Iloilo City lies in graceful repose between the mouth of Iloilo and Salog Rivers. The strip of land so cut by the two rivers look like a nose, hence, the name “Irong-irong” and later on “Iloilo” was used which means: Nose-like.
The city (in Hiligaynon, it’s called “Ciudad sang Iloilo”) is the capital of, but independent from, the province of Iloilo. It is the economic hub of the Western Visayas region, as well as the center of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area.
It was converted into a chartered City on July 16,1957 and the surrounding towns of Jaro, Lapaz, and Arevalo were incorporated with the City of Iloilo, which at the time included Mandurriao and Molo. IloIlo City was inaugurated on August 25,1937. In its flourishing age, Iloilo City was known as the “Queen City of the South”.
Our Political Subdivision
Iloilo City is politically subdivided into 180 barangays. The barangays are grouped into seven districts:
- Arevalo – 13 barangays
- City Proper – 45 barangays
- Jaro – 42 barangays
- La Paz – 25 barangays
- Mandurriao – 18 barangays
- Molo – 25 barangays
- Lapuz – 12 barangays
All of the districts of Iloilo City were once individual towns. They were incorporated into Iloilo when it became a city in 1937.
As of 2007 census, Iloilo City had a population of 418,710 with a 1.86% population growth rate. It is the ninth most populous city in the Philippines. Average population density is 7,480 people per square kilometer, one of the most dense in the country.
The strategic location of Iloilo City at the heart of the Philippines makes it an ideal hub for trade, commerce and industry. Its universities and colleges provide the skilled and talented labor which together with its port facilities, telecommunications infrastructure and utilities have a major impact in attracting businesses and industries focused mainly in banking and finance, retail trading, and customer service – BPO. The city draws on the region’s extensive range of raw materials and its large consumer market.
The city is the regional center of education in Western Visayas on account of the presence of two government-subsidized institutions: The University of the Philippines in the Visayas (est. 1948) and West Visayas State University (est. 1902) while there are six private universities. In all, there are 8 universities in the city. There are several English language academies in and around the city that cater almost exclusively to Korean students. For expats and their families, there is one international school: the Santa Clarita International School located in Puerto Real Subdivision, with the presence of several Chinese schools around the city.
The city is home to six educational institutions that are affiliates of prominent universities: UP Visayas – Iloilo, St. Paul’s University, University of San Agustin, Ateneo de Iloilo, Assumption High School, Philippine Science High School and one PAREF affiliated high school: Westbridge.
On the whole, Iloilo has one of the highest literacy rates in the country with 98.4% and is an educational nexus in the Western Visayas region. To date, Iloilo City, steadily moves towards progress and development as the Regional Center and the major port of entry in Western Visayas.