Guide to the City of Iloilo: Iloilo City, also referred to as the City of Love, is a conglomeration of former towns, now composed of City Proper, Jaro, La Paz, Lapuz, Mandurriao, Molo, and Villa de Arevalo. It is a regional hub of education, religion, healthcare, tourism, culture, and economy in the Western Visayas region.
- District of Iloilo City Proper
- District of Jaro, Iloilo
- District of La Paz, Iloilo
- District of Lapuz, Iloilo
- District of Mandurriao, Iloilo
- District of Molo, Iloilo
- District of Villa, Iloilo
Over the years, the metro gathered several awards and recognition to its name – Cities for Clean Air Award given by Clean Air Asia in 2018, and the Clean Tourist Award given by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Clean Tourist City Standards in 2020, among others. Just recently, it was named ‘Creative City of Gastronomy’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), making Iloilo City the first ever City of Gastronomy in the country.
Iloilo City Government
With the Iloilo City Government in place, the metro houses several facilities to aid constituents (317 for education, 121 for health, and 84 for recreational). It has also received many accolades recognizing the metro’s governance, making Iloilo one of the top-performing highly urbanized cities.
Iloilo City is headed by Mayor Jerry Treñas, together with the Sangguniang Panglungsod.
The Sangguniang Panglungsod is envisioned to be “a highly professionalized legislative institution working in partnership with the executive in achieving a premier ‘smart’ city of excellence.” Smart stands for service, manufacturing/agribusiness, arts and culture, research and technology, and tourism).
Its mission is to ‘enact responsive, quality, and effective legislation that will have an impact on constituents’, and to ‘encourage and strengthen the role of the private sectors as active partners in all government initiatives and programs’.
Mayor: Hon. Jerry P. Treñas
Vice Mayor: Hon. Jeffrey P. Ganzon
- Hon. Sedfrey L. Cabaluna
- Hon. Jose Maria Miguel S. Treñas
- Hon. Alan Zaldivar
- Hon. Frances Grace V. Parcon-Torres
- Hon. Urminico M. Baronda
- Hon. Rudolph Jeffrey O. Ganzon
- Hon. Rex Marcus B. Sarabia
- Hon. Candice Magdalane A. Tupas
- Hon. Johnny Y. Young
- Hon. Romel D. Duron
- Hon. Ely A. Estante
League of Barangays President: Hon. Maria Irene D. Ong
SK Federation President: Hon. Leila G. Luntao
District of City Proper
Iloilo City Proper also referred to as ‘downtown’ and ‘ciudad’, is one of the seven districts of Iloilo City and is the second most densely populated district (after Molo). It is the civic center of the city and houses the city and provincial government. It is the current economic and financial center of Iloilo. Its prized gems included the 19th and 20th-century buildings that line up J.M. Basa, popularly referred to as Calle Real.
District of Jaro
During the Spanish era, it was a standard practice that a ‘plaza’ was constructed in community areas. It was a strategy by the Spaniards to bring communities together and closer to Catholicism, as well as to administrative rule. Moreover, natives were encouraged to erect their houses around the plaza. This was pivotal in what Jaro came to be and what it is today.
District of Lapaz
La Paz is one of the seven districts in Iloilo City. Before it became a district, it was actually a part of Jaro and was referred to as “Ilawod”, in contrast to Jaro as “Ilaya”. The name La Paz was actually taken from the district’s patron saint, Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje. The patron saint was referred to as the Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. Thus, the term ‘La Paz’ means ‘peace’ in Spanish.
District of Lapuz
Lapuz is one of the seven district of Iloilo City and by far the smallest by land area and population. It is home to the Iloilo International Port Complex as well as the Iloilo Fastcraft and Roro Terminal.
District of Mandurriao
Iloilo’s central business district. Mandurriao, one of the seven districts of Iloilo City, is the second-largest by land area as well as the third most populous. It is the site of the developing Iloilo midtown area and is seen as the commercial and financial hub of Iloilo City.
District of Molo
Molo, a district in Iloilo City, is the most densely populated compared to other districts. Unbeknownst to many, Molo was the original ‘Parian’ (Chinese district or Chinatown) of Iloilo City. Molo used to be a separate municipality before it was incorporated into the then-municipality of Iloilo via Act No. 719 of 1903. It is also lauded as the ‘Athens of the Philippines’, as it was the center of learning in the Visayas. It is also the birthplace of prominent figures and illustrados, including philosophers, political leaders, and government officials, to mention a few.
District of Villa de Arevalo
Arevalo is the westernmost district in Iloilo City as it borders Oton to the west. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘flower capital of Iloilo’ due to its collection of ornamental plants. It is also known for its firecrackers, fireworks, resorts, nightlife, and beaches. Apart from that, it is also home to many cultural and heritage sites such as the Santo Niño de Arevalo Parish and the Camiña Balay na Bato (Avanceña Ancestral House).