The Municipality of Igbaras

As early as 1615, Igbaras was already a visita of the Augustinian Missionaries. It was in “Tinogpahan” in the vicinity of Binanua-an that the first Iglesita or chapel was founded by Rev. Juan de Medina.

Missionaries found out that three datos ruled the settlement in Igbaras. Binanua-an in Kipot Area became the first townsite because it is strategically located between the Tiglabat and Tuminting Hills. It proved to be impregnable to Muslim raids/attacks, as during that period the coastal towns were often raided.

Later the townsite was moved to Utas, a high-rise outside the Kiput Kiput Area Area Tor for the former site was inundated by the floods. The new site was a flourishing settlement even before the coming of the Spaniards as evidenced by uncovered antique wares so abundant in the area with impressions of Ming and Sung Dynasties (about 960 A.D.).

The site was not as productive as the plains of Cabubugan, so the townsite was transferred to the latter, Cabubugan was also under a datu and a flourishing settlement in 1223 A.D. When Ogtong was the seat of
the confederation of Madiaas. However, the area proved to be a flooding hazard and a new townsite was imperative by then.

In 1752, it was Fr. Juan Aguado who founded the townsite that existed to the present which is Igbaras. Don Diego Tamooc was formally selected to head the pueblo in 1761. Prominent edifices were constructed during the incumbency of Gobernadorcillo Don Pedro Sexto, like Casa Real of 1799 at
Calle San Agustin, a municipal street completely inundated by floods. The old church was constructed in 1784, followed by the convent in 1795 under Fr. Ignacio Marcos. These structures were also washed away by the big floods but the remains are still visible today,

In 1878, Fr. Celestino Fernandez constructed a new church with a big convent under the term of Fr. Jose Laviana as parish priest, but just the same, these two implosive and beautiful structures were destroyed by the 1948 earthquake named Lady Caycay.

During the American regime, lawlessness and banditry were rampant. In 1890, Don Joveniano Ealdama built a talutog or bamboo and wooden fortress around the poblacion.

Montor, the famous bandit penetrated the talutog and killed Don Mariano Benedicto and at the same time looted the poblacion. It was also during this period that the Spanish-American War flared up.
Directorcillo Julian Bucoy joined the revolutionary forces against the Spaniards and later against the Americans as Primer Teniente de Estado Mayor under General Martin Delgado with headquarters in Santa Barbara, Iloilo.

It was in 1902 that Igbaras was fused to Guimbal as the latter’s Arrabal until the time when Acting Governor-General Charles E. Yeater issued an Executive Order Number 64 dated December 29, 1918, that mandated the separation of Igbaras from Guimbal on January 1, 1919.

Don Flor Evidente was elected first Municipal President from 1919 to 1922, followed by Lucas Gentica, 1922-1925; Julian Bucoy Saavedra, 1925-1931; Justo Estrella, 1931-1938; Dionesio Esquilla, 1938; but lost to Gerardo Escala (1938-1941) in an electoral protest; Torebio Melliza, 1941-1945; Perfecto Bucoy Saavedra, 1945-1955; Ricardo Ealdama, 1955-1961; Torebio Melliza, 1961-1964; Atty. Daniel Esmeralda, 1964-1977; Vicente E. Perez, 1977-1985; and Wilfredo C. Uy, 1986-1992. The present Mayor is Honorable Fruto J. Saavedra.

Igbaras has the distinction of having one of the congressmen elected to the Philippines Congress from 1925-1928 in the person of Don Eugenio Ealdama, and the delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention, Don Mariano Ezpleta who later served as Consul General and Ambassador to several countries.

During the Second World War, the poblacion of Igbaras was burned to ashes by the resistance against the Japanese Imperial Army. Ramon Esporas appointed as Municipal Head by the Civil Government under Governor Tomas Confesor, Lt. Pedro B. Saavedra organized the guerilla forces under the USAFFE, and General Macario Peralta, Luis Ezpleta with the consent of the guerilla movement accepted the position of Puppet Mayor to protect the populace. After the war in 1945, Perfecto B. Saavedra was appointed Mayor before local elections in 1947 in which he was elected.

(Fruto J. Saavedra, Member, Iloilo Historical Society)


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

Next Post

The Municipality of Carles

Sun Feb 4 , 2024
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 […]

You May Like