The Municipality of Carles


Carles is the northernmost town of Iloilo. Carles is not only the northernmost town of Iloilo. A part of it Punta Bokawe, is the northernmost point of Panay Island.

In 1847, Governor Juan Silverio of Capiz permitted Francisco Arriola of the Pueblo of Nagas (now a town of Aklan) to settle in the unpopulated eastern part of Capiz. With fifty families, Arriola sailed and landed at a place they called Bolokawe. They then organized the settlement into a barrio of Pilar, Capiz, and Arriola as its first teniente.

As the settlement grew, some settlers moved southward to form another barrio they called Maya which later became Balanan. In 1856, settlers of Bolokawe transferred to a nearby lowland they called Badiang.

Desiring to make it to a pueblo the settlers led by Arriola went to Capiz to demand a township but it was rejected by the governor.

The people then turned to Jose Ma. Carles, governor of Iloilo readily granted their demand. In 1862, Bolokawe became a pueblo named Carles in honor of the governor, and under the jurisdiction of Iloilo. It included what is new Batad, Estancia, and Balasan.

Its first capitan was Alejandro Buaya.

During the Philippines Revolution, the president was former capitan Tiburcio Betita. When the Americans came, they appointed Lucino Galingan as president. However, Carles became a mere barrio of Balasan. Two Carles residents became presidents of Balasan Casimero Andrada and Crisanto Medina.

In 1919, it again became a town under an executive order issued by Governor General Francis Burton Harrison. Its president was Lucino Golingan.

Carles includes many offshore such as Gigantes Group (major and minor) and Sicogon – a nationally famous island resort.

Source: The League of Municipalities (Iloilo Chapter) | “A Testimonial Program” | Pototan, Iloilo | January 8, 1998


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