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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."

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