Alimodian is a beautiful and quiet town packed with great natural and historical attractions. It features amazing sites, views and landscapes that are surprisingly diverse, with remote upland barangays, rice paddies, tumbling waterfalls and vegetable plantations.
Alimodian is a Third-Class municipality situated south-central of the province. It is 24.6 kilometers away from Iloilo City. The town is bounded in the north by the province of Antique; in the east by the towns of Maasin and Cabatuan, Iloilo; in the south by San Miguel, Iloilo and in the west by Leon, Iloilo. It has a total land area of 14, 480 hectares that is politically subdivided into 51 barangays.
Alimodian is populated by 34, 408 (2015 Census on Population) Alimodianons. Market day is every Tuesdays and Sundays. It annually celebrates its Religious Fiesta every 22nd of September in honour of St. Thomas of Villanova.
To get to Alimodian, one can take a jeepney or van at the ALEOSAN Transport Terminal at El 98 Street, Mandurriao, Iloilo City or at the ALEOSAN Transport Terminal in Barangay HIbao-an, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
Derived from alimodia or alimodias, the old Hiligaynon name for Coix Lachyrma-Jobi, a grain-bearing tropical plant of the grass family found to be abundant in the area. The town is also nicknamed as the Banana Capital of Western Visayas.
Founded in in 1754 by Capitan Agustin Magtanong, Alimodian was formerly an arrabal of Ogtong (Oton). In August 20, 1756, Alimodian was officially separated from Ogtong.
ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA PARISH CHURCH is of Baroque architectural style. The first church was built sometime in 1700 was destroyed by an earthquake in July 13 1787. The present church was built on the same foundation with the old church. It was under the supervision of Father Florencio Martin in 1859.
The stones used in the construction of the church were taken in Camando (Leon). The belfry of the church was one of the tallest and the most beautiful in Panay and Negros during its time. It had seven bells and was said to give the loudest and most melodious sound. The convent was completed in 1868 and was just as big as the church though longer in length.
However, in April 16, 1942, it was looted and burned. A month after the church was also burned for fear that Japanese Imperial Forces will use the church as its hideout and storage center for their supplies. The 1948 Lady Kaykay earthquake rocked the church totally destroying its convent and about 2/3 of its belfry. It was then abandoned. It was in 1951 when the ruined church was renovated and opened for public worship in December 22 of the same year.
The stone church of Alimodian was completed in 1864 and was dedicated to Saint Thomas of Villanova, the town’s patron saint. Fr. Florencio Martin, OSA was credited for building it while his successor, Fr. Ignacio Marcos, OSA, completed the stone and wooden convent in 1868. Its belfry was fitted with bells manufactured in 1876 by Juan Reyes in his foundry in Arevalo. The largest bell weighed 120 arrobas or 1,470 kilos where two pairs of bullcarts transported them from Arevalo to Alimodian. Both the church and the convent survived the earthquake of 20 June 1869 where a number of churchgoers got injured, and the tremor of 13 February 1882 where the image of Saint Augustine fell from its niche over the church’s main entrance.
During the outbreak of World War II, the convent became the refuge of the Ysmael and Caram families who were friends of Fr. Mariano Perez, the parish priest at that time. Shortly after the invasion of Iloilo by the Japanese Imperial Army on 6 April 1942, fleeing residents looted the convent and set it on fire.
A month later, Filipino guerrillas under Col. Macario Peralta torched the church to prevent Japanese soldiers from turning it into a garrison. Its roof was restored in 1943 by Fr. Genaro Ramos following the surrender of the town to the Japanese. Five years later, the church collapsed to the ground during the 25 January 1948 Lady Caycay 8.2-magnitude earthquake that also toppled the Jaro bell tower and the Oton church.
AGONY HILL is a venue for Religious Pilgrimage especially during the Holy Week. Stations of the Cross are located along the trekking area where people can pause for a moment and pray. The concept of Agony Hill emerged from the combination of the human appreciation of nature`s beauty with the amazing landscape designed naturally by the hill`s rolling slope and topography.
SEVEN CITIES is composed the seven barangays or villages located in the upland hinterlands of the town of Alimodian and are linked to the Bucari mountain range of the town of Leon. It is composed of the barangays Cabacanan (Proper and Rizal), Dao, Lico, Manasa, Tabug and Umingan. It is called the “Little Baguio of Iloilo” because of its cool climate. They produce high yielding crops such as cauliflower, carrots, broccoli and even strawberries. It is also known for its lush vegetation, thick jungle forest, diverse wildlife and plants such as wild berries and fruits, caves, steep cliffs and boulders, waterfalls and rice terraces.
UMINGAN PLATEAU On top of barangay Umingan lays the green grass covering a wide range of the plateau which blends with the foggy atmosphere and freezing breeze. An aerial picture of the entire area beneath exactly describes how high a traveller has reached. At night, a panoramic scene appears to be stars blinking at night but it was on the ground. Such view, most perfectly describe how the night spots on the quivering and meddling City of Iloilo look like.
LICO WATERFALLS is almost hidden within barangay Lico, located near the thick forest, is a haven where a series of mini waterfalls can be found. Splashes of cool and refreshing waters flowing endlessly show the abundance of water poured by nature. A quick dip would often lead to a prolonged craving to dive the crystal clear waters for a more relaxing experience.
BATO DUNGOK IN AGUA COLOGNIA is within the rugged and forested terrain and on the highest area of Agua Colognia, Bato Dungok invites one to discover its amazing natural landscape with sculptured rocks in an artistic and exquisite manner.
HIMUD-OS is celebrated every 2nd till the 3rd week of March
PASKUA SA ALIMODIAN is celebrated every 2nd week of December, the municipal park of Alimodian has been an attraction especially during this season as everyone enjoys walking around it and seeing the different lighted Christmas trees and lanterns or parols. It is an amazing local tradition that helps bring much a much needed sense of community to many Alimodianons. Barangay districts of the area take turns in the nightly holiday showcase featuring the talented people of this town.
MUSiKALIKASAN, EARTH DAY FEST is celebrated every April 22. The event is observed since 2014 as the town’s way celebrating World Earth Day. It is an ecological awareness and advocacy program of Alimodian through musical renditions in Hiligaynon and OPM on how we should take good care of Mother Nature. Alimodian is a beautiful town packed with great natural and historical attractions. It features amazing sites, views and landscapes that are surprisingly diverse, with remote upland barangays, rice paddies, tumbling waterfalls and vegetable plantations.