Nicholas Loney Monument [Iloilo City Cultural Heritage]

Great Britain was the first country to establish a vice-consulate in Iloilo. The first vice-consul, Nicholas Loney, arrived in Iloilo on July 31, 1856. Through his firm, Loney, Ker & Company, he financed sugar production. He was responsible for introducing sugar cane seeds from Sumatra and sugar machinery from England and Scotland. It was he who made the first shipments of sugar from Lloilo to a foreign port – Melbourne in 1859, Great Britain, and China in 1863. At the peak of his career, in 1869, he died. He is the recognized “Father of the Philippine Sugar Industry.”

The monument marks the grave of Nicholas Loney.

The monument marking the grave of Nicholas Loney

Source: Ilonggo Initiatives published by Iloilo Business Club (2011)

Shipping in Western Visayas

Martin de Goiti explored Panay Island in 1569 and landed in Irong-lrong, which later they corrupted to lloilo.

A statue of Nicholas Loney, “Father of Philippine Sugar Industry” graces the pier named in his honor.

Nicholas Loney Monument

In the first century of colonial settlement, lloilo was the administrative center and naval dockyard for Spanish campaigns. In 1571, the Spaniards established a shipyard to construct galleys for their expeditions to the Moluccas. In the 1590s Antonio de Morga wrote that the natives of Oton were masters in building all kinds of ships and Guimaras’ natives were highly skilled carpenters. In Jaro, the river behind the location of the Jaro Cathedral was a shipping port. Trade was established through these ships carrying stone and building materials for the Jaro Church. In the second half of the 19th century, the port of lloilo became an important shipping link.

Economic growth, especially in the sugar industry, necessitated a more sophisticated shipping industry. Fittingly, the port of Iloilo was named after Nicholas Loney, who was the proponent of the sugar industry in the Philippines. Iloilo port served not only Panay but also Negros Occidental. In the 1930s, however, due to restiveness among dockworkers in Iloilo, ports in Negros Occidental were established.

Further is Muelle Loney, the port of lloilo named after Englishman Nicolas Loney, the “Father of the Sugar Industry” in Panay Island. Muelle Loney opened to to foreign trade in 1855 and is considered one of the safest harbors because of Guimaras Island that protects it from drastic winds. The Nicholas Loney Monument was erected in his honor as the “Paladin of Philippine Progress.”

[Read also] List of Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Sites




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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