“City of Love”
Iloilo started as the settlement of the small group of fishermen. In 1855, this place became the second most important port for economy because of the place’s shipping of sugar products from and to the neighboring Negros Island. Because of its continued rising, the place was named by Queen Regent of Spain as “La Muy Noble Ciudad” (The Most Noble City). During the 20th century, Iloilo City was second to Manila City when it comes to economy with stores along Calle Real selling luxury products from all over the world. There was also an agricultural experiment station established at La Paz in 1888, a school of arts and trades which opened in 1891, and a telephone network system in 1894.
In 1900, the Americans reverted the city’s status into a township again. Yet because of its continuous commercial activities and because it was an important port of call in the Visayas-Mindanao area, it regained the cityhood status on July 16, 1937.
When the World War II broke out, Iloilo City became under the Japanese Battalions. At the end of the war, the economy of Iloilo were badly damaged. There were also lots of casualties recorded. By the 1960s towards 1990s the economy in the city started to move forward again but in a slow pace. Fish ports were constructed, international seaport and other commercial firms that invested in Iloilo also marked the movement of the city. Now, it is the regional center of the Western Visayas.
Population/ Language/ Area
Iloilo City has a total population of 424,619 as of 2010. Total land area reaches up to 78.34 km2 (30.25 sq mi). The people’s main language is Hiligaynon. The language is part of the Austronesian language branch spoken in Western Visayas, It was heavily influence and based on the Spanish language and its orthography. The Austronesian languages are a family of languages widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members on continental Asia. Hiligaynon is concentrated in the provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental which has mixed Cebuano.
Iloilo City is located in the southern shores of Panay Island. The city faces Iloilo Strait and Guimaras Island across it, making it a natural harbor and a safe anchorage for ships. The city lies on a flat alluvial plain, reclaimed mostly from the swampy areas due to urbanization and industrialization in the late 19th century until the present. Traversing the city are the rivers of Iloilo, Batiano, Jaro and Dungon Creek. Iloilo River is an estuary that separates the districts of City Proper, Molo and Villa Arevalo from the rest of the city. On the other hand, Jaro River is fed by its tributary rivers, Aganan and Tigum and passes by the flood plains of the Jaro and La Paz districts. Iloilo City is 337.6 nautical miles from Manila. The city has a total land area of 70.3 km² and is divided into 180 barangays with seven aggregate districts.
Products and Services
Iloilo is historically one of the major agricultural centers of the country exporting sugar, copra, bananas, mangoes, and other natural resources during the Spanish and American colonial periods.
Rice is the major crop in the province of Iloilo. Fish and marine products are also considered the main source of livelihood in districts of Iloilo, as well as Non-traditional products such as processed food, fruits and vegetables, gifts, furniture, and others. Traditional products include sugar, coco oil, and lime products, among others.
The strategic location of Iloilo favorably resulted in making the city the hub of trade, commerce and industry. The place also boasts of its excellent port facilities, extensive infrastructure, modern telecommunications system and reliable utilities. Iloilo City has a business-friendly local government that provides incentives to business in preferred investment areas. Identified investment areas offer attractive incentives such as income tax holidays and free issuance of permits and licenses.
- Calle Real – this is the place where you can find the Commonwealth era architectures. Located at the Downtown area of Iloilo.
- Museu Iloilo and Antique Collections – this museum houses the rich Iloilo’s cultural heritage.
- Sat. Barbara Golf Course – located at 16 kilometers north of Iloilo City propoer. This is a 37 hectares of golf course which is also the oldest in the country, being built in 1907.