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Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Legend Of Lambunao

Lambunao Church

Yamato International School

The town of Lambunao is lying in the verdant valley and hills of central Panay which is about 45 kilometers from Iloilo City.  The town of Lambunao is about 119 meters or 390.42 feet above sea level and is rich in music, story and tradition.

There are two narration about the origin of the name Lambunao. It was said that this area is inhabited by an Ati named Lambunao  and the place he settled is called "puro ni Lambunao".

Another story states that when the Spaniards went on a patrol from Laglag came to Sitio Balikatkatan, the foreigners asked a Malayan resident who is fishing in a mini lake about the name of the place. The Malay thought that the Spaniards is asking what he is doing, so he responded in Hiligaynon language saying "nagapanglambu sa linao." The Spaniards only remember the two syllables: lambu and nao, thus the town was baptized with the name Lambunao. The word Lambu means to put a fish hook in the water while Linao is a lake.

Photo Source:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Town Of Janiuay

Janiuay is located at the central part of Iloilo province. It is surrounded by four towns - Cabatuan, Maasin, Mina and Lambunao. It has a distance of 32 kilometers from Iloilo City.

It was said that the name of the town was taken from the name of the ruling son of a datu, Han and "oway", tambo or "rattan" in English which is abundant in the area. The name of the place became Janiuay. There are some who believe that the name of this place came from the local word "hani" which means whisper, and "oway" combined and gives the equivalent of a whisper in the wilderness of tambo or rattan. Today's youth gives a new homophone term to their place by writing: "Honey, why?"

Photo Source: taken from Life Magazine

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Barrio Barakang In Guimbal

This barrio is located at the southern part of the present Rizal Street of the town of Guimbal. This is situated west of the church and formerly densely populated during the Spanish occupation.

Long time ago, the town is always the center of frequent Moro raids. One morning of September, the Moro vintas were seen in the shores of Guimbal. The people were then busy for a fiesta celebration. They don't have a time to escape so they were compelled but to confront the enemies. Since they have no preparation in this struggle the people were compelled to fight. In avoiding a certain death or to be a slave of the Moros, the people flocked to the church to ask help from their patron saint, Saint Nicholas Tolentino to help them engage the invaders.

While the Moros with shining cutlass are chasing the natives defending the path towards the church, they were stopped by a giant figure of a beautiful lady with a long hair and a mighty man holding a staff that seems like clearing the path. The Moros were scared and immediately left.  Until now, the name was called "Barakang" which means barrier or barricade.

Photo Source: 

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Legend Of Guimbal

Guimbal Town Plaza 

Long time ago, the town is under the rule of the kingdom of a cruel and strict king. He has a beautiful daughter named Bal. One day, Moro arrived by the shores of the town. They launched at the shore without the knowledge of the king. The princess saw them but she never bothered to tell the king about what happened. Instead the princess went to the shores and meet the Moros. The princess ask the name of the leader of the Moros. Guimba they responded. The princess and Guimba met. They came close to each other and eventually they fell in love. One day, Guimba invited the princess to visit their families in their own town. The princess join them without asking permission from her father. They ride a vinta however during their voyage they encounter a storm and all of a sudden the weather became furious and one strong wind capsized their boat. Both of them were drowned. The next morning the king looked for her daughter. He found the princess dead in the shore along with the Moro chieftain. Since then the place was called Guimbal from the name Guim, the Moro chieftain, and Bal the name of the princess.

The following story is another version of the origin of the name Guimbal.

In the place where the Malay settles, the people enjoyed peace and prosperity. Nevertheless, the serenity they savor is suddenly shaken by the Moro pirates who plundered throughout the town. The people grouped together to defend the town.

There are guards assigned by the bay to watch for the vinta of the Moros. To warn the people with the coming of the pirates, the watchers beat the agong, that produces a thunder-like sound. By the sound of the agong people shouted Gimba as response. This word gives energy and courage to the people because they were never perturbed by the Moros and no part of the town were occupied by them.

Though the Moros failed to occupy the community yet they still frequent the town until the arrival of the Spaniards in 1705. The Spaniards discovered the use of the agong instrument by the people to warn the arrival of the Moros and the shout of Guimba by the people. This word is used to declare their aim to defend the community and their honor of not losing or defeated. The agong was named Guimba. The Spaniards eventually called it "cymbal" (pompiyang) that when people hear it they call it guimbal. This could probably the origin of the word Guimbal, from the word given to the agong in English "cymbal"  and the declaration of aim and honor of the citizen that were never defeated by the Moros.

Photo Sources:  courtesy of JC General

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Historic Siete Islas de Peccado

Siete Islas de Peccado or Seven Isles of Sin - These isles are found a few miles from the mouth of Batiano river, clustered through the stretch of the Guimaras Strait. There is a beautiful lesson told by this beautiful legend in Seven Isles, most especially to the maiden of the modern times. Balagtas had said:

"In the term of young, twisted love,
 The child brings forth something that had came from
Others from negligence
The one who should teach are the lazy parents."

In one isle that was called "Dapithapon" (dusk) in one of the shores of Dagat Bisaya (Visayan Sea),  seven siblings can often be seen competing for beauty. At the dawn of a beautiful sunrise, those seven ladies who seems like nymph of the forest, happily spent the time at the shores, playing the small waves crashing against the rocks, singing, laughing and chasing each other. They are snobbish to their fellow people, vain and boastful, snooty or despising. That is the effect of too much pampering and spoiling by their parents. They don't desire to have callous on the thin palms of their children so they take responsibilities of heavy tasks and even in making a living and inside their home. Days has passed and the indulgence and following continues without rational reasoning. They don't teach their children proper ways and living rather making these ladies more spoiled and vain. Indeed destiny became so cruel to the couple. One day, both of the doting and spoiling parents got sick. Their condition got worse and when they could not even stand, no one cares to help and offer them food. "Give us some porridge," the moaning of the starving couple.

Instead, the siblings pointed at each other and no one moves because they were all making the excuses of laziness and envy.

In a fit of anger of the couple to their children, they made a grievance of great curse and regret. However, its too late. They could not change the bad manners of their children until they met their sad untimely death.

The strong curse of the parents took effect affecting the rebellious scoundrels. Destiny was furious at them and one afternoon while they are happily playing in the shores of the isle of "Dapithapon" they were just surprised by the coming of an old man carrying a long staff. They wanted to escape but once the old man spoke, seems like their white feet were stuck in the rocks and they could not walk or move.

"The curse to you by your parents reached heaven, and here, as your punishment, you will become seven isles in the shores of Visayan sea," and after saying those they were just touched by the staff and in an instant the old man disappear.

At the breaking of dawn, people were just amazed and those who were sailing when they saw the seven large isles spread nearby Dapit-hapon (Dusk) Island.

Since then residents in the area seems to hear sad moaning on a midnight that came from the seven beautiful isles they considered those from seven ladies who became rebellious and scoundrels to their parents.

It's very rare for an Ilonggo to never know the story of  the seven isles. Young and old are ready and enthusiastic to tell the origin of the islands. Though there were slight differences in some stories, in general they are all similar and almost the same thing.

There are three more stories about the origin of the islands.

There are seven siblings who wish to attend a festive occasion. They asked consent from their mother but they were not allowed to go. Despite of this, the siblings insist on going and they ride a bangka boat or canoe though the weather is bad and nature is hostile. Unfortunately, the boat capsized and they were drowned. After a few year, the seven isles emerges. It was thought that these were the siblings who defy their mother.

There's a similar story to this.

Long time ago there were seven siblings children of a fisherman. One day they ask for permission from their parents to attend the fiesta celebration of Pulao, a barrio in Dumangas. They were not permitted to go yet they still went to Pulao. It's already night time when they went home riding a dibila or a boat. They were met by an inclement weather and their boat capsized and all of them were drowned. Their parents waited for their return. A week after, some residents near the shore saw some seven isles emerged from the sea. Thus it was called Siete Pecados as a reminder to the rebellious, defiant siblings.

According to others, seven siblings from Nabalas are going across the shore of the sea to gather some humay (rice grains). They rode a boat. They were caught by a bad weather mid sea and they were all perished. Seven isles emerge. The biggest island is regarded as the oldest among the siblings and smallest island is the equivalent to the youngest of the siblings.

Photo Source:

Nurse Wanderer thru

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Pleasant Place Of Buenavista

With the arrival of the Spaniards in the island, they walked for quite sometime. They went up to the mountains to search for a resting place. They never expected to reach a hill and spent the night there. When the morning comes, the Spaniards decided when they saw a crystal clear ocean dressed by the rays of the sun, the verdant trees, and the white mountain that attracts swimming by the admiring eyes, that the place is ideal for pleasurable relaxation. The day when they have to leave the place, they wanted to name the place. They united in baptizing the place Buenavista which means "pleasurable view."

The following has a resemblance to the origin of the place.

Long time ago, Buenavista is called Tilad. How Tilad was replaced with Buenavista is just by chance only. Someone said that a Spanish governor of Iloilo came to the place because he attended the election of the first gobernadorcillo. When he reached the town center (called Poblacion), he saw a beautiful view from where he stands. He uttered "Buena Vista" or Good View in English. Since then Buenavista replaced the name Tilad.

Photo Source:

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Chapel In Balaan Bukid In Jordan

It seems that at all times, God and the angels grants important messages to mankind through the means of dreams and vision. This what transpired in the following story:

There is a priest living in Santa Barbara. He dreamed of the mountain in Jordan. In his dream, he was ordered by God to build a chapel in that mountain. Upon peering over the window, the first mountain he sees will be the one he will put up a chapel with. This dream kept on returning to him repetitively. So he insists on looking that said area. The priest reached Guimaras and asked for the way towards the place he is tracing. On his first and second visit, he has a difficulty of navigation because of the wilderness of everything. On his third attempt, he brought with him some crucifix and medallions. In every step he climbs, he drops a medallion and was buried on the ground by his assistant who clears the area and then puts a marker. The fourteen (14) medallion symbolizes fourteen (14) stations of the cross. In a nearby area where the fourteenth (14th) medallion was buried, it was marked for a chapel to be build. Today, a giant cross of the chapel situated on top of the mountain is visible. It can be seen from a distance from across the shore. This area is flocked most especially on the first day of May, feast day of St. Joseph the Worker as a patron of laborers and workers.

Photo Sources:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Municipality of Jordan In Guimaras

Jordan Port Mango Marker

The smallest plaza in the Philippines and one of the smallest in the world, Jordan Plaza

The former name of this town was Nagaba. There are two lovers who wished to marry but it was opposed by their parents but love is so powerful. One night, the lovers eloped and rode a banca boat. In the a fit of fury of their parents when they learned of what they did uttered:

         "Kabay panggabaan sila. (Hope they will punish by God)."

In a turn of events, when they are in the middle of the sea there's a madness of the weather. The boat capsized and the two were drowned. Since then, the place was called "Nagaba" from the word "Gaba" which means punishment.

One version of the origin of the name Nagaba. Their parents opposed their courtship but in spite of this, they went on with the wedding. On their way home they pass by the forest. They are walking when all of a sudden a big snake wrapped all over the woman. In confusion of the guy he immediately thrust the snake with a bolo but unfortunately he cut the neck of his bride. For this grim event, they call the place Nagaba.

In 1928 the folk song was released about Jordan town. Eventually, the name Nagaba was replaced by Jordan because the place was surrounded by water. It symbolizes the Jordan river where Jesus was baptized.

Photo Sources:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Emergence Of An Island In Guimaras

The island of Guimaras which was sighted by the eyes of Dr. Jose Rizal whose name was taken from the name of a girl, Guia, the princess daughter of a far-away datu; and to the name of the son of a slave - Mara. The two, Guia and Mara are of the same age and secretly in love with each other. However Guia is betrothed to marry to a prince of Sugbu and the choice of her father cannot be refused by the princess because her refusal will put the kingdom in danger.  The wedding day of the princess. It is laden with intense sadness because the sighs of her heart is for her boyfriend - Mara. In that breath taking moment the power of love has spoken. All of a sudden Mara grabbed Guia and both of them jumped off the cliff in the heart of the sea. Eventually, in the place where they fell came the emergence of an island - the island of Guimaras.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Origin Of The Name Of Dumangas

Dumangas Iloilo Marker 

Dumangas Port

The name Dumangas is a combination of the Kinaray-a word "duro" which means many and the Spanish word "mangas". The place also has a bounty of mangoes.  Noon time and the heat is scorching when a Spaniard came to the place. He inquire to a native in his own native language about the name of the community. The native who was asked could not understand what Spaniard had said and in fear of the foreigner struggles to utter a word. Thinking that what he is asking is the name of the tree, that the shelter gives pleasure to the traveler had responded "Dos Manggas," which means a couple of mango trees.

According to a version, the name of "Sitio Du (de) Manggas" was given by a Spanish French expedition leader of Legazpi  here in Panay. He could not pronounce  "de" (meaning of) instead he uttered "du". So on his report to Legazpi, he mentioned "Sitio Du Mangga," a place abundant of mangoes. Legazpi thought that was the real name of the area, so in making the early maps that name was used for that particular place. Shortly after, the name of the place was shortened to Dumangas.

Anothe theory tells that when Captain de Haya arrived in this place from Cebu, he saw a lot of people are wearing barong with "camisa de chino"  with long sleeves (manggas).  There were also lots of mangoes being sold since its market day. Eventually it was shortened to Dumanggas.

Photo Sources:

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Legend Of The Town Of Dingle

Dingle Town Welcome Sign 

Memorial to the Cry of Lincud Heroes 

Dingle Church 

Long time ago, Dingle is not yet known by the people since it has no name. One day, a Spaniard came to this place. The Spaniard saw some beautiful maiden taking some bath at the river. During the early days, there were no soap so the ladies used some sticky clay to clean their long hair. The Spaniard went to a lady and ask the name of the place. The lady thought the Spaniard ask what she feels when using the sticky mud as cleansing agent, she immediately responded "Maingle." The Spaniard just nod and nod and continued with his journey. While the horse is running, the Spaniard forgot a little the words the lady spoken to him so when someone asked where did he came from, he responded "Dingle" instead of "Maingle." Since then they call the town Dingle.

According to former Mayor Cipriano Montero of Dingle and Reverend Father Felipe Potente, in an old legend, the name Dingle came from the stones that were commonly called in the Visayas as "Tampi" or "Dalipe." The stone is mahingle or hard. The hard (mahingle) stone is found in the northern part of the poblacion or town center which serves as a natural dike to prevent from continued flowing in the shores caused by the flooding in Jalaur river.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Story Of The Islands In Carles

The islands of Carles, Iloilo on the map 

Antonia Beach in Carles, Iloilo

From a distance, Isla de Gigantes or Gigantes Island, one of the islands of Carles, is about half an hour boat ride from the mainland Carles shapes like a giant lying.

In a village of Punta Bulakawe, town of Carles, there is a childless couple. In their great desire to have a child, they thought of visiting all the saints and ask for at least a child. Months has passed and the woman felt the heaven answered their prayers. She got pregnant and gave birth. They wonder greatly how the child grow up so fast. The height and weight could not fit into their house. At one year-old, he could not climb up the stairs of their home due to his size and weight. An average old person is only as tall as his knees. In short, he became a giant.

When he became a teenager, he lived in a mountain that's not too high. The mountain was called Beheya Hill.

When the giant teen walks, it is as if the surrounding is trembling and the rumbling of his steps is causing the tremor of the entire town and because of that he was called "Higante Tay-og" (Giant Tremor).

Higante Tay-og is very kind and helpful but due to his size, he was feared and the people of his age doesn't go near him. He never experienced playing with other children. No one dares to go near him, no one loves him except to a concerned, considerate mother who felt very sorry for him. His father instead of being sympathetic blame his wife to where she conceived the boy. Each time the people would see the giant, they immediately run away in fear. Thus the once gentle face was changed with anger and the once considerate child became savage.

He decided to live in Behiya Hill since he was feared. Just two or three steps only of the mountain and he's on top. To entertain himself, he learned how to smoke a tobacco. Each time he smokes, the whole surroundings darkened by the smoke and sometimes when he swallows the smoke, he coughs and his coughing seems like a thunder that cause tremors in the entire town. So the people prepares for the coming hurricane. The giant became friends with all the wild and stray animals.

One day he found a boat docking at the foot of his home, He waited and saw it carrying an old woman and a beautiful woman. The woman has a long hair and fair skinned. In her ways, posture and garment, she is a stranger and never knew where she came from. To what Higante Tay-og heard, the maiden was called Prinsesa Maganda (Beautiful Princess) and the old woman is her grandma. They settled in a hut located at the foothill of the mountain. This hut was left by the owner since Higante Tay-og live in Behiya Hill.

On the first sighting of the giant young man to the lady, he felt an unusual feelings for her.  The next day he caught some fish and left it at the doorstep of the hut. Sometimes he left in the hut the pet animals he cared. He kept on doing it until they discovered his kindness. Until one day, the people were just amazed to find out Higante Tay-og and Prinsesa Maganda were lovers. They set their wedding on a full moon. Higante Tay-og is so busy preparing for the coming festivities. He gathered some burot (a kind of plant in the forest), squash, gabi root crop, pomelo, calamansi, sugarcane for the wedding. He also got the Tulun-an (huge pot) of his mother and gathered some cogon grass and anahaw leaves to be used on their house. He also prepared a binangon (itak in Filipino), nigo and he looked for a big shoe for him and small shoes for the princess.  He gathered them all at the top of the Behiya Hill. Eve of the wedding while Higante Tay-og is still busy gathering all the needs for the wedding, there came a paraw carrying the pirates. When they anchored at the hut, they saw the beautiful princess. They salvaged the princess and brought her to the paraw inspite of her pleadings. While this is happening, Higante Tay-og is on the other mountain, gathering what's needed for the wedding. The paraw has not yet gone far, a lot of people came to rescue the lady. They used some spears and some pointed sticks and stones to defend the lady. During the fighting between the people and the pirates, Higante Tay-og arrived. When a pirate saw they were in danger, he stabbed a dagger in the heart of the lady. The heaven wept with the death of the lady. So the giant overturned the paraw and looked for the princess but it's too late. In his huge grief, the giant wept and wept. His cry seems like a thunder and his tears is like a rain that falls. He slowly carries the body of the princess and brought it to his home. In his madness, he picked the gifts one by one and with all strength throw it to the ocean. He first picked the small shoes and throw it to the left  and became an island of Sapatos Diutay (Small Shoes). He then throw the big shoes and throw it hitting near the small shoes and became island of Sapatos Daku (Big Shoes). He picked up a bundle of cogon grass and with all strength throw it far and became the island of Sicogon. This became a tourist attraction until it dwindles in the 1980s with the popularity of Boracay but will soon be redeveloped to reclaim its reputation and status.

He sighted the big pot Tulun-an which contains burot, pomelo, squash, gabi and throw it far. Its content were spread in different areas. The Tulun-an became the isle of Tulun-an. The burot became the isle of Naburot. The pomelo called Kabugaw became the isle of Cabugao and the squash called Kalabasa became Isla de Kalabasa. He then faced the nigo basket full of anahaw leaves and sugarcane. He throw it upwards and fell nearby. The nigo fell near Punta Bulakawe and became the isle of Manigunigo which is now a lighthouse. The anahaw became the isle of Anahaw and cana became Isla de Cana.

When he saw that he has nothing left to pick, he gently kissed the body of the dead princess and float it in space. It seems like he still wasn't able to accept the truth, he grabbed the bolo on his waist and cut his body in half and throw the bolo afar and became the isle of Balbagon. The half body of the giant fell and separately drop but not far from each other. The first half became the isle of Gigante Norte and the other became Gigante Sur. The dead body of the princess floating in the clouds also fell eventually after so long and dropped at the head of Gigante Norte and became the isle of Hegantuna. Over a long time, the paraw of the pirates drifted to the Higante Sur and became a sandstone. The shape of the stone is like that of a boat called bapor thus the locals called it bapor-bapor. This stone is said to have a mysterious cave and lots of unexplained phenomenon is said to occur there.

Photo Sources:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Origin Of The Name Carles

The town of Carles is the last town of the fifth district and the northernmost town of Iloilo, about 139 kilometers from Iloilo City. In accordance with the provision on the Executive Order No. 90 issued by Governor - General Francis Burton Harrison, the town of Carles separates from the town of Balasan on the first day of January, 1920. Carles is made of different islands of which the biggest were: Gigante Norte, Gigante Sur, Sicogon and Talun-an. There are two lighthouse in the town: one in Gigante Norte and the other one is in the rocky isle of Manigonigo. The town of Carles is separated by Jintotolo Channel, in the south by the towns of Balasan and Estancia and in the west by the town of Pilar in Capiz province.

The former names of the town were Punta Bulakawe and Badiang. The name Carles was used in honor of the Spanish Governor of Iloilo Province, Jose Maria Carles after he granted the petition of the people of Carles to make it as an independent town.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

The Place of Calinog

With the arrival of the Spanish soldiers in the town, they find the place peaceful and the people are friendly. They ask the natives the equivalent of the Spanish word "Pacifico" in local dialect. They responded with the word "kalinong." The Spaniards have a difficulty in pronouncing the word so they shortened it to kalinog.

Photo Source:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Origin of Cabatuan

Cabatuan is a town in Iloilo with a hidden colorful past since the dawn of early humans. In 1965, some remains of bones and skull of ancient elephants were excavated in the site that were believed to live during the "Mid-Pleistocene Period." They were found at a hill in Bitogwan, a sitio of Jelicuon, Cabatuan. The discovered "fossils" consists of two complete jaws, jawbones, teeth of elephant's ancestors that lived in Burma, India and other parts of Asia. Anthropologist Dr. Felipe L. Jocano who discovered these ancient remains is a son of Cabatuan.

The name Cabatuan suggests the customs and values of the residents and the nature and characteristics of their locality. Cabatuan came from a Hiligaynon word "kabatuhan" which means a place full of rocks, from the word "batu-an" which means to fight, battle, challenge, resistance or competition. Some of the residents believed that the name of their place came from batuan, a kind of tree which bear some seeds used as sour base to some soups and stews and other food loved by the natives.

In the annals of history, this placed was called Batuan, the name told or mention by Polpulan to Sumakwel.

The entertaining version of how Cabatuan was named is usually the one accepted. Long time ago, this place has a creek going towards the poblacion or town center. The water flows from the east going through the west and according to the natives, the flow of the water nagbatu. which means the flow of the water diverts from its usual direction in the creek and river of the area.

This creek has a lot of rocks of different sizes and on its shores are rampant number of batuan trees growing in the middle of these rocks.

When the Spaniards arrive to settle in the area, the natives headed by Tan Tono and other leaders immediately suggests to call the place Cabatuan.

The name of the place (Cabatuhan ) came from the root word Batu (stone) and adverbs Ca -  han which means "mostly". To follow the proper grammar and pronunciation of Spanish language, the letter h was omitted and the word Cabatuhan became Cabatuan now.

Photo Source:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Origin Of Bingawan

 In the early days, Bingawan is just a small barangay (community) of Calinog which is an arrabal of Passi.

One day, some people saw a deep well in the middle of the rocks that they call "bingaw" or space or hole. This is where they got the name of their town. Eventually, they call the area Bingawan by its folks.

Photo Source:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Story of Barotac Nuevo

The town of Barotac Nuevo is at the northern part of Iloilo City. It faces the island of Negros at the northern part of Iloilo Strait, and south of Dumangas town. The name Barotac came from a combination of the words "Barro" which is a Spanish word for mud and Hiligaynon word "malutak" which means muddy.

During the early years, this town is called Barrio Malutac since it is always muddy and during the rainy days the mud is really deep. The Spanish word Nuevo which means "new" is added to the name because when this town was established there is already an existing Barotac Viejo to its north. Sometimes, Barotac Nuevo is called Barotac Diutay (small) while Barotac Viejo is called Barotac Daku (big).

How Barrio Malutak became a town is because of a horse named Tamasak.

Before 1811, this town was formerly an arrabal of the town of Dumangas. Barrio Malutak is a progressive town. One of the people living in Barrio Malutak is Don Simon Raymundo Protacio who became well known because of his 200 horses. The most important of his horses is named Tamasak. Tamasak became popular not only in their barrio but also in neighboring towns due to its unusual characteristics. It is nifty, tall, strong and was very quick to gallop. Its strength can only be equaled by a horse from India and owned by the governor-general. Barrio Malutac became a town due to the efforts of Don Simon Protacio. He made a petition, together with his towns folk to make their barrio an independent town. However that petition was opposed by Father Vicentico of Dumangas, The petition left unanswered for forty (40) years from the administration of Governor-General Simon de Anda y Salazar (1770 - 1774) until the administration of Governor-General Manuel Gonzales de Aguilar (1810 - 1813).

After forty (40) years after the petition has been made, there were some Spanish delegation who came to the Philippines. They brought a horse from India. They travel around the Philippines until they reached Iloilo and came to Dumangas. They heard about Don Simon and his horses. They immediately went to see him and were amazed to see Tamasak. They immediately wish to buy it no matter how much the price however Don Simon did not sold it. He will only give the horse on the condition that they will make Barrio Malutac an independent town.

The delegates went back to Manila bringing Tamasak with them. The Governor- General was so pleased with Tamasak that he ordered immediately the gobernadorcillo of Iloilo to fulfill the agreement they had with Don Simon. He even wrote and thankful to Don Simon for giving him the horse. This event took place in 1811 under the administration of Governor-General Manuel Gonzales de Aguilar.

To give honor and respect to Don Simon Protacio and Tamasak, a monument was built by Mayor Bernardo Siaotong in 1921 in the middle of the plaza as a symbol of gratitude of the people of Barotac Nuevo.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

The Origin of Anilao

Just like the other coastal towns near the shores of Panay Island, Anilao was founded by a group of fishermen during the Spanish occupation. The former site where the town is situated is near the mouth of the western shore of the Anilao river where the name of the town got its name. The thick woods surrounding the mouth of the river serves as shelter to fishermen's boats during the storm.

Another version is this. During the early days, the place is plenty of Anilao tree. The place was called Anilao taken from the Anilao trees.

There is another legend. The word Anilao came from a lamp that serves as a light to the natives on top of the mountain watching over Moros who were attacking the areas then. During those days, the pirates frequented the area. The natives built a stone watch tower near the shore. A person on the watch tower is guarding if there are some pirates who are coming to warn the people. Since then, if there are pirates coming, they will just shout "Ilaw" or Lamp and people will run immediately carrying lamps. To the pirates they heard Anilao. Thus they called the area Anilao thinking this was the name of place they visited.

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Story Of Alimodian

Alimodian Plaza

Situated at the foothills of a mountainous banana plantation is the progressive town of Alimodian which is about 24 kilometers northwest of Iloilo. Alimodian is the banana capital of Iloilo.

The people of Alimodian recorded four legendary and historical narration of how they got a name for their town.

One of the story is about Agustin Magtanong, founder of the town, to her wife Si Kanugon and to their child Alimudin, named after the Moro leader of Sulu. This leader became the first Catholic sultan of Jolo in 1750 after he was baptized and given a Spanish name, Don Fernando de Ali Mudin.

Kalipayan and her beautiful daughter Kanugon has a small kaingin (slash and burn) in Sibukawan which is near Barangay Cagay. Agustin Magtanong and Kanugon became lovers. The mother of Si Kanugon is against their relationship because the young man is just a mere kaingin man. This does not stop the love of Magtanong. He got forty (40) men in town to get his lover.

Kanugon in her grief decided to end her life. Fortunately, Magtanong was able to caught her ready to drink the poison taken from the roots of wild trees and the lovers decided to elope. They went south together with forty (40) of Magtanong's men and their families. They live in a small village called Ubodan. Later, Ubodan became too small for the fast growing tribe. Magtanong is now ready to establish a town in the plains about three kilometers south of the village of Ubodan. The new community was called Ali Mudin taken from the name of the first and only son of Magtanong and Si Kanugon.

One of the legendary story is the passionate love of Girom, Himaya at Madalig.

There  is also this popular story of "Halin-kamo dyan." During the old days, there is a group of Spaniards who came to the place. While there, the Spaniards saw some men climbing coconut trees. The Spanish strangers asked the men the name of the place however the natives doesn't understand what they are saying. Scared that these Spaniards will be hit in the head by the falling coconuts, a man above the coconut tree shouted: "Halin kamo diyan... halin kamo diyan!" (Go away). The Spaniards heard him saying "Ali mo dyan!". They thought that it was the name of the place. Since then the name of the place was called Alimodian.

The fourth legend is telling that the word Alimodian refers to the name of a small river Cabudian that became the now destroyed and parched river of Alimodian (because of constant quarrying) that flows to the southern part exiting the town. When Magtanong discovered Alimodian, he preferred to build the church and convent near the shore of this river. Magtanong and his men called the place Alimodian from the name of the small river.

These four versions suffer from a lack of strong historical basis. Recent documents discovered by local historians, however, have ascertained that the town's name was actually derived from alimodia or alimodias, the Visayan name of Coix lachryma-Jobi, a grain-bearing tropical plant of the grass family that is ubiquitous in Alimodian. Alimodian residents of the present time know it as puyas. Elsewhere, it is also called Job's tears because of the shape of its hard-shelled pseudo carps, which are fashioned by some into necklaces or rosary beads.  

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Folklore Of Iloilo

The place we call Iloilo is cut by a river with its mouth opening  up to the Guimaras Strait. This is the Batiano river which goes through the interiors of the city entering the south of the district of La Paz, continues to the west, passing through the salt flats of Mandurriao district to the right to the houses of the residents of Molo districts on the left. The river curves through the district of Arevalo and finally flows through the sea and shores of Oton. The shape of the river is like a nose. The first settlers called the nose "Irong," a Kinaray-a word for nose. The term Irong-irong means nose-shaped. The people named the place Irong-irong but through the years, the letter r in the name was changed by letter l.

When the Spaniards arrived and established a government in Iloilo, they have a difficulty in pronouncing Ilong-ilong. In the end, they removed the consonant letters ng in the name hence the province have a new name, Iloilo. Since then, the province has been called as Iloilo.

Youtube Video Courtesy of Julius Cas

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Origin Of Visayan Islands

This legend is not only prevalent in Cabatuan, Lambunao and Maasin but in the entire Visayas. Even the students in schools are very enthusiastic to tell the legend of a powerful queen that lives in a place that consists of the islands of the Visayas.

The name of the queen is Langit (Heaven) and her beautiful daughter named Kabugwason (Morning Star). Of all the many suitors who pay homage to the lovely maiden, two were heavily favored: Dagoob (Thunder) and Kilat (Lightning). The queen outlined a plan for the two brothers to create two artful rafts and the one who created a more superior and artful raft will get to marry Kabugwason. Kilat created the most artistic raft so the queen handed him Kabugwason. This event proved hurtful to Dagoob that he committed suicide. The next day there's a turmoil because the spirit of Dagoob destroyed and crushed the raft of Kilat. The pieces were separated in a big area. According to the myth of the islands of the Visayas, included in the small peninsulas were the pieces or remains of the destroyed raft in a violent rage of the unfortunate brother. 

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Iloilo Folk Literature


Binukot Princess


Iloilo is a legendary province. Almost all of the towns here has some origins to tell.

The values that were passed through generations left some followers to the creepy rocky surfaces of the forests, mysterious caves, of the conceiving blink of an eye, of the steep mountains, of huge nocturnal birds, of different mythical creatures that were feared and other supernatural phenomenon and creatures unexplained and yet to be discovered and researched by science.

In the depths of our ocean, in the womb of our volcanoes, on the sides and hollow gaps of the rocks of our caves, on the edge of our ridges, on the navel of our mounds or anthills and to the wilderness of our forests and jungles are secrets and mystery left by our yesterday's past that if patiently researched and studied will be great topics for our legendary myth of origins.

One of the things that must be considered are the events for which the myths or legends is a kind of reading that interests the nationalistic spirit of a particular race. Thus the legends or myths are inculcating the minds with preserved and protected wealth of literature of a nation and race most especially the countries of the Far East. In literature of other languages, myths or legends has less significant values; however in our Philippine literature it is considered a branch with its own characteristics since we belong to the countries of the Far East. It should not be forgotten in the minds of whoever will write that a legend or myth is a literary composition that reminisce to the readers the memories of the past.

The legends and myths in any races and in any parts of the world are the first glimmer of thinking and imagination, the spark of senses that invites the people to create dangles of idea which are often a blink of an eye that is confronting our imagination and magnifies to indulge in an omen that cannot contain one's self; thus it is stated through a narration that continuously traversing taking turns in time until it reached the generations of clans of people. Nevertheless, the notion and sentiments of the citizens of any towns can be found in the myths or legends. The jewel of the race that should be inculcated or imprinted in the minds of everyone throughout the years.

The province of Iloilo never runs out of featured myths and legends - myths that straightens the origins of names of different places, municipalities, mythical creatures, plants, mountains and caves. Some of these were exploded with fragrance of subtlety and mystery. Some of them were lightly touched with history and facts. Mysterious or not, symbolic or truthful, these legends are already a part of everyday lives of Ilonggos. The legends that bring entertainment and pleasure, retrospect and omen; myths that continuously attracts our senses and notion. 

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Ricardo Pustanio

World Nomads Adventures -

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Iloilo City Places Of Interests

International Hotel As Part of the Heritage Buildings in Casa Real, Iloilo City Proper 

Iloilo River Esplanade 

Plaza Libertad fronting Iloilo City Hall


The capital of Iloilo, the city of Iloilo is situated between Iloilo and Batiano river is forming in a shape of a nose hence the old name of Iloilo, "Ilong-ilong," which means looks like a nose. The city, considered as noble city of Western Visayas is modern and cosmopolitan.

One of the safest port in the country is the Muelle Loney  named after Nicholas Loney, a British businessman and known as the "Father of the Sugar Industry in Western Visayas". The island of Guimaras protects the port from harsh winds. The port is opened to world trade in 1855.

The Fort San Pedro near port of Iloilo was built by the Spaniards in 1619 to protect the city from the raids of the Dutch pirates who blocked all the entrances and exits of the city for three days. Aside from the Dutch, the fort was also attacked by the British, Americans and Japanese. It was in this fort that the first commercial plane, the Iloilo-Negros Air Express Co. was born on February 3, 1933 by the Lopez brothers.

The beautiful and green Plaza Libertad was formerly known as Plaza Alfonso XII is full of history. It was here where the flag of the first Filipino republic was raised on December 26, 1898 after the Spanish forces surrender in Iloilo, Spain's last capital in Asia, to the revolutionaries headed by General Martin Delgado.

Calle Real, the often called Escolta of Iloilo during the Spanish colonial period, is the today's Jose Ma. Basa (J.M. Basa) St.  is the liveliest street in the commercial district of the city. It was even mentioned by Dr. Jose Rizal in his diary on August 4, 1896 when he visited Iloilo on board the ship "España" from Dapitan stating: "The memory of the liveliness and attractiveness of Escolta brings forth the joy in me." Rizal bought a buri hat at a Lebanese-owned bazaar on the location of the present-day Cine Palace aka Regent Theater fronting Freedom Grandstand. Calle Real or JM Basa is home to the colonial era heritage buildings built during the American colonial period and other contemporary buildings.

Central Market is located at the junction of Aldeguer and Guanco Sts.  Ledesma Street, on the other hand, is the longest commercial street in the city and is often called Avenida Rizal due to its length. It starts from Plazoleta Gay where the four streets intersects - Iznart, J.M. Basa, Arroyo and Ledesma. The old and new provincial capitol of Iloilo is at the northern end of Iznart Street known as the Bonifacio Drive.

The iconic Museo Iloilo at the Bonifacio Drive located besides the Iloilo Provincial Capitol built by the Board of Travel and Tourist Industry (today's Department of Tourism) is a repository of Iloilo's colorful past of inherited culture. Carbon 14 which approximate or foretells the date and age of the shell fossils and stones indicates the age of Panay Island; pieces of tools and equipment of early men during the Stone age, native potteries, decorated jeweled teeth, jewelries excavated from the burial sites before the arrival of the Spaniards, potteries and porcelains imported from China, Annam and Siam that were found at the tombs of the natives, tombs discovered in caves prohibited from public entry, images and memories of revolutions against Spain and America, World War II relics like the famous radio transmitters that established the first communication connection in the Philippines with the United States and Australia after the soldiers surrender to the Japanese. relics recovered from the remains of the capsized British ships near Guimaras, Filipino sculptures during the Spanish colonial period, gallery of old and modern visual arts created by Ilonggo artists. The cultural wealth is artfully arranged and exhibited. Museo Iloilo is a noble building which honors and glorifies the visual environment of Iloilo city just like a modern Parthenon, an art that reflects a Scandinavian architecture, standing at the imposing podium at the compound of the Provincial Capitol. The museum is a joint project of the provincial government and the Board of Travel and Tourist Industry which is now the Department of Tourism.


Known as the "Athens of the Philippines," the district produced a lot of great Ilonggos, including seven (7) senators of the Philippine republic, seven (7) governors of Iloilo and four (4) justices of the Supreme Court aside from cabinet secretaries who served different administrations. The senators wee Francisco Villanueva, Esteban de la Rama, Esperidion Guanco, Jose Ma. Arroyo, Francisco C. Zulueta, Jose C. Zulueta and Rodolfo T. Ganzon. The governors were Raymundo Melliza, Amando Avanceña, Gregorio Yulo, Mariano Arroyo, Jose Yulo-Delgado, Timoteo Consing and Jose Zulueta. The justices were Raymundo Melliza, Gregorio Araneta, Felicisimo Feria and Chief Justice Ramon Avanceña.

Birthplace of the delicious Pancit Molo and also home of the sweetmeats, Panaderia de Molo.

The feminist church of St. Anne is a Gothic-Renaissance in style visited by Dr. Jose Rizal on August 4, 1896. The impressive church captured the poetic vision of Dr. Rizal when he chance upon it for his visit to his dear classmate and friend, Raymundo Melliza (his classmate in University of Santo Tomas in Manila and in Spain). Rizal is on his way to Manila from Dapitan and made a short trip to Iloilo. The unique church features several columns of statues of female saints thus the nickname "Feminist Church."

Asilo de Molo orphanage where the noble garments used on rare occasions by church leaders and dignitaries were handmade crafted, designed and embroidered by the young orphans under the guidance and supervision of the nuns.

Formerly called Parian in the old days because it is the home of the largest community of Chinese of La Villa de Arevalo.

Collections of Filipino sculptures during the period of colonialism and artifacts in the tombs owned by lawyer Jose Tiongco.

Shell craft factory in Lopez-Jaena owned by the Soriano family.

Molo also produced several other leaders of the revolution in Panay more than any other towns and districts with this size and population even the town of Jaro. Almost all of the members of the Comite Conspirador, the secret junta who plans a revolutions were natives of Molo. They are Perfecto Salas, Jovito Jusay, Ramon Avanceña, Angel Corteza, Francisco Villanueva, and Raymundo Melliza.

The three citizens of Molo, Angel Corteza, Raymundo Melliza and Pablo Araneta are outstanding generals of the revolution.

Cornelio Melliza, father of Raymundo and Isidro de la Rama, father of Esteban de la Rama, became shipping tycoons who managed the first passenger shipping lines in the Visayas.

The families of Yulo, Lacson, Locsin, Yusay, Araneta, de la Rama, Corteza, Conlu, Consing, Montelibano and Segovia searched for vassal lands in Negros and created the province into a vast emporium of sugar.

In field of arts and literature, Angel Magahum Sr. and Gimeno Damaso wrote some music and sarsuela that is widely recognized by many.


- 6 kilometers southwest of the city proper
- seat of the alcaldia in the early days of Spanish occupation of Iloilo
- center of weaving and embroidery of jusi, pineapples and hablon
- established in 1581 by Governor-General Gonzalo Ronquillo who gave the name "La Villa de
  Arevalo" in memory of his hometown and birthplace in Avila, Spain becoming one of the first places in the Philippines to be named in Spanish. The town became the capital of politics, religion and military in Panay. It became the financier of the Spanish expedition against the Moors in Mindanao and in Moluccas.
- It is also the first Spanish community attacked by an English pirate, Sir Thomas Cavendish considered to be the third person to circumnavigate the world. He raided Arevalo in 1588.
- Flower capital of Iloilo, where potted plants, flowers, bouquets and wreaths can be bought and even brought to other provinces.
- Pyrotechnics and firecracker capital of Iloilo because the district is known for its firecrackers and fireworks
- Its prominent attraction is the Villa Beach along the coast which boasts several resorts and an outdoor nightlife such as open air restaurants and bars and also the starting venue of the popular and
oldest sailing competition in Asia, Paraw Regatta.
- It is also home to the 3rd oldest image of Sto. Niño or Holy Child Jesus in the Philippines after the images in Cebu and in Tondo, Manila, respectively.

It was called by the Augustinians, "Patria de Varios Hombres Celebres" or town featuring various personalities and figures;

  * Melecio Figueroa, a friend and acquaintance of Rizal in Spain and known in Europe as the greatest Filipino engraving artist is a native of Arevalo. Figueroa designed or engraved the Conant coins (named after monetary expert Charles Arthur Conant), national coin during those times. The figure of a woman in the silver coin is a picture or image of her daughter Blanca.

   * Francisco Varona, journalist, labor union leader, statesman who served twice as a Congressman was born in Arevalo.

   * The patriot, social worker, feminist and woman suffragist Sofia Reyes de Veyra is from Villa.

  * Some of the outstanding Villanon includes former governor Amado Avanceña who served during the American occupation.

  * Father Anselmo Avanceña, one of the founders of the famous Colegio de Sta. Ana of Molo, one of the most honored priest, also a writer, translator, editor, creator and social worker.

  * Councilors Crispino Melocoton and Joaquin Abadilla, bishop Felipe Molina and former Iloilo City Mayor, Reinario J. Ticao.


  - 3 kilometers from city proper
  - birthplace of the greatest Filipino orator and journalist, Graciano Lopez-Jaena.
  - site of Jaro Archbishopric which covers the entire  Western Visayas region
  - home to a number of colonial sculptures and structures, heritage colonial houses (images of saints
  - made of wood, stone and ivory), Chinese porcelains and other artifacts collections in the houses of Mrs. Lourdes Dellota and Mrs. Leticia Jesena.
 - Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral also known as the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Cathedral
 - elegant mansions of sugar barons and Antillean houses with Spanish motif owned by the Montinola.

  - Elegant Jaro Municipal Hall that became a police station but is now undergoing restoration and renovation to serve as the main office of National Museum Western Visayas regional branch.

  - Central Philippine University

  Children of Jaro includes:
    *Former Vice President of the Philippines, Fernando Lopez
    *Don Aurelio Montinola established Amon Trading Corporation
    *Senator Ruperto Montinola known as Colossus of the South
    *Senator and Governor Jose B. Ledesma;
    *Senator Ramon Lopez, philanthropist and hero Gil Lopez, revolutionary leader, grandfather of world class musicians and artists Kabayao
    *Secretary of Finance, Rufino G. Hechanova
    *General Rafael Jalandoni, Staff Commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines


   - established in 1867 and home to the world famous La Paz batchoy
    - St. Clement's Redemptorist Church equivalent to the Baclaran church because of its devotion. The first church in the country to have a devotion to the Mother of Perpetual Help which was started in 1946.


     Iloilo Business Park, mixed use, master-planned development by Megaworld Corporation in the former old Mandurriao airport.

     the beautiful and very clean Iloilo River Esplanade

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