Brief Description

Iloilois a province located in the region of Western Visayas in the Philippines. Iloilo occupies a major southeast portion of the island of Panay and is bordered by the province of Antique to the west, Capiz to the north, the Jintotolo Channel to the northeast, the Guimaras Strait to the east, and the Iloilo Strait and Panay Gulf to the southwest. Just off Iloilo’s southeast coast is the island province of Guimaras, once part of Iloilo but now an independent province. Across the Panay Gulf and Guimaras Strait is Negros Occidental, occupying the northwestern half of the larger island of Negros.

Iloilo’s capital is Iloilo City, though the city itself is independent and not governed by the provincial government of Iloilo.

Geography

The province covers a total area of 5,000.83 square kilometres (1,930.83 sq mi) occupying the central and eastern section of Panay island in the Western Visayas region. If Iloilo City is included for geographical purposes, Iloilo has an area of 5,079.17 square kilometres (1,961.08 sq mi). The province is bordered by province of Antique to the west, Capiz to the north, the Jintotolo Channel to the northeast, the Visayan Sea and Guimaras Strait to the east, and the Iloilo Strait and Panay Gulf to the southwest.

The province is divided into two distinct geographic regions; the highlands of the Central Panay Mountain Range 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. Mount Baloy is the highest mountain in Iloilo with an elevation of 6,261 feet (1,908 m) above sea level, located on the triple border of Iloilo, Capiz, and Antique. Other peaks are Mount Llorente 4,409 ft. (1,344m), Mount Sansanan 4,219 ft. (1,286m), Mount Napulak 4,095 ft. (1,248 m), Mount Balabag 3,728 ft. (1,136m).

Expansive fishponds and mangrove wetlands are found along the coasts and rivers of Oton, Iloilo City, Leganes, Zarraga, Dumangas, Barotac Nuevo, Anilao, Banate, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Balasan, and Carles.

Administrative Divisions

Iloilo consists of 42 municipalities, and one component city.

  • Ajuy
  • Alimodian
  • Anilao
  • Badiangan
  • Balasan
  • Banate
  • Barotac Nuevo
  • Barotac Viejo
  • Batad
  • Bingawan
  • Cabatuan
  • Calinog
  • Carles
  • Concepcion
  • Dingle
  • Dueñas
  • Dumangas
  • Estancia
  • Guimbal
  • Igbaras
  • Janiuay
  • Lambunao
  • Leganes
  • Lemery
  • Leon
  • Maasin
  • Miagao
  • Mina
  • New Lucena
  • Oton
  • Passi City
  • Pavia
  • Pototan
  • San Dionisio
  • San Enrique
  • San Joaquin
  • San Miguel
  • San Rafael
  • Santa Barbara
  • Sara
  • Tigbauan
  • Tubungan
  • Zarraga

Demographics

The population of Iloilo in the 2015 census was 1,936,423 people, with a density of 390 inhabitants per square kilometre or 1,000 inhabitants per square mile. If the highly urbanized city of Iloilo is included for geographical purposes, the province’s total population is 2,361,042 people, with a density of 465/km2 (1,204/sq mi).

People from Iloilo are called Ilonggos. There are two local languages spoken in the province: Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) and Kinaray-a. Hiligaynon and dialects/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.