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This article is about the Philippine province. For other uses, see Iloilo (disambiguation).
Iloilo Province
Lalawigan sang Iloilo
Lalawigan ng Iloilo
Province of Iloilo


Map of the Philippines with Iloilo highlighted

Coordinates: 11°00′N 122°40′E / 11.000°N 122.667°E / 11.000; 122.667Coordinates: 11°00′N 122°40′E / 11.000°N 122.667°E / 11.000; 122.667

Country  Philippines
Region Western Visayas (Region VI)
Founded 1566
Capital Iloilo City
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. (Liberal)
 • Vice Governor Raul Tupas (Liberal)
 • Total 5,079.17 km2 (1,961.08 sq mi)
Area rank 23rd out of 80
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 1,805,576
 • Rank 11th out of 80
 • Density 360/km2 (920/sq mi)
 • Density rank 14th out of 80
  Excluding Iloilo City
 • Independent cities 1
 • Component cities 1
 • Municipalities 42
 • Barangays 1,721
including independent cities: 1,901
 • Districts 1st to 5th districts of Iloilo
including independent cities: Lone district of Iloilo City
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP Code 5000 - 5043
Spoken languages Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, Capiznon, Tagalog, English

Iloilo is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Iloilo occupies the southeast portion of Panay Island and is bordered by province of Antique to the west and province of Capiz and the Jintotolo Channel to the north. Just off Iloilo's southeast coast is the island province Guimaras, once part of Iloilo but now an independent province. Across the Panay Gulf and Guimaras Strait is Negros Occidental. Iloilo's capital is Iloilo City though the city itself is independent and not governed by the provincial government of Iloilo.

According to the 2010 national census, the population of province excluding Iloilo City is 1,805,576. If Iloilo City is included, the population is 2,230,195.[2]


At the time of the Spanish conquest, writing was a new import and the use of organic medium such as leaf and bamboo, and no pre-Hispanic written accounts of Iloilo exist today. Oral history, in the form of recited epics, has survived to a small degree, with a few recordings made from the last known surviving binukots.

The earliest written historical accounts concerning the province relates to Spain's conquest of the island of Panay by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi moving his headquarters from the island of Cebu and creating the first Spanish settlement in the island in Ogtong in 1566. In 1581 the encomienda in Ogtong was moved to La Villa Rica de Arevalo, because of frequent coastal raids by Moro and Dutch privateers, this was again moved near the mouth of the Irong-irong river founding what is now Iloilo City and constructing Fort San Pedro to defend it in 1616.[3]

The City of Iloilo by virtue of a Royal Decree of 1896 was given the honor of having a Coat of Arms with the Inscription: "La Muy Leal Y Noble Ciudad de Iloilo."


The province is divided into two distinct geographic regions; the highlands of the Madia-as on the western border and the lowland plains which account for a larger portion of the province. Small islands east of its northernmost tip also dot the Visayan Sea - of these, Pan de Azucar and Sicogon are well-known.

The Province of Iloilo has the largest marshland in Western Visayas after the Sanderbans.


Iloilo is subdivided into 42 municipalities, one component city, and one highly urbanized city




Climate data for Iloilo, Philippines — NOAA Station Id: PH98637
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.1
Average low °C (°F) 22.7
Rainfall mm (inches) 39.9
 % humidity 82 80 75 73 77 82 85 85 85 84 84 83 81.25


People from Iloilo are called Ilonggos. There are two local languages spoken in the province: Hiligaynon sometimes called Ilonggo, and Kinaray-a. Hiligaynon and variants of it are spoken in Iloilo city and a few towns of the province. Spanish is strictly a local language, at least in a historical way with the number of natural Spanish speakers strongly declining after WWII, and due to this, there are today many Ilonggos who do not consider it a local language.


Hiligaynon (informally referred to as Ilonggo) is an Austronesian language spoken in Western Visayas in the Philippines. Hiligaynon is concentrated in the city of Iloilo[4] and westside of Negros Occidental province. It is also spoken in the other provinces in Panay island, such as Capiz, Antique, Aklan, Guimaras, and many parts of Mindanao like Koronadal City, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Kidapawan City and Cotabato City and also in some parts of Maguindanao municipalities of Datu Paglas, Buluan and Mangudadatu as well. (It is spoken as a second language by Karay-a in Antique, Aklanon and Malaynon in Aklan, Cebuano in Siquijor, and Capiznon in Capiz.). There are approximately 7,000,000 people in and outside the Philippines who are native speakers of Hiligaynon, and an additional 4,000,000 who are capable of speaking it with a substantial degree of proficiency.

The language is referred to as Ilonggo in Negros Occidental and in Iloilo. More precisely, Ilonggo is an ethnoliguistic group referring to the people living in Panay and the culture associated with the people speaking Hiligaynon. The boundaries of the dialect called Ilonggo and that called Hiligaynon are unclear. The disagreement of where what name is correct extends to Philippine language specialists and native laymen.


Spanish architecture can be seen in old buildings in downtown Iloilo. Chinese merchants and Indonesians were trading with the Ilonggos long before the Spaniards came. The ruling Spanish government encouraged these foreign merchants to trade in Iloilo but they were not given privileges like ownership of land. Foreign merchants and Spaniards intermarried with the locals, and the Mestizo class was eventually born from their union. The Mestizo offsprings of the local nobilities later emerged as the ruling class of the Ilonggos (see Principalía).

The town's fiesta is one of the most important events for Ilonggos. Almost every town (municipality) in Iloilo has a fiesta and festival celebrated annually.

Iloilo is also home to two of the countries cultural minorities the Sulod-Bukidnon and the Ati.

Local government

  • Governor: Arthur D. Defensor, Sr.
  • Vice Governor: Raul C. Tupas

Provincial Board Members:
1st District

  1. Ninfa S. Garin
  2. Dennis T. Valencia

2nd District

  1. Demmy P. Sonza
  2. June S. Mondejar

3rd District

  1. Emmanuel R. Gallar
  2. Licurgo P. Tirador

4th District

  1. Carmen Rita M. Bautista
  2. Maria Shalene P. Hidalgo

5th District

  1. Nielo C. Tupas
  2. Jesus C. Salcedo

Ex-officio Board Members:

  1. PCL President: Paolo M. Guanco
  2. ABC President: Jeneda C. Salcedo
  3. SK President: Charmine P. de Vicente

District Representatives:

  1. 1st District: Oscar S. Garin, Jr.
  2. 2nd District: Arcadio H. Gorriceta
  3. 3rd District: Arthur D. Defensor, Jr.
  4. 4th District: Hernan G. Biron, Jr.
  5. 5th District: Niel C. Tupas, Jr.


As a leading province during the Spanish Colonial Era, the province of Iloilo is widely known for its beautiful old world architecture similar to that of Latin American Countries. Spanish colonial Churches are amongst the well-known tourist sites in the province.

Miagao Church. The World Heritage Site. The Aztec-Baroque inspired church with Filipino botanicals used to carved on the facade. It is known for its intricate facade and pyramidal bell towers. The church was used as a fortress during the olden days. It is a massive structure built of yellowish Limestones.

Molo Church. The Gothic Renaissance Church of Molo was used as a watch tower to warn the people if there are any attackers on the shore of Iloilo City. It is a fine coral stone church with Classical and Gothic details. It is also known as the feminist church because of the beautiful female saints lining inside the church.

Cabatuan Church. This Neoclassic Church, known to be the most massive Hispanic structure in Iloilo is built of red bricks. It is believed to be the largest red brick structure in the Visayas and it was given the title "Model of Temples" by the 'El Eco de Panay'. The Cabatuan Church is known to be the only extant Spanish colonial church with three facades.

San Jose Church. The beautiful church in front of plaza Libertad is considered the most historic amongst the churches in Iloilo City. It is a Byzantine-Neoclassic Church planned to look like the Spanish Church of Valencia del Cid. The Church is known for its collection of priceless Catholic treasures.

Old Capitol building of the Province of Iloilo. A National Historical Site. The building was built with wood stone during the Spanish colonization. It served as the capitol when the civil government of Iloilo was founded in 1901. The National Historical Institute (NHI) formally recognized the Old Capitol as a historical landmark through a marker installed on its walls on April 11, 2010.[5]

Universities and Colleges

Notable Ilonggos

Main article: List of people from Iloilo


Iloilo City is home to regional television stations of GMA Network (GMA TV6 & GMA News TV 28), TV5 (UHF 36) and ABS-CBN (ABS-CBN TV10 & Studio 23 (UHF 38).


External links

  • Iloilo Travel Website
  • Republic of the Philippines: Official website of the Provincial Government of Iloilo
  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • Philippine Census Information

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