Congressman Jerry P. Treñas
Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow Ilonggos, a good day to you all. Let us turn back the hands of time and look back at the pomp and circumstance that surrounded the inauguration of Iloilo City 74 years ago. With a celebration that befits a city of such grandeur and stature, Iloilo’s festivities in 1937 expressed the joy of the local population as a result of the enactment of their city’s charter. It has been 74 years since our city was chartered, yet the celebration is still on-going. The revelry shall never cease, for us residents of this great city will never tire of expressing our love for our beloved Iloilo City.
It was during the Commonwealth Era when our city’s charter was enacted. On July 16, 1937, under Commonwealth Act No.158, the surrounding towns of Lapaz, Mandurriao, Molo and Arevalo were absorbed and incorporated with the Municipality of Iloilo to form the City of Iloilo, while Jaro was incorporated years to the city later. The city was inaugurated on August 25, 1937.
There are so many reasons why we should be proud of our city. The city’s importance was recognized as early as the Spanish era, as the Spanish crown opened the port of Iloilo to foreign trade in 1855. Iloilo immediately became the center of export trade and commerce in the whole of Visayas and Mindanao during the Spanish colonial era. The town of Iloilo was widely considered in the 19 th century as one of the most important commercial centers in the Philippines outside of Manila. During the Commonwealth Era under the Americans, Iloilo City prospered and was called the “Queen City of the South”. Today, our city is the regional center of education, trade and government of the Western Visayas region.
But let us remember that beyond the great churches, picturesque houses, modern buildings and booming industries, the greatest strength of our city can be found in its people. You, my fellow Ilonggos , are the soul of this great city. More than the rocks and wood used to build our old churches, more than the steel and concrete gathered to construct our modern buildings, the true pillars of our city are the men and women gathered here today. We, the sons and daughters of this city, fuel the dynamic society and culture of Iloilo.
I have great pride in Iloilo City for I have great pride in its people. Thank you and enjoy the festivities.