Aside from an Iloilo City Hall initiated parade and a celebrated ‘no classes’ day, what is Iloilo Charter Day to be exact? To start with, Charter defined, “is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified.” To continue on with the definition, “It is implicit that the granter retains superiority or sovereignty, and that the recipient admits a limited (or inferior) status within the relationship, and it is within that sense that charters were historically granted, and that sense is retained in modern usage of the term.”
And decades years ago, on exactly 25th of August 1937, was the inauguration of Iloilo City. The ‘Iloilo Charter Day’ came to be when Iloilo received its charter during the American Commonwealth Government in the Philippines. The momentous event was celebrated with a parade that commenced from the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, now Casa Real, to the newly constructed Iloilo City Hall of that time. The route was from Bonifacio Drive through Iznart St and JM Basa St., to Plaza Libertad, through Rizal St, Mabini St., and finally ending in front of the then Iloilo City Hall.
Four divisions graced the parade with the first division having lead flags, American and Filipino colors, followed by the Grand Marshall, band, military, police, veterans, and the media. The activities in the 1937 inauguration include ‘diana de las bandas de musica’ – showcase of musical bands, ‘salvas de morteretes’ – salvo of cannons, games and sports at the city hall, serenades, ‘fuego artificiales’ – fireworks and, of course, a helping of lechon at the event. The Provincial Governor that graced the event during the time was Timoteo Consing – together with other commendable officials including then-Mayor Ramon J. Campos. A feast was also held in honor of Vice President Sergio Osmeña and Secretary of Interiors Elpidio Quirino.
Since then the Iloilo Charter Day is celebrated every 25th of August, as a reminder to all Ilonggos of what Iloilo is today. It is indeed a day of celebration among the Ilonggos and an affirmation of dedication to our beloved dakbanwa. Happy Charter Day, Iloilo!