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Iloilo became of interest to Spanish conquistadors in 1565
« on: April 11, 2017, 12:53:16 AM »
How Iloilo gained prominence during the Spanish era
Iloilo City (28 June) -- It is significant to note that Iloilo became of interest to Spanish conquistadors in 1565 when it was discovered to be a source of rice, causing Legaspi to proceed here from Cebu.
When the Spaniards came to Iloilo, they immediately made the province the missionary base for the conversion of the region to Christianity.
In the early days of Spanish occupation, an Augustinian missionary in Iloilo, Fr. Medina noted that Iloilo was the granary of all the islands in the archipelago. This is further supported by Morga, a Spanish writer of the 17th century, who referred to Iloilo as being abundant in rice and wine-producing palm trees and all kinds of food supplies.
Early Spanish writers observed that Iloilo had already a flourishing shipbuilding industry. Both Loarca and Morga related that because Panay island contained great abundance of timber and other provisions for construction purposes, Iloilo had a number of shipyards for galleys and frigates, the most notable of which were found in Arevalo and Oton.
Iloilo was not only the richest and most prosperous in the Visayas but was also the most populous. Morga described Iloilo as having many settlements, while Loarca and Fernandez mentioned Iloilo as having several centers of population that were maintaining substantial contacts with other groups of people.
Among the settlements in Iloilo that were already well populated and were having contacts with the outside world were Oton, Arevalo, Molo and Jaro. They remained the major centers of Spanish missionary and administrative activities for three centuries.
With many factors to its favor, it is not surprising, therefore, that Iloilo became the official residence of the alcalde-mayor and served as a missionary base, a Spanish naval station, a jumping off point of Spanish expeditions against the Dutch and the Philippine Muslims, and the supply base of Spanish garrisons in the Moluccas.
The seat of government was initially established in Oton, the first town founded by the Spaniards in the province. Later the capital was transferred to Arevalo. Recurrent raids by “Moro pirates” and the attacks by the Dutch and English privateers, forced the Spaniards to move the provincial capital to another site – the town of Iloilo.
To guard Iloilo from Dutch and Moro attacks a stone fort named “Real Fuerza de Iloilo, later known as Fort San Pedro, was constructed in 1616 at the entrance of the Iloilo River. With fort San Pedro providing military protecting and the island of Guimaras shielding it from the wind and the sea in time, Iloilo harbor became the most important in the Visayas.
Recognizing the importance of Iloilo in the economic field, the Spanish crown opened the port of Iloilo to foreign trade in 1855. The historic decision set off an unprecedented progress for Iloilo which continued until World War II broke out. Iloilo immediately became number one in commerce and import and export trade in the whole of Visayas and Mindanao.
Since the middle of the 18th century, Iloilo was already noted for its large scale commercial weaving. By the middle of the 19th century, the textile production of Iloilo had already reached a remarkable degree of development that Iloilo at that time was referred to as the “textile center” of the Philippines.
Because of the expansion of trade and the rapid growth of business and economic activities in Panay and Negros and due primarily to the boom in sugar industry, native and foreign firms built permanent offices and outlets along the streets that branched out from the waterfront. Banks, machine shops, printing presses, educational institutions, medical facilities, and social clubs came in being.
On October 5, 1889, the Queen Regent of Spain raised the town to the status of a city and on February 7, 1890, the ayuntamiento (city government) of Iloilo was established. (PIA, with reports from Iloilo provincial administrator)
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Re: Iloilo became of interest to Spanish conquistadors in 1565
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 04:11:30 AM »
Hehehe, aww, mao ba? ;D


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