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Research Center of Iloilo: The History Of Iloilo Chapter 2 - Spanish Found Yloilo

Chapter 2
 Spanish Found Yloilo

* highlighted in violet is the approximate timeline or date

1565- The Spanish first arrival in Jalaud or Araut

Miguel Lopez de Legazpi directed Tupas to send two chiefs to the Island of Panay to purchase rice. They did not return. He faced growing suspicion that Cebuanos will destroy them through hunger.

Source: from Martinez de Zuñiga, "A Historical View of the Philippine Islands" published 1803.

The sparsity of population is also well indicated by the great scarcity of food. The Spaniards had much difficulty in securing sufficient provisions. A small amount of rice, a pig and a few chickens were obtainable here and there but the Filipinos had no large supplies.

Source: A History of the Philippines by David P. Barrows Ph.D.

First voyage to Iloilo in 1565

Miguel Lopez de Legazpi ordered his men under Mateo del  Saz, his Maestre de Campo (Ship Commander) Juan de la Isla and an Augustinian friar Martin de Rada to explore the other islands for food. They  lingered for a while on the coasts of Bohol. They reached the island of Buglas. They called it " Negros" due to presence of black people. However, they did not stay longer because of its thick vegetation, fewer food production and warring inhabitants. The group left and went on-board, heading northward into the island of Panay in the early part of June 1565. The group drew closer to a protruding land in a village called Araut ( Dumangas). They disembarked and an interpreter was sent first. A friendly native people welcome them though with suspicion.

"The language of all the Pintados and Bisayas is one and the same, by which they understand one another when talking, or when writing with the letters and characters of their own which they possess. These resemble those of the Arabs. The common manner of writing among the natives is on leaves of trees, and on bamboo bark. Throughout the islands the bamboo is abundant; it has huge and misshapen joints, and lower part is a very thick and solid tree."

Source : Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas Dr. Antonio de Morga 1609

1565 - Catholic Church in Araut was born. Father Martin de Rada  founded an oldest town of Iloilo and Western Visayas.
“También fundó convento el Padre Fray Martin de Rada en Araut- que ahora se llama el convento de  Dumangas- con la advocación de nuestro Padre San Agustín. Está fundado este  pueblo casi a los fines del río de Halaur”.

Source : Gaspar de San Agustin, O.S.A., Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas (1565-1615).

The edifices and houses of the natives of all these Filipinas Islands are built in a uniform manner, as are their settlements; for they always build them on the shores of the sea, between rivers and creeks. The natives generally gather in districts or settlements where they sow their rice, and possess their palm trees, nipa and banana groves, and other trees, and implements for their fishing and sailing. A small number inhabit the interior, and are called tinguianes; they also seek sites on rivers and creeks, on which they settle for the same reasons.

The houses and dwellings of all these natives are universally set upon stakes and harigues [i.e., columns] high above the ground. Their rooms are small and the roofs low. They are built and tiled with wood and bamboos, and covered and roofed with nipa-palm leaves. Each house is separate, and is not built adjoining another. In the lower part are enclosures made by stakes and bamboos, where their fowls and cattle are reared, and the rice pounded and  cleaned. One ascends into the houses by means of ladders that can be drawn up, which are made from two bamboos. Above are their open batalanes [galleries] used for household duties; the parents and [grown] children live together. There is little adornment and finery in the houses, which are called bahandin.

Source: Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas Dr. Antonio de Morga 1609

Their customary method of trading was by bartering one thing for another, such as food, cloth, cattle, fowls, lands, houses, fields, slaves, fishing-grounds, and palm-trees (both nipa and wild). Sometimes a price intervened, which was paid in gold, as agreed upon, or in metal bells brought from China. These bells they regard as precious jewels; they resemble large pans and are very sonorous. They play upon these at their feasts, and carry them to the war in their boats instead of drums and other instruments

Source: Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas Dr. Antonio de Morga 1609

" I spent eight years in the Filipinas Islands, the best years of my life, serving continuously as lieutenant of the governor and captain-general, and, as soon as the royal Audiencia of Manila was established, in the office of auditor, which I was the first to fill" Dr. Antonio de Morga.

Footnote: Morga's work is important, as being written by a royal official and a keen observer and participator in affairs. Consequently he touches more on the practical everyday affairs of the islands, and in his narrative shows forth the policies of the government, its ideals, and its strengths and weaknesses. His book is written in the true historic spirit, and the various threads of the history of the islands are followed systematically. As being one of the first of published books regarding the Philippines, it has especial value. Political, social, and economic phases of life, both among the natives and their conquerors, are treated. The futility of the Spanish policy in making external expeditions, and its consequent neglect of internal affairs; the great Chinese question; the growth of trade; communication with Japan; missionary movements from the islands to surrounding countries; the jealous and envious opposition of the Portuguese; the dangers of sea-voyages: all these are portrayed vividly, yet soberly. Morga's position in the state allowed him access to many documents, and he seems to have been on general good terms with all classes, so that he readily gained a knowledge of facts. The character of Morga's work and his comprehensive treatment of the history, institutions, and products of the Philippines, render possible and desirable the copious annotations of this and the succeeding volume. These annotations are contributed in part by those of Lord Stanley's translation of Morga, and those of Rizal's reprint, while the Recopilacion de leyes de Indias furnishes a considerable number of laws.

“The river  of Alaguer, ( Jalaud) flows past  the convent gates. By this one descends leaving on the right and inland the priorate of Laglág; (Duenas) and still lower and also inland and on the same side that of Baong (Dingle) and reaches the convent of Dumangas, which we call "Alaguer” The Panay runs northward, and this of Alaguer toward the vendaval. If one wishes, he may cross hence, between this island and Himal-us; ( Guimaras) to Salog (Jaro) a convent of the order, which was also assigned to it by Bishop Agurto. It has in charge about one thousand Indians. From that place, following the coast, one goes to the convent of Otóng, the chief convent of this island, because it is near the village of Arévalo—once important, but now of no account. The capital is very small, for it enjoys the conscriptions of  Ilong-ilong. A matter of a short legua farther on is the convent of Guimbal. Of  it, one may philosophize as in the case of Tigbauang.”

“The  fathers deliberated, and Father Rada, who “was not only a very great  theologian, but was the wisest man in the world in mathematics, geography, astronomy, astrology, and the foretelling of events,” made a chart on which he showed Pope Alexander VI’s line. By this he proved the islands well within Spain’s demarcation. They had also been taken possession of for Spain by  Magallanes. These proofs did not satisfy the Portuguese, however, and they continued their  attempts."

Source : History of the Augustinian Order in the  Filipinas Islands or Historia de la Orden de S. Agustín de Estas Islas Filipinas written Fray Juan de Medina a native of Sevilla, Spain , formerly minister to the  villages of Ibahay, Aclán, Dumangas, Passi,and Panay, vicar-provincial of that   island by recalled about Spanish Expedition sometime around in 1565 in  Panay and in Iloilo Coastal Towns published by James A Robertson.

Church was built in Dumangas , an ecclesiastical center of Anilao , Bobog ( banate)

" Las visitas que tiene son ocho: tres en el monte, dos en el río y tres en el  mar...Las que están al mar son: Santa Ana de Anilao, San Juan Evangelista de Bobog, y otra visita más en el monte, entitulada Santa Rosa de Hapitan.”

Source : Gaspar de San Agustin, O.S.A., Conquistas de las Yslas Filipinas (1565-1615).

The First Church in Western Visayas was constructed in Araut ( Dumangas)It was written in detail .

"At first we used to make our houses in the manner of the inhabitants of the country themselves; for, in short, they know more of their climate, as they have more experience therein, and God gave them more adequate knowledge of the products of the islands, so that they might make use of them"

"These timbers or columns are called harigues, and the wood is that called "tugas". These timbers having been placed, as I say, upright in the earth, and having the space of more than a braza beneath them, form the columns of the edifice, and upon them the natives build. We have all made use of this method of building in these islands. We have built fine houses and churches from these woods—for which, inasmuch as many villages assist in the building, the largest columns and those of known goodness are sought, which last many years. In conformity with this, while I was building a house in the town of Dumangas, on the Alaguer River, a very large house was there, belonging to an encomendero living there, one Ruy López de Arellano, a native of Constantina."

"There are other columns left as inheritances from father to children, and to grandchildren, upon which many houses have been built. The walls, which are called dingding, are made of excellent timber. The walls of the Indians’ houses are made of bamboo, inasmuch as they are poorer. The roof is made of palm-leaf, called nipa. Instead of nails, the natives use certain strong ligaments, made from flexible roots, called bejuco [i.e., rattan], where we use nails. These houses, then, are considered more healthy; for as it is usually very hot in the islands, these houses are much more cool, and the winds blow through them with greater ease.

Source : History of the Augustinian Order in the  Filipinas Islands or Historia de la Orden de S. Agustín de Estas Islas Filipinas written Fray Juan de Medina

The groups soon returned to Sugbu to  report about good news the abundance of food in Iloilo

Colonet returned to Sugbu bringing good news. Fr. Martin  de Rada was  appointed " prior of Oton" with jurisdiction over Tigbauan,  Vagungun, Guimbal, Jaro  and Dumangas. Spanish found Ilongos to be more friendly than people of  Sugbu , Leyte and  Samar and find it easy to befriend with the local and established Yloylo as Spanish Encomienda. It was abounding in rice , crops , palms and all kind of provisions (food). They went back to Miguel Legazpi with a good news.

"The island of Panay, the most fertile and well-provisioned of all the islands  discovered, except the island of Luçon; for it is exceedingly fertile, and  abounds in rice, swine, fowls, wax, and honey; it produces also a great quantity  of cotton and medriñaque...... This island of Panay provides the city of Manila and other places with a large  quantity of rice and meat."

Source : Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas , Miguel de Loarca ,  written in Arevalo, Iloilo on  June 1582 incorporated in " The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, by Emma Helen Blair at James A. Robertson, published in Manila, 1903

1569- Portuguese fiercely drives Spanish Out

1569 December - Portuguese General Gonzalo de Pereira is aware that the Spanish troops are loosing morals in conquering Cebu. He tried everything to persuade the chieftains of Cebu not to supply food to the Spaniards. He pressed on Portugal's legal right in the Philippines and ordered the Spanish to leave in the series of  meetings. Legazpi  is strong to stay put and reasoned he will stay per royal order of his master, King of Spain who must  rescue the Spanish survivors in Islas de Filipinas. Series of negotiation proven futile. Portuguese keep on firing canons against the Spanish fleet to strategically deplete number of Spanish troops. Because of real threats of Portuguese, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi reasoned that the attacks and humiliation they suffered uplifts the spirit of some chieftains of Sugbu. Soldiers are starving loosing physical strength, they are running out of  food and others has been starting to eat rats that will make easy for Cebuanos to succeed. He had made a drastic decision to avert disaster.

Here are the top reasons why Legazpi considered Panay (Old Iloilo)

1. More friendly folks ( ancient Ilongos ) open for negotiations.
2. Abundance of food for himself and soldiers to regain their vigor.
3. Presence of good port as hideaway from Portuguese.

March 1570

( Photo of Legazpi from Archivo Museu San Telmo)

Don Miguel de Legazpi is anticipating the strong Portuguese troops with their ships will be returning in matter of months to put an end to their presense in Islas de Filipinas. He prepared the 300 Spaniards, and his Lieutenant-Commanders, Martín de Goiti and his nephew, 15 years-old Juan de Salcedo and dispatched a Spanish  fleet to move northward and secretly transferred his troops in Panay port.

Handwriting of Legazpi while he is in Mexico dated February 6, 1564 during a mass bless his expedition to Yslas Filipinas 

1570 - Spanish Voyage

Through the naval efficiency of Augustinian Father Martin de Rada, a mathematician and astronomer adept in the use of the compass and the astrolabe. The galleon moves northward. Another Augustinian Father Diego de Herrera was also on board.

Spanish Galleon arrived

After several days of sea journey, as Spaniards saw the mountains of Iloilo from a distance, they were jubilant in their mind they find a peaceful sanctuary where people are friendly, a place abound with food and a perfect place to prepare themselves for the final conquest in Maynila. The boat moved ashore and settled in a place the native people called Ogtong. They converted Datus Makabaog and Madidong. Adelantado Legazpi made Ogtong as capital of surrounding island.

Adelantado Legazpi Meet Ancient Ilonggos

(Portrait of Fray Martin de Rada, O.S.A photographic reproduction of painting in possession of Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid, Spain)

Spanish regale stature impressed the people

Legaspi was received by the natives of Panay with every demonstration of joy, and they appeared more sincere in their professions than those of Zebu. Woman and children have rushed to these white-skin foreigners. The religious ceremonials with all its impressive and dramatic services have won the heart of Ilonggos. Everyone was eager to listen the religious seal of Spanish Priest that no powerful native priesthood to oppose it. Every Ilonggos was moved, for the friars, it was divine provenance a great accomplishment for the Pope of Rome officially ordering their Spanish monarchy to preach the Gospel to all nations of the earth. Thereafter, mass baptism was conducted. For Spanish soldiers, a stepping stone for another heights of their grandest scheme .

Padre Martin de Rada - Apostle to Ogtong

Ogtong, 2nd oldest town in founded in 1570

In 1570,  Padre Martin de Rada built the first convent in the country in honor of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the first pueblo of Ogtong. In the same year, Padre Martin de Rada, while still in Oton, must have assigned and sent Padre Alva to  Dumangas, a little village.

"Martín de Rada remained in Cebú, Juan de Alva went to the Alaguer River in Panay"

Fr. Juan de Alva, O.S.A., who accompanied Captain Luis de la Haya in Spanish galleon, journeyed northward to locate Araut. He had built the first chapel in Dumangas replacing the small rural chapel whose edifice was built by Fr. Martin de Rada himself around 1566. Fr. de Rada was made regional spiritual director and he remained in Sugbu up to 1572.

Source: History of the Augustinian Order in the Filipinas Islands, Fray Juan de Medina. He was minister at Laglag ( Duenas) in 1613, at Mambúsao in 1615, at Dumangas in 1618, at Panay in 1619, and at Passi in 1623)

Fray Juan de Alva was born of an illustrious family in Segovia, and professed in the Augustinian convent in Toledo in 1514. In 1535, he went to Mexico and there he labored for thirty-three years. At the age of seventy-two, he went to the Philippines landing in Cebú in 1569. He labored successfully in Panay and founded the church of Dumangas. In 1572, he was elected first prior of the  convent of Manila and definitor, after which (1575) he began the foundation  of Pásig. He became rector provincial of the Philippines in 1576, and died in Manila, September 17, 1577.

Spanish Victory over Manila through Ilonggo

"Turning Point of History "

Iloilo, was the big accomplice for Spanish Conquest of Philippines

If Ilonggos followed Cebuanos silent-bloodless battle against Spanish which is slow death by starvation. Spanish  all could have fall to the ground. A promise of prosperity, civilization and protection from pirates prompted Ilonggos to help Spanish. Their  appearance, splendidly armored and full weapons could have dissuade Ilonggos and utilized divide and conquer military strategy was wise for the islands are extremely disunited by geography and barriers of language. In Iloilo as the new headquarter, Legazpi and his soldiers rebuilt their shattered health and dreams, he studied in failures and potentials and to achieve his grandest dream: conquest of all islands in Philippines under Spanish Crown.

Ilongo Maritime Heritage

1570 -  After several months, Spanish have regained strength.  Moreover, Spanish warships were too big, too slow and the draft too deep to navigate close to the coast to make effective use of their cannons. The ships of the conquistadors were mostly anchored in the natural harbors of Ogtong from where they boarded hundreds of barangay, referred by the Spanish as caracoa, manned mostly by native allies to attack the Kingdom of Manila. It is also a warship like that of Vikings, highly maneuverable, versatile vessel best  as a war canoe suited to the shallow waters of the archipelago

Source: Historia de las islas e indios visayas del parde alcina 1668

January 1570 - Legazpi sent with him his grandson, 21 years-old,  Juan de Salcedo sailed on this expedition with thirty Spaniards and many friendly Indians. He entered the town of Mamburao, and having made himself master of it, compelled the inhabitants to ransom themselves with gold; after which he proceeded to the isle of Lucban, where the pirates of Mindoro had taken refuge, and had protected themselves by some indifferent works; he, with ease, forced their entrenchments, attacked them with fire-arms and as they were unable to resist this mode of warfare, they agreed to ransom themselves with gold, as the inhabitants of Mamburao had done. Salcedo divided the spoil among his soldiers and the Indians.

May 1570 - They  reached Manila. It being the commencement of the season of rains and typhoons. The Spaniards decided to defer the occupation of Manila and after exploring the Cavite harbor to do the needed repairs to his ships returned to Panay in two days to give an account of this expedition.

Galleons arrived with a news to Legazpi "Go Signal for final conquest" from Spanish Crown

June 23, 1570 -  Captain Juan de la Isla arrived with three vessels, in which came the Friar Perrera with two other religious, viz. Friar Diego Ordoñez, and Friar Diego de Espinar. Dispatches were brought by them from his Majesty, by which Miguel Lopez de Legaspi was constituted President of the islands of the Ladrones, and he was recommended to settle the Philippines; at the same time his Majesty bestowed portions of lands, with their inhabitants, on all who might be engaged in the conquest. With a view to put these orders in execution, Legaspi first dispatched from Panay, the same Captain Juan de la Isla, with two ships to Acapulco, and sailed for Zebu.

July 25, 1570 - Legazpi wrote a letter to King Philip II in Iloilo asking to send Captain Felipe de Salcedo back
January 1571 - Legazpi left Cebu at the end of January and sailed to Panay.

Iloilo was incorporated into Philippine Nation of Spanish Colony

April 15 , 1571 - Miguel Lopez de Legazpi assigned Padre Ximenes to Dumangas. He brought Colonel Martin de Goite,  Padre Herrera with other religious officers and soldiers. They dropped Padre Alva in Masbate with 6 men. They arrived in Manila and forced Muslim chief Suleiman, an ally or vassal of the Sultan of Brunei, to allow the Spanish to establish a colony. The Spanish successfully subjugated kingdoms of Maynila and Tondo to the Spanish Crown. It was a bloodless victory. The Filipino rajahs declared themselves vassals of the Spanish king. They established Manila as the capital of the Spanish East Indies. Iloilo lost its identity as autonomous nation after the Spanish incorporated it as  one island of El Rey de Espana, Felipi , thus Filipinas.

July 17, 1571 - Don Diego de Legaspi, a nephew of the Governor, arrived. He was sent by Viceroy of Mexico as a reinforcement with two ships which stationed in Iloilo. He was sent by Captain Juan de Aguirre to the aid of his uncle. Legazpi ordered the Colonel to proceed to Iloilo, and dispatch these ships to Manila, and afterwards go to Zebu, and bring his family to the capital.

On May 3, 1572 - Oton was accepted as a house of the Order, the third after Cebu and Manila.

Jaro was born with very few households.

1575 -  Spanish missionaries stationed in Ogtong had found settlement along the rivers of Salog (Spaniards call it as Xaro and later Jaro). Augustinians founded their missions on March 3, 1575 and was  originally located at Alanga (now La Paz) under the pastoral charge of main parish of Ogtong.  After 9 years in 1584, Jaro was annexed to the Villa de Arevalo. Because of it's small community, priest only visit Salog now and then. On April 25, 1587, the Provincial Chapter of the Augustinians made Salog an independent parish. It includes La Paz Area formerly called Lobo, Llauon (or Ilaod meaning “down the river”).

Father Martin De Rada last years in Iloilo

Fray Francisco Manrique professed at Valladolid and on his arrival at the islands relieved Father Rada (September 11, 1575) of the ministry at Otón. Father de Rada  and Jeronimo Marin OSA accompanied a delegation of  officials to China.

1582 - Punta Villa, Arevalo was born

From Ogtong to Punta Villa, Arevalo

In  1581 - Don Gonzalo Ronquillo de Penalosa, was appointed as 4th Governor-General of Philippines. Don Gonzalo sailed from Manila to Ogtong. He then realized that the recurrent raids by Moro pirates from Mindanao, Dutch and English privateers posed a real threat to Ogtong. The Spaniards decided to transfer to a more secure place. It was around 12 kilometer eastward  to a place they called “ Punta”. Don Gonzalo built his mansion there named the town as La Villa Rica de Arevalo to demonstrate its richness, glory and privilege that captivated the heart of the Governor General . Writing to the King of Spain in 1581, Peñalosa informed the king that Arevalo had a fertile land and rich inhabitants. Perhaps the Governor awarded it with great accord and the privilege of becoming an independent town from Oton because of his high personal regard and as a memento of his distant native land in Spain. It became the hometown in Spain political, religious and  military for next thirty years. During his term, the trade with the  Chinese increased, and he built a  market-place and Parián for them within the city, where the Chinese could bring  and sell their merchandise. Arevalo became capital of  surrounding Islands.

According to Fr. Policarpo Hernandez, OSA an Augustinian historian Arevalo’s center was located in the present-day Brgy. Santa Cruz. This is in harmony with some claims in Arevalo. Santa Cruz’s foundation was earlier than that of Arevalo (indicating that it used to be the very center of the poblacion). Santa
Cruz is also strategically located nearer Oton town and is supported by the claim of Fray San Agustin that it was “almost in front of the convent of Ogtong.

Moreover, it was also the residence of a purveyor of Oton who bore the title of “Senior Justice.” By his orders, Ronquillo also transferred the residences of other Spanish officials residing in Oton. By this, Arevalo bore the prestige of and link to the history of Iloilo itself.

Miguel Loarca wrote  that Arevalo becomes the seat of Spanish governance of whole of Iloilo, Panay (Capiz, Aklan and Antique)  Negros, Guimaras, Cuyu -Palawan, Caluya, Romblon and Boracay.

The following are the principal communities in this island:
The village of Oton, next to the town.
The village of Ticbauan. (Southern part) 
The river Jaro. (Natives called salog which means  river)
The river Yvahay (Natives living in Northern aklan)
The river Ajuy (Northern People of present Iloilo)
The river Harahut.(People close to Jalaud River)
The river Panay (Communities in present Capiz)
The river Aclan (Communities in present Aklan)
The village of Antique (Communities in Present Antique)
The village of Bugason.

"Since the town is situated on the side nearest Negros Island, its nearest neighbor, the above-mentioned governor placed under its jurisdiction the rivers Ylo ( Ilog), Ynabagan ( Binalbagan), Bago, Carobcop (Silay) and Tecgaguan.

Source: Miguel de Loarca , Relaciones 1582, written in Arevalo

Spanish Governor wrote to King about Arevalo, Iloilo

Arevalo, Iloilo with the church on the left side and the legendary and iconic crown tower on the right side
Don Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa wrote a letter to King Philip II in June 16, 1582

“Accordingly,  the village of Arevalo—on the island of Panay, fifty leagues from this  district—has just been settled.

" The land is very fertile and the inhabitants are rich. They are almost all at peace, and the town is increasing in population because of the good and healthful character of that country.”

Parian was founded (ancient Molo)

Portrait of Antonio de Morga

"Don Gonzalo Ronquillo founded a Spanish town in the island of Panay, in Oton, which he named Arevalo. During his term, the trade with the Chinese increased, and he built a market-place and Parian for them within the city, where the Chinese could bring and sell their merchandise"

Antonio Morga, in his book, SUCESOS DE LAS ISLAS FILIPINAS described the Visayan men and women as "very clean and elegant in their persons and dresses, and of goodly mien and grace."

Ilonggos as what Spanish documented of them

1582Book was written in Arevalo by Miguel De Loarca.

In a peaceful environment of Arevalo, Miguel de Loarca started to write about the Spanish accounts of their exploration of the Philippines as ordered by Don Gonzalo for his report to the King of Spain. With the help of fellow Spaniards, friars, explorers and the Ilonggos. He carefully write everything. The book was finished on 1582. It is called " Relaciones de las Islas Filipinas ". It is the first Spanish accounts of their colonization, census of Indios, identification, location, religion, culture, way of living and distribution of settled communities in the island. Of all places, he has more details about life of Panay and Iloilo. They stayed
for more than one year.

Note: all originally written in Spanish and translated in English

Indians are called  Pintados

“ The men tattoo their entire bodies with very beautiful figures, using therefore small pieces of iron dipped in ink. This ink incorporates itself with the blood, and the marks are indelible.” The  Pintados tattoo the whole body very gorgeously.”

"In some of those islands the men formerly marked all the body with figures whence comes the Spanish name “Pintados”..Those called Pintados and those of the island of Mindanao wear short white, yellow, or red tunics, which hang to the knees, bound in by a girdle one vara wide and two and one-half brazas long; this is, as a general rule, white or red,  and always falls to the knees. They wear neither stockings nor shoes; and  instead of a hat they use a bit of cloth, which they wind twice or thrice around  the head. Their whole adornment consists in having very rich and beautiful necklaces, earrings, and gold rings or bracelets. They wear those bracelets above the ankle; some wear these of ivory, and others of brass."
                                                        -  ( Padre Chirino)

Physical Features of Ilongos

“The natives of the  Pintados Islands are not very dark. Both men and women are well formed and have  regular features. Some of the women are white. Both men and women wear their  hair long, and fastened in a knot on the crown of the head, which is very becoming "

Ilongga are beautiful, modest and fond of perfumes

"The women are beautiful ... They are well and modestly dressed,  in that they cover all the private parts; they are very clean, and are very fond of perfumes"

People of Iloilo are peaceful and friendly

“Its villages stand very close together, and the people are  peaceful and open to conversion.”

Ilonggo History is well preserved in songs or epics.

“Since these natives are not acquainted  with the art of writing, they preserve their ancient lore through songs, which  they sing in a very pleasing manner—commonly while plying their oars, as they  are island-dwellers. Also, during their revelries, the singers who have good  voices recite the exploits of olden times; thus they always possess a knowledge  of past events”

People called themselves as “Hiligaynon”

“ The people of the coast, who are called the Yligueynes”

They drink local wine

“They are greatly addicted to the use of a kind of wine which they make from rice and from the palm-tree and which is good. Very rarely do they become angry when drunk for their drunkenness passes off in jests or in  sleep”

Fruits grown in Iloilo

“As for fruits like those in Castilla, they were formerly not to be found in this land, because of its  proximity to China, where there are so many fruits peculiar to that country. There are here some tolerably good fruits, such as excellent  bananas; nancas, a very fragrant fruit, and larger than the largest Spanish melon; macupas, which resemble apples; and santors, which taste like the quince. There are also many good oranges and lemons”

Baylanes offer sacrifice foe the sick or war.

“It is only in case of sickness, and in times of seed-sowing or of war, that sacrifices are offered. These sacrifices are called baylane

This post first appeared on Ocean Breeze, please read the originial post: here

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Research Center of Iloilo: The History Of Iloilo Chapter 2 - Spanish Found Yloilo


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