World Visitors

Free counters!

Ocean Breeze Visitors Around The Globe

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Origin Of The Fairies Or Tamawo

Tagalog people has created some fairies called diwata or goddesses known as engkantada in haraya; the Ilonggos have what we call tamawo. The following stories was said to be the origin of these supernatural beings.

When Adam and Eve has not yet left the paradise, they were told by God.

"Go forth and never forget my order. Bore just three children and with the birth of the third child, bring them to me so I can baptize them."

Adam and Eve left the paradise and started a new life. However, they momentarily forgot what God had told them about having children. They were very happy with their seven children.

One day while strolling, the couple met God and asked: "Adam and Eve, I've been looking for you and your children for so long, where are they now?

The two was immovable after what they heard. They could not give an explanation to God. They forgot that they should only have three children because they now have seven children.

"Bring to me your three children at the soonest time so I can baptized them." And God left.

The tearful Eve asked Adam, "What will we do now? And continued with a shivering voice, "I'm scared, Adam. We did not obey the orders of God. What will happen to us?"

"Have peace, Eve, we will find ways to keep the truth from God."

The next day, Adam and Eve dressed their first three children to bring to God and hide the four in the wilderness of the forest so God will not see them.

"Where are your other kids? Why are they the only ones you brought to me? Where are the rest of your children? the gentle and soft speaking God asked the couple.

"Our beloved God, we only have three children. Isn't this what you told us?"  the continuing denial of the two.

"Don't lie to me. Where are your four children?" God inquires.

"Señor, nothing else. We only have three children."

"You both lied to me. You have seven children but you only showed me three. If you only brought them all here I could baptized them all. I will baptize the three you showed me but you will no longer see the four you hide. They are alive but you could no longer see them. You can only hear their voices. They will not show to you while the food they will eat will come from you," the final words of God.

 And the four children of Adam and Eve which they kept and hide became the ancestors of the fairies or tamawo. They are around in the surroundings but invisible while they freely observe the people.

Photo Source:

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Legend Of Sta. Cruz

The Holy Cross in Arevalo District, Iloilo City

If there is an image honored, venerated and consecrated by the elders of Arevalo, it is the Santa Cruz. There are lots of peculiar stories which are mysteriously attractive to narrate about this.

Long time ago, it was said that, there is a mananguete, a person climbing a coconut tree who saw the cross. He observed that the said cross grows bigger everyday. He took the attention of the natives about this. They plan to build a chapel for the cross. According to the elders, the wooden cross never dried up. It's tree is always moistened by the juice or sap that came from the living tree.

According to a statement, this cross was planted or erected by the Spanish missionaries on their first landing in the shores of Panay. The mysterious cross continues to grow. Others believed that the cross emerge from the shores to stop the Mohammedans of the South which frequents the area and  ransack the town in those days.

Whatever is the truth, each story strengthens and fortify the belief of the people in the sacred symbol. The elderly has kept attractive stories about the mysterious cross.

Many years had passed, they said that if the feast of the Holy Cross could not be celebrated properly or appropriately because there is no Queen Helena and King Constantine in the holy procession, the cross could not stand upright strongly no matter how tough is its nailing. In the whole duration of the procession, it moves as if it will fall from the decorated crate. It will only stand strongly if there is a complete colorful pageantry by the next day. According to the rumors, when the town attempted to abandon and forget  the celebration, a deafening thunder and a terrifying line of a lightning hit the place. This continued until the people decided to celebrate the feast of the Holy Cross.

In the celebration where the colorful pageantry or presentation lacks the presence of a king and princesses, a great fire or conflagration mysteriously took place which engulfs several houses while the procession is continuously happening.  

The men and women who were chosen to participate in the procession to portray the characters in the colorful presentation or pageantry could not refuse in the fear that they will meet misfortunes or bad omen. According to the rumors of the elders, if a beautiful young lady dared to refuse to be dressed as Queen Helena or Reyna Elena, she became insane, crazy or mentally ill, sometimes becoming blind some others are crippled. while others met an unfortunate accident.

Photo Source:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Crown Of Arevalo

Crown Monument in Arevalo District, Iloilo City

The big crown sitting distinctively atop a tower in the plaza beside the church is a one of a kind marker of Arevalo. According to Father James Mansfield who served in the parish, this crown has a hidden history.

Many years had passed before the spread of Christianity in Arevalo, there is a group of Jesuits who were looking for a place to stay in a place now called as Santa Cruz. They built a chapel here and evangelize the natives. Nobody knows for whatever reason or event happened but the natives were infuriated with the Jesuits and they were driven away.

One day, a farmer unearthed a beautiful crown. In an untoward incident, a scepter and a big black cross was found nearby where the crown was found. The crown and scepter which were made out of expensive metals were just average in size. The cross which is now kept under the custody of the church is more than 15 feet tall and made out of hard and unusual kind of wood.

In 1854 during the incumbency of Domingo de Guzman as captain of the pueblo or town, the crown was made bigger in Fundidor, Molo. It was placed in the plaza or town square. This is gaining attention on top of the district of Arevalo as a statue of missionary purpose of the Spaniards in town.

The present day name of the former Jesuit missionary settlement is Santa Cruz. It was in this place where the crown, scepter and cross was found.

Photo Source:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Origin Of Places Names According To G. Loreto Angayen

Ajuy - came from the name of a tree
Alimodian - came from the old local name of the puyas plant thriving and abundant in the area
Badiangan - came from the Badiang (Alocasia Macrorrhizos or the Elephant Ear taro plant) tree
Banate - came from Banate tree
Balasan - came from balas or sand
Batad - came from the batad plant
Concepcion - came from the name of the daughter of the last Spanish garrison commander of the town
Dueñas - named by Father Florencio Martin in remembrance of his beloved hometown in Spain
Estancia - a word which means a ranch of fish in the mountains
Igbaras - from the combined words of ig which means community and baras which means sand - so if combined the name would mean a sandy community.
Nueva Valencia - came from a city in Spain
Pavia - came from the name of a Spanish colonel
San Enrique - came from the name of a saint
San Dionisio - came from the name of a patron saint
San Miguel  - came from the name of an archangel

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The History Of Zarraga

Zarraga Parish Church

Zarraga Plaza Basketball Court 

Gamot Cogon Waldorf School in Barangay Libongcogon

The town of Zarraga before is a thick forest with the abundance of grasses growing in the area. Tigbao, cogon (Imperata cylindrica) and other grasses are tall and thick. Only the hunters dare to live in the area without any fear. This forest has no name and was said as "no man's land".

This place is formerly a forest but thanks to the pioneers of Pototan that includes Marcelino Penuela, Fulgencio Penuela, Damian Penuela, Eugenio Sollesta and Marcelino Poblador. They discovered and founded the town in 1853.

The town of Zarraga was named after Pedro Zarraga  who became the Alkalde Mayor or City Mayor of Irong-Irong (present-day Iloilo City).

Photo Source:,_Iloilo,_Philippines   - courtesy of Boxxer "jAz" Rose

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Origin Of Tubungan

Bato Sumpit Hidden Falls at Barangay Igtubli

The present day site or sitio of the town and its neighboring places are formerly cogon (Imperata cylindrica) fields and wilderness. The arable land is ideal for farming and pasture. Adventurers and farmers were attracted to go to this place. The first settlers came from Nahapay, a barrio of Guimbal. It was then followed by the settlers who were natives of the towns of Leon, Igbaras and Tigbauan. The natives settled together in Tin-an. Due to the increase of the population, the plan of establishing a town was recommended by one of the farmers named Mangon. The establishment of the town was inaugurated in 1768 in which the leader is Mangon.

The Spanish law during that time states that before a place or community will be considered officially as a town, it should first follow the mandatory rule about population. A lot of people were persuaded and motivated to live in Tubungan in response to the requirement of the law. Thus, the town of Tubungan was born in 1768 from the contribution or "tubong" from its neighboring towns.

The Hiligaynon word "tubong" means contribution or add-on which were usually used in gambling;  an addition to the original bet.

The establishment of the town was made possible from the additional number of settlers from neighboring places to meet the required minimum population before a place will be  officially considered a town. The name "Tubungan" came from the root word "tubong".

Photo Source:,_Iloilo

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Legend Of Tigbauan

Tigbauan Church and Public Plaza

Bearland Resort

The town of Tigbauan is found southeast of the city of Iloilo. It is bounded by the following towns: in the north by the town of Leon, town of San Miguel in the northwest, Oton in the east, Iloilo Strait in the south, Guimbal and Igbaras in the west, and the towns of Tubungan and Guimbal in the northeast. This town is about 30 kilometers away from the city. It has 52 barangays, has an area of 6,667 hectares and a population of 58, 814 people according to 2010 census. The municipality has a flat terrain. The plain is approximately 57% of the total area, covering about 6,667 has. along the north-west site of the Sibalom River. There are lots of coconut trees and bamboos can be seen around. The Tigbaueños are the makers of frying pans, basket, lamps, glassware cover made of bamboo. Tuba palm wine, nata de coco, bucayo, vinegar, different kinds of candies, sweets, confectioneries are products of coconuts. The town of Tigbauan is one of the main supplier of healthy fish in the neighboring towns. Fishing is one of the jobs and source of livelihood of the people and they earn a lot from it which they use to send their children to school same with making palm wines.

One of the important events in Philippine history is the landing of American Liberation Forces on March 18, 1945 in the shores of Parara-Buyuan,  Tigbauan, which caused the liberation of Panay Island and Romblon from the Japanese Imperial Forces.

Tigbauan is known not only in the Philippines but also around the world because it was in this town where SEAFDEC (Southeast Asia Fisheries Development Council) Aqua Culture Research Center is located. The Research Center attracts foreign tourists to study about fisheries in our country but most especially students on their educational tours. The breeding of milkfish and shrimps are just some of the first researches of the center.

In accordance with the program of the government to improve the quality of lives of the people in rural areas, ILECO (Iloilo Electric Coop, Inc) was established in which office was located in Tigbauan. Same with SIBALOM RIVER IRRIGATION SYSTEM that provides water in the whole town and the town of Oton. The water system or irrigation gives a lot of help and improve the lives of the people in the town.

During the old days, the town was known by the name "Katigbawan" (mountain of the tigbao grass) which became Tigbauan today. The town is well known before because of the tall grasses growing thickly which was called "tigbao" o tambo with a scientific term, "Acanthus ebracteatus."

Three-fourths of this area is grown with tall and thick grasses growing abundantly everywhere in the area. Long time ago, according to the old folks, the most common practice of people is to cut tigbao grasses which they use as fuel and its leaves is made into broomsticks. During those times, there is a young man cutting some "tigbao" and he has a boyfriend who brought him food at noon time. One afternoon the lovers walked together home when they meet a Spaniard. The Spaniard asked about the name of the place. They could not understand what the Spaniard is saying so they keep silent. The Spaniard asked again pointing to the tall grasses.

The lovers responded katigbawan. With three parting ways, the Spaniards ascertained the name of the place where he was lost and he never thought he could give the name to the place. Since then, the place of the tigbao grasses became famously called "katigbawan". However, it eventually became "Tigbauan" because according to the townsfolk of Katigbawan the name is long so it was shortened by removing "ka" in Katigbawan and it became Tigbauan. The spelling of Tigbawan was again changed and became Tigbauan the place before where it was almost covered with tigbao grass. However, it is unbelievable that not a tree of Tigbaw is growing or can be seen today anywhere in Tigbauan.

Photo Source:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Town of Sara

Sara Municipal Hall

Relaxing Garden Resort

A lady is living in this town, that is not only reputed or famous for its admirable traits and honor but also known by the people as the most beautiful maiden during her time in the entire Panay Island. The name of this lady is Sara. Because of Sara, the town charmed its neighboring towns. A lot of people came just to see the lady. It is already common for the people if they plan to visit the lady they will say "We will go to Sara" or "Let's visit Sara". Until eventually, people forgot about the lady but people continued to call the place Sara.

Photo Source:

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Origin of the Municipality of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Church and Convent is the seat of the Visayas Provisional Revolutionary Government led by General Martin Delgado in 1898. It also played host to the 117th Philippine Independence Day Celebration in 2015.

Iloilo Golf and Country Club in Santa Barbara is Southeast Asia's first and oldest golf and country club.

Santa Barbara Town Hall 

Long time ago, no one really knows how this town was started. However according to the stories that was passed through generations by our ancestors, it was said that in the year 1617, there was a small town and a few small huts in a place called Tabuc Suba in the banks of Tigum River until the present-day village of Tugas. After a few years, the people living in this area moved their residence downwards the river towards Itanan and enters in Carismo-an. In 1760, they transferred again to Catmon near the river in the belief that it is safe from floods.

In 1761, they transferred again to another place that is situated in a vast and fertile fields that is safe from great floods of Tigum river. In this place is where the residents found prosperity and security in life. They call this place Odtuan because it served as a resting place at noon by the travelers from Cabatuan and traders or merchants from Salog and Ogtong. Usually the people who went to the market pass the area at noon. In order not to mistake it with Oton or Ugtuan, in the end they called it Santa Barbara.

The missionary priests came and built a big church which was made of big blocks of stone. The natives who are residing were forced to gather huge stones in a far place of Coronado (present-day Leon) towards Angoy (present-day San Miguel). After more than twenty (20) years of forced labor, the construction of the church was finally completed. The chosen patron saint was Santa Barbara. The land was given to the Spanish officials and made it into a pueblo.

For the reason why they chose Santa Barbara as their patron saint is the belief of the residents that it brings good fortune in the place because it is no longer flooding with the help and guidance of the blessed protector from thunder, lightning and other calamities. Santa Barbara is also a patroness of the architects, marksman and miner.

Another history has told that during those times the pueblo was established before by paganism and the beliefs in babaylan or shaman seems like prevailing or dominant in the town in the surroundings of Odtuan. Day and night the agongs of the babaylan can be heard around that it seems like the bells of the Spanish churches can easily be defeated or overwhelmed.  The parish priest during that time was Father Mateo Rodriguez; so he chose Santa Barbara to be the patroness of the town to defeat the beliefs of the pagans.

Photo Source:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Some Of The Barrios In San Joaquin

San Joaquin Town Hall

San Joaquin Town Hall Extension

Garin Farm

Bull Fight

Cattle Fight

Horse Fight

Carabao Fight 

Pasungay Festival is held every Fiesta celebration of San Joaquin in January featuring Cow Fight, Bull Fight, Horse Fight and Carabao Fight. Pasungay is taken from the root word "sungay" which is a local term for horns.


According to local traditions, ten datus arrived here. They divided Panay island as their territory. As a symbol of their partition, they made a fire in front of Madja-as and throw the said fire into the sea. Sinugbuhan means place of drop or diving area in the water.


This place was named after the lovers, Law, son of a Chinese merchant and Igan beautiful daughter of an Ati chieftain. Since their parents are against their relationship, they eloped but died.


A Spanish official rode a karomata. The boat is sailing through the lengths of the ocean when the Spaniard got tired and ordered to stop the boat and got out of it and sit on the shores. His shoes got wet by the chasing waves. The poetic feeling enslaved him to utter:

"A tus pies a las olas" (at your feet are the waves).

Photo Source: courtesy of Marcos Caratao courtesy of Eduardo Seatres courtesy of Mayumi Beats courtesy of Leo Solinap

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The History Of Gintaguan, San Joaquin

San Joaquin Church

San Joaquin Cemetery Campo Santo

San Joaquin Public Plaza Facade

San Joaquin Public Plaza Interior

Balahidyong and Balanakon, the brave warriors of Datu Sumakwel were sent by their chieftain to look for Datu Marikudo so the purchase of Panay will take place. During those days, the area were so dense and wild and less settled. The two men were so surprised to see a very beautiful maiden sitting on top of the mountain. All of a sudden they are beside the lady and became rival best friend in the heart of newly found lady. However the lady considered giving them a test and said:

"I'm hungry. The first to cook banana from a green bamboo in fire will be my other half."

In an instance the two went down the mountain just like a lightning bolt and they are so hasty looking for what the beautiful lady wanted. They want to hurry in going up the mountain first. In his hurry to cook the banana, Balanakon continuously stir it on fire. Balahidyong who is strong and determined is a poet. He is not hasty. While cooking the banana, he made a poem about love referring to Alayen, the maiden. Balanakon is first to offer the food but it was rejected by Alayen because the preparation is not that good and choose Balahidyong's offer instead despite that it was the last to offer. The impulsive Balanakon is not happy with the result of the challenge so he considered the decisions of the bathalas or the gods to declare in a duel but Alayen intervened.

"No" she pleaded, I won't allow to that your friendship and good relationship will be destroyed because of me who is undeservedly to shed blood with the Malayan noblemen. For the reason that you both desires of me, cut my body into half. One half will go to Balanakon and the other half will go to Balahidyong and each of the half will be buried on top of either mountain.

"I Agree" shouted Balanakon.

Balahidyong did not answer but stare with fear to Alayen.

"Let's start the division," said Balanakon who got his sword.

Balahidyong speaks.

"Warrior brother and best friend, companion to countless number of battles in Borneo and Sumatra, listen to what I say. It's painful for me to hack you with my sword in our duel, however, it would be a thousand times painful for me to see Alayen, the woman I truly love, to be in danger because she unfortunately encounter  the two best friends who could not harm just like they usually do in the past few days for the safety of each other. For me, I am ready to bestow my half to you just to see Alayen alive however I could not own."

He started to leave and Balanakon joyfully shouted, "Let's all go back to the baranggay or community in Andona and Sumakwel will preside on our wedding in a true Malayan tradition." Balanakon prepared their belongings.

All of a sudden Balahidyong pulled the hands of Alayen  and jumped off the nearby cliff and the intense chasing began. Balanakon was so swift but Balahidyong and Alayen was way faster. Across the mountains, river he chased the two however he could not catch them. The darkness is not a hindrance because Balanakon has a very strong smell.  On the third day of chasing, he reached the river. He sensed and smelled the two in the surroundings but not a shadow appears. No imprints nor a broken twigs, stepped leaves, turned stones. Only the smell exists. Balanakon thought that Balahidyong has an amulet or spell of disappearing that makes them disappear like the bubbles. At dusk, Balanakon surrendered and left.

Beneath that waterfall is a cave. Balahidyong and Alayen stayed there until the birth of their child. This place was called "Gintagu-an" which means the hiding place. Balahidyong together with Alayen returned to Barangay Siwaragan. Balanakon got married and lived in Malandog ruled by Sumakwel. The old grudges had been healed when the son of Balahidyong got married to the daughter of Balanakon.

The Gintaguan is still a place of attraction by the town of San Joaquin and visited by guests and tourists.

Photo Source:,_Iloilo  courtesy of Marcos Caratao

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Patron Saints Of San Joaquin Town

Two patron saints were consecrated and perpetuated in the town of San Joaquin and two fiesta celebration is being held in their honor. It is interesting to know why there are two saints being enshrined in this town - Saint Joachim who feast is held every August 16 and the Little Child Jesus or the Santo Niño whose feast is being celebrated every third Saturday of January.

It was told in the tradition that the wooden image of Saint Joachim was once washed ashore in the town, so it was nicknamed "Floating Saint." The image probably landed in the place not far from the  present-day location of the town's church. However the woman picking up "lumban" shells in shallow waters mistook this as "katao" or mermaid and with the help of her husband she called, whacked it with gravel and throw some stones to it until the object floats back to the sea. In crossing the sea, this unusual object lands in the shores of Barrio Gosi, Ilog, Negros Occidental, in a form of wood. A logger from a distance who gather floating timber chance upon the wood, picked it up and happily went home. He was not yet half the distance on his way home when he noticed the object he is carrying is becoming heavier and he estimates that he could not carry it. To carry it lightly he thought of cutting it. When the sharp edge of the ax hit the wood, he was terrified to see not resin or water that comes out of it but very red blood dropping from the cut, together with moaning the object speaks.

"On the other side of the shore I was not even given a chance to land instead stoned to send me away and here, I was being hacked."

Suddenly, the wood shapes the image of Saint Joachim, the father of Virgin Mary. The shocked logger was dumbfounded. When he gained consciousness from shock and remorse, he brought the image with all reverence in their chapel. The people who saw the image proved that it has a wound at the back, that they thought caused by an ax of the logger. Eventually, that man was rewarded nagkamit-palad.

This is the story of  Santo Niño or the Holy Child of Jesus. One day, the Kapitan Mayor which is equivalent to present-day mayor went fishing.  He used the method "panglaya." In his fishing and to his amazement, fish is not caught by his net but instead the image of the Little Child. He gave it to the priest, and in return brought it to the altar of the church. In one of these days, the town was invaded by the bandits who ransacked the convent and threatened the life of the priest. It was said that the image saved the life of the priest by showing in the form of a child pointing to his heart. The enemies of the state were shocked and immediately abandoned the convent without any hesitation.

In his act of gratitude to the image, the priest brought it with him when he went to Tigbauan. For his stopover in this place, the image always disappear and found later at the church of San Joaquin. There are some travelers who foretell that they always meet a child while they are going to Tigbauan from San Joaquin telling that he is going to San Joaquin, a town close to his heart.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Legend Of Pototan

Aside from being the "Rice Granary of Iloilo", Pototan was hailed as the "Christmas Capital of Western Visayas" by holding the annual Iwag Festival every December

Pototan Plaza Lagoon

Pototan Public Plaza Aerial View

Long time ago before the Spaniards came to the Philippines. It was called Kapotatan. Why it was named Kapotatan is told in the following story:

When the Ati, under the leadership of Marikudo, left the vast plains of Panay and went to the mountains, no one left living in the place. Only the wild animals are seen roaming around in rivers, brooks, plains and the wilderness. After several years, one of the grandchildren of Datu Puti named Datu Rames who is settling then in the town of Dumangas decided to leave the town because they are so many settlers already in the area. He decided to search for other places and venture to other lands within Panay Islands. He went with his family and subjects or people to far places to seek for settlement. In their journey they reached the central part of Iloilo. Datu Rames observed that a low lying hill is plenty of food. In the forests, there are lots of fruit bearing trees and its secluded places were animals like turtles, giant lizards, monkeys, wild boars and others. In a not so distant area is a river called Suague which has a plenty of fish. Aside from fertile lands which can be planted with different plants like sweet potatoes, cassava and other root crops most especially rice. Datu Rames decided that they will settle there. Life became blissful and peaceful because there's a harvest and food bounty. They made it the town center or poblacion of their newly founded community.

In the first day of Datu Rames arrival in the area, it already caught his attention by the giant woods or tall trees in the area called potat. They cut a lot of potat in the area and build their own homes. It was not a problem or an issue for them the materials to be used in constructing their houses since the thickly growing potat darkens the place in its abundance. It is also a big help for them since they use it as fuels for their cooking.  Their place was called by Datu Rames and his group as Kapotatan. When they visit their families and relatives in Dumangas and were asked where do they live and they told them they are living in Kapotatan. When other people asked where are they going they said they are going to Kapotatan. It is the name given to the area because there's a bounty of that potat wood in the locality. It means a place of many potat. Since then the place with many potat in a lowly hill near the Suague river is called Kapotatan. Eventually, Datu Rames observed that the place in a lowly hill lacks water most especially during the drought season. They thought of transferring near the shores of Suague river so that the water would be accessible to them. After so many years, there were so many houses emerged like mushrooms along the shores of the river. This area was made into a new poblacion or town center of Kapotatan and the surrounding areas were made into barangays or communities.

After so many years, the white skinned Caucasian people carrying cross and swords came to the town. The ancient living were disturbed. The Spaniards invaded and occupied even the most secluded corners of the Philippines to spread Christianity. They reached Kapotatan and the strangers felt admiration  due to the inviting and comely beauty of the place. They observed that the way of living of the natives were developed and progressive in that locality. The Spaniards had a difficulty pronouncing the name Kapotatan due to its length. They shortened it and instead of Kapotatan, they made it Pototan. Since then, the area situated in the central part of Iloilo province and surrounded by the Suague river and several numbers of thriving potat in the area is called Pototan. This place which is abundant in harvested rice is often called as the "Rice Granary of Iloilo."

Photo Source:

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Why Is It Called Passi?

Parish of San Guillermo, Passi Church

Passi City Hall

Passi City Public Plaza

Passi Sugar Central

When Legazpi arrived in the islands he sent a troop of soldiers to explore the communities of Panay. Those who were sent ride a banca or outrigger boat called "scista" from Tala-ugis sailed upwards toward Jalaur and Yamonan river. In sitio of Anaig in the shores of Yamonan river is a woman winnowing (nagtatahip - *tahip or nagtatahip is the shaking or movement of object such as rice upward and catching it with a flat basket called bilao or kararao to separate the main object from other foreign particles. it is close but different from panning) her pounded rice. The soldiers asked the woman.

"Como se llama ester lugar?"

The woman said, "Passi" - thinking that the Spaniards wanted to know what she is picking out from her pounded rice. Passi means grains of rice whose skin was not peeled off from the pounded rice. The Spanish soldiers listed "Passi" as the name of the town.

Photo Sources: 
courtesy of Frank Taypen,_Iloilo,_Philippines

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Legend Of Oton

Sheridan Boutique Resort in Barangay Buray, Oton, Iloilo

Oton Public Plaza

The Immaculate Conception Parish Church or the Old Oton Church, an architectural marvel during the colonial period. It is said to be the most beautiful and largest cathedral in the entire Western Visayas region during the colonial period. It was destroyed during the Lady Caycay Earthquake in 1948.

The altar of the old Oton Church

Oton became the first capital of Iloilo in 1571 during the time of Legazpi. Oton was formerly called Kagayunan a local term which means blue water.  There are three stories about the origin of the town's name.

It's one hot season at the time, while the two Spaniards are walking around the town, they reached Oton. They passed by the natives who were harvesting rice. Since the two Spaniards doesn't know the name of the place, they asked the people about its name in Spanish language. The natives who doesn't know what they are saying thought that they are asking about the time. It was noon time then so they said "Ogtong-Adlaw." Thinking that "Ogtong" is the name of the place, the Spaniards keep on saying it. Since the Spaniards could not pronounce well the phoneme "ng", Ogtong became OTON.

Some of the natives are saying that during those times, the fishermen always have a plenty catch of the fish known as "kogtong" - which are plenty in the area. Kogtong is a type of fish which is six inches in length, grayish in color and can be caught only in the river. They call the place Ogtong taken from the name of the fish kogtong.

Long time ago, there's a thriving plant growing  at the very shores of the river that surrounds the entire town of Oton. This plant looks like the vines or roots which are crawling at the shores of the river  and when this vine is axed, its releases resin or sap which is color blood. They call this plant "batang" however it was not mentioned by Father Demetrio Cobos in his book "Apuntos Historicos" and only said that Oton came from this plant.

In the three origins mentioned, the first one is the most popular of all and usually told by the elders.

Photo Source:

Nuffnang Ad