The Municipality of Lemery

There are different stories and versions, more of a legend, each claiming to be a real legend of the town’s name.

First Story

Lemery was a corrupt word from the Spanish word, Laminaria, the luminescent lamp. It is referred to a very tall tree, a pale Maria, a variety of Lawaan species, which grew in the outskirts of the new poblacion. To the early settlers, it was called labog-kahoy and was the landmark of the place, especially at night when thousands of fireflies would illuminate its crown and make it grow like a dull lamp when seen from afar.

How laminaria metamorphosed into Lemery is claimed to have risen from the natives’ proclivity to adopt a simply shortened version of a multi-syllabic foreign word. Thus Laminaria was first shortened to Lamiri and finally was called Lemery:

Second Story

Another version is still based on the same tree landmark – the tall Pale-Maria. It was said that during the Spanish era, settlements were usually named in honor of the saints. Relative to that tall Pale-Maria tree which has served as the Permanent landmark of a thriving community at the foot of the mountain Baboy-baboy called by the natives, Anito, and lies near a tallhill Pitik-pitik, the settlement was called el pueblo de la Maria, name as the neighboring settlement which became the municipality of Sara was once called El pueblo de San Juan. Later with the arrival of the Americans, its slang language influenced and changed Laminaria to Lemery.

Third Story

Coincidentally. the name of the Spanish general who had a brief and uneventful stint as colonial ruler of the Philippines was also named Lemery. A town in Batangas is named Lemery to honor this governor-general. This is possible, since at one point in time, Lemery was made the seat of the president instead of Sara. Lemery became a pueblo during the Spanish era, and its rich vast natural resources presented a great potential that triggered migration. It became a melting pot of traditions and customs of different ancestries. It was granted the status of an arrabal, which made it, in effect the secondary seat of the municipal government.

The area which represents the municipality of Lemery was once part of the municipality of Sara. It became independent in 1948, by Republic Act 197, sponsored by the representative of the 5th District of Iloilo, Hon. Juan V. Borra.

The separation of Lemery may be viewed by many as a designed political tactic to divide the rich Sara’s votes.


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

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