. Iloilo City Hospital
  14. Lapaz Maternity Hospital

Convention Facilities[edit]

Iloilo Convention Center (under construction), the state - of - the - art convention center is the centerpiece infrastructure of the Iloilo Business Park by Megaworld Corporation at Mandurriao District, The convention center will officially host, two ministerial meetings for the 2015 APEC Summit in the Philippines on September and October 2015. The main hall on the ground floor will have a 3,700 capacity and a 500 seat function room at the second floor.

Iloilo Trade and Convention Center (soon under construction) at the Iloilo City Center at Mandurriao District.

Iloilo International Convention Center at Centennial Resort Hotel and Convention Center located at Jaro District is a 2,700 - seat capacity convention center which hosted the First Philippines International River Summit last May, 30 to June 1, 2012. Added to it, are the function rooms within the complex that can accommodate 400 guest, the Centennial Grand Ballroom and the 250 - seat capacity Centennial Royal Ballroom.

Other big venues in Iloilo City that can accommodate International and National gatherings are the Crown Ballroom at Punta Villa Resort, Inc., the Kalantiao Hall at Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center and newly opened the Royal Garden Hall Convention Center.

Sports Venue and Stadium[edit]

Iloilo Sports Complex - also known as Iloilo Sports Center is the major sports venue in Western Visayas. The center complete with a 10,000 capacity stadium, a rubberized track oval, a football field, a soccer field, an Olympic size swimming pool, two volleyball courts, two basketball courts, two open tennis courts, four badminton courts and an indoor gymnasium.

The sports center had hosted the Palarong Pambansa in 1955, 1991, 2005 and hopefully the 60th Palarong Pamabansa in 2017.

Lapaz Town Center Sports Facilities at Lapaz District Plaza has amenities for games of lawn tennis, basketball, volleyball and football.

Sta. Barbara Heights Sports Complex (Under construction) will be an integral part of the Sta. Barbara Heights development by Megaworld Corporation. The sports complex will soon have an international standard football field.

Iloilo Golf and Country Club located in a 35 hectare plains and rolling hills at Sta. Barbara town, 16 km (10 mi) from Iloilo City is the oldest 18 hole golf course in the Philippines and in South East Asia.

There are also sports facilities located at the City's two leading educational institution, the University of San Agustin and Central Philippines University.

Power and Energy[edit]

A 72 MW Diesel Fuel Power Plant operated by Panay Power Corporation and A 164 MW coal-fired power plant operated by Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) provides power generation for Iloilo City, both situated in Brgy. Ingore in Lapaz district.[61][62] Panay Energy Development Corp.(PEDC) plans for a third coal-fired power generation facility. The newest generator will be on top of the existing 164-MWs for an additional 150-megawatt to be generated that will help produce a total of 404 MW supply for Panay, Guimaras and Negros islands.[63]

Power distribution is facilitated by Panay Electric Company (PECO) . PECO is the sole power distributor in Iloilo City and it is one of the oldest private electricity distribution utilities in the country which has been operating since 1923.[64]



Main article: Hiligaynon language

Hiligaynon is the language spoken in Iloilo City.[65] English is used as the language of business and education. In addition, other local dialects such as Karay-a (also known as Kinaray-a) is also spoken. Spanish is still spoken by the elderly and some wealthy families and also the elder members of the micro-community of sugar-plantations related families. The Spanish language was the official language of Iloilo since the colonial period and it was removed in the 70's, But it is still been spoken. Hiligaynon is part of the Austronesian language branch spoken in Western Visayas, It was heavily influence and based on the Spanish language and its orthography. The Austronesian languages are a family of languages widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members on continental Asia. Hiligaynon is concentrated in the provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental which has mixed Cebuano.

The language is referred to as "Ilonggo" or "Ilongo/Ylongo" in Iloilo and in Negros Occidental. More precisely, "Ilonggo" is an ethno-linguistic group referring to the inhabitants of Iloilo and the culture associated with native Hiligaynon speakers. The distinction between the terms, Ilonggo and Hiligaynon, is unclear, however, most of the townspeople are claiming that Hiligaynon is the language being spoken and Ilonggo is a term used to refer a person living in Iloilo.


Iloilo City has numerous fiestas and events, from the barangay religious feasts all the way to a city-wide mardi-gras. The city has the following main fiestas and festivals which are secular, cultural, and religious in nature. These are the following:.[66]

The Feast of the Sto. Nino de Arevalo is a religious fiesta in honor of the 3rd oldest (1581) image of the child Jesus in the Philippines held every 3rd sunday of January at the district of Villa de Arevalo. The highlight of the fiesta includes a procession of the image around the town center and a eucharistic celebration in honor of the Sto. Nino de Arevalo attended by thousands of devotees who come to Villa de Arevalo to venerate the miraculous image. Other festivities includes, the coronation of the fiesta queen and fireworks display competition is being held on the night of the fiesta.
Main article: Dinagyang Festival
The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth weekend of January, is the city's largest festival and is held to honor the Santo Niño, and to celebrate the arrival on Panay of Malay settlers and the subsequent selling of the island to them by the Atis. The highlight of this week-long revelry is the street dance competition.[67]
Jaro Belfry during Jaro Fiesta.
Jaro's celebration of the Feast of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of the Candles), the Patroness of Western Visayas, every February 2. The religious celebration, which is well known in the Philippines and in some parts of Asia, is also an occasion of more secular events like the pageantry of the daughters of the rich families in the District during the coronation of the Jaro Fiesta Queen, and cockfighting. Eucharistic celebrations in honor of the miraculous image starts at dawn until noontime to accommodate thousands of devotees. The grand procession follows in the afternoon with the coronation of the fiesta queen in the evening of the fiesta.
The Paraw Regatta is a race among seafarers on colorful sailboats called Paraws (claimed as the oldest traditional seacraft in Asia) in the Iloilo Strait between Guimaras Island and the city of Iloilo.[68] The present-day Paraw managed to maintain its original design from the sailboats of the first settlers from Borneo who were in search of a peaceful home in 1212 A.D. Surviving centuries, the paraws have become a vital part of the Filipino seafaring life. The first race started in 1973 with the mission to preserve the historic value of the paraws. It is held every 3rd weekend of February at Villa Arevalo District in Iloilo City. Today, the event has grown from being a boat race to a festival with various interesting and exotic activities.
Considered as the second busiest holiday in the City of Love, the Valentines day is a favorite event for the Ilonggos to spend the day to eat and dine with their special someone or with the entire members of their family.
The highlight of this event is a mass wedding by the City Mayor to hundreds of couples in a civil right ceremony. This year 200 couples joined the mass wedding dubbed as "I do, I do", a growth from last years number of only a 100 participant. The event is organized by the City Government through the Red Lions and Pag Ibig Fund.
Chinese lion dancers pass by Arroyo Fountain at Chinese New Year Celebrations in Iloilo City
Celebrated by Ilonggos of Chinese descent, the festivity is highlighted by cultural presentation of the Chinese schools in the city, Chinese food festival and grand fireworks display.

The holy week in Iloilo City is a well observed religious, cultural and social holiday. A visit to Iloilo City to commemorate the spiritual and devotional holy week activities such as the "Visita Iglesia", which is a tour of the 14 major Catholic Churches around the city to pray (Spousal of Mary and Joseph Church, Our Lady of Monseratt Church, Our Lady of Fatima Church, St. Joseph the Worker Church, National Shrine of Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Nuesta Senora de Lapaz Y Buen Viaje Church, San Jose de Placer Church, Sta. Maria Parish Church, Sta. Terisita Church, The Immaculate Conception Church, Shrine of the Sto. Nino de Arevalo, St. Anne's Cathedral and Espousal of Our Lady Church).

On "Biyernes Santo", devotees joins the grand procession of "Pasos" of century old Castilian religious sculptures depicting the passion of Jesus Christ owned by the "buena familias" of Jaro, Molo and Villa de Arevalo.

"Domingo de Pascua", is a festive celebration in all Church grounds. After the "Salubong" and "Easter Sunday" mass, children enjoys the egg hunting around the parish grounds.


The city and the province of Iloilo is served by mostly tabloid-type English newspapers such as Panay News, The Daily Guardian, News Express, and Sunstar Iloilo. Hublas of Panay News is the sole Hiligaynon tabloid newspaper.

Iloilo City is the main headquarters of Bombo Radyo Philippines, which owns Bombo Radio AM stations and Star FM stations across the country. Being the urban center of the province, most of the AM and FM radio stations serve the province of Iloilo and Guimaras, mostly local stations of national radio stations.

In 1967, TV-6 Iloilo (a TV5 affiliate) stated its initial broadcast in Jaro, Iloilo City. By 1974 change its affiliation to GMA Network as their local television station. TV-6 Iloilo started upgrading its facilities and relocated their TV tower to Guimaras and serving Iloilo City, Guimaras and Panay Island provinces and some parts of Negros Occidental in 1998. Studio 23 Iloilo (UHF 38) (change its name to ABS-CBN Sports and Action in January 18, 2014) initiated its broadcast in 1999. In 2000, ABS-CBN launched TV-10 serving Iloilo City and the neighboring towns and separated its news team from Bacolod news team and launched TV Patrol Iloilo. The government television station, NBN (VHF 2) in 1992 and IBC (VHF 12) in 1977 are also broadcasting local programs for Iloilo. In the first quarter of 2010, QTV-28 Iloilo (UHF 28) (change its name to GMA News TV in February 28, 2011) & UNTV-42 (UHF 42) commenced operations in the city. In second quarter of 2012, TV5 Iloilo (UHF 36) and AksyonTV Iloilo (UHF 46) commenced operation and serving the southern part of Western Visayas Region that includes the Guimaras Island, Iloilo City, Panay Island and Negros Occidental and at the same time started its News5 team coverage.


The city and the province of Iloilo has a total of ten universities.

Iloilo City alone hosts 8 large universities and various colleges such as the Central Philippine University (CPU), University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), West Visayas State University (WVSU), Iloilo Science and Technology University (formerly WVCST) (ISAT-U),[69] University of San Agustin (USA), University of Iloilo (UI), St. Paul University (SPUI), and John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU).

There are two state universities located outside Iloilo City, the Northern Iloilo State University and Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State University.

Iloilo is also home to numerous private colleges and schools such as the Iloilo Doctors College (IDC), St. Therese - MTC colleges (ST-MTCC), Western Institute of Technology (WIT), De Paul College (DPC), ABE International College of Business and Economics, Computer College of the Visayas, Dominican College of Iloilo, Great Saviour College, AMA Computer University (AMACU Iloilo), STI College - Iloilo, Informatics, Interface Computer College, IMAPF - School of Midwifery, Philippine College of Aeronautics, Science and Technology, ACSI College Iloilo, ABBA Institute of Technology, Iloilo Scholastic Academy, Hua Siong College of Iloilo, Sun Yat Sen High School, Cabalum Western College, St. Anne College of Iloilo, St. Agustin School of Nursing - Iloilo, Assumption Iloilo run the Congregation of the Religious of the Assumption, Ateneo de Iloilo – Santa Maria Catholic School run by the Society of Jesus, Angelicum School Iloilo run by Order of Preachers, Philippine Science High School-Western Visayas, and one PAREF-affiliated high school, Westbridge School for Boys, Colegio de las Hijas de Jesus which is run by the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus, or simply Hijas de Jesus, San Jose Catholic School which is run by the Order of St. Agustin, Colegio de San Jose (CSJ), and Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus (CSCJ) which are both run by the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and Asian College of Aeronautics. Colegio de San Jose is the oldest school for girls in Western Visayas which is now 141 years old. In June 2012, the city government opened the Iloilo City Community College at Molo, Iloilo City. These universities and colleges in Iloilo is a testament to the city being the center of education in Western Visayas.

The Department of Education – Division of Iloilo City covers 88 private schools[70] and 52 public schools.[71]


St. Anne Church, Molo.

Iloilo City's urban planning and architecture reflect the plans of the Spanish colonial and the American colonial administrations. Since Iloilo City is a conglomeration of towns, the districts have their own plaza complexes or town squares which are surrounded by establishments of political and ecclesiastical influence, such as churches and old administrative halls. In 1930, Juan M. Arellano of the Bureau of Public Works designed the schematic plan for Iloilo City, which was influenced by Ebenezer Howard's "Garden City."[72]

Historical sites[edit]

Sites Established during the Spanish Regime[edit]

Plaza de la Villa Rica de Arevalo 
6 km (4 mi) southwest of city proper; 2nd capital of the Alcaldia of Panay; flower and firecracker district of Iloilo City. Also found in the plaza is the replica of the crown given by the Spanish Queen Isabela in 1896.
Sto. Nino de Arevalo Shrine - the shrine of the 3rd oldest image of the child Jesus in the Philippines
National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles - Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral 
The first and only cathedral in Western Visayas built in 1864. It is the seat of Jaro Archbishopric (comprising the Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Province of Western Visayas). The Cathedral, which is dedicated to St. Elizabeth of Hungary, is famous for its Shrine of Our Lady of Candles which, according to pious tradition has been miraculously growing. The devotees of the Blessed Virgen, who invoke her under this title of "Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria" come in thousands during her feast day, 2 February. The image was canonically crowned by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, during the Roman Ponriff's visit to Jaro in 1981. Until the present, the miraculous image is the only sacred icon in the Philippines ever crowned personally by a Pope.
Jaro Belfry 
One of the few belfries in country that stands apart from the church. It was constructed by the Spaniards to serve also as a watchtower to monitor Muslim invasion from Mindanao. The colonial structure was ruined by an earthquake in 1948, but was restored decades later, in the mid-1990s.
Jaro Cathedral Facade.
Jaro Cathedral Belfry. One of the few freestanding bell towers in the country.
Archbishop's Palace 
(Spanish: Palacio del Arzobispo) The residence of the Archbishop of Jaro. It is located southwest of the Jaro Cathedral and southeast of the Jaro Plaza.
The 1990 iron marker placed by the National Historical Institute of the Republic of the Philippines on the main entrance of St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary in Jaro, Iloilo City - the first Institution of Higher Learning in Western Visayas.
The Rose Memorial Auditorium (Rose) of Central Philippine University is one of the largest theaters outside Manila, has been a famous venue for local and international various types of concerts in Iloilo.
Muelle Loney 
The river port of Iloilo named after British Consul Nicholas Loney, who is considered the father of sugar industry in Panay and Negros. Protected by the Island of Guimaras from typhoons, Muelle Loney is one of the safest harbours in the Country. It was opened to international market in 1855.
Jaro Heritage District
The old section of the City boasts of the mansions and Hispano-Filipino houses of the sugar barons and elite families during the Spanish regime. It is also seat of Catholicism in Western Visayas.
St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary 
The first institution of higher education in Western Visayas. Following the Papal Bull of Pope Pius IX, dated 27 May 1865, the Dominican Bishop Mariano Cuartero, O.P., the first Bishop of Jaro, laid the foundation of this seminary in 1869, in honor of St. Vincent Ferrer.
St. Anne's Cathedral - Molo Chirch 
A Gothic renaissance church made of coral rock, located three kilometers (1.9 miles) from the City proper. It was completed in the 19th century. The church, which is also referred to as the "Church of Women" because of the statues of women saints that decorate its pillars, was visited by Jose Rizal on his way to exile in Dapitan, Mindanao.
Iloilo City Heritage and Cultural District - Downtown Area 
Old buildings that were constructed in the Commonwealth era in J.M Basa (Calle Real), Iznart, Aldeguer and Guanco were declared as a heritage site of Iloilo.

Sites Established from the First Half of the 20th Century onwards[edit]

University of San Agustin, founded in 1904
An institution of Catholic Higher Education founded on July 15, 1904, by Spanish Augustinian friars belonging to the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines and their American confreres from the Augustinian U.S. Province of St. Thomas of Villanova. Elevated as a University on 1 March 1953, the University of San Agustin holds the title as the "First University in Western Visayas".
Central Philippine University, founded in 1905
The first Protestant and American higher education institution in Western Visayas, which was founded by the Baptist missionary, Rev. William Orison Valentine. It was founded in 1905 as a two separate schools: an elementary school for poor boys which eventually opened up a high school in 1920 and a bible school to train ministers and other Christian workers. It converted into a college in 1923 and attained university status in 1953. Central is the first Baptist founded and second American university in Asia. The university has pioneered and established the first nursing school in the country; the first and oldest organized student government in Asia (still in continuous operation), the Central Philippine University Republic (CPU Republic) and the oldest student publication in the country, The Central Echo; among others. The university has been declared as a cultural property by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and is the only university in Asia declared as a tourist site by a local government.[73] The university is host to the Henry Luce III Library, the largest library in Western Visayas. Central Philippine University is a famous landmark and is visited by locals and tourists every December because of the display of Christmas lights, which the university hosts annually.
Jaro Evangelical Church
The first Baptist Church in the Philippine Islands established by the Northern Baptists (now American Baptist Churches).
Arroyo Fountain 
The regional kilometer zero point.
Villa Lizares/Angelicum School Iloilo 
It was once the mansion and villa of the Lizares Family. The Lizares mansion was sold to the Dominican Order of the Philippines in the late 1970s, and is now the seat of Angelicum School Iloilo- a private, Catholic school run by the Order of the Preachers (Dominicans). The Angelicum is a popular landmark visited by local folks every Christmas because of the display of Christmas lights that decorate the Lizares Mansion – its oldest building being the main feature of the panoramic view of the school.
Museo Iloilo 
Repository of Iloilo's cultural heritage Geo taton.
Iloilo River Esplanade 
A 1.2 kilometer linear park in one of the riverbanks of Iloilo River in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Notable people[edit]


Figure 1: Iloilo is located in an island shaped like a giant heart, Panay island.
Figure 2: It may have been the heart shaped island eluded to by this codex by Gaspar de San Agustin from the Archive of the Indies. The bishop in the codex having held aloft a heart while being illumined by the Jesuit Monogram IHS, while at the right side, conquistadors are pointing to a mass of islands.

Saints - Iloilo is associated with at least five saints of the Catholic Church. These are; Saint Ezekiel Moreno, a Spanish born Augustinian Recollect bishop and the patron Saint of Columbia, he was ordained into the minor orders at Jaro, Iloilo; Saint Pedro Calungsod a Visayan alternative-healer and a Jesuit trained layman who was purportedly born at Molo, Iloilo; Saint John Paul II, who crowned the miraculous image of Our Lady of Candles at the Jaro Cathedral (The only Marian Image in the Philippines personally crowned by a Pope-Saint); blessed Maria Beatriz del Rosario Arroyo, foundress of the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines, she was born in Molo, Iloilo and the venerable Jaime Cardinal Sin, he was ordained at Iloilo and was the former Archbishop of Jaro before becoming the Cardinal-Archbishop of Manila. He was the spiritual leader of the People Power Revolution.

Movies - Iloilo is also the name of an award-winning movie featured at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, wherein the movie won the Camera d'Or and became the first Singaporean feature film to win at the Cannes Film Festival. Set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Ilo Ilo chronicle the story of the bond between a 10-year-old Singaporean boy, Jiale and his caretaker, Teresa from the Philippines — while his parents struggle to overcome their already strained relationship as well as the financial crisis. Teresa and Jiale soon formed a bond and continues to develop and she becomes an unspoken part of the family. It also won the Grand Jury Prize at the 10th Jameson Cinefest in Miskolc, Hungary and the Best Feature Film award at the 50th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei.

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Fernández, Juan; Jose Espinoza Jr. (2006). Monografias de los pueblos de la Isla de Pan-ay. Iloilo City: University of San Agustin Pub. House. p. 220. ISBN 978-971-0381-05-0. 
  2. ^ "Cities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Province: Iloilo". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities". 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  5. ^ City to recognize Lapuz as separate district from La Paz. (2008-12-22). Retrieved on 2011-11-07.
  6. ^ Francisco Colin, S.J.; Madrid, published in 1663 , from his Labor evangélica
  7. ^ a b c Lopez Group Foundation (2008). Iloilo: A Rich and Noble Land. Pasig City, Philippines: Benpres Publishing. p. 278. ISBN 971-93904-0-9. 
  8. ^ a b Iloilo History Part 1 - Research Center for Iloilo
  9. ^ Chuan-chou Fu-chi (Ch.10) Year 1612
  10. ^
  11. ^ The actual words of the Royal Decree says: "A propuesta del Ministro de Ultramar, y teniendo en cuenta el creciente desarrollo que en la industria y el commercio ha alcanzado la cabecera de la provincia de Ilo-Ilo, la más importante de las islas de Filipinas, despues de la de Manila; En nombre de mi Augusto Hijo el Rey D. Alfonso XIII, y como Reina Regente del Reino, Vengo en conceder el titulo de la Ciudad á la cebecera de Ilo-Ilo, en dichas islas. Dado en San Sebastian á cinco de Octubre de mil ochocientos ochenta y nueve. Maria Cristina" Cf. Decreto Real de la Reina Regente Maria Cristina (5 Octubre 1889) en Gazeta de Madrid, N. 298, 25 Octubre 1889, p. 238.
  12. ^ TIF file
  13. ^ Funtecha, Henry (2000). "The Urbanization of the Town of Iloilo, 1865–1900". Selected Papers on Cities in Philippine history (Philippine National Historical Society): 89–108. 
  14. ^ Policarpio F. Hernadez, Iloilo, the Most Noble City: History and Development (1566-1898), p. 143.
  15. ^ The members of the Jaro Ayuntamiento who signed the act of protestation against the uprising were: Mariano Villalobos, Tranquilino Gonzales, Severino Argüelles, Raimundo Escarilla, Vidal Jabelona, Ruperto Jalandoni, Esteban Jalandoni, Juan Ledesma, Pablo Ledesma, and León Jereos (Secretary). Cf. 7 September 1896 issue of El Porvenir de Bisayas
  16. ^ Policarpio F. Hernadez, Iloilo, the Most Noble City: History and Development (1566-1898), p. 144. The actual text of the letter of the members of the Jaro Ayuntamiento addressed to the Governor General of the Philippines (published in the 7 September 1896 issue of El Porvenir de Bisayas) says: Estos hechos de sedición, doblemente criminales en las dolorosas circunstancias que afligen a la Patria común, que allá, al otro lado de los mares, en los Campos de Cuba, está vertiendo sin tasa la generosa sangre de sus leales hijos que otros hijos integrados la hacen derramar; no pueden levanter eco en los corazones nobles de los Jareños, que no olvidan la inmensa gratitud que deben a España que, de la nada... los hizos nacer a la vida de la civilización y del progreso.
  17. ^ The officials of the City of Iloilo who signed the letter of protestation were as follows: Victoriano Mapa (Primer Alcalde), Emilio Escay (Primer Teniente Alcalde), Arcadio Conde Otegui (Segundo Teniente Alcalde), Vanancio Conception, Jose Ma. Aguilar, Felix de la Rama, Severino Durán, Eduardo Arjanuate, Francisco Aguado, Francisco Ortiz, Lorenzo Guevara, Ramon Roco, and Mariano Teaño - regidores. Cf. 7 September 1896 issue of El Porvenir de Bisayas.
  18. ^ Esas negras traiciones, cuya sola idea avergüenza a los Filipinos buenos y leales, han producido un sentimiento unánime de protesta e indignación en el pueblo Ilongo, que cifra su más honroso blasón en el inextinguible y sacrosanto amor que profesa a la gloriosa nacionalidad española de que se siente legitimamente orgulloso. Españoles son los Ilongos, Ex.cmo. Señor, y españoles seran hasta la muerte, porque no quieren vivir ni morir de otro modo que a la sombra de la augusta enseña castillana, a la cual deben el ser hoy hombres dignos y libres. 7 September 1896 issue of El Porvenir de Bisayas.
  19. ^ Cf. 3 September 1896 issue of El Porvenir de Bisayas. Also cf. Policarpio F. Hernadez, Iloilo, the Most Noble City: History and Development (1566-1898), p. 145.
  20. ^ Cf. Policarpio F. Hernadez, Iloilo, the Most Noble City: History and Development (1566-1898), p. 145.
  21. ^ Cf. 30 December 1896 issue of El Eco de Panay. Also cf. Policarpio F. Hernadez, Iloilo, the Most Noble City: History and Development (1566-1898), pp. 145-146.
  22. ^ Cf. 16 January 1897 issue of Diario de Manila.
  23. ^ a b Cf. Policarpio F. Hernadez, Iloilo, the Most Noble City: History and Development (1566-1898), p. 147.
  24. ^ Cf. 26 April 1898 issue of El Eco de Panay. Cf. also Policarpio F. Hernadez, Iloilo, the Most Noble City: History and Development (1566-1898), p. 147.
  25. ^ TIF file
  26. ^ "Queriendo dar una prueba de Mi Real aprecio á la ciudad de Ilo Ilo por su honroso proceder con motivo de haber sido la primera que presentó voluntarios para combatir la insurrección de Filipinas; a propuesta del Ministro de Ultramar, de acuerdo con Mi Consejo de Ministros; En Nombre de Mi augusto Hijo el Rey D. Alfonso XIII, y como Reina Regente del Reino, vengo en conceder á dicha ciudad el dictado de «Muy Noble», como recompensa á su conducta y estimulo para el porvenir. Dado en Palacio á primero de Marzo de mil ocho-cientos noventa y ocho." These were the actual words (in Spanish) of the Royal Decree honoring the City with the title "Muy Noble" (Most Noble). Real Decreto de La Reina Regente Maria Cristina (Marzo 1, 1898) in Gaceta de Mardrid,No. 63, 4 Marzo 1898, p. 750.
  27. ^ The Iloilo culmination of the declaration of Philippine Independence. (2008-06-06). Retrieved on 2011-11-07.
  28. ^ N.B. For a detailed study regarding the history of war for independence in Iloilo and Panay, as well as regarding the American occupation of the Island, confer the paper of Jose Manuel Velmonte, Ethnicity and the Revolution in Panay in Kasarinlan, Volume 14 No. 1.
  29. ^ Roads and bridges in Iloilo during the American rule
  30. ^ Carson 1965, p. 4
  31. ^ The Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, Inc. - is the oldest Baptist organizational body in the Philippines. Retrieved 10/19/2012
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  33. ^ C.A. No. 158, Iloilo City Charter -
  34. ^ McCoy, Alfred (1982). "A Queen Dies Slowly". Philippine Social History : Global Trade and Local Transformations (Ateneo de Manila University Press): 289–358. 
  35. ^ BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG. 51 - :Portal to The Philippines
  36. ^ a b c d e Socio-Economic Profile 2004 of Iloilo City, The City Government of Iloilo, 2004 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g National Statistics Office. "2010 Census of Population and Housing — Western Visayas". pp. 100–104.
  38. ^ Espejo, Jr., Boy. "Pacifico Sudario: The man who coined "Dinagyang"". Sun.Star Network Online. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  39. ^ City Government of Iloilo (2010). "Socio-Economic Profile 2010". 
  40. ^ BPO spurs local employment rate
  41. ^ BPAP, DOST tag 10 next wave cities for IT-BPO | Business, News, The Philippine Star |
  42. ^ hub
  43. ^ Properties for Rent
  44. ^ Operating Economic Zones (277)
  45. ^ Megaworld allots P25 B for Iloilo project | Business, News, The Philippine Star |
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  52. ^ sun star daily march 19, 2014
  53. ^ PFDA
  54. ^ Iloilo City girds for stem cell medicine | Sun.Star
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  56. ^ Home - Iloilo Doctors' Hospital, Inc. a ISO CERTIFIED HOSPITAL
  57. ^ a b Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory - The Medical City Iloilo
  58. ^ Heart Surgery at The Medical City Iloilo - The Medical City Iloilo
  59. ^ Welcome to the Western Visayas Medical Center Web Site!
  60. ^ History
  61. ^ Panay Energy Development Corporation
  62. ^ Mix of coal and diesel still cheapest for Iloilo electricity
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  64. ^ First Philippine Holdings Corporation
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External links[edit]