Brief Description

Iloilo City is a highly urbanized city on southeastern tip of Panay island in the Philippines. It is the capital city of the province of Iloilo where it is geographically situated but, in terms of government and administration, it is politically independent. In addition, it is the center of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area, as well as the regional center and primate city of the Western Visayas region. In the 2015 census, Iloilo City had a population of 447,992 inhabitants, with a 1.02% population annual growth rate. For the metropolitan area, the total population is 946,146 inhabitants.

Iloilo City is bordered by the towns of Oton in the west, Pavia in the north and Leganes in the northeast. Just across the Iloilo Strait in its eastern and southern coastlines, are the towns of Buenavista and Jordan in the island-province of Guimaras. The city was a conglomeration of former towns, which are now the geographical districts consisting of: Villa Arevalo, Iloilo City Proper, Jaro (an independent city before), La Paz, Mandurriao and Molo. The district of Lapuz, a former part of La Paz, was declared a separate district in 2008.

Iloilo City was the last capital of the Spanish Empire in Asia before the Philippines was ceded by Spain to the United States in 1898.

Geography

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. Lately a new escape channel for floodwaters coming from these two rivers to Iloilo Straight was developed, the Jaro Floodway. Iloilo City is 337.6 nautical miles (630 km) from Manila, 116 kilometres (72 mi) from Roxas City, 158 kilometres (98 mi) from Kalibo, and 97 kilometres (60 mi) from San Jose de Buenavista. The city has a total land area of 70.3 square kilometres (27.1 sq mi).

The city is divided into seven geographical districts. All of the districts were once individual towns, excluding Lapuz, which was a sub-district of La Paz until 2008. They were merged into one city on August 25, 1937, when the current Iloilo City inaugurated as a charter city. All districts have their own town centers complete with a plaza, a Roman Catholic church, a fire station, a police station and a public market. City Proper is a commercial area and the political center of the city and the Province of Iloilo and the Regional Government Center of Western Visayas.

Administrative Divisions

The city of Iloilo has only one legislative district. Iloilo City is subdivided into 180 barangays.

Demographics

Hiligaynon is the dominant language of Iloilo City. English is used as the language of business and education. In addition, other local languages such as Karay-a (also known as Kinaray-a or Hiniraya) is also spoken by a few. Spanish, once widely spoken during the colonial era up to the 1980s, is still spoken by the elderly, some wealthy families and also the elder members of the micro-community of sugar-plantations related clans.