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Municipality of

Years ago, Binalbagan was called
Inabagan, “the haven of refuge”. Negritoes
inhabited this settlement until the arrival of the
Mundos. Between 100 and 1300 A.D. Malays
belonging to the 10 Bornean datus and their
families settled in Binalbagan. During the Pre-
Spanish era, three groups of people namely; the
Mangyans, the Pintados and the Agtas inhabited
the place.
In 1571, the Spaniards came and
established in Binalbagan the largest
encomienda in the island. Binalbagan,
along with the Municipality of Oton, both
established in 1572, are the two oldest
towns in Western Visayas. As such it had
earned the title, Banwang Panganay.
Two stories are told on the origin of the name
Binalbagan. During stormy nights, the cargo of
shrimps get wet and are partially spoiled. To
remove the slimy odor and preserve the
shrimps, the traders would beat the barks of
mangroves to extract juice believed to contain
preservatives for the shrimps. The action of
beating the bark was termed as balbag in the
native dialect. Hence, the place where the
beating was done was called Binalbagan.
Old folks however, say that the town got its name
from a past incident when a very big snake was
stranded in the mouth of Binalbagan River,
blockading sea transport. People referred to the
place and incidents as Binalbagan. Subsequently,
the name evolved into Binalbagan.
Binalbagan today is known for its home-made
candies (sweets) probably because of the
presence of the Binalbagan-Isabela Sugar
Company (BISCOM).
Famous Historical Landmarks
Sugar Company)
is an imposing sight
going to the town
St. Isidore Parish
Church was built in 1937. It
undergone various
renovation but retained its
original façade. The church
serves as a gathering place
for Binalbaganons who are
predominantly Roman

Feast of San Isidro Labrador and

Balbagan Festival (month of May)
Municipality of
According to historical authorities and scholars of
Negros Occidental who conducted research at the
Spanish Archives, Pontevedra, which is undoubtedly
an Iberian name, was taken from that beautiful place
in the Galicia Region of Spain and brought to the
province’s shores by the Spanish colonizers who
wanted to be reminded of their land of birth and their
loved ones left behind.
Some of them decided to stay and
made it their second home, bringing with
them the rich Spanish and European
cultures, influence, and most
importantly, the Christian religion. By
virtue of a Spanish decree, Pontevedra
was declared a pueblo in 1856.
Long before the Spaniards came, the place already
had some settlements and was called Marayo, an
old Ilonggo or Karay-a term for a faraway place, as
viewed from the neighboring islands of Guimaras
and Panay. It looked like a distant place, indeed,
because there were no faster means of
transportation other than sailboats.
Those settlers brought with them the skills in
fishing, hunting, agriculture and trade, including
However, because of the stronger Spanish
influence, the term Marayo was ultimately replaced
with Pontevedra, although the river that runs through
the town is still called Marayo River,which has its
mouth along the famed Guimaras Strait.
Pontevedra was created a municipality on January
21, 1901 by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act
No. 82, otherwise known as the Municipal Code and
became “The Food Growth Center of Negros
Famous Historical Landmarks
St. Michael the Archangel Church is patterned after Spanish
mission churches in Spain. The church has a capacity to
accommodate 1,500 worshippers. It has a round stained glass
windows painted with St. Michael the Archangel.

Gallera de Pontevedra
Reputed to be one of the best cockfighting arenas in the country is a
“Mecca” for serious and big time cock breeders and cockfighting
aficionados. It is situated inside the Cojuangco fruit plantation
(Hacienda Balbina) where the air is farm-fresh all year round.
Thank you!