Iloilo City: 73rd Charter Day Celebration

August 25, 2010 is a red letter day in Iloilo City, which has been declared holiday by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog for all city government offices, as the culmination of its 73rd Charter Day celebration today.

The day started with a mass at La Paz Catholic Church followed by a civic-military parade of about 5,000 participants, including city employees, barangay officials, tanods, health workers, teachers, and students, from La Paz plaza to the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.

The affair is the highlight of the 40-day commemoration that included a medical mission, jobs fair, oratorical contest, and city tours.

The Charter Day activities started in July 16 with a thanksgiving mass, followed by different events spearheaded by the City Tourism and Development Office and other partner agencies, sectors and private groups.

Its theme “Dakbanwa sang Iloilo, Bugal Ko” (My City, My pride) aims to raise awareness about the city’s history and development and instill a “pride of place” among Ilonggos by showcasing Iloilo City’s history and culture during the festivities.

“I hope every Ilonggo will have a sense of ownership of our city because we want the future generation to also enjoy the same kind of benefits as we have now,” Mabilog said.

As we can recall, Iloilo was already a city during the Spanish colonial Period. During the19th century, the present day City Proper or Downtown district solely comprised the Municipality of Iloilo (also call “Punta” back in the day). The Districts of Jaro, La Paz, Arevalo, Molo, and Mandurriao were all separate towns alongside Iloilo. Governor General Don Valeriano Wayler created the Ayuntamiento or City Council of Iloilo on January 31, 1890, the date adopted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod as “Araw ng Lungsod ng Iloilo” or the Iloilo City Foundation Day.

And by virtue of the Royal Decree of 1896, Iloilo City was given the coat of arms with the inscription: “La Muy Leal Y Noble Ciudad de Iloilo” in recognition of the people’s loyalty to the Spanish crown.



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