History in Iloilo - Philippines
It becomes easier for one to admire and respect the culture of a people if one understands their background, so a little background info on the history of Iloilo will be a plus when you go to the province.
There is no debate concerning the fact that the history of Iloilo began long before the arrival of the Spaniards, and that there were several tribes and indigenous peoples living and thriving there. Unfortunately, very little is known about them due to several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they left very little in the way of written facts. The beliefs, practices and way of life of the peoples were transmitted by word of mouth.
There were also a few instances wherein some facts were inscribed, but they were done so on leaves, which do not last long and can no longer provide information on the early history of Iloilo.
However, from the advent of the Spaniards, the history of Iloilo is well known. The conquistadors first settled at Ogtong in the year 1566. However, the Spaniards could not stay there for long; being on the coastline it was subject to frequent raids and attacks from pirates as well as the Dutch and Moro. Due to these circumstances the Spaniards moved to La Villa Rica de Arevalo. Again this site became a target for the privateers, so the settlement was moved further along a river, which would eventually become Iloilo City.
From that point on, the history of Iloilo was marked by the occupation and influence of the Spaniards, until the Americans came and took over. In 1941, the Japanese invaded the Philippines, and among the provinces that were heavily hit and subject to their occupation was Iloilo. For three years the people of the province waged a campaign to battle the invaders, using guerrilla tactics, and helped the Allied Forces liberate the province in 1945.
Ever since the end of the war, the history of Iloilo has been marked by continued economic progress, with several thriving industries and businesses. The tourism sector is also booming, thanks to the many attractions to be found such as churches, beaches and more.
Given that not much of the early history of Iloilo is known, it is little wonder that it continues to draw the interest of many history buffs and tourists as it adds one more interesting element to their journey to the province.