The Municipality of Leganes

The Municipality of Leganes sprang from a small settlement in the early part of 1840 in the site now known as Barangay Guihaman. The word Guihaman originated from the presence of wild boars or guiham which inhabited or foraged the place. The early founders of the municipality named the place Valencia in honor of its patron saint, San Vicente Ferrer de Valencia, a town in Spain. Learning the existence of the settlement, Don Isidro A. Brudit, a Spanish Governor of Iloilo at that time decreed sometime in 1856 that the settlement be registered as a Pueblo otherwise a fine of P600.00 would be levied on the inhabitants. In compliance with the decree, the place was registered as a pueblo in 1858.

The little pueblo at that time had grown into a thriving community with the influx of settlers from the adjacent towns of Jaro and Sta. Barbara. One of its founders, Don Miguel Valencia, seemed to enjoy unmerited, if not unusual honor after the settlement was named Valencia, while the other founders protested and moved to have the name changed through a petition to the Aita Marin Spain. The Spanish authorities, annoyed by the complaint, named the pueblo Leganes, the name of another town somewhere in Spain that was of little significance, just to settle the seemingly heedless dispute. The other originators, Don Angel Gustilo, Don Mariano Gustilo, Don Jacinto Sandoval, Don Lorenzo Gustilo, Don Juan Hilad, and Don Fulgencio Espino fought hard for the autonomy and independence of the little pueblo.

Because of slow progress and lack of harmony among the leaders, the pueblo was annexed as an arrabal of Sta. Barbara by order of Governor Martin Delgado in 1905. Through the efforts of then Jaro President Petronilo Gumban, Leganes was transferred as an arrabal of Jaro On January 1, 1916. A new era of peace and progress began when Leganes finally gained its autonomy from Jaro and became a full-fledged town through the efforts of the late congressman Tomas Confesor, then Governor of Iloilo Province. Leganes was created as a Municipality under Executive Order 241 of the then Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon on January 1, 1940.

The emergence of a new town has turned into an era of peace. The people’s restiveness as to where their taxes go was answered to some degree by the continued development of the town.

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

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

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