TIGBAUAN offers a relaxing, carefree getaway with exciting attractions from beaches, heritage areas, fun events and fantastic local produce. It is magnet for local tourists. Preserved landmarks from one of Iloilo’s earliest town sites still stand in this place. This picturesque town is looking forward to welcoming you with warm hospitality and exciting attractions and activities.
Tigbauan is a Second-Class town south in the province of Iloilo. It is bordered by Leon in the north; San Miguel in the northwest; in the east by Oton; the Iloilo Strait in the south; and, west by Guimbal. It is located 22.5 kilometers or a 40-minuter ride from Iloilo City. It has a land area measuring 6, 062 hectares that is politically sub-divided into 52 barangays.
Tigbauan is populated by 62, 706 (2015 Census on Population) Tigbauanons. Market day is every Sunday. It celebrates its Municipal Fiesta every 2nd Sunday of January in honour of St. John of Sahagun.
Visitors can take a Tigbauan, Guimbal, Miagao or San Joaquin jeepneys at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Barangay Mohon, Oton or at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala I, Iloilo City.
Before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, a previous native settlement had been in existence and this was named after Anthisteria cilleta, a certain specie of reed known among the natives as Tigbao. The pre-Hispanic settlement was known as Katigbauan meaning “the place of reeds” among its indigenous inhabitants which the Spaniards finalized as Tigbauan.
From their Administrative Center in La Villa Rica de Arevalo, Spanish authorities established “Pueblo de Tigbauan,” shortened from “Katigbawan.”
ST. JOHN OF SAHAGUN PARISH is of Mexican plateresque architectural style. The first church was built under the supervision of Father Fernando Camporredondo. Made of sandstone and coral, it was said to be so strong that it withstood a powerful earthquake in July 13, 1787.
The present church along with its convent was built by Father Fernando Martin in 1867. It is said to be a reconstruction of the “parochial church.” It is a one-of-its-kind in the Philippines because of the lavish piling up of its surface ornamentation especially with its stone carvings. It has floral motifs on its pilasters and spandrels. The main arch on the first level is decorated with a cherub with bent wings and an Augustinian emblem-heart, arrow and the episcopal coat of arms at the center.
The second level is carved with an elaborate niche which holds the statue of St. Nicolas de Tolentino with two little angels on both sides of the upper frame. The third level has the image of the Child Jesus.
In 1975, a historical marker of the National Historical Institute was placed on its churchyard identifying the site where the first Jesuit boarding school for boys in the Philippines was established. It is said that with the presence of Jesuit Brothers Pedro Chirino and Francisco Martin in Tigbauan, a school for Visayan boys was established where catechism, reading, writing, Spanish, and liturgical music were taught.
In 1593-94, Brother Pedro Chirino established a dormitory and school house for the Spanish boys near his rectory. In 1994, under the direction of Rev. Fr. Eleuterio Rojo Carton, the interior of the church was renovated with a wide array of carefully laden tile mosaics such as the station of the cross and the altar that bears Dante’s interpretation of heaven and hell.
SEAFDEC or SOUTH EAST ASIAN FISHERY DEVELOPMENT CENTER in Barangay Buyu-an was established in 1967. It is an inter-governmental organization that promotes sustainable fisheries development in the region. This 40-hectare complex includes various research laboratories, hatcheries, and brood stock tanks and caters to the information and technical services on bangus and prawn culture, with complete amenities and facilities thru their physical plant and sub-stations.
BURIHAN is celebrated every 1st till the 2nd week of February. Annually held in Barangay Bitas, the festivity recognizes the usefulness of the buri palmtree (Corypha Microclada) and defines its role as a major source of livelihood for the community. Derived from the buri palmtree are the buri, raffia and buntal fibers used to make ropes, fan, hats, slippers, placemats, etc. The centrepiece of the festival is the tribal dance competition which they celebrate with great passion and joy that even the names of the competing groups carry the processes of how these fibers were obtained such as Likyad, Luknit, Sasa, Karatel and Hilo.
PAGDAUG-SALUDAN is celebrated every second week of March. The name was derived from the Hiligaynon word salud which means the act of gathering or catching things or objects of value by using a container. Such word is also used in the act of catching rice with a kalalaw or catching fingerlings with a bamboo and net fishtrap. The festivity defines the primary income-earning industry of the town which was fishing and farming. This traditional harvest celebration is performed thru dance alongside the festivity of Pagdaug, a commemoration of the annual Liberation of Panay from the Japanese Military Forces during the Second World War.
Pagdaug-Saludan as a festival does not only recognize the sufferings and sacrifices of the locals but presents the abundance of the various local produce that symbolized the industriousness of Tigbauanons. Highlight of the festival is the tribal dnace-drama competition.