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ABOUT ILOILO PROVINCE
Iloilo Province, Philippines



 
Brief History | Languages / Dialects
 

CAPITAL: ILOILO CITY
LAND AREA: 532,397 ha
TEL. AREA CODE: 33
NO. OF MUNICIPALITIES: 43
ZIP CODE: 5000

BRIEF HISTORY

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 the province.

Its capital which is of the same name became a chartered city on August 25, 1937.

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LANGUAGES/DIALECTS

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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  Map of Iloilo Province
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