Iloilo City's historic journey to urbanization (1500s -1900s).
Iloilo's transformation from a fishing village to an urban center began with the coming of the Spaniards in the 16th century.In 1566, the Spaniards under the leadership of Miguel de Legazpi came to Panay and established the first colonial outpost in Oton in 1572. Later, the seat of power was moved to Arevalo in 1581.
Plaza Libertad was formerly called Plaza Alfonso XII. Iloilo became the last capital of the Spanish colonial government in the Philippines after they have capitulated Manila to the Americans. In Dec. 1898, however, Governor General Diego de los Rios under the pressure from revolutionary forces evacuated the city and sailed to Zamboanga. In the morning of Dec. 25, 1898, the Ilonggo revolutionaries staged a triumphal entry from Jaro to Plaza Libertad.
A view from one of the main streets of Jaro in 1909. Under the Americans, Iloilo lost its city status and was reverted to just a town. Molo and Mandurriao were also separated from it and became independent towns. However, Iloilo retained its prominence as the prime urban enclave outside Manila. Its commercial activity especially the expansion of sugar industry and the prosperity that accompanied it continued unabated during the American regime.
Center for West Visayan Studies Collection
Joyce Christine D. Colon
Jorge S. Ebay
Jo Amadeo Tarossa
Funtecha, Henry, 2004. Pasana-aw, Vignettes on Bisayan History and Culture, Vol. 1., Iloilo: University of San Agustin.
Madrid, Randy, 2003. Urban Landscape, Structural Transformation and Other Developmental Concerns in Iloilo City from the 19th century to the present, Iloilo: UP CIDS Diliman.