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Western Visayas (Region VI)

Fast Facts
Total Land Area: 20, 223.2 km^2 (6.7 % of the Philippines)
Estimated Pop’n: 7, 432, 396
Population (2000 census): 6, 211, 038 or 8% , 4th biggest
Median age: 22
Literacy: 93%
82, 185 overseas workers

Best of the Best

1) Panay Island. The name Panay was taken from the Spanish words pan hay, “There
is bread.” Led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the Spaniards moved to Panay from Cebu due
to a food shortage in 1569. The Spanish called it Isla de los Pintados after the
tattooed people they found on the island. The Aeta called it Aninipay after a plant
abundant in the island. The Bornean settlers on the other hand called the island Madya-

2) Ten. The datus led by Datu Puti negotiated with the Negrito chief Marikudo in
1212. They divided the island into three sakops:
• Minuro it Aklan (Aklan & Capiz)
• Hamtic (Antique)
• Irong-Irong (Iloilo)
3) There are no volcanoes on the island. Panay has a wide stretch of coastal lowlands
with rugged hills and mountains in the interiors. The highest peak of Panay is Mt.

4) Province of Guimaras. The capital of Guimaras is Jordan. People here are called
Guimarasnon. It has set agri-tourism as its distinct tourism image in Western Visayas.

5) Antique. The capital of Antique is San Jose de Buenavista. People here are called

6) Antique was then known as ________, which was named after the large
red ants found on the island. Named Hamtic / Hantic / Antik by Bornean settlers after
the lantic-lantic or hantik

7) Cuyo East Pass. This is said to be the richest fishing ground in the Philippines.
Fishing is the second largest industry of Antique. This is complemented by inland waters
as well as fish ponds used for fishery.

8) Province of Capiz. The capital of Capiz is Roxas City. People here are called

9) Twins. When the Spaniards came to the area in 1570, twin children were born to
Datu Bankaya. His subjects may have miscommunicated this as the province’s name to
the Spaniards.
10) Province of Iloilo. The capital of Iloilo is Iloilo City. People here refer to themselves
as Ilonggo. Iloilo province had the biggest population, income and economic production
during the 19th century. It was also the best and biggest producer of textiles during the
Spanish era.

11) Miag-ao Church/Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church. This church is one of
the Baroque Churches in the Philippines that belongs to UNESCO’s World Heritage
Sites. Miag-ao Church is located 40km from Iloilo City.

12) Province of Aklan. Historically, it is the oldest province of the country. The capital
of Aklan is Kalibo. People here refer to themselves as Aklanon.

13) Sampaguita Gardens Resort and Spa is found in New Washington, Aklan. This is
owned by Precious Moments artist Samuel Butcher.

14) Province of Negros Occidental. The capital of Negros Occidental is Bacolod City.
People here refer to themselves as Negrense.

15) The presence of almost all the government agencies' regional offices in the city
and it's geographical proximity to the other region 6 provinces affirm Iloilo City as the
regional center.

16) Silay City nicknamed the "Paris of Negros", is the cultural and artistic center
of Western Visayas. Silay is the second museum city in the Philippines next to Vigan.
17) Hiligaynon is the most widely-spoken language in Western Visayas often wrongly
called Ilonggo

18) matahum = maganda

19) The people of Aklan call their language Kinaray-a.

20) Under the British government, Iloilo opened its ports to international trade with
sugar as major export. The wealth of prominent Ilonggo families came from the sugar
trade. Once the leading sugar producer, Iloilo is now the largest producer of rice and the
leading source of fish in the Visayas.

21) Palay is the major temporary crop in the region, the 2nd largest producer in the

22) Banana is the major permanent crop in the region. Across provinces, banana and
coconut were the common top permanent crops. Coconut was the number one crop in
Aklan and Antique; banana in Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental; and kalamansi in

23) Known as the “Sugar Bowl of the Philippines", Negros Occidental produces more
than half the nation's sugar output. Western Visayas always ranks 1st in sugarcane
production in the country. From the mid-19th century to the mid-1970s, sugar was the
most important agricultural export of the Philippines. During the golden age of the sugar
industry, the sugar bloc used to call the shots in the national government. It made or
unmade Philippine presidents, from the time of Commonwealth President Manuel L.
Quezon up to the post-World War era and the time of President Ferdinand Marcos.
Unlike the cultivation of rice, corn, and coconuts, sugarcane is typically grown on large
farms or haciendas. Laborers were employed, generally at very low wages. A 1990
survey found that only 1/3 of the island's sugar planters were paying the then-
mandated minimum wage of P72.50 per day. The contrast between the lifestyles of
Negros hacenderos and the poverty of their workers, esp. migrant laborers (sacadas),
epitomized the social and economic gulf separating the elite in the Philippines
from the great mass of the population. The mortal weakness of the Negros
economy is that it is underpinned by a mono-culture crop. This made it vulnerable to
exogenous economic upheavals and the price fluctuations in the world market.
~Amando Doronilla

24) Mangoes. Mangoes have a major potential for export. The gov’t prohibits entry of
mangoes from outside the province to avoid crossbreeding into their own seedlings.

25) La Paz Batchoy is a noodle soup from Iloilo is garnished with pork innards,
crushed pork cracklings, vegetables, shrimp, chicken breast or beef loin, shrimp broth,
chicken stock and round noodles or miki.

26) Roxas City in Capiz is known as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines

27) Paraw is a colorful sailboat whose design was inherited from Bornean settlers in
1212 AD. A race of paraws in a festival called Paraw Regatta is held in the strait
between Guimaras Island and the city of Iloilo annually during the month of February.
The first race was held in 1973 to preserve the legacy of the paraw.
28) Ati-atihan Festival. This festival draws from both pagan and Christian traditions.
It celebrates the 13th Century land deal between the Bornean datus and aboriginal Atis
as well as the feast of Sto. Nino, Kalibo’s patron saint. Ati-atihan means “make
believe Atis”. Dancers paint their bodies black to imitate the indigent Atis who
once danced in gratitude to lowlanders who helped during a food shortage.

29) Aswang Festival is a Halloween-like fiesta as a prelude to All Souls Day and All
Saints Day festivals. It was, however, condemned by the Catholic hierarchy and some
local officials, as an act of adoring the devil. It was inaugurated on October 29-30, 2004
and organized by a nongovernmental group Dugo Capiznon, Incorporated. When former
Capiz Gov. Vicente Bermejo assumed as mayor of Roxas City in July 2007, the
controversial festival was stopped.

30) Petron Corporation was responsible for the oil spill on Aug. 11, 2006, considered
the country's worst marine disaster. MT Solar 1 sank in stormy seas southeast of
Guimaras and spilled more than 2.1 million liters of bunker fuel oil.

31) Several endemic species in the Philippines are located in the province of Aklan
such as the Philippine Spotted Deer.

32) The highest peak of Negros Occidental is Mount Kanlaon. It is a bird sanctuary,
home to a hundred species known nowhere else in the world.

33) The Sibalom Natural Park in Antique is home to Rafflesia speciosa, a parasitic plant

Aklan Antique Bacolod

Capiz Guimaras Iloilo

Book Sources:

-. (1991). Filway’s Philippine Almanac. Quezon City: Children’s Communication Center and Filway Marketing, Inc.
-. (2000). Visitor’s Guide to the Philippines: Your Comprehensive Travel Companion to Exploring the Philippines (6th ed.).
Makati City: Integrated Marketing Services (Phils.).
Andres, Tomas D. (2005). Understanding Ilonggo Values. Quezon City: Giraffe Books.
Hidalgo, Cristina P. (2009). Looking for the Philippines: Travel Essays. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines
Lancion, Conrado M.(1995). Fast facts about Philippine provinces. Manila : Tahanan Books.
National Economic Development Authority. (2001). The Western Visayas Region Development Plan 2001-2004. Iloilo
City: National Economic Development Authority.

Electronic Sources: