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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Iloilo Firsts and Greatest

The first commercial airline in the country established by the Ilonggo brothers.
Graciano Lopez-Jaena, the greatest Filipino orator and propagandist.
Paulino Alcantara played for Barcelona football club in the 1920s.
Sta. Barbara Golf and Country Club established in 1907 and opened to public in 1913.
The Solar house of businessman Robert Lopez Puckett Jr. is the latest addition to Iloilo's firsts. Visitors to the city will see the" Iloilo Firsts" list upon arrival at the Mandurriao Airport, which contains a record of "historical firsts" held by the city and province and those established by its sons and daughters.

It was compiled in the 1970s by the late Norberto Baylen, former Iloilo City Schools Superintendent and publisher-editor of the weekly Visayas Tribune.

Here are some of the entries:

1. Iloilo is the site of the Malayan landing in the Philippines, according to the Maragtas legend.
2. The first school for boys in the Philippines was founded in Tigbauan, Iloilo, by Jesuit priest and historian, Pedro Chirino, in 1592.
3. The first place to put up a Christian church in the country was Jalaud (now Barangay Ermita in Dumangas town) in 1566.
4. The first city outside Manila to have a foreign business house (Loney and Co.) and the first foreign vice consul.
5. The only province to have two cities during the Spanish time: Iloilo City, chartered in 1890, and Jaro in 1891.
6. The biggest province in the Philippines in population, income and economic production during the 19th century.
7. The best and biggest producer of textile during the Spanish era.
8. The first city outside Manila to have electricity, telephone, telegraph, railway, ice plant, automobile and other modern conveniences.
9. The first golf course in the Asia was the Iloilo Golf and Country Club in Sta. Barbara town established in 1907.
10. The first province outside Luzon to fly the Philippine national flag, in Sta. Barbara town on Nov. 17, 1898.
11. The first department store in the country (Hoskyn and Co.) established in 1877.
12. The first city outside Manila to have direct shipping links with Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Europe and the Unied States.
13. The first commercial airline in the country was Iloilo-Negros Air Express Co.
14. The first Philippine airline after World War II was organized by Ilonggo brothers Eugenio and Fernando Lopez, Far Eastern Air Transport, Inc.
15. The first provincial high school in the country was the Iloilo High School
16. The first elementary school in the country established under the Americans was the Baluarte Elementary School in Molo, Iloilo City.
17. The first Protestant barrio in the country was Barangay Calvario in Janiuay.
18. The first Baptist church in the country was the Jaro Evangelical Church.
19. The first luxury liner in the country was the SS Don Esteban of the De la Rama Lines.
20. The first city to have double-decked buses, modern cinema houses and theaters outside Manila.
21. The first concrete road in the country was the road from Forbes bridge to the Jaro Plaza.
22. The first city to have a car assembly plant (Taller Visayas de Strachan and MacMurray Ltd.). The car assembled was the 1920s "Deiler."
23. The first Filipino to launch the Propaganda Movement in Spain - Graciano Lopez Jaena of Jaro
24. The only Filipino nominated to the Supreme Court of Cuba - Raymundo Melliza of Molo
25. The first Filipino to fly a passenger plane - Jose Tinsay of Jaro in 1925 flying the Curtiss Oriole, the first passenger plane.
26. The first Filipino to earn Doctor of Laws degrees from Oxford University - Melquiades Gamboa of Jaro.
27. The first Filipino Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science - Victorino Domondon
28. The first Filipino Doctor of Education - Pedro E.Y. Rio of Iloilo City.
29. The first Filipino woman Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering - Josette Garcia Portigo of Pototan.
30. The first Filipino doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology - Felipe Landa Jocano of Cabatuan
31. The first Filipino to win the US Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest US military honors, during World War II - Capt. Jose Calugas of Leon.
32. The first Filipino soldier in the American army to win medals for heroism and courage from the government of the United States, Belgium and France during World War II - Sgt. Ramon Subejano of New Lucena.
33. The first Filipino girl to be called the fastest woman in Asia - Inocencia Solis of New Lucena.
34. The first most bemedalled Filipino girl swimmer - Nancy Deaño of Dingle.
35. Asia's first chess grandmaster - Eugene Torre of La Paz.
36. The first Filipino woman to win a cultural heritage award - Magdalena Jalandoni of Jaro.
37. The first Filipino feminist - Pura Villanueva Kalaw of Molo - she was also the first Miss Philippine Carnival in 1908, Asia's first true national beauty pageant.
38. The first Asian to win the Bowl Hygia award in Pharmacy - Rosita Jara Mesa.

39. Youngest mayors of Iloilo - Lee Ann Debuque of Anilao and Braeden John "BJ" Biron of  Barotac Nuevo both 22
40. The first openly gay mayor of Iloilo - Geffre Alonsabe of Alimodian
41. The first bookstore and printing shop in the Visayas and Mindanao - Libreria la Panayana.
42. The only province to have an antibiotic drug named after it - Ilozene and Ilotycin which are brands of erythromycin, a wonder drug developed from a soil sample from Iloilo.
43. The first province to export sugar to Australia.
44. The first province to produce many millionaires and the first city to have a millionaire's row.
45. The first community school movement originated by Supt. Jose V. Aguilar.
46. The best organized guerilla unit during World War II under Gen. Mariano Peralta
47. The first guerilla unit to contact, by radio, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and President Quezon during World War II.
48. The first modern and most beautiful custom house in he country.
49. The first government constructed museum building in the Philippines - Museo Iloilo.
50. The first gravity irrigation system outside Luzon - Sta. Barbara Irrigation System.
51. The first successful compact farm in the country - Tagsing Buyo, Sta. Barbara.
52. The number one food-producing province of the Philippines today.
53. The first and only town in the Philippines to produce four justices of the Supreme Court, seven senators, seven governors, and seven cabinet members.
54. The site of the first international research center in the fishing industry, the SEAFDEC in Tigbauan.
55. The biggest public school division in the country is the Division of Iloilo.
56. The first city, which initiated a free education program is the elementary schools by eliminating the matriculation fees and providing free school supplies and the elimination of tuition fees in public secondary schools.
57. The first Asian to play for Europe's top football club, Spain's Barcelona FC - Paulino Alcantara
58. The first Visayan to be beatified on March 5, 2000 and later will be canonized as the second Filipino saint - Blessed Pedro Calungsod of Molo, Iloilo.
59. Panay's largest and most beautiful church during the colonial period was the Oton church.

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