The Rich History of Iloilo

It was the Bornean Malays who were responsible for the place we know today as Panay.

Where it all started

The Shri-Visayan Empire, whose capital was in what is now modern Indonesia, once had control over the Philippines. As a result, when the Philippines was ruled by the Shri-Visayan, adventurous Bornean Malays in search of greener pastures sailed for Aninipay or Madyaas, now known as Panay, in the first week of May 1212 with about 100 people on board to establish a settlement far from the oppressive rule of a despotic rajah.

Together with their warriors and slaves, the group included ten datus. The following individuals traveled across the seas in their large boats known as “barangays” while being led by Datu Puti and his wife Pinangpangan: Datu Bangkaya and his wife Katurong; Paiburong and his wife Pabulanan; Paduhinog and his wife Ribongsapaw; Dumangsol and his wife Kabiling; Sumakwel and his wife Kapinangan; Dumalugdog, Dumangsil, Balen They arrived at the Sirawagan River’s mouth in what is today the southern Iloilo town of San Joaquin.

The island was ruled by an Aeta ruler named Marikudo and his wife Maniwangtiwang when the Borneans arrived. In order to negotiate the acquisition of the land, Datu Puti wasted no time in searching for Marikudo. Marikudo feted the Borneans for two days after learning that they were hospitable, at which point he consented to sell the property in exchange for one sadok, a wide-brimmed hat made of beaten gold, one batiya, a huge basin also made of beaten gold, and a long necklace made of gold for his wife.

Afterward, Datu Puti left seven datus in Malandog, Hamtik, but he continued on to Borneo via Batangas, taking with him Datus Dumangsil and Balensusa, whom he had left somewhere on the coast of Luzon in order to start new settlements.


Sheila is a digital marketing enthusiast and obsessed in promoting Iloilo. She is a kdrama fan, a dog person and a certified foodie!

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Route # 1 Lapuz – Iloilo City Proper Loop

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