During the Spanish Era, the Spaniards headed by Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa established a Spanish settlement in Arevalo, was struck by the beautiful sceneries in the island. Its verdant mountains were rich with forest timbers and lime stones for building purposes and are likewise excellent hunting and fishing grounds.
The Christianization of the people of Guimaras started almost simultaneously with that of Iloilo. For this purpose, the Spaniards organized the pueblocitos or villages of Nayup with San Pedro Apostol as the patron saint and Igang whose patron saint was Santa Ana. For a long time, these small villages formed a “visita” of Oton, Iloilo. The Governor at that time, General Dasmariñas reported to the King of Spain on June 20, 1551 that one of the two friars of Oton was assigned to Guimaras who made his visits from time to time.
The island fell under the jurisdiction of Dumangas from 1742 until 1751, when the Agustinian Order were replaced by the Jesuits. Then the Dominicans took over Guimaras. By 1755, it was organized into a regular parish. Finally, when the population had increased considerably, the island was given its municipal status with a seat of government at Tilad, now Buenavista. The old townsite was in the place known today as Old Poblacion.
The American regime brought about faster progress to the island. In 1908, Guimarasnons were given the right to elect their municipal president.
One great American left an indelible mark in the island. Douglas McArthur, fresh graduate from West Point as a Second Lieutenant at the age of 23, came to Iloilo as the head of the company of Corps of Engineers. They constructed roads and the Sto. Rosario Wharf, presently named McArthur’s Wharf, which is still in use today.
Folklore says, Guimaras, which was formerly known as Himalus, was named after the impetuous but ill-fated lovers, Princess Guima and the slave, Aras, who defied tradition for their romance. Rejecting the bethrothal by her father to another noble son, they escaped by a small raft but disappeared in the raging sea. From then on, whenever strong winds churned the seas, people seemed to hear the echo of the lovers’ names shouted by her repentant father, thus, came the name of Guimaras.
Guimaras first gained status as a Sub-province of Iloilo by virtue of R.A. 4667, which was enacted by Congress on June 18, 1966. It was proclaimed as a regular and full-fledged province on May 22, 1992 after a plebiscite was conducted to ratify the approval of its conversion pursuant to Section 462 of R.A. 7160.
Shortly after Guimaras acquired provincial status, President Fidel V. Ramos appointed Emily Relucio – Lopez as its first Governor.
The Province of Guimaras was first made up of 3 municipalities. In 1995, by virtue of Republic Act No. 7896 and Republic Act No. 7897, the Municipalities of Sibunag and San Lorenzo, were created respectively, in the Province of Guimaras. The two new municipalities officially acquired their municipal status after the May 8, 1995 plebiscite held simultaneously with the local election.
Mayor Ernesto L. Gedalanga was the first appointed Mayor of the Municipality of Sibunag and Mayor Arsenio Zambarrano was also appointed as the Mayor of San Lorenzo.
Guimaras, considered one of the exotic islands in the Philippines; believed to have been once part of the Panay group of islands. Original name was Himal-us. Once a sub-province of Iloilo, Guimaras was proclaimed as a regular and full-fledged province on May 22, 1992. It has 5 towns, with Jordan town as the capital. Located southwest of Panay Island and northwest of Negros Island, it has a land area of 604.65 sq. km. It has dry and wet season and population is estimated at 117,990. Hiligaynon is the native dialect but the residents also write and speak English and Pilipino, the national language.
The province is basically agricultural with palay, coconut, mango, vegetables, livestock, poultry and fishing as major products. Its major industries are tourism, fruit processing, coconut processing and handicrafts making.
Southeast of Panay and Northwest of Negros Islands in Western Visayas, Philippines. The island is separated from Panay by the 1.5 nautical mile long Iloilo Strait and acts as a natural breakwater for Iloilo. The 6 nautical mile Guimaras Strait likewise separates the province from Negros.
March to May
wordpress theme by initheme.com