CAPITAL: ILOILO CITY
LAND AREA: 532,397 ha
TEL. AREA CODE: 33
NO. OF MUNICIPALITIES: 43
ZIP CODE: 5000
Irong-Irong appears in the Maragtas legend of the coming of the
ten Bornean datus to Panay who bartered gold for the plains and
valleys of the island from a local Ati chieftain. One datu, Paiburong
by name, was given the territory of Irong-Irong in what is now Iloilo.
For 300 years before the coming of the Spaniards, the islanders
lived in comparative prosperity and peace under an organized government
and such laws as the Code of Kalantiaw.
In 1566, the Spaniards under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came to Panay
and established a settlement in Ogtong (now Oton, Iloilo). He appointed
Gonzalo Ronquillo as deputy encomiendero, who in 1581 moved the
seat of spanish power to La Villa de Arevalo, named in honor of
his hometown of Avila in Spain. By 1700 due to recurrent raids by
Moro pirates, Dutch and English privateers, the Spaniards moved
to the Village of Irong-Irong, where close to the mouth of the river
they built Fort San Pedro. Irong-Irong or Ilong-Ilong which the
Spaniards later shortened to Iloilo later became the capital of
Its capital which is of the same name became a chartered city on
August 25, 1937.
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Negrenses, as practically all Filipinos, are poly-lingual. Of the
87 dialects in the country, two Visayan dialects are predominantly
used in the province: Ilonggo, spoken by 80-90% of the populace,
But the main dialect in the region is hiligaynon and Cebuano, used
by the rest. English and Filipino are taught in elementary and high
school. Spanish and other languages are also taught in colleges
and universities. English, is also widely spoken.
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