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ABOUT ILOILO CITY
Iloilo City is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Located on the southeast portion of Panay Island, it is bordered by Antique to the west and Capiz to the north. Just off Iloilo's southeast coast is the island of Guimaras, which used to be part of Iloilo but is now its own province. Across the Panay Gulf and Guimaras Strait is Negros Occidental. Iloilo's capital is Iloilo City.
People and Culture
People from Iloilo are called Ilonggos. There are two local languages spoken in the province: Hiligaynon, sometimes called Ilonggo, and Kinaray-a. Hiligaynon and variants of it are spoken in Iloilo city and a few towns of the province. Outside the city, the majority of the people speak Kinaray-a. Each town has its own distinct variation of Kinaray-a. Most Ilonggos are trilingual in English, Hiligaynon, and Tagalog. Ilonggos are mostly Malayo-Polynesian people although there are small pockets of populations with Negrito, Chinese, and European ancestry. Spanish architecture can be seen in old buildings in downtown Iloilo. Merchants from China and India were trading with the Ilonggos from before the Spaniards came. The ruling Spanish government encouraged these foreign merchants to trade in Iloilo but they were not given privileges like ownership of land. The mestizo class eventually was born from the marriages of the Spaniards and merchants with the local Malayo-Polynesian people. They later emerged as the ruling class of the Ilonggos (see PrincipalĂa). The town fiesta is one of the most important events for Ilonggos. Almost every town (municipality) in Iloilo has a fiesta celebrated annually. You can eat "free" in any house in any town that is celebrating its fiesta in that week if you go with somebody who knows somebody in that house.